Risk Tool

Vietnam’s forests are rich with resources and diverse ecology. It is home to six biosphere reserves, two world heritage sites, and ranks 16th in global biodiversity. Its borders contain 15,986 species of plants (10% endemic), 7,750 insects, 260 reptiles, 120 amphibians, 840 birds (100 endemic) and 310 mammals (78 endemic), all of which are threatened by widespread forest loss.

 

WRI attempts to keep the information featured in the Risk Tool's country profiles up to date. However, the legal frameworks and the situation in each country are constantly changing. Please help us maintain the Risk Tool by submitting information about relevant updates to forestlegality [at] wri.org. 

Last updated: 2014

 

Forest Resources

Resources Overview

Large areas of Vietnam’s forests were degraded, deforested, or defoliated following the conflicts of the mid-20th century. As a result, Vietnam embarked on a national afforestation program in 1987. Its efforts increased forest cover from about 26% in 1994 to approximately 39.7% in 2011. However, while the country’s total forest area has increased over the past twenty years, most of this growth is in the form of large-scale plantation development. In 2010 forest plantations comprised a quarter of all Vietnam’s forest area. Only one percent of the total forest area is considered primary forest, and the rest is regenerated natural forest.

 

In 2012, Vietnam reportedly had 15.8 million hectares of forest with 25% canopy cover. Of this total, an estimated 10.3 million hectares are natural forest, 2.9 million hectares are plantation forest, 630,000 hectares are rubber plantations, and 1.12 million hectares are considered “other wooded land.” (Although rubber is considered an agricultural rather than a forestry product in Vietnam, standing rubber trees are counted as tree cover.) About 72% of forested lands is publicly owned, with about 24% privately owned and the remainder under another type of ownership. National authorities estimate that approximately 80,000 hectares of forest are “rich forest” - a national designation for forests comprised of native species with no clearly visible sign of human activities, relatively undisturbed ecological processes, and high standing volume. This designation is analogous to the FAO’s “primary forest” designation. Six and a half million hectares, including rubber plantations, are considered production forest, comprising about 47% of total forest. The remaining 7.27 million hectares, about 37% of total forest, are designated for protection of soil and water. 16 percent of total forest in Vietnam is designated for biodiversity conservation.


Forest Resources

About Forest Resources

This section provides an overview of the country's forest cover and a list of species found naturally and on plantations.

Forest Management

Management Overview

The forestry sector contributed US$1.4 billion to the economy in 2006, which is approximately 2.4% of the GDP. Other major industries include agriculture, food processing, garments, shoe making, mining, coal and steel making. Vietnam’s main agricultural products are rice, coffee, rubber, cotton and tea. Vietnam’s forest sector is growing and becoming a major international manufacturing country. management is governed by the 1992 Law on Forest Protection and Development, last amended in 2004. Under the Law, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) is responsible for managing Vietnam’s forest protection and development campaign. It works closely with other ministries, including: Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Defense.

 

Approximately 72% of Vietnam’s forested area are still publicly owned. Deforestation in Vietnam is largely driven by infrastructure improvements to support a rapidly developing economy, and to make room for agricultural cultivation to support rural populations, which make up 71.7% of the country. Illegal logging continues to be a problem as well. There is an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 forest violations per year, and despite a legal framework, enforcement is low.

 

Vietnam has a number of laws, regulations and national policies focused on forest sector law enforcement. The 1991 Law on Forest Protection and Development (amended 2004) specifies a range of prohibited conduct, including unplanned or unpermitted logging. In 2012, the Prime Minister announced more regulations strengthening enforcement of forest protection measures. In addition, the Land Law of 2003 is also important; it classifies forest area as agricultural land, divided into three main types: production forest, protection forest, and special use forest (i.e., protected areas).


Transparency

According to Transparency International’s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index, which measures perceived levels of public sector corruption in countries around the world using a score of 0-100 (where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is completely clean). Vietnam is ranked 116th out of 177 countries assessed. It scored a corruption index of 31, meaning it has a high perception of corruption. Vietnam has performed consistently poorly on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index. Although in 2012, Vietnam ranked 123 out of 176 countries.

