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Viet Nam Flag of Viet Nam

Pre Arrival:  Charts | Documents | ISPS
Arrival:  Approaches | Pilotage | Anchorages
Communications:  Pratique | Pre-Arrival
Pollution:  Pollution
Facilities:  Medical
Security:  Emergency
Local Info:  Time | Holidays | Weather
Shore:  Telephones | Banks | Customs
Crew:  Leave | Repatriation
Misc:  Authority
General Information for Viet Nam
Capital City: Hanoi (Ha Noi).
Nationality: (noun) Vietnamese (singular and plural), (adjective) Vietnamese.
Population: 98,721,275 (July 2020).
International Direct Dial Code: 84.
Number of Internal Airports: 45 (2013).
Major Languages Spoken: Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese and and Khmer.
Currency: 1 Dong (VND) of 100 Xu.
Exchange Rates:  (as of January 2021)
USD 1.00 = VND 23,095.86
Exchange rates under licence from XE.com
Main Industries: Food processing, garments, shoes, machine-building, mining, coal, steel, cement, chemical fertilizer, glass, tires, oil and mobile phones.
Agricultural Products: Rice, coffee, rubber, tea, pepper, soybeans, cashews, sugar cane, peanuts, bananas, pork, poultry and seafood.
Imports: Machinery, equipment, petroleum products, steel products, raw materials for the clothing, shoe industries, electronics, plastics and automobiles.
Exports: Clothes, shoes, electronics, seafood, crude oil, rice, coffee, wooden products and machinery.
Commodities: Crude: Production 242,000 bbl/d. Exports 324,600 bbl/d. Reserves 4,400,000,000 bbl. Products: Production 153,800 bbl/d. Exports 25,620 bbl/d. Imports 282,800 bbl/d. LNG: Production 8,098,000,000 cu.m.. Reserves 699,400,000,000 cu.m..
Territorial Sea: 12 n.m.
Contiguous Zone: Contiguous Zone: 24 n.m. Continental Shelf: 200 n.m. Exclusive Economic Zone: 200 n.m.
Coastline Extent: 3,444 km. (excludes islands).
Climate: Tropical in south; monsoonal in north with hot, rainy season (May to September) and warm, dry season (October to March).
Natural Resources: Antimony, phosphates, coal, manganese, rare earth elements, bauxite, chromate, offshore oil, gas deposits, timber, hydropower and arable land.
Natural Hazards: Occasional typhoons (May to January) with extensive flooding, especially in the Mekong River delta.
Terrain: Low, flat delta in south and north; central highlands; hilly, mountainous in far north and northwest.
Publications:  Local Notices to Mariners, chart updates and characteristics of navigational aids and channels are available online from Southern Vietnam Maritime Safety Corporation www.vms-south.vn and Vietnam Maritime Safety – North vms-north.vn
DOCUMENTS:  Arrival:  The following documents should be available on arrival for inward clearance at a Vietnamese port:
8 Arrival Declarations
2 Bonded Stores Lists
3 Cargo Manifests
1 Cargo Manifest (in transit)
1 Cargo Plan
2 Crew Effects Declarations
8 Crew Lists
2 Currency Lists
1 Dangerous Cargo Declaration
1 Fumigation Certificate
1 Last Port Clearance
1 Maritime Declaration of Health
4 Nil Lists
1 Passenger Effects Declaration
7 Passenger Lists
1 Phytosanitary Quarantine Declaration/Certificate
2 Provisions Lists
2 Ship’s Property Lists
1 Shore Pass Application Form
2 Stores Lists (deck and engine)
1 Stores List (items ordered for delivery in port)
1 Vaccination Certificates (crew and passengers)
1 Veterinary Quarantine Declaration/Certificate
1 Voyage Memo
In addition, the following documents (original) should be submitted on arrival to the Harbour Master for inspection:
1 Cargo Manifest (zoological and botanical, in transit)
1 Certificates of Competency (including Certificate of Proficiency in Survival Craft)
1 Currency List
1 International Load Line Certificate
1 International Tonnage Certificate
1 IOPP Certificate
1 Passports (crew and passengers)
1 Registry Certificate
1 Seaman’s Books
1 Ship Safety Construction Certificate
1 Ship Safety Radio Certificate
1 Ship Sanitation Control (Exemption) Certificate
1 Vaccination Certificates (crew and passengers)
Departure:  The following should be submitted for outward clearance:
3 Cargo Manifests
2 Cargo Plans
6 Crew Effects Declarations
6 Crew Lists
2 Departure Declarations
2 Freight Manifests
1 Maritime Declaration of Health
6 Passenger Lists
In addition, a confirmation stating vessel has paid all expenses incurred during vessel’s stay in port and any other documents issued to vessel that are required to be returned prior to departure.
