Shipping from/to Vietnam

Shipping goods between Thailand and Vietnam: The ultimate to-do-list

You’re certainly close to do an importation of goods between Vietnam and Thailand if you’re asking this to yourself.

This article was written to answer all the possible questions about this subject, because great English data is hard to sort out about it on the internet. Several hours spent on this topic and many years of practice on the Asian freight market is enabling us to give you all the essential details to control this process.

It doesn’t matter if you have many years of experience in the import/export field, or if it’s your first time, if you only need to do a single exportation/importation, or regular freights in time.

This article will provide you valuable information that will permit you to increase or enforce your freight operation.

Our freight partner in Vietnam : FNM Shipping Vietnam

Logo FNM VietnamYou want further information about the best freight forwarder in Vietnam ? Check directly their website : FNM Vietnam

You want to ship personal effects ?

SIAM Relocation, our international moving branch, is here to help your with your belongings !

Our customs broker inform you

Customs clearance in Vietnam

What duties and taxes will I pay for my goods ?

Remark SIAM: It is the first thing you need to think about when you’re planning an International freight.

Belonging both on the Indochina peninsula, Vietnam and Thailand always had a deep common history in terms of trades and economy. In 2018, 5% of the importations in Vietnam where coming from Thailand. More focused on China and Japan, only 2% of the imported goods in Thailand are coming from Vietnam.

Because both countries are part of the ASEAN economical community, duties and taxes from Thailand to Vietnam have been decreased and facilitated. This was stated in an official agreement called the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA).

This partnership reduced the import duties in Vietnam to 0-5 percent on 98.86 percent of their tariff lines, for goods in provenance of Thailand and other ASEAN countries.

*This links below will help you to calculate the taxes you may pay to transfer products between the countries.

Info SIAM: Please find the lastest (and official) document from ASEAN agreement on the following link: Tariffs under the ASEAN trade in goods agreement (ATIGA)

*In this document, you will find all the taxes that applies on each good that you transfer to Vietnam ordered by the HS code (in the AHTN 2012 column).

Here is the composition of an HS Code, you can now see what an HS code is and what does it mean.

hs code composition

You can also search for the taxes on the official website of the Vietnamese customs. If you know the HS code of your goods, write it in the searching bar. If you don’t know the HS code, type key words to designate your goods in the “Description” bar. For example, if you’re searching for the taxes that applies on a milking machine, fulfil the “lookup import tax” like this.

To find further information about duties and taxes in Vietnam according to your HS code, please check the official website: Customs in Vietnam

customs tariff vietnam

Is it possible to be exempted of taxes for an importation from Thailand?

Remark SIAM: This may be one of the first thing you ask yourself when doing freight between the two countries.

As both countries are members of the ASEAN Free Trade Area, most of the goods transiting between the two countries are submitted to no taxes or maximum 5% taxes on their FOB value.

The Certificate of Origin (CO)

The CO is certifying that the goods shipped have a defined place and country of origin. This document must be provided by a notary public or government. It’s important for you to have it in order to benefit of the Common Effective Preferential Tariff (CEPT) existing between the two countries.

ASEAN-Vietnam Free Trade Certificate of Origin

Products under CEPT of a Member state to another shall be eligible for preferential concessions. To be eligible, these products must be supported by a CO, as said before.

In the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement, Vietnam engaged itself to reduce drastically its import duties by 2015. For many ASEAN imported products, tariff lines have been eliminated. 2018 has been a decisive year in the Tax elimination planning. For example, all the taxes applied on vehicles had been eliminated at the beginning of this year while they where rising at 50% in 2015. We can say that the ATIGA is fully effective since 2018.

Info SIAM: To sum up, if you want to import goods from Thailand to Vietnam you will probably not pay any duties and taxes, or at the maximum 5% of taxes and have no or a very little paperwork to do in order to transfer your goods.

Goods exempted of tax in Vietnam

Some goods are tax-free in Vietnam, but they should fulfil certain conditions:

  • They are momentarily staying on the Vietnamese territory, and will leave after a definite amount of time
  • They are momentarily exported out of Vietnam and will come back after a definite time
  • They are imported to generate planned assets for projects financed with the official development assistance fund.
  • They are imported to take part in petroleum activities
  • They are imported to take part in scientific research and technological development

*Now that you know the different legislation existing in terms of trade between the two countries, you will certainly learn more about the shipping details.

Customs contact in Thailand

thai customs logo

Official name: Thai Customs Department

Official Website: Thai Customs Website

Customs contact in Vietnam

customs in vietnam logo

Official name: General department of Vietnam Customs

Official Website: Vietnamese Customs Website

Customs process

customs process import export

Our customs broker inform you

Prohibited & restricted items

Remark SIAM: If you have one of the following item, you should check directly with our SIAM Experts. Some of those items are restricted or even totally prohibited, it is important to anticipate such shipment to avoid any problem.

Drug contraband

prohibited drug


prohibited ivory


prohibited poison


prohibited explosives


prohibited batteries


prohibited pornography


prohibited biohazard


prohibited flammable items


prohibited knife


prohibited chemicals


prohibited firearms


prohibited cigarettes


prohibited corrosive items


prohibited prescription drugs


prohibited gambling


prohibited counterfeit

Counterfeit notes

prohibited notes counterfeit


prohibited hazardous items

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sea freight logo

Ocean freight will be the best deal for you if:

  • Your suppliers are located near Thai seaports
  • Your goods are bigger than 2 CBM
  • You are not compelled by time.

Remark SIAM: Considering the 3 major parameters that are time of transit, security and price, this is the most effective freight solution.