TI Asia Pacific Chapter's work in Vietnam is focused on the forest products industry, including Forest Anti-corruption Solutions, Advocacy & Forest Governance Analysis, Anti-Corruption Advocacy, and Forest Monitoring.

Surrey Report: In support of the Government’s Self-assessment of the Implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in Vietnam in 2011

U4 Expert Answer: Overview of Corruption and Anti-Corruption in Vietnam (2012)

World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) compiles a set of governance indicators for all world economies. These indicators are important barometer in terms of risk assessment. The WGI country reports are based on the six following aggregate governance indicators: Voice and Accountability, Political Stability and Absence of Violence, Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality, Rule of Law, and Control of Corruption. Countries are ranked (percentile rank model) for each of the six governance indicators on a scale from 0 to 100 where 0 corresponds to lowest rank and 100 corresponds to highest rank (better governance). Access Vietnam’s WGI (1996-2012).

Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications

 


Management Links
Forest Management

About Forest Management

This section provides an overview of the country's forest management, transparency indicators, CITES Agreement information as it applies to the country, and relevant laws and regulations (i.e. forestry laws, processing/manufacturing laws, trade laws, tax laws, and transport laws).

Forest Products

Products Overview

Vietnam is a major forest products processing and manufacturing center in Southeast Asia. It is largely known for its specialties in indoor and outdoor furniture, and a growing flooring market. Many of the wood being manufactured in Vietnam come from domestic plantation timber, such as teak plantations. At the same time, however, there is a significant cross-border trade with other countries of the Mekong Delta, particularly with Lao PDR. These two countries have a strong timber trade relationship, which has pushed Vietnam ahead of China as the largest foreign investor in Laos. Unfortunately, much of the wood leaving Laos for Vietnam violates the Laotian log and sawn wood export ban, which raises questions about the legality of Vietnamese wood products exports. A number of non-governmental organizations continue to raise concerns about the legality of the timber traded across Vietnam’s borders.

Species commonly used in forestry plantations include Cedrela odorata, acacia (Acacia spp.), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp.), and pine (Pinus spp.), along with some tropical hardwood species such as African mahogany (Khaya senegalensis), teak (Tectona grandis), and keruing (Dipterocarpus alatus), among others.

Vietnam is also currently engaged in formal Voluntary Partnership Agreement discussions with the European Union under the auspices of the EU’s FLEGT (Forest Law, Enforcement, Governance and Trade) program.


Production Status

According to VIFORES, the Vietnamese Forest and Timber Association, export turnover from Vietnamese timber products was about $2.4 billion (U.S.) in 2007. By 2010, furniture exports alone earned Vietnam $3.4 billion, with customers in the U.S. and the European Union accounting for more than 80% of export revenue. Cumulative wood and timber exports in 2013 were more than $5.37 billion, an increase of 15.2% from 2012.

In addition to the United States and EU, Vietnam’s trading partners importing forest products from Vietnam include Japan, China, South Korea, Canada, and Australia. Today, Vietnam’s furniture industry is booming, and it is now the second-largest furniture exporter in Asia, after China. It has emerged as a regional timber processing center for Southeast Asia, and done so quickly. 

The value of wood and timber products exported in the first two months of 2014 already show an 8.4% increase in revenues, generating US$796 million, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The United States reportedly is still importing the largest quantity of Vietnamese material spending US$186.67 million in two months. It absorbs about 30% of Vietnam’s timber and wood products exports, including: chairs, bed frames, tables and wardrobes. China is the second-largest importer of these products, spent $90.56 million in January. Japan ranked third with imports of US$67.76 million. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) also reports that wood exports to the United States and China increased 19.85% and 57.88%, respectively for the first quarter of 2014 compared to the first quarter of last year, accounting for 52.89% of the country’s total export value. Production in Vietnam is also on the upswing.

