Why did the package go on vacation? Because it wanted to become a 'ship' in Vietnam! Now, unpacking the complexities of freight transport between the US and Vietnam – understanding rates, transit times, customs regulations – need not be a daunting task! This guide will serve as your compass towards an efficient and hassle-free shipping journey.

Herein, you'll discover options including air, sea, road, and rail transport, learn the ins & outs of customs clearance, and become acquainted with duties, taxes, and relevant regulations. More so, this guide offers strategic advice customized for businesses to help you make informed decisions and optimize your shipping process. If the process still feels overwhelming, let DocShipper handle it for you! As your dedicated international freight forwarder, we commit to simplifying each step of your shipping process, turning challenges into a definite triumph for your business.

Table of Contents

Which are the different modes of transportation between US and Vietnam?

Shipping goods between the US and Vietnam isn't your average road trip, it's like leaping over the Pacific Ocean. Distance and international borders these two factors play a decisive role in determining transport modes - road and rail may not be your best buddies here. But hold tight! The options of sea and air transport come into play. Choosing between them is no less than picking out the right tool from a toolbox - it has to match your shipping requirements just perfectly. This part of our guide will help you find that perfect tool for your business.

How can DocShipper help?

Looking to ship goods from the US to Vietnam? DocShipper has you covered! Our expert team handles everything, from transport organization to customs clearance. Erase the logistical hassle and focus on what you do best: Growing your business. Want a free estimate? Reach out to us now and get one in less than 24 hours. Any questions? Our consultants are ready to help you, free of charge.


sea-freight-services from and to the USA

Sea freight from and to the US

Sea freight between US and Vietnam

As the U.S. and Vietnam continue their robust trading relationship, ocean shipping serves as a crucial bridge between the two. Major sea freight routes connect thriving industrial centers, from the bustling ports of Los Angeles and Seattle to the thriving hub of Ho Chi Minh City. Sea freight offers cost-effectiveness for high-volume goods, albeit with a general trade-off in speed. But, businesses on both sides often stumble over the complexities of this logistic feat. Missteps abound from underestimating shipping timelines to overlooking essential custom procedures. In the ensuing pages, we unravel this knotty issue, shedding light on the best practices and specific cargo requirements vital for a seamless freight experience. By the end, you'll be versed in the ins-and-outs of ocean shipping from the U.S. to Vietnam, ready to ship your goods as smoothly as a sailboat cruises on a calm sea. Let's dive in.

Main shipping ports in US

Port of Los Angeles

Location and Volume: Located in San Pedro Bay, the Port of Los Angeles is an essential hub for trade with Asia, handling a shipping volume of 9.2 million TEU in 2019 alone. It's not just large, it's mega - having set a decade-long record for volume in July 2021.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: The port primarily services China, Japan, and South Korea from its Pacific location. Beyond sheer volume, the port's strategic importance lies in its advanced infrastructure, which allows for the efficient handling of large volumes of cargo.

Context for Businesses: If you're planning to engage in substantial trade with East Asia, the Port of Los Angeles could be central to your logistics strategy, thanks to its size and strong connections.

Port of Long Beach

Location and Volume: Located just 24 miles away from its sister port, the Port of Long Beach also plays a crucial role in trans-Pacific trade, managing a shipping volume of 7.6 million TEU in 2019.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: This port maintains trading relationships with China, South Korea, and Japan. Its twin mega-ports serve as strategic interchange points for trans-Pacific trade.

Context for Businesses: Perfect for businesses looking to handle containerized cargo efficiently, the Port of Long Beach's advanced infrastructure and strategic location might be your key to conquering Pacific trade routes.

Port of New York and New Jersey

Location and Volume: Located on the East Coast, the Port of New York & New Jersey is a significant player in international trade, handling a shipping volume of 5.9 million TEU in 2019.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: With primary trading partners including China, India, and Germany, the port serves as a vital gateway to these significant markets.

Context for Businesses: If your business needs to tap into European and South Asian markets, the Port of New York and New Jersey, with its extensive global connections, will be crucial in your shipping strategy.

Port of Savannah

Location and Volume: Located in Georgia, the Port of Savannah is another crucial gateway on the East Coast, processing a shipping volume of 2.6 million TEU in 2019.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: The port's key trading partners include China, Germany, and India. Its strategic significance comes from its status as one of the fastest-growing container ports in America.

