Classification of goods imported into Vietnam

Determining the classification of goods (HS) is a very important step in determining the tariff to be applied to those goods. It should be noted that according to the World Customs Organization (WCO), countries will uniformly apply up to the first 6 digits of an HS code. However, the imposition of latter numbers in the HS code sequence is at the discretion of individual countries, so these numbers may vary from country to country. In practice, countries tend to add 2 or 4 numbers to the uniform  6-digit HS code (forming an 8-digit, 10-digit HS code) to serve their own management needs.

Vietnam currently adopts a 8-digit HS code.

The EU also applies an 8-digit HS code across the EU. This system will be used for the imposition of tariffs on all goods imported into the region. However, some member countries, including Germany, stipulate in more detail up to an 11-digit HS code, to be used for the imposition of VAT and for a number of other purposes.

When German goods are imported into Vietnam, it is necessary to determine its appropriate HS code according to Vietnam's HS  to get the right tariff rate, since Vietnam Customs will classify goods according to Vietnam's HS, not of the exporting country. Businesses can refer to Vietnam's HS at the website of the General Department of Vietnam Customs by following the link:

Under the EVFTA and Vietnamese law, a Vietnamese importer or a German exporter/manufacturer has the right to submit a request to Vietnam’s Customs for pre-determination of the HS code of their goods (Advanced Rulings procedure) before importing goods into Vietnam. Thus, to ensure the accuracy of the HS code of the goods and avoid disagreements between businesses and the Vietnamese customs when the goods arrive at the port, businesses can send a request for the pre-determining of HS code of goods to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

Source: "Business Handbook: Exploiting the EVFTA  to import and export goods between Vietnam and Germany" - Center for WTO and International Trade