The growth of Vietnam’s wood furniture sector has been encouraged by the government through a range of measures such as relaxing regulations to enable private ownership of companies and promoting the industry to overseas markets. Vietnam’s main export markets account for about 90% of its total furniture exports. As a result, Vietnam has had to grow as an importer of timber, as well. Approximately 70-80% of wood required for this industry is imported from abroad (in part, due to a shortage of supply due to illegal smuggling of logs out of Vietnam). Of these timber imports, at least half, but possibly as much as 80%, are believed to be from illegal sources, especially wood arriving from neighboring countries like Cambodia and Laos. To process that much wood, it is no wonder that the total number of enterprises operating in Vietnam increased rapidly from 2000-2009, at about 18% per year. By 2009, there were 3,400 enterprises operating in Vietnam. Just under 50% of these operations were extremely small, 49% were considered small, 1.7% medium, and 2.5% are large-scale operators. Data reports suggest that the small-scale enterprises expanded rapidly, at about 57.4% annually. Even the extremely small operators exampanded by 35.8%. Although the large businesses are at a minimum and the majority of operators are small scaled, the wood-processing industry in Vietnam employs over 212 thousand people.

Species commonly used in forestry plantations include Cedrela odorata, acacia (Acacia spp), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp), and pine (Pinus spp), along with some tropical hardwood species such as African mahogany (Khaya senegalensis), teak (Tectona grandis), and keruing (Dipterocarpus alatus), among others. Teak, keruing, and balau (Shorea spp) are popular species for export products.

For more information:

Recent events:

 

Forest Products

About Forest Products

This section provides an overview of the country's forest production and product trade.

Contacts


Industry Associations

Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association (VIFORES)

VIFORES is the trade group representing manufacturers, processors, and traders of forest products in Vietnam. This industry group works in all areas of forestry, including forestation, exploitation, processing, import-export and distribution of timber forest products. The organization represents Vietnamese business and communities, and strengthens industry development.

The two main tasks of VIFORES are as follows:

  1. To collect and present the members’ and enterprises’ concerns towards the government, and
  2. To promote the cooperation in terms of production and commerce between member enterprises.

American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Vietnam

AmCham Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City is an independent association of American and international businesses. With about 500 companies, and more than 1,000 representatives. Its goals are to promote trade between U.S. and Vietnamese companies. Also view AmCham Hanoi chapter.

Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City (HAWA)

HAWA has about 350 members representing wood industries - primarily manufacturers of furniture and handicrafts - in the southern region of Vietnam.

 


Civil Society Organizations

Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (CRES)

CRES was established in 1985 and since 1995 it has been an arm of Viet Nam National University focusing on research, training, consultation and services on environmental and natural resource issues. View information about CRES in English.

IUCN Vietnam

IUCN Vietnam has been working in the country for almost thirty years and has advised various government departments on the development of environmental laws. IUCN runs a number of programs in Vietnam related to forestry.

TRAFFIC

TRAFFIC is the wildlife trade monitoring network. It has an office in Hanoi and publishes periodic assessments of wildlife and timber trade issues in Vietnam and the Greater Mekong region.

World Wildlife Fund-Global Forest and Trade Network

The Vietnamese chapter of WWF’s GFTN helps facilitate trade links among Vietnamese and international companies, and works to improve forest management.

Responsible Asia Forestry and Trade (RAFT)

RAFT is a regional program that brings together conservation organizations to provide capacity building and knowledge sharing services to Asia Pacific countries in support of their efforts to promote trade in responsibly harvested and manufactured wood products. In Vietnam, RAFT is working to expand FSC certification, help communities benefit from responsible forest management, boost compliance with timber legality requirements, and develop/share training manuals and tools for national and local associations and institutions.

The Social Forestry Training Network/Vietnam Network for Agroforestry Education

These two networks share a website, train practitioners on forestry issues, including REDD+ and social forestry efforts.

Tropenbos International (TBI)

TBI has been working in Vietnam since 2002. It works under an agreement between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and Tropenbos Foundation. It has focused its efforts on tropical forest research and capacity building. It is also active in the forest sector in particular.

 


About Contacts

This section provides a list of local contacts who can serve as sources of further information, including industry associations, civil society organizations and government ministries.

