Vietnam - Country Commercial Guide
Last published date: 2022-12-15


In 2020, Vietnam was the eighth largest market for U.S. agricultural exports, at USD 3.8 billion.  U.S. agricultural exports to Vietnam increased by 40 percent in value in the last five years.   Global exports of consumer-oriented products to Vietnam in 2021 remained the same as the previous year at approximately $13.1 billion.  U.S. exports of consumer-oriented products increased by 8 percent over 2020 to over $1 billion and expanded their market share to 8 percent in 2021. The Government of Vietnam (GVN) lowered import tariff rates on corn, wheat, pork, and planting seeds and reduced the value added tax (VAT) from 10 percent to 8 percent. Rising prices for both fuel and production inputs could result in high inflation and affect retail food growth in 2022 Vietnam’s top ten imported consumer-oriented products in 2021 included fresh fruit, tree nuts, fresh vegetables, dairy products, beef and beef products, , poultry meat, , processed vegetables, non-alcoholic beverages, pork, and distilled spirits (Trade Data Monitor).

Vietnam’s total retail revenue in 20210 was USD 172 billion,  marginally up 0.2 percent over 2020 according to Vietnam’s General Statistical Office (GSO), with food and beverage retail sales accounting for approximately 30 percent of total retail sales (Vietnam’s General Statistical Office).  Vietnam’s growing middle class, economic development, and increased awareness of food safety are key propellers in increasing market demand in the retail sector.

Although COVID-19 has severely hit Vietnam’s key industries including tourism, aviation, food service, and traditional and modern retail, it also resulted in the growth of the country’s e-commerce sector.  Vietnam’s e-commerce sector is estimated to have grown by more than 20% to 13 billion USD in 2021 , according to Vietnam E-commernce Association (VECOM), 70 percent of the country’s population currently use the internet (Statista).

U.S. exporters of consumer-oriented agricultural products are encouraged to review the USDA 2020 Exporter Guide hich serves as a practical guide for U.S. exporters wishing to initiate or increase exports of their products to Vietnam. 

It can be a challenge for any food exporter to fully understand the complex environment caused by overlapping and frequently changing food standards and food safety regulations in Vietnam.  U.S. exporters, especially those new to the Vietnamese market, are also advised to refer the following reports to have an overview of Food Standards and Regulations, as well as required certificates:  

  • The 2020 FAIRS (Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards) Country Report VM2022-0046 provides an overview on the food laws and regulations currently in force in Vietnam. 
  • The 2020 FAIRS (Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards) Export Certificate Report  VM2022-0040 provides an overview of the health and quarantine certificates needed for exporting food and agricultural products to Vietnam. 

On February 2, 2018, the Government of Vietnam published Decree 15/2018 which renews the implementation of a number of articles of the 2010 Food Safety Law and makes fundamental changes to registration and inspection for both domestic and imported food and the assignment of food safety management among the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (MARD), and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT).  This Decree completely replaces Decree 38/2012 regulating the implementation of a number of articles of Vietnam’s Food Safety Law.  For more information on Decree 15, please consult the USDA GAIN report VM8016.

U.S. exporters will be able to follow these developments, as well as find other recent GAIN reports pertaining to their respective interests by navigating the GAIN website.

Additionally, new-to-market U.S. exporters are advised to look into export requirements for Vietnam updated by USDA agencies, including the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).