Overview of Import Procedures for Confectionery

Confectionery is an essential and popular product consumed daily in life. The diverse demands of consumers drive the import of confectionery from many countries around the world such as China, Thailand, Europe, USA, Japan, South Korea, etc. In this article, SSR Logistics will provide detailed guidance on the process of importing confectionery, including how to determine HS codes, import duties, declaration procedures, and important notes. 

Customs policies for confectionery imports in Vietnam 

Confectionery is a common consumer product with diverse import demands. To meet these needs, Vietnam has issued a system of customs policies to effectively manage confectionery import activities. 

The import procedures for confectionery are stipulated in the following legal documents and regulations: 

  • Circular No. 38/2015/TT-BTC dated March 25, 2015 and amended by Circular No. 39/2018/TT-BTC 
  • Decree No. 69/2018/ND-CP dated May 15, 2018 
  • Decree No. 15/2018/ND-CP dated February 2, 2018 

When importing confectionery into Vietnam, enterprises must comply with relevant laws and regulations. Accordingly, they are required to declare that their products meet food safety standards and are subject to food safety inspections and supervision by competent authorities at thev import border gates. These are mandatory requirements to ensure quality and food hygiene and safety for consumers. In addition, the confectionery import process must also follow customs procedures similar to any other imported goods. 

HS Codes and Import Duties for Confectionery Products 

HS Codes for Imported Confectionery 

Imported confectionery is divided into various types based on ingredients, properties, and composition, corresponding to different HS codes. Accurately determining the HS code for an imported shipment plays a crucial role in helping enterprises: 

  • Understand current policies: including regulations on quality inspection, food safety declarations, import permits, etc. 
  • Determine applicable tax rates: including import duties, value-added tax (VAT), and special consumption tax (if any). 

Below are some common HS codes for confectionery: 

Subheading 17.04: Sugar confectionery (including white chocolate), not containing cocoa. 


Subheading 18.06: Chocolate and other food preparations containing cocoa. 


Subheading 19.05: Bread, pastry, cakes, biscuits, and other bakers’ wares, whether or not containing cocoa; communion wafers, empty cachets for pharmaceutical use, sealing wafers, rice paper, and similar products. 


Subheading 20.07: Jams, fruit jellies, marmalades, fruit or nut purées, and pastes, obtained by cooking, whether or not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter. 


Import Duties for Confectionery 

  • When importing confectionery, the importer must pay import duty and value-added tax (VAT) at 8%. 
  • The current preferential import duty rates for confectionery and jams range from 13% to 40%, depending on the specific HS code 

Therefore, to accurately calculate the taxes and fees payable, enterprises need to determine the correct HS code for their imported shipment to apply the corresponding tax policies according to current regulations. 

Labeling of Imported Goods 

Imported goods must be labeled according to the law – it is not a new requirement but an obligation for importers to comply with. In the past, although labeling was required, it was not strictly enforced. However, since Decree 128/2020/ND-CP came into effect in 2020, the labeling of imported goods has been more closely monitored by the relevant authorities. The main reason for labeling imported goods is to provide information to state management agencies for tracking and controlling imported goods. Customs authorities and specialized inspection bodies can identify the origin of goods and the responsible enterprise or individual through product labels, which helps management agencies inspect, supervise, and handle issues related to imported goods. Labeling has become an essential step in the process of importing confectionery, and importers must ensure that labels are affixed completely and accurately on each package according to legal regulations. Failure to affix labels or improper labeling may result in the goods being denied import, and the enterprise may also face administrative sanctions. 

Label Content 

In addition to the requirement to affix labels on imported goods, the content of the product labels is also extremely important. The label content for each type of product is specifically stipulated in Decree 43/2017/ND-CP on goods labeling. According to this decree, for imported confectionery products, the product labels must provide the following information: 

  • Information about the exporter, including the address and name of the exporting unit/enterprise. 
  • Information about the importer, including the address and name of the unit/enterprise importing the goods into Vietnam. 
  • The full name of the imported product (confectionery) and related technical information such as ingredients, packaging specifications, net weight, etc. 
  • The origin of the imported goods, i.e. the country or territory where the goods were produced or underwent the final processing. 