Tools & Resources

Tools and Resources

About Tools & Resources

This section directs you to useful and relevant tools and resources, developed by WRI, our partners or other organizations, that provide more information about the country.

Laws & Regulations

Forestry Laws

Management is governed by the 1992 Law on Forest Protection and Development, last amended in 2004, and it supported by several underlying policies as well. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) is responsible for overseeing Vietnam’s forest protection and sector development, but also partners with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Defense.

Vietnam is a highly centralized country. Its Constitution provides the fundamental and highest law of the land. All laws and policies are issued by the government and the National Assembly. On paper Vietnam has a legal framework to address illegal logging, but unauthorized cutting and trading is ongoing, and recent research by Chatham House and NGOs reveal that in reality Vietnam’s legislative framework to tackle illegal imports and trade is seriously lacking. As a result, it is no surprise that there are an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 reported forest violations per year.

View Vietnam Legislative Search Database

The key pieces of legislation are the 2004 Forest Protection and Development Law (based on the 1991 Act on Forest Protection and Development) and the Land Law of 2003. The Forest Protection and Development Law bans unplanned and unpermitted timber logging. The Land Law classifies forest as agricultural land, divided into three main types: production forest, protection forest, and special use forest (i.e., protected areas). Vietnam has a number of laws and regulations requiring sustainability in forest operations, including management plans.

 

Forest Protection and Development Law of 2004

The Forest Protection and Development Law is the prevailing forestry policy in Vietnam. It lays out the management, protection, development, and use rules of Vietnam’s forests. It also defines forest owner’s rights and obligations as owners. The law also explicitly bans unplanned and unpermitted timber logging. Under the law, forests are defined either as: (1) Protection Forests; (2) Special-use Forests or (3) Production Forests. They are classified as follows:

  • Protection Forests These forest areas are used predominantly for protecting water resources, land, to prevent erosion and desertification in key areas, to restrict natural calamities, and to regulate climate.

  • Special-use Forests Used mainly for conservation, these forests are designated as such to protect nature, national forest ecosystems, and biodiversity. The title is also for protecting areas of historical or cultural significance. Designations include: national parks, conservation zones, scientific research and experiment areas.

  • Production Forests These forests are those designed for timber and non-timber forest product production. Harvesting on these lands still requires a degree of environmental protection. Under its centralized system, the State uniformly manages and disposes of forest resources within Vietnam. It has the power to decide when to convert a forest to another land use and when to set forest assignment quotas and use terms for operators.

Article 9 of the Forest Protection Law addresses the basic principles surrounding forest protection and development in Vietnam. Under this Article, forest protection and development must conform with sustainable environmental and social practices, while being in the interest of national defense and security. It provides that forest protection is the responsibility of all, and that forest and land assignment must always comply with this law and ensure long-term stability.

Article 12 explicitly prohibits illegal conduct in forests, including: unlawful logging, exploitation, hunting, trapping, foraging, and destroying of resources or ecosystems.

Each Vietnamese State is required to prepare forest protection and development plans. It must be approved by the competent State agencies.

Article 24(3) lays out the Production Forest assignment principles. The State will assign natural production forests and planted production forests without levies to any households or individuals living on the land. For economic organizations, these levies will be assigned. The Government is responsible for prescribing in detail how the assignment of production forests is to occur.

Article 25 divides leasing authority between States and the national Government. The State shall lease production forests to domestic economic organizations with an annual rental payment for forestry production. The State also has authority to lease planted production forests; leases may be given to overseas Vietnamese, foreign organizations and individuals with a lump-sum rental payment for the whole lease term or with an annual rent payment. The Government, not the State, is responsible for prescribing the lease of natural forests to overseas Vietnamese, foreign organizations and individuals.

Production Forests, (Forest Protection and Development Law (Section 3, Article 55)

Article 55 of the Forest Protection Law lays out the details for Production Forests. For natural production forests, the State is responsible for assigning or leasing the land to the economic organizations for production and business. The procedures for exploiting timber and plants from natural production forests require forest-exploiting organizations to have exploitation design dossiers that are familiar with the forest-regulating schemes or forest production and business plans approved by the provincial or municipal People’s Committee presidents. Exploitation of forest resources must comply with the forest management regulations, as well as the approved technical processes and rules on forest protection and development.

