Most expats will not have to pay import taxes for their personal goods as personal items brought into the country, or shipped within 30 days of arrival, are not subject to import taxes.

Taxes for commercially imported goods are complex, with 6 methods of calculation and 18 categories of exemption. You should consult an accountant before undertaking any large-scale importing of goods into Vietnam.

VAT (Value-Added Tax, or sales tax) has two flat rates, for different types of goods and services. However, many “cash and carry” transactions are not taxed or reported by merchants, so often the effective VAT rate is 0%.

VAT for transportation and computer goods is 5%.

The “standard” VAT rate of 10% applies to electrical products, processed foods, paper, postal services, construction and installation, tourism, hotel and restaurant services. VAT is not included in price tags, but will be calculated at the register and included in your printed receipt.