The labels of imported confectionery products must contain the minimum required information. The information presented must be in English or any other language, but a Vietnamese translation must be attached alongside it.  

The product label’s content is crucial in the inspection, supervision, and management of imported goods. If the imported confectionery is subject to specialized inspection (red line), Customs authorities will scrutinize the information on the labels closely to assess the legality and completeness of the import dossier. It is essential to accurately present the information on the product labels. 

Labeling Locations on Goods 

When carrying out the import process, labels must be affixed clearly and visibly on the surfaces of the packages to facilitate inspection. Common labeling locations include: 

  • On carton boxes containing the goods: Labels need to be affixed on at least one front or top surface of the carton box. 
  • On wooden crates: Labels must be affixed in one or more prominent locations on the wooden crates. 
  • On-product packaging: For individually packaged goods, labels need to be affixed directly on each product’s packaging. 
  • Any other location as long as the label is placed in an easily observable spot convenient for customs inspection during the import process. 

Affixing labels in the correct locations as instructed will significantly save inspection time and mitigate the risk of delays in the confectionery import process and other goods. Improperly placed or hard-to-see labels will require more effort and time from inspectors to examine the goods, causing delays in customs clearance. 

Risks of Not Labeling 

Labeling imported goods is a mandatory obligation under current laws and regulations. If imported goods are not labeled or the label content is inaccurate or incomplete, the importing enterprise may face serious risks such as: 

  • Administrative penalties for not labeling or mislabeling: 
    • Specific fines are stipulated in Article 22 of Decree 128/2020/ND-CP, ranging from 20 to 40 million VND for the first violation and higher for subsequent violations. 
    • Depending on the violation level, enterprises may also be subject to additional penalties such as confiscation of violating goods or revocation of business licenses/certificates. 
  • Not enjoying special preferential import duties under Free Trade Agreements (FTAs): 
    • If the origin of goods is not accurately declared on the label, the Certificate of Origin (C/O) will be denied, and the enterprise will not be granted special preferential tariff codes under FTAs. 
    • The enterprise will have to pay higher duty rates, losing their competitive advantage. 
  • Goods are prone to loss or damage due to lack of handling and storage information: 
    • Sensitive goods like confectionery require labels with instructions for proper handling and storage. 
    • Without labels, transport workers may not know how to handle the goods properly, leading to damage. 
    • Goods may be lost during transportation due to lack of identification. 

Given these serious risks, SSR Logistics advises enterprises to fully comply with labeling regulations when carrying out confectionery import procedures. 

Import Document Dossier for Confectionery 

To carry out import procedures for confectionery products into Vietnam, enterprises need to prepare a complete customs dossier as stipulated in Circular 38/2015/TT-BTC dated March 25, 2015, and Circular 39/2018/TT-BTC dated April 20, 2018, of the Ministry of Finance. The import dossier for confectionery includes the following documents: 

  • Customs declaration 
  • Sales contract 
  • Commercial invoice 
  • Packing list 
  • Bill of lading 
  • Certificate of Food Hygiene and Safety 
  • Certificate of Origin (C/O) (if any) 
  • Catalog (if any) 

Among these documents, the most important ones include the customs declaration, commercial invoice, bill of lading, Certificate of Origin (if any), and food safety declaration dossier. Other documents will need to be provided upon request from Customs authorities. 

Therefore, to ensure a smooth confectionery import process, enterprises need to prepare a complete dossier as required, especially the food safety declaration dossier, to meet the quality management and Certificate of Food Hygiene and Safety requirements in Vietnam. 