Implementation regulations under the Forest Protection and Development Law:

Land Law of 2003

This law governs the powers and responsibilities of the State since it is the representative of the public land for the people. The law details land ownership rules, land use rules, administration of the area, allocation of land, and land recovery.

Companies must hold valid land use title, supported by one of the following: Land Use Certificate issued by the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DONRE); a document of company establishment endorsed by the provincial People’s Committee or a signed Decision issued by provincial People’s Committee on land allocation Contract of land use right transfer agreement. View Vietnamese Embassy Land Use Guidelines.

Law on Environmental Protection (2005)

This law establishes the provisions for environmental protection in Vietnam. It sets activities, policies, measures and resources for environmental protection, and provides the rights and obligations of operators, households and individuals in furthering the goals of environmental protection. Article 7 outlines all prohibited acts, which include the destruction and illegal exploitation of forests and other natural resources. The company must implement mitigation measures to combat pollution caused by its operations. Verify that the company holds a certificate on satisfactory environmental standards (for organization of business, production and services implementation and waste management) and check the working minutes of inspectors and supervisors regarding the company’s implementation of the law on environmental protection.

An approved environmental impact assessment (EIA) with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is required for forest operations. It must be signed and valid for the entire area of licensed operation. View Decree No. 29/2011/ND-CP (2011) EIAs are required if the company is harvesting:

  • Watershed forests, coastal protection forests, and special use forests with an area of 20 hectares and over;

  • Other natural forests with an area of 200 hectares and over for approved land-use conversion, and

  • Forest plantations with an area of 1000 hectares and over

Decree on Contractual Assignment of Agricultural Land, Production Forest Land and Land with Water Surface for Aquaculture in State-run Agricultural Farms and Forestry Farms (2005)

This Decree details the contractual assignment of agricultural land, production forest land and land with water surface for aquaculture in State-run agricultural or forestry farms, companies and factories. It does not apply to protection and special-use forests. The contractual assignment of production forest land includes assignments of both natural production forests and plantation production forests.

 


Processing/Manufacturing Laws

Processing and manufacturing enterprises must have the appropriate licenses and permits to operate and to process imported goods (if applicable). Many Vietnamese manufacturing and processing companies work with imported material.

Inspection and control of forest products, Decision No.59/2005/QD-BNN (2005)

Ensure that the enterprise has a business registration certificate (awarded by the district People’s Committee for household businesses or by the provincial Department of Planning and Investment for organizational businesses-enterprises), operating license, import license, and license to process commodities for foreign merchants (issued by the Ministry of Trade). View the implementation of the commercial law regarding international goods sale and purchase, purchase, processing, transit activities with foreign countries, Decree No. 12/2006/ND-CP (2006).

Promulgating regulations of inspection and control for forest products, Decision No. 59/2005/QD-BNN (2005

The timber processing and trading facility must maintain wood log books to record all wood entering and exiting the facility. Data must be recorded within one day of the transaction. The format of the log books is provided and guided by the district Forest Protection Department.

 


Trade Laws

Export of Wood Products and Forest Products, etc.,Decision No 65/1998/QD-TTg (1998)

Any enterprise interested in exporting goods must hold the relevant legal business registration certificates and import and export license to operate, including a business registration certificate (awarded by the district People’s Committee for household businesses, or the provincial Department of Planning and Investment for organizational businesses-enterprises); tax code; and import and/or export license (issued by the Ministry of Trade). Export documents must be up to date and correct. Valid documents must include: the bill of lading; packing lists for the sawn timber or wood products; and chain-of-custody records indicating the origin of logs used to produce wood products.

Log Export Ban

Vietnam bans the export of logs and sawnwood (Circular No 12/2006/ND-CP, January 23, 2006, detailing the implementation of the Commercial Law regarding international goods sale and purchase and goods sale, purchase, processing and transit agency activities with foreign countries).

