Customs in Vietnam
Vietnam has Customs enforcements teams that are broken down by sections based on Provincial, non Provincial, and city Customs departments. They all theoretically adhere by the same set of standards and laws, but the Provincial Customs does have a bit more authority than the city department as a rule of thumb. It is important to note this tiered Customs system in Vietnam because your parcel could potentially be screened by all three Customs levels before it reaches its recipient, thereby severely delaying when your package gets to its new home.
Transit times when shipping to Vietnam
No matter what the shipping company or an on line transit time calculator quotes you for shipping time, you can pretty much bank on there being a long transit time for shipping to Vietnam. This is mostly due to its cumbersome Customs department that is notorious for being slow moving. And given that there are three different Customs tiers operating in Vietnam, it can take months before your parcel is sent out for final delivery to its intended recipient, assuming the duties have been paid and the appropriate paperwork has been filed.
Shipping limitations to Vietnam
Even though the list for prohibited items when shipping to Vietnam does not change all that often, it is best to check with your shipping company or their Customs web site for the most up to date list. On that list currently are wine advertisements, acids, liquor, playing cards, eggs, corrosives and credit cards, among a slew of other things. You are permitted to bring some certain items with special permission such as human remains and firearms. To ship in these items you will need a special permit that allows you to do so attached to your shipment or it will be returned to the sender or seized by the government.