By dint of the proximity between the two countries, Ocean freight from Thailand to Vietnam is the most convenient option in your hand. Transit times are low, and prices are very competitive.

With its very elongated territory edging the South China Sea, Vietnam owns numerous harbours that enable goods to enter and leave the country. The two major ports are Haiphong Port and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). It’s explained by their closeness with the two biggest and busiest cities, Hanoi the capital, and HCMC the economical lung of Vietnam.

The other trade ports are smaller than those two. Whether they are little or large, all ports are well-equipped with FCL or LCL cargo services.

We can range the ports in three classes. The first is ports located on the north shoreline of the territory:

  • Vung Ang
  • Nghe Tinh
  • Haiphong
  • Cam Pha

The 2nd class, which holds only Da Nang port, is the Central Vietnam port’s class.

To end, the 3rd and last class is including ports that are in the South of the country:

  • Can Tau
  • HCMC
  • Nha Trang
  • Qui Nhon

Here are is a table that defines transit times and rates on average, between the biggest Thai and Vietnamese ports. Smaller ports will have a slightly higher transit time than the two majors, because of their tiny traffic:

HaiphongDa NangHCMC
Phuket9 days7 days6 days
Bangkok12 days5 days4 days
Laem Chabang
6 days5 days4 days
Map Ta Phut6 days5 days4 days
Rayong6 days5 days4 days
Songkhla6 days5 days4 days
Sattahip6 days5 days4 days
Si Racha6 days5 days4 days

*Please note that those transit times are just indicative timing between Thailand and Vietnam

SIAM Advice: To have precise rates and transit times for your Sea freight from Thailand to Vietnam, don’t hesitate to contact our SIAM Experts.


air freight logo

Air freight will be the most efficient solution if:

  • Your goods do not exceed 2 CBM and 200 kg
  • You’re in a hurry to receive/send the goods

Remark SIAM: This way can be used as your principal transfer method, or only on punctual times.

Thailand and Vietnam are greatly equipped in International Airports. There are around 10 international airports that links the two countries to the rest of Asia and wider the world. They are all adapted in terms of freight ad passengers transfer. The biggest International Airlines are implanted in.

For your goods, it will take less than one day to transfer them from one country to another, via air freight.

Remark: Transit time are hard to estimate as it mainly depends of the budget: a direct flight available within a day is possible, but will probably be more expensive. In average, you can expect 2/3 days (export process included) 

Info SIAM: You want further information about air freight service to Vietnam? You can check the official (and national) website to get further information about it: Vietnam Airlines Cargo

Otherwise, our SIAM experts are every time at your disposal if you have any questions ! Fill our online form in 1 min, one of our experts will contact you within 48H !


calculation weight air freight
volumetric weight air cargo


rail freight logo

Rail freight will be the best solution for you, in the case that:

  • Your supplier is situated in mainland Thailand, or near a railway station
  • You need the goods to arrive in less than one week

Remark SIAM: Railways are well working in Vietnam to link the cities of its very elongated territory. Using them for your business might be a smart move.

Even if there aren’t high-speed railways in Indochina, the railway network is dense enough to link all the Thai and Vietnamese major cities in less than 5 days. As Thailand and Vietnam doesn’t have boarders in common, all the trains are passing through Laos and Cambodia. Some of the lines are passing through their capitals Vientiane and Phnom Penh.

Here is a table detailing the different transit times between major cities/province in Thailand and Vietnam:

HanoiDa NangHCMC
Chiang Mai5 days4 days5 days
Chiang Rai6 days5 days6 days
Bangkok4 days2 days3 days
Pattaya4 days3 days3 days
Pak Kret4 days3 days3 days
Nonthaburi3 days3 days3 days
Nakhon Ratchasima
3 days2 days2 days
Udon Thani2 days2 days3 days
Phuket5 days5 days5 days
Hat Yai5 days5 days5 days

Remark SIAM: Regarding transit time you can expect maximum 6 days if it starts from the extreme north/south of Thailand (like “Chiang Rai” in the north or “Phuket” in the south) and finish to the south of Vietnam (like “Ho Chi Minh City“). Otherwise, the transit could start from 2 days if we ship from the east of Thailand to the west of Vietnam.


trucking service

Road freight will be the most convenient option if:

  • Your supplier is located on the east side of Thailand
  • The final destination of your goods is in the west side of Vietnam
  • You’re not in a hurry to receive your goods

Remark SIAM: Road freight will rarely be a great solution to consider, to transfer goods between these two countries

*We’re not advising you to choose Road freight for your transfer between Thailand and Vietnam, and this for many reasons.

First, roads in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam are not very well designed and in good conditions, and major traffic jams can happen almost anytime anywhere. Also, the average age of the truck fleet in those 4 countries is older than 15 years. Thus, even if the middle time to link the two countries is less than 3 days, a big delay can easily happen.

Moreover, it will be almost always more expensive than the other freight solutions. Road freight is only good when it’s coupled with other freight modes, like Sea freight + Trucking, Air freight + Trucking…

Remark SIAM: Regarding transit time you can expect maximum 10 days if it starts from the west of Thailand and finish to the east of Vietnam. Otherwise, the transit could start from 2/3 days if we just need to cross the border and deliver your parcel.

Why choose us ?

Our advantages

SIAM Shipping, we understand perfectly the needs of our customers and establish a win-win collaboration with them.

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Dedicated customs service

Do not hesitate to contact us for customs or administratives information

Tailored service

Small or big shipment, we can manage every request


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Multilingual team

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