CITES

Vietnam acceded to CITES in 1994. Visit the CITES section to learn more out species trade restrictions in Vietnam. See the Decisions below for more information on associated policies.

  • Decision No 110/2003/QD-BTC, 25 July 2003, promulgating preferential import tariffs

  • Decision No 54/2006/QD-BNN, 05 July 2006, publicizing a list of wild plant and animal species in Annexes to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

  • Decree No 82/2006/ND-CP, 10 August 2006, Article 15 on management of the import, export, re-export, introduction from the sea, transit, breeding, rearing and artificial propagation of endangered species of precious and rare wild fauna and flora

  • Decree No 12/2006/ND-CP, 23 January 2006 Clause 7, Article 10 detailing implementation of Trade Law regulations on international buying and selling of commodities and agent’s activities purchasing, selling, processing and transiting of commodities with foreign and import

  • Decision No. 110/2003/QD-BTC, 25 July 2003, promulgating preferential import tariffs

FLEGT-VPA

The EU and Vietnam are engaged in FLEGT-VPA negotiations at present. Vietnam is a major supplier of wood furniture worldwide and the EU is its second largest market. Therefore, Vietnam decided to pursue this agreement and now they are several negotiations into the process. The parties have defined legality in Viet Nam, developed the Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS), discussed licensing, public information access and independent monitoring. The aim is for negotiations to be concluded soon. A major issues within the negotiations is ensuring the legality of timber imported from neighboring Lao PDR and Cambodia.

Vietnam is also a party to the following conventions: CBD (ratified), UNFCCC (Non-Annex I Party), Kyoto Protocol (ratified), UNCCD (acceded), ITTA (non-member), Ramsar (Contracting Party), World Heritage (accepted), NLBI (member state), and ILO 169 (not ratified).

 


Transport Laws

To move forest products through Vietnam clear evidence of documents and licenses for all enterprises involved in timber products transportation should be available to authorities. Transportation companies and individuals must be licensed to transport timber. Check with the company and with the provincial Department of Transport, which keeps a copy of the transportation licenses.

Guidance on issuing registration number to the transportation vehicles (Circular No 01/2007/TT-BCA (C11))

Organizations and individuals operating trucks or vessels carrying forest products must have the relevant licenses and documents, which are: the vehicle registration year and vehicle type; the vehicle load capacity; and documentation stating that the vehicle is company-owned. Two licenses are required for each vehicle operated by the company: from the Transportation Agency and from the Public Security Agency. Transportation companies and individuals must be licensed to transport timber. Check with the company and with the provincial Department of Transport, which keeps a copy of the transportation licenses.

Waterway navigation, Decree No. 21/2005/ND-CP (2005)

Business Conditions of Road Transport, Article 11 of Decree No 110/2006/ND-CP (2006)

Issuing Regulations on Harvesting Timber and Forest Products

All logs transported from logging areas must be legibly marked by the Forest Production Department. View Decision No 44/2006/QD-BNN (2006).

Promulgating the regulation of inspection and control of forest products

The company must record transport of logs to the processing/manufacturing center using the correct documentation. Timber records must be correct to the MARD format. The FPD should have stamped the logs to certify origin; if logs are not subject to FPD stamping, they should have a certificate from the district FPD. Alternatively, a Commune PC certificate should be available for timber from plantations or from scattered trees. Documents are issued before the logs leave the forest management unit, or at the time of state auction.

Timber consignment paperwork during transportation must be complete and current. Papers required for legal transportation (and storage and processing) of domestic timber are:

  • Sales invoice according to the regulations of the Ministry of Finance (for timber harvested by companies only)

  • Ex-warehousing-cum-internal transportation bills for internal transportation. Timber records (log list) according to the MARD format compatible with the timber consignment

  • Official FPD record of timber stamping

Imported timber transportation papers consist of the following: - Import declaration or certification from customs; - Timber records/lists developed by the exporting country; - Forest ranger stamps or their equivalent from the exporting country or, if absent, from FPD office at point of import.

