What is the best way to ship goods from China to Vietnam ?
If you’re searching for an answer to this question, it probably means that you’re close to import/export Chinese goods from/to Vietnam.
Because great English information isn’t easy to find on the web about this topic, we decided to build this page to clarify all your thoughts about it. Our numerous years of experience on the Asian market and our hours of research about this subject enables us to gather all the important information for you to master this operation. No matter if you are an accomplished exporter/importer, or a novice in the domain, if you’re planning a one-shot import/export in/to Vietnam, or more regular transfer through time, this page will give you precious information that can help you enhance or implement your import/export process.
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Customs clearance in Vietnam
What duties and taxes will I pay for my goods ?
Ahead of the USA, China became both the first exportation and importation partner of Vietnam in terms of value. Because of the involvement of Vietnam in the ASEAN community, the custom tariffs and procedures between the two countries have been eased and reduced. This was officially ruled in the ASEAN–China Free Trade Area (ACFTA). This agreement reduced tariff barriers to zero of 90% of the goods imported from China. Thus, there is a big chance that the goods you are importing to Vietnam are “tariff-free”.
Here are some useful tools to calculate the tariff barriers of your products between the two countries.
Can I be exempted of taxes for goods imported from China?
Yes, it can be possible. In order to achieve it, you or your supplier should send us the well completed FORM E page. Please be careful, because errors on your FORM E will result in taxes for yourself. We will check it for you, before all process, to be sure.
The Certificate of Origin (CO)
This document certifies that the goods you’re shipping were produced in a particular place and country. It must be produced by a notary public or government. In general, it is divided into GSP certificate of origin (Form A), and numerous regional preferential certificates of origin, and non-preferential certificates of origin.
ASEAN-China Free Trade Certificate of Origin
The China – ASEAN Free Trade Certificate of Origin (FORM E) is applying currently to exports of Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Brunei. It complies with the relevant provisions of the product, if issued by the China – ASEAN free Trade Area of preferential origin confirmation letter (FORM E), exports of goods to the 10 countries of the importing country can enjoy preferential tariff treatment, the average tax rate of up to 5%.
The « Trade in Goods Agreement », is delimiting the sample format of CO that needs to be observed. In the “trade in goods agreement” Protocol II, you have to describe briefly what the back page is containing.
Now that you know what documents and forms are required, you must inform yourself about the shipping possibilities that are offering to you.
Customs contact in China
Customs contact in Vietnam
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Prohibited & restricted items
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SEA FREIGHT FROM/TO VIETNAM
Thanks to the two countries closeness, Sea freight from China to Vietnam is one of the most competitive option that you have. Rates are very affordable and transit times are not very high.
Vietnam has numerous sea ports that are boarding the South China Sea. The two biggest and busiest ports are Cat Lai/Ho Chi Minh City and Haiphong Port due to their proximity to the two major cities of Vietnam, HCMC and the capital Hanoi. All other ports are 10 times smaller than those two on average, but still very effective. All the harbours of Vietnam are well equipped, with good LCL and FCL cargo services.
We can classify the harbours in three categories. The first category is the ports that are located on the north of the country:
- Cam Pha
- Nghe Tinh
- Vung Ang
The second category, which includes only one port, Da Nang port, is the category of the port of Central Vietnam.
To finish, the third category is including ports that are located in the South of the country:
- Qui Nhon
- Nha Trang
- Ho Chi Minh City / Cat Lai
- Can Tau
Here are tables that defines transit times and rates on average, between the biggest Chinese ports and the Vietnamese ports. Smaller ports will have a slightly higher transit time than the two majors, because of their tiny traffic:
Hong Kong / Shenzhen
|1-4 days||5 days||3-7 days|
|Dalian||9 days||12 days||10 days|
|Tianjin||11 days||18 days||10 days|
|Qingdao||7 days||12 days||9 days|
|Ningbo||6 days||9 days||6 days|
|Shanghai||5 days||10 days||7 days|
|Guangzhou||1-4 days||5 days||3-7 days|
AIR FREIGHT FROM/TO VIETNAM
The whole territory of Vietnam is well served in International Airports. There are at least 10 international airports that are covering the country, both in passenger and freight transit. Numerous International Airlines have branches in those airports. There is numerous daily flights departing from all these airports and in destination of the biggest Chinese cities.
Here is a ranking of the different Vietnamese airports, in terms of busyness:
- Tan Son Nhat International Airport / HCMC
- Noi Bai International Airport / Hanoi
- Da Nang International Airport / Da Nang
- Cam Ranh International Airport / Khanh Hoa
- Phu Quoc International Airport / Kien Giang
- Vinh Airport / Nghe Anh
- Phu Bai International Airport / Thua Thin-Hue
- Cat Bi international Airport / Hai Phong
- Lien Khuong Airport / Lam Dong
- Buon Ma Thuot Airport / Dak Lak
RAIL FREIGHT FROM/TO VIETNAM
You must know that the border is crossed by trains in only two points.
First there is the Kunming-Haiphong Railway that links the two eponymous cities.
It’s an 855 km long railway that links Vietnam to the Chinese province of Yunnan in less than 2 days. This rail line is crossing the border in the Vietnamese town of Lao Cai, who faces the Chinese town of Hekou.
Then there is the famous Beijing-Hanoi railway that links the capitals of each countries.
Many other Chinese train lanes are linked to this railway. It implements a great network of Chinese cities that are joining the capital of Vietnam. The first freight train was launched in 2017 and is currently linking Hanoi to Nanning. Then, Nanning is linked to Beijing and various other cities by numerous trainlines. This network cross the Vietnamese-Chinese border only on one point, the “Friendship pass” between Pingxiang (China) and Đồng Đăng (Vietnam). A second rail service is linking, Hanoi to the city of Nanchang, through a 1700 km route. The journey takes around 5 days to link the two cities and it costs half a road transport for the same distance. Another rail line ties Chongqing to Vietnam within 4 days.
CROSS BORDER FROM/TO VIETNAM
If you’re not filling at least two of criterias mentioned, we unadvise you to choose this method of transport completely.
With more than 90 million of inhabitants for a surface of 310000 square kilometres, the density of population is tremendously huge in Vietnam. Also, the road system is still in development, not very well-thought and the Expressway system is on its premises. The medium age of the fleets of trucks in Vietnam is superior than 15 years old. All of these reasons are making Vietnam one of the busiest country in the world in terms of road traffic. Traffic jams can easily last around 4 hours in every area of the country.
In terms of costs and transit times, it’s also the heaviest way to ship from China. Although there is numerous border posts between Vietnam and China, the custom clearing process can easily take a decade of hour for a single truck in this spots. The road freight is only good to complete other freight methods, like Sea freight + Trucking, Rail freight + Trucking…
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