The lowdown on sending parcels to Vietnam
Home to more than 90 million people, Vietnam is officially the 13th most populated nation in the world. This stunning country has risen from the ashes of financial despair to become a magnet for travellers and holidaymakers across the world, with around 100,000 people visiting every year from the UK alone.
It's fair to say Vietnam endured a pretty tumultuous 20th century, but things are looking bright once again, and optimism is high. The Southeast Asian country has built valuable trading ties with the United States, and has been named by UK Trade & Investment as one of 20 high-growth emerging markets - signalling great opportunity for British businesses.
So even if you haven't been sending items to Vietnam already, you could well be soon. Before you get going, though, you might want to consider the following information.
Vietnam is outside the European Union (EU), which means you must complete and affix the appropriate customs declaration document to anything you send. The form you choose will depend on the value of your package's contents; anything above £270 and it'll be form CN23, otherwise go for CN22.
Restrictions and prohibitions
As is the case with any international destination, there are some things you simply can't send to Vietnam. Many are obvious things you probably weren't hoping to get away with sending anyway, like weapons, ammunition, explosives, narcotics and radioactive materials.
The list also covers a number of slightly less obvious items, and it's these with which you'll want to be careful. Such banned items include:
- Credit cards
- Ice (all types)
- Playing cards
- Certain medicines (including Viagra)
Beyond this, you should also refrain from sending used consumer goods (especially electronics and parts), and any publications (including calendars, books and maps) that reference 'South China Sea'; these are likely to be destroyed by Vietnamese customs officials.
Sending safely and securely
Every care is taken to ensure your items arrive at their intended destination without any hassle, but for extra peace of mind it's worth taking care when packaging items. After all, there's more than 5,500 miles between London and Vietnam's capital, Hanoi - a long journey for anyone to take!
Start by finding a box big enough to give your item just a little bit of breathing room. Pack it too tight and it might be more prone to impact damage. Then, fill the gaps with a soft, shock-absorbing material like bubble wrap or polystyrene bits.
Then use strong parcel tape to close any openings. You might also want to secure the box's edges, especially if it's been used a few times already and might be a little weaker. Finish by adding the destination address to the front, with 'VIETNAM' written clearly on the last line.
Once everything above has been taken into account, you're ready to go!
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Sending parcels to Vietnam