Taxes and duties in Vietnam

Production and export subsidies

Although Vietnam has repeatedly been subject to anti-dumping measures by the United States authorities, such as the levy of import duties on pangasius and shrimp based on claims that the Vietnamese seafood sector was enjoying unfair production and export subsidies, Vietnamese representatives on all levels have denied such claims. While subsidies in the Vietnamese fishery industry are common (e.g. for fuel or the construction of new vessels), there is no evidence that the aquaculture sector enjoys any form of subsidies. A WTO dispute over unfair anti-dumping measures initiated by Vietnam in 2012 ended with a mutual agreement by both parties in July 2016, liberating shrimp imports from Vietnam to the United States from paying further anti-dumping duties. There are no export duties on seafood products.

Taxes to be paid

Seafood businesses and seafood products in Vietnam are subject to different forms of taxes. These include:
  1. Import duty: Import duty calculation in principle follows the WTO Valuation Agreement with the dutiable value of imported goods being typically based on the transaction value. However, there are certain variations and import duty rates are subject to frequent changes. It is better to check with the authorities at the time of the transaction.
  2. Value-Added-Tax (VAT): VAT applies to goods and services used for production, trading and consumption in Vietnam. In addition, VAT applies on the duty paid value of imported goods. There are three categories (0, 5 and 10%) with unprocessed agricultural items being charged at 5%, while the standard rate is 10%. Exports are not subject to VAT.
  3. Corporate income taxes (CIT): Enterprises are subject to the tax rates imposed under the CIT Law. The standard CIT rate  is 20% in 2016.
  4. Personal income tax (PIT): Individuals and employees pay a personal income tax on their incomes. It is the employer’s duty to pay PIT that accrues due to employment (i.e. PIT on wages for employees). A progressive tax rate applies with higher wages paying a higher tax rate.
  5. Social security contributions: Employers also need to pay contributions to social insurance, unemployment insurance and health insurance for all their employees.
  6. Natural Resource Tax: Industries exploiting natural resources such as forests, seafood or water resources must pay accordant taxes.
  7. Other taxes:  In addition, there are other forms of taxes such as property taxes and environmental protection taxes.