Certificate of Food Hygiene and Safety Declaration Procedures 

According to Article 6 of Decree 15/2018/ND-CP, confectionery products imported into Vietnam must go through food safety declaration procedures. The process for declaring food safety for imported confectionery includes the following steps: 

Step 1: Prepare the Food Safety Declaration Dossier 

The dossier for declaring food safety for imported confectionery is specifically stipulated in Article 7 of Decree 15/2018/ND-CP, including: 

  • Product declaration 
  • Certificate of Free Sale, Certificate of Exportation, or Health Certificate 
  • Food safety test report from a competent authority under the Ministry of Health where the company registered and tested the sample 
  • Certificate of facility meeting food safety conditions 
  • Product catalog (if any) 

Step 2: Carry out the Food Safety Declaration 

The food safety declaration is made by submitting the dossier via the National Single Window portal at or directly submitting the paper dossier to the Ministry of Health. 

Step 3: Wait for feedback and supplement the dossier if required 

Within 7 working days of receiving the complete valid dossier, the management authority will review and notify the enterprise about supplementing or completing the food safety declaration dossier (if needed). 

Step 4: Receive the Food Safety Declaration Result 

After the dossier is complete, the Ministry of Health will issue a Certificate of Conformity Declaration Acceptance. The maximum processing time for the declaration dossier is 30 days from the date of receiving the complete valid dossier. 

Note that the food safety declaration procedure for imported confectionery must be completed before carrying out the import of the goods into Vietnam to ensure the products comply with food safety regulations, food hygiene and safety, and labeling requirements in Vietnam. 

Confectionery Import Process 

The Food Hygiene and Safety declaration procedure can be carried out in parallel with the import procedures. In particular, the step of inspecting the quality of imported confectionery is very important. Customs authorities will rely on the quality inspection results to decide on customs clearance of the goods. The confectionery import procedure is carried out through the following steps: 

Step 1: Declaration of Electronic Customs Declaration 

After securing all required documentation, such as sales contracts, commercial invoices, packing lists, bills of lading, and Certificates of Origin (if applicable), and identifying the HS code of the imported confectionery item, the company proceeds to declare the information in the General Department of Customs’ system through specialized customs e-declaration software. 

Making an electronic customs declaration requires professional expertise and practical skills using the software. Enterprises should not attempt self-declaration without proper training and guidance to avoid mistakes that cannot be corrected, resulting in costly expenses and time delays later. 

In accordance with regulations set by the General Department of Customs, enterprises must complete the electronic customs declaration within 30 days of the goods arriving at the import border gate. If this deadline is missed without justifiable reasons, the enterprise will be subject to administrative penalties as prescribed. 

The latest processes and procedures for importing confectionery products.

Step 2: Submission and Opening of Customs Declaration 

After completing the electronic customs declaration, the General Department of Customs’ system will conduct risk profiling to determine the level of inspection for the shipment, including: 

  • Green line (exempt from inspection): The shipment is exempted from document and physical inspection, only requiring document submission. 
  • Yellow line (document inspection): The shipment will undergo document and record inspection. 
  • Redline (comprehensive inspection): In addition to document inspection, the shipment must undergo physical inspection of quantity, type, and quality. 

The import dossier is printed out by the enterprise and submitted to the Customs Sub-Department at the import border gate to initiate the declaration process as per the assigned line. At the same time, the enterprise registers with the quarantine authority for food safety inspection to evaluate the actual quality of the imported confectionery shipment by taking samples.  

Opening the customs declaration based on the assigned line and submitting the dossier is of utmost importance. Different inspection and control measures will be carried out on the shipment, depending on the line, and the enterprise needs to be prepared to provide records, documents, and facilitate physical inspections upon request from Customs authorities.  

The deadline for opening the customs declaration and submitting it is 15 days from the declaration date. If this deadline is missed, the declaration will be revoked, and the enterprise may have to start over, which may lead to administrative penalties. 

Step 3: Inspection and Customs Clearance of Goods 

Customs officials conduct inspections of both documents and goods (if categorized as red line) at the import border gate, following the assigned process line.  

If the imported confectionery shipment is found to be non-compliant with import regulations, labeling, food safety, food hygiene, and safety, among other things, Customs authorities will request the enterprise to provide explanations, supplementary documents, or take appropriate remedial measures.  