Context for Businesses: Expediently reaching European and Asian markets is made possible through the Port of Savannah, making it ideal for businesses looking to exploit these growth opportunities.

Port of Houston

Location and Volume: Situated on the Gulf Coast, the Port of Houston is pivotal for businesses operating in various industries, managing a shipping volume of 1.7 million TEU in 2019.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: The port primarily partners with Mexico, China, and Brazil. It's not just a logistics hub but also a significant industrial area, contributing to both local and global economies.

Context for Businesses: The Port of Houston's access to industrial zones makes it particularly suitable if your business necessitates close coordination with manufacturing or processing facilities.

Port of Virginia

Location and Volume:Located in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, the Port of Virginia processed a shipping volume of 1.5 million TEU in 2019.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: The port's key trading partners are China, Germany, and Italy. Its strategic location and connections to inland channels have positioned it as one of the modern gateways to the global market.

Context for Businesses: Should your business strategy involve reaching the European market with ultimate efficiency, consider the Port of Virginia as a potential keystone of your logistics framework.

Main shipping ports in Vietnam

Port of Hai Phong

Location and Volume: Located in the northeastern part of Vietnam, the Port of Hai Phong handles over 45.8 million tons of shipping volume per year and is known for its robust handling of general and bulk cargo.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: This port provides vital links to major international markets like China, Japan, and South Korea. Given its proximity to Hai Phong city and direct highway to Hanoi, it plays a critical role in Vietnam's northern logistics and supply chain activities.

Context for Businesses: If you're looking to tap into Vietnam's northern markets or export to key Asian countries, the Port of Hai Phong is invaluable for its capacity, strategic location, and connections to regional key road networks.

Port of Da Nang

Location and Volume: Positioned in Central Vietnam, the Port of Da Nang has an annual shipping volume of over 7 million tons. The port boasts excellent connectivity with other domestic ports and Southeast Asian trade routes.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Key trading partners of this port comprise Taiwan, South Korea, and Hong Kong, among others. Its central location enables it to serve as a strategic transshipment hub in the East-West economic corridor Myanmar-Thailand-Laos-Vietnam.

Context for Businesses: For businesses geared toward accessing markets along the Asian East-West corridor or handling diverse types of cargo, including containerized, bulk, and general, the Port of Da Nang is an excellent pivot point due to its geographical position and versatile capabilities.

Port of Ho Chi Minh City

Location and Volume: Located along the Saigon River, the Port of Ho Chi Minh City boasts a shipping volume of over 70 million tons per year, making it the busiest international shipping hub in Vietnam.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Being the busiest port in Vietnam, it has extensive trading partnerships across Asia, Europe, and Americas. Its urban location and robust infrastructure make it an influential determinant of Ho Chi Minh City’s economic growth and an essential pivot point in Vietnam's southern logistics.

Context for Businesses: If you are primarily dealing in bulk or containerized cargo and looking to tap into the booming markets of Ho Chi Minh City, this port, with its high-volume handling capacity and comprehensive transport links, is key for your shipping strategy.

Port of Quy Nhon

Location and Volume: Situated in the city of Quy Nhon, the Port of Quy Nhon serves primarily bulk and general cargo handling with an annual shipping volume of over 9 million tons.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Its primary trade partners include Asian countries like China, Singapore, and South Korea. The port’s infrastructure allows it to handle both domestic and international freight efficiently, playing a significant role in the local economy.

Context for Businesses: Businesses that require strong domestic connectivity and efficient handling of bulk goods would find the Port of Quy Nhon beneficial owing to its expertise in these areas and good domestic distribution network, thereby facilitating speedier market entry.

Port of Can Tho

Location and Volume: Nestled on the Hau River in the Mekong Delta, the Port of Can Tho reaches a yearly shipping volume of over 10 million tons.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: The port boasts robust commercial links with Asian markets including Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia. It is of strategic importance due to its position in the Mekong Delta, an essential hub for river-sea compatible ships VR-SB.

Context for Businesses: If you're dealing with agricultural produce or aiming for efficient use of mixed river-sea vessel transportation, the Port of Can Tho, with its specialty in handling farm produce and river-sea conduits, should be a part of your shipping strategy.

