How to Import Goods from Vietnam?

Sep 17, 2023 Chapter 1. Sourcing

Considering importing from Vietnam? If you’re in the United States, you’re not alone. Vietnam has emerged as a significant trading partner with the U.S. and is renowned for importing various goods, including clothing, shoes, and furniture.



How to import goods from Vietnam

Before you start receiving freight from Vietnam, it’s crucial to address some essential aspects to avoid potential non-compliance fines and customs delays. This article will guide you through the process of importing from Vietnam, including important information on duties and taxes.

Compliance with Laws and Regulations for Importing from Vietnam:

    • Vietnam maintains a bilateral trade agreement with the United States and has similar agreements with other countries. These agreements establish the conditions for trading products, ensuring that substandard or potentially hazardous goods don’t enter either country.
    • Duties and tariffs are a significant part of Vietnam trade regulations. To determine your duty obligations when importing from Vietnam, consult Vietnam Customs’ import tax rates page.
    • Ensure that the goods you import from Vietnam comply with both Vietnamese trade policies and the laws of your home country. Most countries provide a list of acceptable goods and additional trade regulations through their chamber of commerce or customs department. Pre-arrange customs clearance as well.
    • Importing from Vietnam typically does not require a specific license. However, foreign investors must register with the Department of Planning and Investment.


Selecting Reliable Vietnamese Suppliers:

    • When choosing a supplier in Vietnam, it’s essential to visit the factory, warehouse, and production facilities with an expert to ensure legitimacy.
    • Research and read reviews of potential suppliers. Networking with other businesses involved in Vietnamese trade can provide valuable supplier recommendations tailored to your niche.



Emphasize Comprehensive Sales Contracts:

    • Establishing a detailed sales contract between you and your supplier is essential. This contract should outline the requirements of both parties, payment terms, customs information, communication methods, and more. It’s advisable to engage a lawyer for this purpose and include an interpreter if necessary.
    • Utilize Incoterms to facilitate negotiations, clarifying each party’s responsibility for goods at each stage of the transaction.



Select the Appropriate International Transport Method:

    • Ocean freight is the most common method for importing from Vietnam due to the country’s proximity to the sea, although air freight is also an option.
    • Consider transit times when importing from Vietnam. Evaluate whether partnering with a Vietnamese supplier is feasible if your target market is geographically distant. Keep in mind that greater distances from Vietnam may result in longer shipping times.


Importing goods from Vietnam can be a rewarding venture, but meticulous planning, compliance with regulations, and careful supplier selection are crucial for success. Always stay informed about trade regulations and best practices to ensure a smooth importing process.

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