ISPS COMPLIANCE:  Maritime Security:  Maritime Security Information Centre (MSIC), No. 8 Pham Hung Road, Mai Dich Ward, Cau Giay District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam. T: +84 (24) 3768 6522. F: +84 (24) 3768 5779. [email protected] [email protected]
Viet Nam Marine Police Headquarters, No. 94 Le Loi Street, Nguyen Trai Ward, Ha Dong District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam. T: +84 (24) 3355 4801, 1800 81136 (hotline). F: +84 (24) 3355 4802.
Viet Nam Marine Police, Region 3, No. 1410/11 Ba Muoi Thang Tu, Ward 12, Vung Tau, Viet Nam. T/F: +84 (254) 362 6396.
APPROACHES:  When approaching Vietnamese ports, all vessels must follow the recommended courses provided by the appropriate Maritime Administration (Vinamarine). The Vietnamese national flag shall be hoisted on all vessels when approaching a port or a pilot station, and kept flying until departure from the pilot station outbound.
For entry permission, every vessel must contact Maritime Administration (Vinamarine) either by VHF on Channel 16, radiotelephone or by visual signals.
No ship shall enter harbours until permission has been granted.
If the entry is refused, the vessel must immediately slow down, alter course and if possible, move away from any ship channel, and drift or anchor in an authorised area.
Turn of entry to a harbour is controlled by the relevant Maritime Adminstration, and it depends on tonnage of vessel, nature of cargo, weather conditions, readiness of the port to start cargo handling operations and other conditions.
In all circumstances, vessel entering a harbour should give way to outbound vessels in order not to hinder their manoeuvres.
PILOTAGE:  Pilotage is compulsory for all foreign flag vessels when entering or leaving Vietnamese ports as well as when shifting, mooring or unmooring within port area.
When pilot is on board, Master shall keep him advised of precise draft and other particulars necessary for safe pilotage. Pilot or Agent shall provide the Master with all necessary information as to depth, tugs and harbour conditions, etc.
In accordance with local laws and regulations, the Master is obliged to pay a fine if he incorrectly declares vessel's draft and other particulars.
ANCHORAGES:  A vessel approaching port of call and not boarded by a pilot immediately upon arrival, or for any other reason, shall anchor in an anchorage area specifically designated for this purpose and wait for instructions to be given by the Maritime Administration and shall, under no circumstances, move across this area if no instruction is received.
Anchoring is not permitted in prohibited zones/areas shown on charts or advised in appropriate Notices to Mariners.
Vessels carrying explosives or inflammable liquids must anchor in the area designated for them.
All vessels at anchor shall display lights or signals as stipulated in International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea.
Masters of all foreign vessels, when at anchor, are not allowed, without Harbour Master's consent, except in emergency or at Maritime Administration's request, to let any unauthorised parties board or come alongside the ship.
PRATIQUE:  Usual international health regulations are to be observed. Any vessel which is suspect should inform Harbour Office and Medical Office.
Medical assistance, if required, is available, including vaccinations and inoculations, as well as dispensary and hospital treatment in all ports.
International Code quarantine signals to be shown on arrival at port limits. No person, except pilot and port authorities, may board or leave the ship until free pratique is given after Port Health inspection.
Sanitary and Quarantine Regulations:  It is prohibited by law to contaminate the inner and territorial waters of Vietnam with any kind of substances which are considered to be unhealthy for personal life or harmful to resources of the sea. It is also prohibited to discharge or throw into the sea contaminated oil, waste or foodstuffs.
All rubbish and wastes shall be taken from the ship by sanitary service staff members with appropriate notice. When these operations are completed, ship's officer-on-watch shall note this operation in vessel's Log Book, as stipulated in International Convention MARPOL 73-78.
