How to Export Cosmetics to Vietnam?
Apr 23, 2021
Angelita Hu
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CONTENTS

Step 1: Ensure the compliance of cosmetics

As a member state of ASEAN, Vietnam fully implemented the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive (ACD) by the release of Circular 06/2011/TT-BYT Providing Cosmetic Management on January 25th, 2011. The precondition of exporting cosmetics to Vietnam is that cosmetic companies must ensure the products comply with related regulations concerning ingredients, manufacturing, labeling, claim, safety, etc.

Step 2: Notify authorities of cosmetics to be imported

Before exporting cosmetics, companies shall notify the Drug Administration of Vietnam (DAV) to gain approval in the form of a notification receipt number. The notification receipt number is also required by the Customs. There are three steps to notify the products:

1. Designate a local company as the notification applicant

According to the Vietnam cosmetic regulations, only a company in the territory of Vietnam can apply for notification with the DAV and place the products in the market. In such a case, exporters can choose to set up a subsidiary, find a reliable and experienced local distributor or a third-party consulting company. Generally, around one month is required to set up a subsidiary.

2. Prepare notification dossiers

There are three documents requiring submission to the DAV for notification, shown in the table below:

No.InformationDetails
1Cosmetic notification report with the notification data
  • Brand name and product name

  • Product types

  • Purpose of use

  • Product format

  • Particulars of manufacturer and packaging company

  • Name of exporting country and whether the products are free sold in the exporting country or manufacturing country (only apply to imported cosmetics)

  • Particulars of the applicant

  • Full ingredient list

2Original or notarized copy of letter of attorney from the producers or the owners of products authorizing organizations or individuals to put products on the market in Vietnam

1. Apply to imported cosmetics or domestically produced cosmetics in which the organization or individual responsible for bringing the product to the market is not a manufacturer;


2. For imported cosmetics, the letter of attorney must be a notarized copy and legalized by the consulate.

3

Certificate of free sale (CFS) which should have at least the following information:

  • Name of the CFS issuing agency

  • No. and issuing date of the CFS

  • Product names

  • Product types

  • Name and address of the manufacturer

  • The CFS must clearly state that the products are manufactured and allowed to be sold freely in the manufacturing country or the country where the CFS is issued

  • Full name and signature of the CFS signer and seal of the CFS issuing agency

1. Apply to imported cosmetics;


2. CFS which is issued by the current territory must have been original or legally notarized and still in the day of validity. In case CFS is not provided of the expiry day, it must be a certificate which has just been issued within 24 months;


3. Except for some special circumstances, CFS must be consul legalized;


4. The following three cosmetics can be exempted from CFS submission:

  • Cosmetics manufactured in CPTPP member states;

  • Cosmetics circulated and exported from CPTPP member states, but legal documents proving that the cosmetics are circulated in CPTPP member states (cosmetics circulation permit, cosmetics notification report with a notification receipt number), which are issued by the competent authority and legalized by the consulate are required;

  • Cosmetics obtaining the cosmetic notification receipt number in ASEAN member states, but the cosmetics notification report with a notification receipt number legalized by the consulate is required.

The annex 02-MP of Circular 06/2011/TT-BYT Providing Cosmetic Management details the notes for each document.

3. Submit the dossiers online

The applicant shall submit the dossiers online via http://vnsw.gov.vn and pay the notification fee: about 21 USD for each product.

Within one working day from the date of receipt of the cosmetic notification dossier, DAV is responsible for receiving the dossier and sending the collection notice if the dossier is complete and valid. In case the dossier is incomplete or invalid, DAV shall send a notice stating incomplete or invalid contents to the applicant.

Within three working days as of receipt of the valid notification dossiers and notification fee, the DAV will issue the notification receipt number. The notification receipt number is delivered in PDF format rather than a hard copy. The applicant can check the issuance of receipt number on the online notification platform.

If the dossier is unqualified, within five working days from the date of receipt, the DAV shall notify the applicant electronically. There is one chance to supplement the dossier. Within five working days as of receipt of the supplementary documents, the receipt number will be issued. 

The receipt number is valid for five years. The applicant shall apply for notification and pay the notification fee again before the expiration date if he wants to continue marketing cosmetics.

Step 3: Exporting cosmetics to Vietnam

After obtaining the notification receipt number cosmetics are permitted to be exported to Vietnam and placed in the market.

Customs clearance requires submission of the following documents:

  • Notification receipt number

  • Customs declaration (original)

  • Sales contract (copy)

  • A commercial invoice (copy)

  • Certificate of Origin (original)

Taxes are also mandatory for customs clearance. In Vietnam, the general taxes for imported cosmetics include: 

  • Tariff

  • Import Tax

  • Value-added Tax (VAT)

  • Special Consumption Tax (SCT)

  • Environment Protection Tax (EPT)

However, the specific rate varies in the origin of cosmetics.

In addition, a Product Information File (PIF) shall be prepared for each cosmetic, which includes four parts:

No.

Scope

Details

1

Administrative documents and a summary of product

Administrative documents

A copy of cosmetic notification report with the receipt number

Power of attorney

Certificate of Free Sale (for imported cosmetics)

Other relevant administrative documents (Business Registration Certificateor Investment license)

Ingredients and percentage of all ingredients in the formula

Labels and product information

Product label

Instructions for use

Announcement on production

Commitment of compliance

Lot number/product code recording system

Safety declaration (with conclusion conclusions, signatures and namesQualifications certificates of auditors)

Summary of adverse effects on humans (if any)

Report on evaluating the function and efficacy of cosmetics based on its ingredients and testing results

2

Ingredient quality

Quality standards and testing methods of ingredients

Ingredient safety data

3

Finished product quality

Formula


Manufacturing information

Detailed information about the manufacturer

Summary of production process

More detailed information about the production process, quality management and records

Standards and testing methods of finished products

The criteria used to test microbiological limits in the final product

Testing methods corresponding to quality standards

Summary report on product stability (for products with a shelf life of less than 30 months)

4

Safety and efficacy

Safety assessment report

Introduction of the assessor on product safety

Latest report on adverse effects (if any)

Documents explaining function and efficacy of the product announced on the product packaging

 The PIF must be kept at the address of the notification applicant for future post-market inspections. Among the above four parts, administrative documents and a summary of the product must immediately be presented to the inspection authority when required, while the other three parts shall be presented within 15-60 days after the inspection day.