Port of Nghi Sơn

Location and Volume: Positioned in the Thanh Hoa Province, the Port of Nghi Son handles an annual shipping volume of over 35 million tons and provides access to critical industrial zones.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Trading partners are numerous and expansive due to the port's access to the Nghi Son Economic Zone, one of the largest industrial zones in the country, making it a strategically important international gateway.

Context for Businesses: If your business is linked with industrial goods coming inwards or going out of the Nghi Son Economic Zone, incorporating the Port of Nghi Son in your logistics chain is crucial given its strategic positioning and strong ties with this major industrial hub.

Unlock hassle-free shipping

Unsure about shipping between the US and Vietnam? DocShipper is here to simplify the process. As an efficient freight forwarder, we aim to make cargo transport easy and efficient. Our ocean freight experts will assist in choosing between consolidation or full container, considering your preferred timeline, budget, and the nature of the goods. Don't let the complexities of freight shipping slow your business down. Contact us now for a free, no obligation estimation. Let us steer your global shipping needs.


How long does sea freight take between US and Vietnam?

The journey across the ocean from the US to Vietnam typically takes an average of 30-40 days via sea freight. It's crucial to remember that these transit times can be influenced by various factors. For instance, the specific seaports involved in shipping, the nature and weight of your goods, can all play a significant role in determining the final time frame of the shipment. For a bespoke estimate tailored to your specific requirements, it would be most beneficial to engage the services of an experienced freight forwarder like DocShipper.

Let's delve in further and examine some of the main freight ports in both countries:

US Port Vietnam Port Average Transit Time (Days)
Port of Los Angeles Port of Hai Phong 30
Port of Long Beach Port of Da Nang 35
Port of Savannah Port of Ho Chi Minh City 40
Port of New York and New Jersey Port of Quy Nhon 45

*Please note, these average transit times are mere approximations and the actual times may vary.

How much does it cost to ship a container between US and Vietnam?

Estimating the shipping cost for a container between the US and Vietnam involves various factors. That's why pinning down an exact figure can be challenging. Prices may fluctuate due to the Point of Loading, Point of Destination, carrier choice, nature of goods, and even monthly market swings. However, to give you a broad understanding, ocean freight rates could range anywhere between $50 and $500 per CBM. No worries though, our experienced shipping specialists are here to finalize cost-effective solutions that meet your specific needs, quoting on a case-by-case basis to ensure you get the best in the market.

Special transportation services

Out of Gauge (OOG) Container

Definition: An OOG container is a specialized transport solution for cargo that exceeds standard container dimensions (out of gauge cargo). These are perfect for massive and over-dimensioned goods as they offer more flexibility in terms of height and width.
Suitable for: Equipment that can't be disassembled, large machinery or any big items such as boats, generators, and turbines.
Examples: Think bulldozers and industrial equipment.
Why it might be the best choice for you: If your freight needs include shipments that are too large for traditional container loads, the extra space and accessibility that an OOG container provides would offer a more efficient and secure transportation solution.

Break Bulk

Definition: Break bulk refers to the goods that are loaded individually onto a vessel rather than in a container. This method is commonly used for loose cargo load, offering flexibility that standard containers might lack.
Suitable for: oversized and heavyweight items like machinery, construction equipment, or raw materials.
Examples: Consider cases like massive construction beams, industrial parts, or wind turbines.
Why it might be the best choice for you: If you have non-standardized, large, or overly heavy freight, break bulk shipping might be your best option as it often provides more cost-effective and efficient shipping for these types of items.

Dry Bulk

Definition: Dry bulk shipping is the transportation of homogenous, unpackaged, and loose goods like grain, coal, or iron ore.
Suitable for: Businesses shipping large quantities of unpackaged raw materials.
Examples: This method suits commodities like grains, coals, metal ores, or sand.
Why it might be the best choice for you: If your business regularly transports large volumes of loose materials, then dry bulk shipping can ensure an economical and straightforward transport solution for such cargo.

Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro-Ro)

Definition: A ro-ro vessel is a ship that can load and unload cargo using wheels, i.e., the cargo can be driven directly onto and off the ship without using cranes.
Suitable for: Vehicles, trailers, pallets, or any cargo on wheels.
Examples: Ro-Ro shipping is ideal for cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and railroad cars.
Why it might be the best choice for you: If your shipping needs include vehicles or wheeled machinery, Roll-on/Roll-off transport can offer an efficient and cost-effective solution.