Not more than 6 hours before arrival, Masters of all foreign ships should advise Quarantine authority through their local agents full details of health conditions on board as well as sanitary conditions at the last port of call.
Masters are advised to ask their local agents to arrange inoculation, vaccination, fumigation, decontamination, etc. if required.
Veterinary certificates of good health are required for livestock, all kinds of meat, animal food and raw meat brought to Vietnam from abroad. Certificates should be issued by proper authorities of the country from which the items have originated.
PRE-ARRIVAL INFORMATION:  Submission of pre-arrival documentation and notifications can be made through the Viet Nam single window. Access is available to registered users. vnsw.gov.vn
POLLUTION:  The National Committee for Search and Rescue (VINASARCOM) is the lead agency for oil spill response and is responsible for the implementation of the National Contingency Plan (NCP). The Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment (MoNRE) is responsible for assessing environmental damage and works closely with VINASARCOM during an incident. The Ministry of Defence may also be called upon at the request of VINASARCOM to organise the deployment of army forces in combating a spill. At the regional level, the local People’s Committee of the relevant province organises the response. Local facilities are required to have their own contingency plans and equipment to respond to Tier 1 spills.
Spills should be notified to the local maritime administration and to the local People’s Committee:
  1. Ho Chi Minh Maritime Administration. T: +84 (28) 291825/6. F: +84 (28) 224168
  2. Nha Trang Maritime Administration (for Van Phong). T: +84 (258) 881028/31. F: +84 (258) 881029
  3. Vung Tau Maritime Administration. T: +84 (254) 852270/2.
MEDICAL:  If you need emergency medical assistance during your stay in Viet Nam, dial 115 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.
Health care in the cities is adequate for minor injuries. More complicated treatment may require evacuation to another country. Healthcare in rural areas is extremely basic. Many hospitals require guarantees of payment before they’ll start treatment. Make sure you have adequate health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. Complete the next of kin details in the back of your passport.
Beware of food from street-side vendors, which might be contaminated. Don’t drink wine without recognised brand names. There have been deaths caused by fatal levels of methanol in rice wine.
There have been reports of synthetic marijuana use causing psychotic episodes and hospitalisation.
Cases of locally transmitted Zika virus have been confirmed between April and June 2016. There has been an increase in the number of cases of dengue fever reported in Viet Nam. Take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
There have been outbreaks of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) in Viet Nam. A small number of people have died from Avian Influenza since January 2014, but the risk to humans is low. You should avoid visiting live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where you may come into close contact with domestic, caged or wild birds, and make sure poultry and egg dishes are thoroughly cooked.
Since early April 2014, Viet Nam has experienced a higher than normal number of measles cases some involving severe symptoms. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date.
If you are taking prescription medication into Viet Nam, carry it in your hand-luggage with a copy of the prescription. Some specific medicines can be hard to find in Viet Nam and many medications on sale are counterfeit.
Maritime Telemedical Assistance Service:  Provides telemedical advice and assists with the treatment of accidents and sickness on board all Vietnamese ships operating throughout the world and foreign ships within Vietnamese waters. Consultations possible in Vietnamese and English.
Vietnam National Institute of Maritime Medicine, Hai Phong City. T: +84 (225) 351 9687. F: +84 (225) 351 9687. [email protected]
EMERGENCY RESPONSE CENTRE:  SAR:  Viet Nam Maritime Search and Rescue Co–ordination Centre (VMRCC), No. 10, Block 1B, Trung Yen Ward, Cau Giay district, Ha Noi, Viet Nam. T: +84 (24) 3768 3050. F: +84 (24) 3768 3048 (24 hr.). [email protected]
Search and Rescue Co-ordination Centre Area 3 (Regional MRCC 3), No. 1151/45, 30/4 Road, Ward 11, Vung Tau City, Viet Nam. MMSI: 005744090. T: +84 (254) 385 0950. F: +84 (254) 351 2374. VHF Channel 16. HF frequency: 7903 KHz.
TIME:  GMT plus 7 hours.
HOLIDAYS:  1 January (New Year); Vietnamese New Year; 25 April (King Hung Day); 30 April (Reunification Day); 1 May (International Labour Day); 3 September (National Day).
