Air freight stands out as the fastest and most convenient mode for shipping goods to Vietnam, making it ideal for time-sensitive shipments. Vietnam's well-developed air transport infrastructure, comprising 22 airports (10 of them are international), ensures swift transit from major international airports to key destinations within Vietnam, typically within one to eight days.

Get to know Air Freight Timelines for Vietnam

Refer to the following table for an overview of estimated transit times when shipping goods via air freight to Vietnam:

Country of Origin Airport of Origin City Destination Airport Estimated Transit Time
Australia Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi 1 – 8 days
Germany Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi 4 – 5 days
USA Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, San Francisco, Newyork, Ashburn  Ho Chi Minh City, Haiphong 4 – 6 days
UK London, Glasgow Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi 3 days
Italia Rome Ha Noi 4 days
Portugal Lisbon Ha Noi 4 days
Switzerland Zurich, Basel, Geneva Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi 5 – 8 days

Source: Emerhub


Major Airports in Vietnam

Vietnam features two prominent international air transport hubs, playing pivotal roles in its air freight operations:

Noi Bai International Airport

Located in Hanoi, this airport acts as a crucial link connecting Northern Vietnam with international markets. It serves as an excellent choice for businesses dealing in high-value or time-sensitive goods, such as electronics, pharmaceuticals, or fashion items.

Tan Son Nhat International Airport

Serving Ho Chi Minh City, Tan Son Nhat International Airport is the busiest airport in Vietnam, making it an optimal choice for businesses in need of swift product transport to cater to fast-paced Southern Vietnamese and global markets. Besides, Ho Chi Minh City has 8 ports along with Cat Lai as the largest harbour in Vietnam. If you want to ship to Vietnam by a combination of air freight and ocean freight, Ho Chi Minh City remains the best choice

Optimal Use of Air Freight for Shipping to Vietnam

Air freight proves to be the optimal choice for transporting high-value, perishable, or time-sensitive goods requiring specialized handling or temperature control. However, it's crucial to note that air freight is generally a more expensive option. Additionally, it comes with stringent limitations on the size and weight of goods, as well as specific restrictions regarding the types of products suitable for air shipping. Certain items such as hazardous materials, liquids, or batteries may be prohibited or subject to restrictions by airlines.

For example, consider a tech firm based in the United States specializing in producing medicine products. Medicine products are expensive, with lots of strict preservation requirements so it got to be fast and safe. Meanwhile, there exists a substantial demand for these products from the contributors and retailers sector in Vietnam. In this scenario, air cargo emerges as the fastest and most reliable mode for the US medicine firm to meet the demands of their Vietnamese clients on time. In 2021 and 2022, tons of COVID-19 vaccine cargo were transported all over the world including Vietnam.

Navigating Customs Regulations for Shipping Goods to Vietnam

When importing goods into Vietnam, whether via ocean or air freight, it's imperative to adhere to various customs regulations and procedures outlined by the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

Customs Declaration

Importers must thoroughly declare all goods to customs when shipping to Vietnam. This process involves submitting a customs declaration form and providing supporting documents, a task that can be efficiently completed electronically. Essential documents for this process include the Bill of Lading/Air Waybill, Commercial Invoice, Packing List, Import License (not needed when using Emerhub as your importer of record), Certificate of Origin, Insurance Policy, Inspection Certificate, and Customs Declaration, furnishing comprehensive information about the goods, their value, and applicable import duties.

Import Duties and Taxes

Importers bear the responsibility of paying import duties and taxes before their goods are released from customs. The amount of duty and tax is contingent on the goods' classification according to the Harmonized System (HS) Code, and the customs value, usually based on the CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) value for sea freight and the CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid to) value for air freight.

Value-added tax: An additional tax based on the value of the imported products, with Vietnam’s VAT rates for imported goods, typically set at 5% or 10%. Certain goods, especially daily necessities that are not produced in Vietnam, may be exempt from VAT.

Special consumption tax: Levied on select consumer goods categorized as luxury items. Rates for Special Consumption Tax start at 7%, with higher rates for specific products such as cars with larger engine capacities. For instance, alcohol and cigarettes carry tax rates of 65% and 75% respectively according to Law No. 70/2014/QH13.

Environmental protection tax: Imposed on products that have an adverse impact on the environment, encompassing items like plastic bags, gasoline, and coal, as per Law No. 57/2010/QH12.

Before taking possession of imported goods, importers must declare and remit all import duties at the customs offices.

Customs Inspection

Customs officers conduct thorough inspections of the goods to verify the accuracy of the declaration and ensure compliance with import regulations. This scrutiny includes validating the quality, quantity, and value of the goods, alongside assessing their classification and origin. Any discrepancies or violations may result in penalties being imposed.

Regulations on Labeling

In compliance with Decree 43/2017/ND-CP, all goods imported into Vietnam must bear labels in the Vietnamese language, containing crucial information such as name, origin, quantity of goods, date of manufacture, expiration date, and handling instructions. However, for goods intended for export or temporarily imported for re-export, labels in a foreign language are permissible.


Import Restrictions in Vietnam

Certain restrictions apply when shipping goods to Vietnam, including:

Prohibited Items (Decree 187/2013/ND-CP): Items like weapons, ammunition, second-hand consumer goods, and culturally inappropriate products are strictly prohibited for shipping to Vietnam, though the government may grant import permits for scientific research or humanitarian aid purposes.

Used Equipment (Decision 18/2019/QD-TTg): Importation of used machinery and equipment under ten years old is permitted, subject to meeting Vietnam's safety, energy-saving, and environmental protection standards or those of any G7 country. However, usage must be for internal purposes only, promoting equipment reuse and environmental sustainability.

Restricted Items (Circular 34/2013/TT-BCT): Certain items necessitate government permission for import, including biological products, specific cosmetics, chemicals, and tobacco products. The procedure for securing a permit is well-defined, typically receiving responses within ten working days.

Pharmaceuticals (Decree 54/2017/ND-CP): Foreign-invested companies can import pharmaceutical products into Vietnam, although some products require a pharmaceutical import permit. However, sales are limited to wholesalers registered with the Ministry of Health.

Navigating the intricate landscape of customs regulations when shipping goods to Vietnam necessitates a keen understanding and compliance with these regulations. HST Freight's custom team is ready to assist you in comprehending and effectively managing your tax obligations. Đội ngũ hải quan của HST Freight sẵn sàng hỗ trợ bạn và thực hiện hiệu quả các nghĩa vụ thuế của bạn.

Simplified cargo transportation to Vietnam process with H.S.T Freight

As the company started to do business in the promising Vietnamese market, import logistics became crucial. There are several steps and legal, and customs requirements from Vietnam. Therefore, HST Freight is here to complete all of those tasks for your business, HST has done similar jobs for 10 years with a professional team, so your business’ import cargo shall meet no trouble when they land in Vietnam. This means you have legal buyers/receivers in Vietnam, and businesses don’t need to set up a local entity or deal with their own licenses, saving time and avoiding legal complications.

We also help businesses choose the most optimal commodities shipping to Vietnam therefore, businesses can confidently believe that they are going into the Vietnam market with success.

 6th Floor, Geleximco Building, 36 Hoang Cau Str, Dong Da District, Ha Noi

Tel: (+84) 90 322 7657
Contact: Mr. Hoang Son Nguyen (General Manager) – (+84) 90 322 7657

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