Reefer Containers

Definition: Reefer containers are specifically designed to carry goods at specific temperatures. They are used for perishable cargo which needs to be refrigerated or frozen for preservation during transport.
Suitable for: Businesses that transport perishable goods like food, medicines, or any other temperature-sensitive products.
Examples: Great for shipping meat, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, or pharmaceuticals.
Why it might be the best choice for you: If your business deals with perishable or temperature-controlled goods, the refrigerated environment of a reefer container can guarantee freshness and integrity optimally.

Navigating through these variations of sea freight shipping options between the US and Vietnam might seem overwhelming. Let DocShipper help you pick the best option suited for your goods. Reach out to us, and within 24 hours, we'll provide you with a free shipping quote tailored for your precise needs.

air-freight-services from and to the USA

Air freight from and to the US

Air freight between US and Vietnam

When shipping precious cargo from the US to Vietnam, sticking to the skyways with air freight is a fast, reliable method that fits the bill for small but valuable packages. Imagine it like ordering express delivery for your grandmother's heirloom necklace: quickly delivered, fully traceable, undeniably safe.

But often, one hasty decision can lead to a sky-high cost. Imagine you're ordering pizza for delivery. Using the wrong weight to calculate the price can be like ordering extra toppings and large sizes without realizing the cost. Lack of knowledge around best practices are pitfalls that can make this express delivery suddenly quite costly. In this guide, we'll confront these potential mistakes upfront, ensuring your freight flies more like an eagle, than a budget airline.

Air Cargo vs Express Air Freight: How should I ship?

Got a load to ship from the US to Vietnam and can't decide between Air Cargo and Express Air Freight? Let's simplify: air cargo is when your goods hitch a ride with other cargo on an airline, while express is akin to having a private jet for your goods - expensive but speedy. We'll unfold the differences in detail to help you cherry-pick the best fit for your shipping needs. Stay with us as we embark on this journey of breaking down the airway logistics puzzle.

Should I choose Air Cargo between US and Vietnam?

Considering international freight routes between the US and Vietnam, air cargo effectively balances cost and reliability. Leading airlines such as Delta Airlines and Vietnam Airlines operate regular flights, offering a dependable shipping method with fixed schedules. Though transit times might be longer, this choice provides cost-effectiveness from 100/150 kg (220/330 lbs) of cargo onwards. If your budget allows for a bit extra on transit times, air cargo could hit the sweet spot for your shipping requirements. Remember, every business has unique needs, and the perfect solution could be just one decision away.

top global air freight companies in the U.S.

Should I choose Express Air Freight between US and Vietnam?

Express Air Freight, a premium service using cargo-only planes, excels in shipping smaller goods swiftly across the globe. It's your likely pick for shipments under 1 CBM or 100/150 kg (220/330 lbs), where speed trumps cost. Take for instance premier courier firms - FedEx, UPS, and DHL. They can deliver packages from the US to Vietnam within days, offering tracking systems for peace of mind. These services are particularly useful when you’re under tight deadlines and need a quick, secure way for your goods to reach their destination. Their reliable global reach makes express air freight a credible choice for your shipping needs. So, need to expedite a small cargo to Vietnam? Express might be your best bet.

Top global courier express companies in the U.S.

How long does air freight take between US and Vietnam?

On average, air freight shipping time between the United States and Vietnam ranges from 3 to 5 days. However, keep in mind that this is an estimate. The actual duration can vary depending on the departure and arrival airports, weight of the shipment, as well as the type of goods being transported. For accurate shipping times tailored to your specific needs, it's recommended to consult with an experienced freight forwarding service like DocShipper.

What is the difference between volumetric and gross weight?

In air freight shipping, gross weight refers to the actual weight of your shipment, including packaging and pallets, that's physically weighed in kilograms (kg).

On the other hand, volumetric weight, sometimes known as dimensional weight, takes into account how much space your freight occupies in the air cargo. This isn't about weight, but how much room your shipment takes up.

In air cargo services, volumetric weight is calculated using this formula: Length (cm) x Width (cm) x Height (cm) / 6000 equals the Volumetric Weight in kilograms.