If the enterprise is unable to address the issues, the shipment will be denied customs clearance, and re-exported or disposed of according to the prescribed procedures.  

Once all requirements from the inspection and quarantine authorities have been met, Customs will issue a decision approving the customs clearance of the imported confectionery shipment, allowing the enterprise to complete the procedures necessary to transport the goods to their warehouse.  

Throughout this process, the enterprise must work closely and provide comprehensive information and documentation as required by the inspection authorities to ensure a smooth and efficient customs clearance process. 

Step 4: Transport Goods to Enterprise’s Warehouse 

The enterprise is responsible for fulfilling financial obligations such as import duties, fees, and charges, and completing all necessary procedures after customs clearance. 

Once all the required procedures are completed, the enterprise can retrieve the confectionery shipment to its warehouse for further business activities and distribution. 

To ensure smooth customs clearance and market release, the confectionery import process must strictly adhere to Vietnam’s regulations on customs procedures, import cargo inspection, and food safety assurance. 

Important Notes When Conducting Confectionery Import Procedures 

SSR Logistics has gained valuable experience in assisting customers with confectionery imports. For your reference, we would like to share some important notes on the confectionery import procedures:  

  • Goods cannot be cleared until tax obligations have been fulfilled. Once the enterprise has paid all applicable taxes, fees and charges as stipulated by the government, imported goods can undergo customs clearance procedures and be received.  
  • Before proceeding with confectionery imports, enterprises must obtain the Food Safety Standards declaration. Completing the certificate of food hygiene and safety procedures for the products is a prerequisite step.   
  • It is recommended that product quality inspection is done early. Conducting a confectionery quality inspection prior to importation helps avoid situations where goods arrive at the port, only then undergoing Food Safety Standards declaration procedures, leading to incurred storage and demurrage costs as well as risks of goods damage.  
  • To avoid penalties and additional duties, it is important to accurately determine the HS codes. By selecting the wrong HS code for imported goods, the enterprise may face undue penalties and additional taxes.  
  • Food hygiene and safety inspection and customs procedures occur in parallel. After completing the food hygiene and safety declaration, the food hygiene and safety inspection and customs procedures will be carried out simultaneously. The certificate of food hygiene and safety will be cross-checked against the declaration to ensure the imported products meet food safety standards.  

SSR Logistics hopes that sharing this experience will be useful for you in the confectionery import process, helping you comply with regulations while optimizing time and costs. 

Confectionery Import Customs Clearance Services 

SSR Logistics proudly stands as a leading provider in Vietnam, specializing in offering confectionery import customs clearance services. We support enterprises in importing confectionery to Vietnam quickly, conveniently, and cost-effectively. 

Our services include: 

  • Free consultation on confectionery import processes and procedures. 
  • HS code lookup. 
  • Tracking and processing of customs clearance procedures, including document inspection, cargo inspection, and duty payment. 
  • Declaring import shipment information on the electronic customs system. 
  • Certificate of food hygiene and safety by the regulations of the Ministry of Health. 
  • Warehousing and cargo storage services. 
  • Sea and air freight transportation.

With this article, SSR Logistics hopes that our valued customers now have an overview of the procedures for importing confectionery into Vietnam. For more articles, please visit our Logistics Knowledge section.    

SSR looks forward to becoming your reliable logistics partner, providing optimal solutions for your importing and exporting business. Should you have any question regarding our services, please feel free to contact us for specific advice.   

With our experienced team, extensive network and flexible shipping & customs solutions, SSR Logistics is confident to deliver excellent services to our clients.  

Businesses that need customs and import-export consulting between Vietnam and Korea, please contact SSR Logistics via Hotline (+84) 911 988 484 or leave your information here for specific advice. 

With a modern warehouse system and experienced transportation staff, SSR Logistics provides a variety of additional services such as: customs clearance, warehouse leasing, domestic transportation, international transportation by sea and air, and international express delivery

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