If any of these holidays fall on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday is observed as a holiday.
WEATHER/TIDES:  Tropical cyclones affect the eastern coastal regions. The season normally runs from May to November, but tropical cyclones can occur outside this period.
National Marine Weather Forecasting:  Weather Forecast Service National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, No. 4 Dang Thai Than Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam. T: +84 (24) 3824 4919, 3824 4916, 8241 6000. [email protected] www.nchmf.gov.vn
TELEPHONES:  The implementation of area code changes for the National Numbering Plan in Viet Nam was carried out in 2017. The change of new area codes applies to 59 provinces in Viet Nam. Full details available at www.itu.int/oth/T02020000E4/en
BANKS:  The local currency is Vietnam Dong (VND), but US dollars are also accepted. It is almost impossible to change VND into US dollars without a flight ticket showing your onward destination.
Only change money at official money exchange counters with a clear sign showing this status. Changing money elsewhere is illegal and while higher rate may be on offer you may risk losing your money.
Credit cards are becoming more widely accepted, but outside main centres you may find cash the only acceptable currency. It may be difficult to cash travellers’ cheques. ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas.
You can have funds transferred to Vietnam via international money transfer companies like Western Union or Moneygram.
CUSTOMS:  Viet Nam is a member of the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) system for Customs clearance; ASW connects and integrates the National Single Windows of ASEAN Member States to expedite the electronic exchange of Customs data that traders can use to obtain Customs clearances, permits, and other documentation for trade with ASEAN countries.
General Department of Vietnam Customs www.customs.gov.vn
ASEAN Single Window asw.asean.org
SHORE LEAVE:  Vietnamese law requires everyone to carry photographic ID at all times. You should carry a photocopy of the pages from your passport with your personal details and visa for ID, and leave the original document in a safe place.
There has been a reported increase in incidents of personal belongings and bags being snatched, including from people travelling on motorbikes in big cities and tourist areas. Some thieves have resorted to physical violence, though this is not common. You should remain alert and take care of your belongings, particularly in crowded areas and places visited by tourists where pickpockets and bag snatchers operate. Consider splitting key items between bags.
Sexual assaults are rare, but you should take sensible precautions and travel with friends when possible.
There have been reports of arguments over hotel, restaurant or taxi bills turning violent or abusive. To avoid potential disputes, make sure you are clear about the level of service you can expect to receive and any associated charges. There have been reports of scams targeting visitors, involving fake charities, gambling and taxis.
Metered taxis from larger firms are generally reliable. There are many taxi operators and meters are set at different prices. The meter should start at around 8,000 to 20,000 VND, depending on the size of the taxi. Where possible get hotels or restaurants to book you a reputable taxi. There have been reports of overcharging for taxi journeys from airports. Check the published fares near the taxi stands before starting your journey.
Penalties for possession, distribution or manufacture of drugs can be severe. Anyone found in possession of even a small amount of drugs can face the death sentence. Illegal drugs are often tampered with or spiked and can be much stronger than in Europe. Foreign nationals have suffered fatal overdoses in the past from very small quantities.
Crimes like sex offences or fraud can attract very long prison terms, or a death sentence. The Vietnamese legal system is not well developed and the standard of prisons is very poor. You could be prevented from leaving the country for an unlimited period without being charged.
Never take photographs near military installations.
When entering religious or cultural sites respect local customs and dress in appropriate clothing.
There are restrictions on internet use, which can affect access to social media websites.
Foreign visitors to Viet Nam are generally not permitted to invite Vietnamese nationals into their hotel rooms.
REPATRIATION:  Entry Requirement:  Citizens of the following countries are allowed to stay for the stated temporary stay period from the time of entry, regardless of valid passport type, without the need for a visa for tourism, transit or business travel (but not paid or voluntary work). You must have a visa for longer stays or if you are entering Vietnam for other reasons. All other foreign nationals must have a valid passport and a visa (or pre-approval for a visa on arrival) to enter Vietnam.
Country Temporary Stay
Belaurus 45
Brunei 14
Cambodia 30
Chile 90
Denmark 45
Finland 45
France 45
Germany 45
Indonesia 30
Italy 45
Japan 45
Korea Rep. of 45
Kyrgyzstan 30
Laos 30
Malaysia 30
Myanmar 14
Norway 45
Panama 90
Philippines 21
Russia 45
Singapore 30
Spain 45
Sweden 45
Thailand 30
UK 45
Passports must be valid for six months beyond your planned stay, and you must have at least two blank visa pages (not including the endorsement page).
