A comprehensive guide to importing from Vietnam

3 Mins Read
facebook sharing button
twitter sharing button
linkedin sharing button
Smart Share Buttons Icon Share

The Asia-Pacific region pulses with vibrant trade dynamics, constantly reshaping in response to global demands and local innovations. Standing prominently within this maze of commerce is the burgeoning partnership between Singapore and Vietnam – partnership that's not just about numbers, but a shared vision of economic prosperity. For businesses eager to tap into this momentum, understanding the art of importing from Vietnam to Singapore becomes pivotal, opening avenues of growth for both fledgling ventures and established behemoths.

Recent data from the Ministry of Trade and Industry illuminates this relationship further. In 2022, Singapore and Vietnam witnessed a staggering bilateral trade figure of S$31.3 billion—a notable 16.4% surge from the previous year. Not only did Vietnam clinch its position as Singapore’s 11th largest trading ally, but this upward trajectory also highlighted the vast reservoir of opportunities for those poised to navigate the ins and outs of imports from Vietnam. Whether you're an industry rookie or a seasoned magnate, the promise of prosperity in this trade is evident and ripe for the taking.

dhl courier

Get 60% Off* on International Business Shipping


If you're keen on navigating the import landscape from Vietnam to Singapore, this guide is your comprehensive compass, furnishing you with essential insights and details.

What to import from Vietnam

For those seeking to tap into the vibrant Vietnamese market and source best-selling products, consider these in-demand sectors as compiled by Trading Economics:

  • Textiles and garments: Leveraging its rich textile heritage, Vietnam has carved a niche for itself in the global apparel industry.
  • Electronics and appliances: From cutting-edge smartphones to innovative household devices, Vietnam is a hub of electronic innovation.
  • Agricultural commodities: Vietnam offers a palette of choices, from aromatic coffee to staple grains and tropical fruits.
  • Footwear: Vietnamese footwear stands out for its impeccable quality, trendy designs, and competitive price points.

A step-by-step guide to shipping from Vietnam to Singapore

The import process in Singapore is systematic, and understanding each step is crucial for seamless operations. Here's a step-by-step breakdown of importing specifically from Vietnam to Singapore:

1. Product research and compliance

  • Product selection: Determine the product's viability and demand in the Singaporean market.
  • Vietnam’s export regulations: Familiarise yourself with Vietnam's export standards and restrictions for the chosen product to ensure compliance.

2. Essential documentation

  • Bill of Lading: A critical document that confirms the receipt of cargo and details the nature, quantity, and destination of the goods being carried.
  • Commercial Invoice: Contains vital information about the product, its value, and the involved parties.
  • Singapore import licensing: Some products require specific import permits or licences in Singapore. Ensure all necessary permits are procured.

3. Customs clearance

  • Vietnam's tariff classification: Understand Vietnam’s custom tariff codes associated with your product to determine duties or exemptions.
  • Accurate customs declarations: Ensure a thorough and precise declaration to avoid delays and potential penalties. Familiarising yourself with Vietnam’s and Singapore’s import duty rates and including essential details, like the product’s Harmonized System (HS) code, is crucial to the process.
  • Goods inspection protocols: Both Vietnamese and Singaporean customs might inspect shipments. Proper documentation facilitates a faster clearance process.

4. Arrival and distribution in Singapore

  • Duties and GST: Upon arrival, determine applicable duties and Goods & Services Tax (GST) based on the product type and value.
  • Warehousing: If immediate transport isn't feasible, familiarise yourself with bonded warehouse facilities in Singapore for interim storage.

Understanding and meticulously following these procedures can streamline the import process, reducing potential setbacks and ensuring timely delivery of goods from Vietnam to Singapore.

DHL Express, a key pillar of effective international shipping

International shipping is more than just transporting export products from Vietnam across borders; it represents a commitment to delivery precision, adherence to global standards, and adeptness in navigating intricate customs terrains. Navigating the unique trade intricacies between Vietnam and Singapore requires a deep understanding of both nations' customs nuances and fiscal landscapes.

Venturing into the intricate dance of global trade requires a trusted logistics ally. As you aim to capitalise on the dynamic markets between Vietnam and Singapore, partnering with an experienced logistics solutions provider to optimise and streamline your importing processes should be your priority. With an extensive shipping network, unparalleled customs expertise, and an unwavering commitment to service excellence, DHL Express Singapore ensures a seamless traversal between these two vibrant economies.

Register for a DHL Express business account and get started today.