Country Guide: Laos

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Updated: November 30, 2015

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Copy of Passport
  • Work Visa
  • Letter of Employer
  • Employer’s investment license
  • Business license (applies only to non-Diplomats)
  • Original Bill of Lading (OBL) / Air Waybill (AWB)
  • Diplomatic ID card (Diplomats)

 

Specific Information

  • A foreigner may import used household goods and personal effects duty free if having diplomatic status or working for a registered for an non-governmental organization (NGO).
  • If the document criteria are met, only one sea and one air shipment are permitted duty free, and the shipper can only import one each of any electrical appliance duty free.
  • Foreigners employed with private companies in Laos will have to pay duty on personal effects.
  • Foreigners not employed in Laos are prohibited from importing personal effects.
  • Returning Lao nationals who have lived abroad will have to pay duty on personal effects.
  • As sea shipments first enter Thailand before being transported in-bond to Laos, ensure that the OBL shows “In-transit to Vientiane, Laos via Bangkok, Thailand”.

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Title / Registration
  • OBL
  • Letter of Employment

 

Specific Information

  • Only foreign Diplomats may import a vehicle into Laos duty free. 
  • Vehicles are subject to duties assessed on the type, age and engine size of the vehicle.
  • Contact the destination agent for specific information regarding the import of second-hand vehicles.

Pets

Documents Required

  • Vaccination Record
  • Veterinary Health Certificate

 

Specific Information

  • Most pets, including dogs, cats, and birds, can be brought into Laos with no quarantine period. 
  • The Health Certificate must be issued within 7 days of import.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • The following items are subject to restriction and required permission from the Ministry of Information and Culture for import:
    • Weapons and ammunition
    • Receivers and transmitters through satellites, internet, broadcasting equipment, etc.
    • Images of Buddha and God made from copper, glass, wood, bone, ivory, stone, and other materials
    • Weapons
    • Firearms and ammunition
    • Cigarettes (500), cigars (100), tobacco (500 g)
    • Wine (2 bottles) and other types of alcohol (1 bottle)

Prohibited Items

  • Illegal drugs
  • Explosives
  • Chemicals and fertilizers
  • Plant and plant products
  • Pornographic materials
  • Anti-communist publications

Consignment Instructions

Recommended:  Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.

 

IAM Note:  Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability. 

 

Helpful Website(s):

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_946.html

http://www.laoembassy.com

IAM Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.