Country Guide: Laos
Household Goods and Personal Effects
- 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)
- 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”.
- Title / Registration
- Letter of Employment
- 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.
- Vaccination Record
- Veterinary Health Certificate
- 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.
- 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
- Firearms and ammunition
- Cigarettes (500), cigars (100), tobacco (500 g)
- Wine (2 bottles) and other types of alcohol (1 bottle)
- Illegal drugs
- Chemicals and fertilizers
- Plant and plant products
- Pornographic materials
- Anti-communist publications
Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.