Lao

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Can foreigner do business in Laos?
Q: Procedure importing fruits and vegetables into Laos please ?
Q: We are looking for business partners in Laos. If you have some contacts to companies please contact with us.
Q: Can you advise duty rate to import goods into Laos ?
Q: What commodities require import permit to Laos ?
Q: I would like to know what is the procedure to import supplementary products into Laos?
Q: I want to know what is the process if I want to set up a business in Lao? Do I need to registration a business certificate?
Q: Can foreigner do business in Laos?
Q: Can I obtain the information on market background, business partnership and list of import-export Company in Laos by searching into Lao PDR Trade Portal Website?
Q: Do I need to fill in a Customs declaration when I arrive in Laos at an international airport or border crossing?
Q: Can I look up the Lao Customs Tariff on-line?
Q: Can I bring food or plant materials into Laos?
Q: Can I bring personal effects into Laos if I am taking up residence and will they be subject to duty?
Q: Does livestock need to be quarantined when brought into Laos?
Q: What are the duty free allowances when entering Laos?
Q: Are goods for diplomatic missions exempt from duty?
Q: Can I clear my goods at any Customs office in Laos or do they have to be cleared at a specific Customs office?
Q: Do I have to use a Customs Broker for importing or exporting commercial goods?
Q: Do I have to submit my Customs declaration through Asycuda or can I continue to prepare it manually?
Q: Do I always need to get an import license before importing goods into Laos?
Q: For what goods do I need to get an export license?
Q: What should I do if I disagree with a decision made by Customs?
Q: Are technical standards for various products compulsory when importing these products into Laos?
Q: Are any SPS measures currently in force in Laos?


Q: Can foreigner do business in Laos?
  Yes. But it is depending on business categories. Click here to see business categories that allows foreigners to invest in Lao PDR.
Q: Procedure importing fruits and vegetables into Laos please ?
  To import fruits, vegetables, and other agricultural products into Laos, it is require to register at Agriculture Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry at first. Click here to see full procedure. 
Q:
We are looking for business partners in Laos. 
 If you have some contacts to companies please contact with us.
 
Lao Trade Portal's Database does not store business contact information or company list. On the other hand, it contains information related to import/export regulations, preferences, SPS/TBT, Measures, standards, requirements, and tariffs in Lao PDR.
In this regard, we would like to recommend you to visit Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry website for business contact information.
Q: Can you advise duty rate to import goods into Laos ?
  The duty rate to import goods into Laos are available Click here .
Q: What commodities require import permit to Laos?
  Click here to see the commodities list that require import permit.
Q: I would like to know what is the procedure to import supplementary products into Laos?
  To import supplementary products into Laos, it is require to have registration at Department of Food and Drugs, Ministry of Health at first. Click here to see full procedure.
Q: I want to know what is the process if I want to set up a business in Lao? Do I need to registration a business certificate?
 
According to Law on Enterprise, in order to establish a company in Laos it is require to have enterprise registration.
For general investment, Industry and Comerce Section provide one stop service in 3 levels:
1. Central Level:
Enterprise Registration and Management Department, Ministry of Industry and Commerce. For more information, you can contact, phone: (856-21) 412 011, fax: (856-21) 453 865.
2. Provincial Level:
Provincial Enterprise Registration and Management Sector. 
3. District: 
District Enterprise Registration and Management Sector.
Q: Can foreigner do business in Laos?
  Yes. But it is depending on business categories. Click here to see business categories that allows foreigners to invest in Laos.
Q:

Can I obtain the information on market background, business partnership and list of import-export Company in Laos by searching into Lao PDR Trade Portal Website?

 

Lao PDR Trade Portal provides information regarding the laws, regulations and procedures for importing and exporting in Lao PDR.

If you would like to have information about potential business partnerships, list of export –import company or opportunities we recommend that you contact the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (http://www.laocci.com)  On their website you will find information about business opportunities in Lao PDR and contact details.