Visas:  When you apply for a visa (including E-visa) to enter Vietnam, you must request the visa category that corresponds to your purpose of travel. If you plan to work in Vietnam, you must obtain a work permit before applying for your visa. If you change the purpose of your visit after you have received your visa, you must obtain a new visa, before entry into Vietnam, appropriate for your new activities before beginning those activities. Under local immigration law, employment-based visas are based on a petition from a specific employer, and workers may be unable to switch jobs without securing a new visa. In addition, employers may prevent the departure of contracted employees from Vietnam if they violate contract terms. Before accepting employment in Vietnam, make sure you understand the conditions of contracts and employment-based visas.
If you arrive in Vietnam without an appropriate visa (which could be an e-visa) or pre-approval for a visa on arrival, you will be denied entry.
Please note that Vietnam requires a valid visa, residence card, or approval from the Immigration Department to leave the country. Immigration officials will apply a fee to replace lost/stolen visas or a fine for any visa overstays. In addition, the processing of exit visas for cases involving visa overstays can take one to two weeks.
E-visas:  Travellers can apply online for an E-visa via the National Immigration Web Portal at evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/en_US/web/guest/trang-chu-ttdt
The E-visa is valid for a maximum of 90 days, single or multiple entry but does not allow for renewal or extension from within the country. An E-visa is usually processed within three working days after the Vietnam Immigration Department receives the completed application and E-visa fee. E-visa holders must present the printed E-visa and valid passport at the Port of Entry. Prior to making travel arrangements with an E-visa it is advisable to review the list of Ports of Entry that allow for foreigners to enter and exit Vietnam by E-visa. When applying for an E-visa, carefully review and follow the E-visa application steps. Note: E-visas restrict you to the entry and exit points you select when you apply.
Ports of Entry are:
Seaport Airport
Cam Phan Can Tho
Chan May Da Nang
Da Nang Hai Phong
Dung Quat Hanoi
Duong Dong Ho Chi Minh City
Hai Phong Hue
Ho Chi Minh City Khanh Hoa
Hon Gai Kien Giang
Nha Trang Lam Dong
Nghi Son Quang Ninh
Quy Nhon
Vung Ang
Vung Tau
Pre-approval for Visa on Arrival:  The Government of Vietnam recommend that travellers obtain an E-visa or visa, if applicable, directly from an embassy or consulate of Vietnam prior to arrival. The Government of Vietnam has however authorised some businesses and travel agencies to arrange for pre-approval for a ``visa on arrival'' at the airport or seaport. Note that charges for this service may be unexpectedly high and additional charges may be incurred upon arrival in Vietnam.
Certificate of Visa Exemption:  Vietnamese nationals residing abroad indefinitely, their spouses, and their children may apply for a Certificate of Visa Exemption. The certificate has a maximum validity of five years, during which time the holder can enter Vietnam and stay for up to six months without applying for a visa.
Contact:  Vietnam Immigration Department – Ministry of Public Security. [email protected] xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/
AUTHORITY:  Head Office:  Vietnam Maritime Administation (Vinamarine), No 8 Pham Hung Road, Mai Dich Ward, Cau Giay District, Ha Noi, Vietnam. T: +84 (24) 3768 3065. F: +84 (24) 3768 3058. [email protected] www.vinamarine.gov.vn
Head Office:  Vietnam Maritime Safety - North, Hoa Dang Building, No. 1 - lot 11A, Le Hong Phong Street, Dang Hai Ward, Hai An District, Hai Phong, Vietnam. T: +84 (225) 355 0685. F: +84 (225) 355 0797. [email protected] vms-north.vn Contact: Director, Maritime Safety Department.
Head Office:  Southern Vietnam Maritime Safety Corporation, 10, 3/2 Street, Ward 8, Vung Tau, Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province, Viet Nam. T: +84 (254) 385 4457. F: +84 (254) 385 8312. [email protected] www.vms-south.vn Contact: Manager, Maritime Safety Department.