Are Returning Expatriates Exempt from Import and Value-added Taxes?

After a local newspaper reported that a luxury vehicle worth an estimated $1,000,000 US had been shipped to Ho Chi Minh City without import and value-added taxes being levied, as property of a returning expatriate, questions have arisen relating to how import and value-added taxes apply in these situations.

For example, what duties are returning expatriates exempt from when bringing property purchased outside Viet Nam home? What kind of procedures must be followed? 

Deputy Minister of Finance Truong Chi Trung

In an attempt to clarify the situation, Deputy Minister of Finance Truong Chi Trung offered this advice:
According to current regulations, expatriates returning home are not subject to import and value-added taxes on any consumer goods accompanying them. This also applies as well, without limit, to any financial assets they may be carrying.
However, a special “consumption” tax is levied against commodities such as cigarettes, alcohol and cars.
What procedures are returning expatriates required to follow for exemption from import and value-added taxes?
They must register with the customs office and provide the following: a customs declaration, proof of authorization to repatriate, a detailed property list, and documents proving the origin of their belongings.
Once repatriated, would the previously exempted import and value-added taxes be levied if the property were to be transferred to another party within Viet Nam?
No, the taxes would not apply.

Source: TT – Translated by Yen Chuong

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