For example, if you're shipping a box that measures 50cm x 30cm x 20cm, the volumetric weight would be: (50 x 30 x 20) / 6000 = 5kg.
That's around 11 pounds.

Let's say the gross weight of your shipment, including all packaging, is 4kg, or roughly 8.8 pounds.

In Express Air Freight services, the calculation is slightly different: Length (cm) x Width (cm) x Height (cm) / 5000.

Taking the above example measurements, the volumetric weight would be: (50 x 30 x 20) / 5000 = 6kg, or roughly 13.2 pounds.

And if the gross weight of the shipment is the same 4kg (8.8 pounds), note the difference.

These calculations matter because freight charges are determined based on whichever is higher between the gross and volumetric weight. This means, if your shipment takes up more space than its actual weight, the airlines will charge you for the space it's occupying, not for the gross weight. Ultimately, this affects your shipping costs.

Door to Door Transport from and to the USA

Door to door transport from and to the US

Door to door between US and Vietnam

Door to Door shipping, a sweet symphony to many businesses' ears, is all about convenience - it's a turnkey solution that whisks goods from a seller's floor in the US to a buyer's doorstep in Vietnam. By trading endless paperwork for peace of mind, it serves as a time- and hassle-saver. Hold on tight, let's dive into the nuts and bolts of this advantageous shipping method!

Overview – Door to Door

Arranging shipping from the US to Vietnam, or vice versa? Door-to-door service is your savvy solution! It addresses complexities from customs clearances to language barriers - reducing shipping stress immensely. Although slightly pricier, the convenience merits the extra cost. Even the challenge of handling goods in multiple transports is ironed out. No wonder this service is much sought-after among DocShipper's clientele. Stay ahead of the shipping game with this all-inclusive approach, freeing up precious resources to focus on your business growth. Now, isn’t that compelling?

Why should I use a Door to Door service between US and Vietnam?

Stuck between a rock and a hard place with your US to Vietnam shipping? Door to Door services could be your logistics superhero!

1. Simplified Logistics: No need to juggle multiple service carriers. Let your shipment enjoy a seamless journey from pick-up to drop-off, managed entirely by a single entity.

2. Time Efficiency: Chasing deadlines? With Door to Door services, expect punctual pick-ups and swift deliveries, ensuring your urgent shipments don't miss a beat.

3. Custom Care: Complex cargo? No worries! Contingencies are covered with tailored handling to meet the unique requirements of your goods, extending protection beyond standard.

4. End-to End Convenience: Freight forwarding can be overwhelming, but Door to Door service strips away the stress. It manages everything, from customs to trucking, till goods reach their final destination.

5. Predictability: Multiple transportations often mean multiple tracking. With Door to Door, there's a single tracking process, cutting through confusion and enhancing transparency.

Simply put, Door to Door isn't just a comfort choice—it's a strategic tool for smart logistics. When shipping between the US and Vietnam, why not let a shipping expert do the work? So sit back, and let door to door take the stress out of your freight forwarding journey.

DocShipper – Door to Door specialist between US and Vietnam

Experience stress-free door-to-door shipping from the US to Vietnam with DocShipper. Our expertise in packing, transporting, handling customs, and using all shipping methods ensures a pain-free journey for your goods. Plus, your dedicated Account Executive is there for you every step of the way. Request a free estimate within 24 hours or consult our logistics experts for professional advice at no cost. We handle the entire process, so you won't have to lift a finger. Trust DocShipper: We make international shipping between the US and Vietnam as easy as ABC.

Customs Clearance in the U.S.

Customs Clearance US

Customs clearance in Vietnam for goods imported from US

Embarking on customs clearance in Vietnam when importing goods from the US can become a labyrinth of unexpected fines, paperwork, and delayed schedules. This process of declaring goods to customs, compounded with understanding the intricacies of duties, taxes, quotas, and licenses, is crucial to prevent your shipment getting stuck. Nailing this complex task paves the way for secure and timely delivery of your goods. Don't fret; our upcoming sections will shine light on these key areas, guiding you through the often confusing details. Moreover, DocShipper can lend a helping hand to traverse this maze, regardless of your goods type or global location. Reach out to our team with your goods' origin, value, and HS Code. These are crucial for accurately estimating your project budget.

How to calculate duties & taxes when importing from US to Vietnam?

