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Procedures for importing goods from abroad to prepare which documents, the license, the method of payment to the outsourcing custom service for import goods.

Many business people are quite familiar with the importation of “illegal”, road or imported goods from abroad in a very easy way. Unofficial import procedures do not require any documents or even customs declaration. However, when goods are brought back to Vietnam, traders can only sell them in the form of handbags, can not issue invoices to buyers and often unknown goods. And import goods of this type are only imported in very small quantities, otherwise it is very easy to be checked and labeled “smuggled goods”. As a result, individual business households gradually set up their own businesses to legitimize the import of goods from abroad.

However, newly established companies are often confused about the procedures for importing goods from abroad. What documents should be prepared, how to work with foreign partners, contract or method. how to pay, how to declare customs import. Here are some experiences TCL team wants to share to help readers understand more about the whole procedure of importing goods. However, we just take the example of business type (which is the most popular type today) for reference.


First of all, in order to be able to import a cargo from a foreign country in an official form, the importer must first be a juridical person, a clear company and a business registrar which is responsible for importing the goods. Note that it is best for the importer to register for different categories of goods so that they can be more flexible in importing them without changing the business license. Currently we only need to hire a lawyer with the price of more than 3 million is able to register the establishment of enterprises with full legal documents and seals, the completion time is only within 10 days.


Depending on the type of goods that you want to import, the importer will start looking for overseas suppliers who are considered by the importer to be affordable, can be sold on the domestic market to bring good profit. Importers should prioritize to import goods that they understand the quality or technical specifications of the item so that when negotiating with partners avoid being fooled to buy poor quality products. In addition, one more thing importers should note is the geographical distance between the exporting country and Vietnam, if the distance is too far, international shipping prices will be high.


Once you have found a reputable partner to do business with, the importer will have to negotiate a sales contract with your partner. Under the contract, the importer should note the following points:

Price of the product
Seller’s liability
The origin of the product
Delivery conditions
Delivery time
Payment methods

The seller of the contract must express clearly the value of the goods at the unit price and the total value of the goods, and the seller should clearly state the seller’s responsibility when he will have to provide the relevant documents. The goods they sell to the buyer include Quality Certificate, Certificate of Origin, Commercial Invoice, Packing list and other relevant documents. All the above documents after the shipment, the seller will have to send the original to the importer to be able to carry out procedures for importing goods.

Buyers also need to negotiate with the seller about the shipping conditions (shipping conditions) under International Incoterms to clarify which shipping side will deliver the goods. Usually there are two types of import that the buyer uses:

– FOB (Free on Board): FOB means that the seller only delivers the goods at the port of export, then the shipping responsibility bear to the buyer then.

– CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight): CIF means that the seller will deliver the goods at the port of delivery, the responsibility of the buyer will only carry out customs procedures at the port of delivery and arrange inland transportation to the warehouse.

There are also other delivery terms such as Ex-work or DDU (delivery at the warehouse – the fully responsibility bear to the seller), depending on the agreement of the seller and the buyer will need to show clearly on the contract.

Tip: Buyers need to compare their international shipping rates to be able to choose the right contract on which terms of delivery is reasonable to reduce the cost of purchase. Because if the buyer pushed more than the shipping responsibility to the seller, the seller would add shipping cost, while the buyer can fully own the transport unit in his country with better prices, thereby saving product costs.

Buyers also need to clarify with the seller the time of completion of the delivery of the goods to the carrier to avoid the buyer’s progress of the shipment as well as sales plans after the procedures for importing goods.

The method of international payment will usually be T / T (bank transfer) if the two parties trust each other. If the first cooperation, there is no certain trust, the two sides can pay by Letter of Credit (LC) through an intermediary bank. Absolutely not be paid by personal bank transfer or cash deposit as import customs can request to check the paper transfer.


If the buyers feel complicated about the preparation of import procedures, it is possible to hire an international transportation company, logistics company, and even from A-Z to the buyer. Buyers just prepare the dossier of import license of their business, find partners, agree terms and payment with partners, the remaining documents to clear the customs clearance of goods in Vietnam, The logistics company will check, contact the seller to receive the dossier and carry out clearance procedures.


In cases where the buyer or importer decides to carry out the customs procedure himself without being outsourced, it is important to have sufficient documentation provided by the seller (if the delivery condition is CIF – responsibility Buyer must receive goods at the port of destination) as follows:

Bill of Lading / Air Waybill
Commercial invoice
Packing for goods
Certificate of origin (C / O if any)
Goods quality certification (if any)
Classification analysis (depending on item)
MSDS (for dangerous goods, chemical goods)
Sale contract
And other related papers

Once the documents have been received, the importer shall register the enterprise information into the VNACSS electronic customs system and then enter the information on the goods batch in the form on the system. After verifying the information of the goods in terms of quantity, name of goods, value, conditions of delivery, information about means of transport, the declaration will be transmitted and then the declarant will immediately receive the results of inspection flow from the e-customs system:

  • Green : goods are cleared from customs clearance without paper documents
  • Yellow: The original documents (as above) must be brought to the customs office for inspection
  • Red : goods are subject to physical inspection in bonded warehouse

After sorting out the goods, the e-customs system will also return the value of tax paid. Importers will have to pay tax according to information on the system to be recorded and cleared goods. The business then arranges trucks or containers to carry goods to the warehouse.