Promulgating the regulation of inspection and control of forest products

Where imported timber is resold, Ministry of Finance sales invoices and original timber lists are also required; or if the consignment is divided, FPD-certified timber lists must be provided.

Organizations transporting timber must carry the required paperwork in the vehicle. This paperwork consists of the sales invoice as stipulated by the Ministry of Finance or ex-warehousing-cum-internal transportation bills for internal transportation, along with the wood record and FPD stamp.

Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency

 


Tax Laws

Law on Royalties

This Law provides for the payment of royalties on the exploitation of Vietnamese natural and mineral resources. The Law describes the natural resource output used for royalty calculation, royalty-liable prices and royalty rates. Royalty payers must register, declare, calculate and pay royalties under the Law on Tax Administration. The Law further defines cases in which royalty payers may be considered for exemption from, or reduction of, payable royalties.

Forest prices are described under Article 33 of the Forest and Development Law of 2004. The Government is responsible for prescribing the principles and methods for determining the prices for forests of all kinds. Once the Government has set the principles and method, the provincial/municipal People's Committees are to set specific prices of forests in their respective localities. Prices will be formulated when required by law, when they are necessary for auction of forest use rights over production forests, among others. When bidding for forest rights occurs, the winning bid must be lower than the Government set price. Exports are highly promoted in Vietnam. Therefore taxes are only levied on certain commodities, mainly natural resources such as minerals and forest products. Export taxes range from 0 to 45%. However, there are a number of policies and regulations issued in order to regulate and promote wood processing and exports. Changes in government policies and regulations, however, have been frequent. In 2008, Vietnam removed its 5-10% export tax levied on timber and wooden products. 


Documents / Legal Texts
law_on_forest_protection_and_development_-_vietnam_2.pdf Law on Land_Vietnam.pdf national_env_strategy_Vietnam.pdf Law on Royalties_Vietnam_0.pdf law_on_forest_protection_and_development_-_vietnam_2 (1)_0.pdf
CITES Agreement Information

CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement among governments whose purpose is to ensure that international trade in wild animal and plant species does not threaten the survival of these species. A total of 180 countries have agreed to the CITES regulations, which is a legally binding agreement. It is up to each CITES Party to draft its own domestic legislation in order to comply with its CITES obligations.

See current list of member countries here

Vietnam ratified the Convention in 1994. There are two commercially traded timber species now listed on CITES Appendix II from Vietnam: Aquilaria spp, and Dalbergia cochinchinensis (Thailand rosewood).

These Appendix-II listings are NOT a ban on trade. To conduct international commercial trade in these listed species, it is necessary to ensure all the proper CITES documentation from the exporting or re-exporting country are compiled and accurate.

Aquilaria spp: Aquilaria spp is an interesting case. Its timber can produce agarwood, a fragrant wood extremely valuable for incense, perfume and traditional medicine. Overharvesting has led to the listing of Aquilaria species in CITES. Harvest and trade of Aquilaria crassna, the main Vietnamese species, has been banned since 1992. However, Vietnam also has several plantations of Aquilaria crassna, the products from which are legal to trade with proper CITES permits. The CITES listing for Aquilaria spp applies to all parts and derivatives, except seeds; seedling or tissue cultures obtained in vitro, in solid or liquid media, transported in sterile containers; and cut flowers of artificially propagated plants.

Dalbergia cochinchinensis: Listed in 2013, Thailand rosewood is found in Cambodia, Thailand, Lao PDR and Vietnam. This valuable wood has been subject heavy unchecked illegal logging in the Dangrek Mountains between Cambodia and Thailand. The logs cut on the Cambodian side are usually smuggled into Thailand by the hundreds. It is also listed as vulnerable in Vietnam by the IUCN Red List. Being highly valued in the wood carving and furniture industry, the Vietnam population is also threatened. The listing does not apply to plywood made from the tree.

For more information on CITES and Vietnam, see the following resources:

Laws & Regulations

This section provides a list of local contacts who can serve as sources of further information, including industry associations, civil society organizations and government ministries.