Understanding how to accurately estimate duties and taxes when transporting goods from the US to Vietnam can significantly impact your shipping costs. It's critical to have a grasp of a few essential details to correctly calculate these charges. Firstly, you must pinpoint the country of origin because it's not enough to just know where your goods have been shipped from; you need to identify where they were manufactured or produced.

This seemingly straightforward detail has the potential to influence the tariffs a business might face and is the first crucial step in your estimation process. It's essential to remember that various other factors come into play such as the goods' HS Code, the Customs Value, the Applicable Tariff Rate, and other taxes and fees that may apply to your products being shipped. Being cognizant of these elements, and how they interplay, will empower you to establish an accurate estimate, helping to avoid unexpected costs and ensuring smooth transits.

Step 1 - Identify the Country of Origin

Identifying your product's country of origin, in this case the US, is your first port of call. This crucial step, seemingly obvious, is the bedrock of successful importation for five primary reasons.

Firstly, it dictates the customs tariffs applied to your goods. Thanks to the 2001 US-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement, US-origin goods receive lowered tariffs. Secondly, it affects your eligibility for special trade programs like the Generalized System of Preference, further cutting costs.

Thirdly, the country origin plays a role in defining whether those goods are even permissible to import, with Vietnam imposing strict regulations on certain items. Fourthly, it establishes anti-dumping measures–an extra tax imposed on cheap imports that harm local industries. Last but not least, this step paves the way to identifying the HS code of your goods, leading to an accurate estimate of duties.

From small appliances to high-end electronics, every product category has its own array of restrictions and tariff reductions. For instance, certain agricultural products from the US have reduced rates. Your freight forwarder's expertise can help you navigate this complex path, ensuring smooth and hassle-free importing from the US to Vietnam.

Step 2 - Find the HS Code of your product

The Harmonized System (HS) Code is a universal economic language and code for goods. It's an internationally standardized system of names and numbers divided into 21 sections, each section having 99 chapters. This classification is designed to facilitate the collection, comparison, and analysis of statistics related to international trade.

Your product's HS Code is essentially its identity in the world of imports and exports. Proper identification helps streamline customs clearance and determines the amount of duties and taxes to be paid. Finding your product's HS Code might seem daunting at first, but there are ways to make the process easier.

Generally, the most convenient method is to ask your supplier. Suppliers have a good grasp of their products and are aware of the applicable rules and regulations. Therefore, they could provide the necessary information promptly.

However, if this option is not viable, you can always find the HS Code yourself by following these steps. First, visit the Harmonized Tariff Schedule using this link, which leads to a common HS lookup tool. Then, simply input your product's name in the search bar. After executing the search, check the Heading/Subheading column where you'll find the HS Code for your product.

Here's a word of caution: accuracy is paramount when it comes to HS Codes. A minor inaccuracy might not only delay your shipment but also expose you to potential fines. So, always ensure to verify the HS Code of your product.

Last but not least, here's an infographic showing you how to read an HS code. It demystifies the sequence and helps you understand what each number signifies.

hs code finder

Step 3 - Calculate the Customs Value

Sometimes, it's easy to think that the customs value of your goods is the same as their purchase price. However, that's not entirely accurate. When you're importing goods from the US to Vietnam, the customs value is based on the CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) value. This value includes the price of the goods, plus the cost of international shipping and insurance.

So, for example, if you purchased goods worth $15,000, paid $2000 for shipping, and added insurance worth $200, your CIF value or customs value becomes $17,200. Always remember to calculate the CIF value in USD, as this will determine the import duties and taxes you'll need to pay in Vietnam. Understanding this formula can be the difference between a smooth customs clearance process and an unexpected hefty bill.

Step 4 - Figure out the applicable Import Tariff

Import tariffs are taxes imposed on imported goods, affecting the final cost of products in the receiving country. In Vietnam, these tariffs are largely determined by the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements and can range from zero to hundreds of percent, depending on the product.

To identify the specific import tariff for your goods, you'll need to reference the Harmonized System (HS) Code associated with your product. This universal code helps standardize and categorize various goods. Here's how you can determine your rate:

1. Note down the HS code associated with your product. For example, let's say you are importing shoes, which fall under HS code 6403.
2. Visit the World Customs Organization website or  Vietnam Customs and enter your HS code in the search field provided.
3. Identify and record the specific tariff rate associated with your product. For our shoe example, it might indicate a tariff rate of 30%.