Q: Do I need to fill in a Customs declaration when I arrive in Laos at an international airport or border crossing?
  No. You can just walk through the Nothing to Declare green channel.  If you are carrying goods in excess of the duty free allowance or if you are in doubt you must walk through the red channel and declare the goods to the Customs Officer on duty.  Click here for more information.
Q: Can I look up the Lao Customs Tariff on-line?
  Yes.  The complete commodity classificattion and tariffs applicable in Lao PDR are loaded on this website.  Please click here to to search and view the tariffs.
Q: Can I bring food or plant materials into Laos?
  Yes, as long as they conform with the laws and regulations regarding these materials.  Click here to view the laws, regulations, etc. and look for specific requirements or click here to search for any specific measures that may be applicable from time to time.  
Q: Can I bring personal effects into Laos if I am taking up residence and will they be subject to duty?
  Generally, personal effects are exempt from Customs duty as long as these items are not of a commercial nature and are normal household items.  These exemptions apply to foreigners taking up residence in Laos, civil servants returning from their mission and students who have graduated abroad and are returning home.  If you are in doubt about the eligibility of certain items you should contact Customs.  
Q: Does livestock need to be quarantined when brought into Laos?
  Not necessarily.  When you obtain an import permit from the Department of Livestock at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry you will be advised of whether this is a requirement.
Q: What are the duty free allowances when entering Laos?
  Click here to view the duty free allowances when entering Laos.
Q: Are goods for diplomatic missions exempt from duty?
  Yes.  All goods and vehicles for diplomatic missions, international organizations and NGO's approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are exempt from Customs duties. 
Q: Can I clear my goods at any Customs office in Laos or do they have to be cleared at a specific Customs office?
  No. You must clear the goods at the Customs office of the border post where the goods are imported or exported.
Q: Do I have to use a Customs Broker for importing or exporting commercial goods?
  No.  However, using a Customs Brokers will ensure that all regulatory requirements are properly discharged and may save unnecessary delays. 
Q: Do I have to submit my Customs declaration through Asycuda or can I continue to prepare it manually?
  Currently, if you are importing and exporting goods through the Thanaleng border post you must enter your declaration into the Asycuda system at the Customs office at the border.  A manually prepared declaration is no longer acceptable.  Until such time as Asycuda is installed at all other border posts, you must continue to submit a paper declaration as usual.
Q: Do I always need to get an import license before importing goods into Laos?
  No.  For most commodities it is not necessary to get an import license.  However, for some commodities you will need to apply for an import licence from the Department of Import and Export of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.  Some goods are subject to automatic licensing and some to non-automatic licensing.  Please click here to search for a list of the goods that are subject to these requirements.
Q:

For what goods do I need to get an export license?

  Generally, for certain rice products, certain mineral products and certain timber products. Please click here to search for a list of the goods that are subject to these requirements.  
Q: What should I do if I disagree with a decision made by Customs?
  If you disagree with a decision made by Customs, you can lodge an appeal within 30 days of the decision being made.  Please consult the Customs Law on the procedure to follow.
Q: Are technical standards for various products compulsory when importing these products into Laos?
 

At present there are no compulsory standards enforced through technical regulations.

Lao PDR has established 144 voluntary Lao National Standards that businesses and traders operating in Laos can choose to apply. Procedures for applying the National Standards are provided for in the Law on Standardization and the PM Decree to Implement the Law on Standardization.” 

Standards help domestic markets to operate effectively, increase competitiveness and provide an excellent source of technology transfer. They play an integral role in the protection of consumers and the environment. Documentary standards and their use in technical regulations on products, production methods and services play a vital role in sustainable development and trade facilitation through the promotion of safety, quality and compatibility. The benefits derived are significant. Standardization contributes not only to international trade but also to the basic infrastructure that underpins society, including health and environment, while promoting sustainability and good regulatory practice. 

Lao PDR has established a TBT Enquiry Point which can give further guidance in this respect.

Q: Are any SPS measures currently in force in Laos?
 

There are currently no specific SPS measures being implemented in Laos.  However, any animal, food or plant products that is imported into Laos must conform with the standard requirements as laid in the basic laws that govern the import, manufacturing and trading of these commodities.  You should therefore seek guidance from the relevant department at the Minsitry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of Health to discover whether any specific prohibitions are in place at the time of import.

Lao PDR has established an SPS Enquiry Point that can give further guidance in this respect.

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