Vietnam Customs Regulations and Import Restrictions

Vietnam custom regulations

When arriving at customs in Vietnam, it is important to understand the regulations on what travelers can bring in and out of the country with them.

Vietnam’s import regulations outline what items must be declared, which have limits on the amount that can be brought into the country, and which are prohibited entirely.

It is important that all travelers comply with the country’s customs rules in addition to the visa requirements. Individuals entering the country on a Vietnam eVisa should ensure that they do not import or export any prohibited items and that they do not exceed the duty-free allowance without declaring what they are carrying.

What Is the Duty Free Allowance for Vietnam?

International travelers arriving in Vietnam are permitted to bring a certain amount of tobacco, alcohol, and other goods into the country from abroad without paying tax on them.

This duty-free allowance includes the following amounts of tobacco products:

  • Up to 20 cigars
  • Up to 200 cigarettes
  • Up to 250g of tobacco

Travelers may also bring in one of the following quantities of alcohol duty-free:

  • Up to 1.5 liters of liquor with concentration of alcohol at above 20% ABV
  • Up to 2 liters of liquor with concentration of alcohol at below 20% ABV
  • Up to 3 liters of other alcoholic drinks, including beer

There are also limits on certain other goods that can be brought through Vietnamese customs without paying duty. Arrivals can bring the following things into the country duty-free:

  • Up to 3 liters of soft drinks
  • Up to 5 kg of tea
  • Up to 3 kg of coffee
  • An amount of perfume judged to be “reasonable”
  • A quantity of personal belongings judged to be “reasonable”
  • Items whose total value does not exceed VND 10,000,000

What Do I Need to Declare at Vietnam Customs?

Certain things, including money, may have to be declared at Vietnam customs.

Individuals arriving in Vietnam with the following items must complete a customs declaration form detailing the things to declare and the quantity:

  • Local currency (Vietnamese Dong) exceeding VND 15,000,000
  • Foreign currency exceeding equivalent to USD 5,000
  • Foreign currency to be deposited in banks or credit institutions in Vietnam, regardless of value
  • Gold with a total weight of over 300 g
  • Jewellery not for personal use
  • CDs, DVDs, and videotapes

In addition to completing a customs declaration form, the majority of travelers need a visa to enter Vietnam. Nationals of over 80 different countries simply have to fill out a Vietnam eVisa application form online before their trip, which is much easier and more convenient than going to an embassy, as was necessary in the past.

Check the eVisa requirements for Vietnam to see which nationalities are eligible to apply online.

How Much Cash Can I Carry into Vietnam?

There are no restrictions on the amount of cash that travelers can bring into Vietnam, but it may have to be declared at customs.

If the cash is in Vietnamese Dong, the individual can carry up to ₫15,000,000 without having to declare it.

The same is true if the traveler has the equivalent of USD$5,000 or less in cash in a foreign currency.

Amounts of money exceeding these figures can be brought into the country, but must be declared.

It is advisable to consult the Vietnam travel money guide before making the journey to the country.

What Is the Current Vietnam Import Tax Rate?

In Vietnam, the current import tax rate varies depending on the product. Consumer goods tend to have higher import duties than raw materials and machinery. This is particularly true of luxury goods like alcohol and cigarettes.

In order to import goods to sell, foreign nationals must have a company registered in the country. They may also need other paperwork, such as a trading license to operate and sell products after importing them to Vietnam.

Vietnam imports and exports face different taxes depending on the type of goods. In addition to import tax, businesses should also consider VAT, special consumption tax (SCT), and environmental protection tax (EPT).

What Cannot Be Brought into Vietnam?

There are a number of items that passengers are prohibited from bringing into Vietnam. There are few exceptions to these, unless expressly permitted by Vietnamese authorities. The following things may not be brought into the country:

  • Firearms
  • Ammunition
  • Explosives
  • Dangerous goods
  • Animals without the proper permits, certificates, and vaccinations (including pets without a rabies certificate)
  • Drugs
  • Narcotic medication without a doctor’s prescription
  • Pornography
  • Audio-visual materials that are offensive to local traditions
  • Antiques
  • Stuffed turtles
  • Corals
  • Rare plants

While individual travelers can bring a small personal allowance of tobacco products into Vietnam duty-free, foreign traders and business people cannot import cigars or tobacco to sell in the country.

What Can I Export from Vietnam?

Travelers can take most things out of Vietnam and will not have a problem with the majority of personal belongings or with souvenirs and other items purchased in the country.

However, it is forbidden to take certain things out of the country without the relevant permits:

  • Antiques
  • Folk art
  • Jewelry
  • The national currency (Vietnamese Dong)
  • Coral
  • Rare plants
  • Wild animals