With this information, you can now calculate your expected import duties. If your shoes have a Cost, Insurance, and Freight (CIF) value of $10,000, your import duty would be 30% of $10,000, resulting in a tariff of $3,000. By identifying import tariffs upfront, you can budget for these costs and avoid any surprises during the importing process.

Step 5 - Consider other Import Duties and Taxes

You must be aware that apart from the standard tariff rate, various other charges can affect the final cost of imports to Vietnam from the US. Here's what to look out for:

Excise duty is often levied on luxury or harmful products. For example, a premium watch worth $5000 might be subject to an excise duty of around 30%, costing you another $1500.

Anti-dumping tax protects domestic industries from cheap foreign imports. Suppose a US-made cooking oil is sold significantly cheaper than Vietnamese analogs, an anti-dumping duty may be applied.

Now, the biggest hit could be Value-Added Tax (VAT). In Vietnam, the standard VAT rate is 10%. This is calculated on the customs value of the goods plus any import duties paid. Using our earlier example, if you bought that $5000 watch, and after paying the excise duty its value became $6500, the VAT would be $650.

Remember, these rates are theoretical and may vary. Consult with a customs broker or freight forwarder for accurate figures. Anyway, this gives you a glimpse into the nuances you need to factor into your budgeting when importing goods. Don't underestimate these charges – they can significantly impact your total import costs.

Step 6 - Calculate the Customs Duties

Determining customs duties for any goods imported from the US to Vietnam can be a daunting task, but armed with the right formula, you can carry out this process efficiently. The formula is as follows: Duties = (Customs Value + Shipping Costs) Customs Duty Rate. Now, let's dive into three scenarios:

1. If you're importing ceramic vases valued at $5000 with a 10% duty rate, and no VAT, your customs liabilities amount to $500.

2. Imagine importing laptops worth $2000, a duty rate of 15%, and a VAT rate of 10%. The duties equate to $300 and the VAT amounts to $230 (2000+300)10%.

3. Finally, for a consignment of wine bottles valued at $1000, at a duty rate and VAT of 20% each, along with an anti-dumping tax of 5%, and Excise Duty at 30%, your total customs payment totals $925 ;

We understand this might seem complicated, this is where DocShipper steps in. We specialize in customs clearance worldwide, ensuring that you don’t pay a penny more than what’s required. Reach out for your free quote within 24hours, we are here to simplify the complex customs procedures for you!

Does DocShipper charge customs fees?

As an established customs broker in the US and Vietnam, DocShipper ensures transparency with all costs. We do charge for customs clearance, a service integral to the freight forwarding process. However, customs duties and taxes? Those go directly to the government, not us. To keep things clear, we provide you with all the documents produced by the customs office, validating that you're only paying what's rightfully charged by the government. It’s like eating at a restaurant: you pay for the meal (our service) and the sales tax (duties and taxes) separately.

Contact Details for Customs Authorities

Required documents for customs clearance

Taking the international shipping route? It's crucial to have your paperwork in order for the customs clearance. Get familiar with key documents like the Bill of Lading, Packing List, Certificate of Origin, and Documents of conformity (CE standard). We'll explore what these are and why they're so important. No more guessing games - let's demystify your customs paperwork!

Bill of Lading

Transporting goods from the US to Vietnam? Don't forget your Bill of Lading (BoL)! This official document holds significant weight by marking the shift of ownership, so your goods are safely recognized as yours at Vietnamese ports. Electronic or 'telex' release BoL is a blessing, saving time by eliminating the need for original paper documents—speed is the game when you're trading globally! Remember, if you're opting for air transport, the equivalent is the Air Waybill (AWB). Bottom line? Keep your BoL or AWB ready and embark on your shipping journey with an edge. It's just like keeping your passport handy while traveling abroad, only this time, it's for your goods!

Packing List

Navigating the customs between US and Vietnam may feel complex, but the Packing List is your ally here. Much like a grocery checklist, this document lists down every little item in your shipment, and accuracy is key. Suppose you're shipping machine components, your Packing List shouldn't just say 'components' - it needs to specify quantities, material composition, whether they are assemblies or spare parts, and more. Whether you're shipping a palette of sneakers via sea freight or a crate of microprocessors via air, correctly detailing each item ensures a smoother customs process. Remember, a Packing List omission could mean your shipment stalls at customs, resulting in delays and additional charges. So, getting this document right saves you time, money, and a major headache.

Commercial Invoice

When shipping from US to Vietnam, your Commercial Invoice is more than just a bill. It's a crucial document in getting your goods through customs. So, what's essential here? This should include the seller's detail, buyer's details, and a thorough description of the goods including their Harmonized System (HS) codes - a six-digit identification code for goods. Plus, the invoice should align perfectly with the details on your packing list and Bill of Lading. Remember, inconsistency between your shipping documents can hold up your shipment at customs. Harmonizing everything makes it smoother and hastens the clearance process. Realistically, think of it as providing full disclosure; the more transparent you are, the fewer problems you'll encounter. Balancing accuracy with completeness on your Commercial Invoice will go a long way in your US-Vietnam freight journey.

Certificate of Origin

Navigating customs between the US and Vietnam? The Certificate of Origin (CO) is your passport in the world of international trade. Acting as a declaration about where your goods are manufactured, it can unlock preferential customs duty rates. Say you're shipping furniture made in Houston to Hanoi. By detailing the US as the country of manufacture, your CO can unload those humongous duty costs. No fancy tricks, just straightforward proof of your product's birthplace. And remember, not having a CO or inaccurately filling it might lead to shipment delays or extra charges. So, start crossing your T's and dotting your I's, because this document is your key to smooth, cost-effective shipping.

Certificate of Conformity (CE standard)

The Certificate of Conformity, representing the CE standard, is pivotal when your business exports goods from the U.S. to European markets. Although Vietnam isn't in Europe, remaining aware of this standard is crucial, particularly if your goods have a potential European reach. It's different from quality assurance, which guarantees a product's performance. Instead, the CE standard confirms compliance with safety, health, and environmental protection norms in the European Economic Area. While the U.S. doesn't have an equivalent unified standard, individual product categories have specific compliance requirements. To streamline your shipping process, ensure your goods meet these norms before embarking on your U.S.-Vietnam shipping journey. Understanding these specifications can help prevent delays and extra costs. For products purposed for both markets, consider dual compliance with CE and relevant U.S. standards for a smoother global shipping experience.

Get Started with DocShipper

Simplify your shipping journey between the US and Vietnam by leaving the customs clearance to us. Navigating import/export laws can be complex, but our experts at DocShipper are here to ensure a hassle-free experience. Say goodbye to daunting paperwork; we'll handle every step for you. Ready to streamline your logistical efforts? Contact us today for a free quote in under 24 hours.


Prohibited and Restricted items when importing into Vietnam

Understanding what you can and can't send to Vietnam is crucial. So, find yourself falling foul of restrictions? We're here to help! Let's tackle the hurdles and ease your import journey by uncovering the prohibited and restricted items in Vietnam.

Are there any trade agreements between US and Vietnam

Yes, the U.S. and Vietnam are active trading partners, governed by several agreements. The most significant one is the Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) established in 2001. However, it's worth noting that other trade initiatives, such as the reduced tariff scheme under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), could expand trade benefits. Be aware, though currently, no direct Free Trade Agreement (FTA) or Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) exists. Future prospects are promising, with ongoing discussions hinting at a possible upcoming FTA. These developments could greatly boost your business's growth, so keeping an eye on them is crucial.

US - Vietnam trade and economic relationship

The economic relationship between the US and Vietnam has seen significant growth since the restoration of diplomatic ties in 1995. Key sectors include manufacturing, information technology, and agricultural goods - with coffee, rice, and seafood topping the list.

In 2022, the total trade between the United States and Vietnam amounted to approximately $142.1 billion. The U.S. exported goods and services worth $13.8 billion to Vietnam, while imports from Vietnam reached $128.4 billion. Consequently, the trade deficit between the two countries stood at $114.6 billion for the same year.

Your Next Step with DocShipper

Overwhelmed by the complexity of shipping between the US and Vietnam? With paperwork, customs, duties—it's far from easy. That's where DocShipper steps in. Our experienced team manages every shipping detail so you don't have to. Say goodbye to shipping stress. Reach out today, let us handle your international freight needs.


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