The capital of Laos, Vientiane is the largest city located on the scenic banks of the River Mekong. It has a border with Thailand and is the hub of commercial and economic center in the country. If you plan on settling here or staying a long term basis or are a returning citizen, you might need to have your vehicle in Vientiane. However as Laos is a landlocked country, your vehicle will be shipped from US to the ports in Vietnam namely, Ho Chi Minh City or the Da Nang Port and then shipped by land to Laos. Additionally, the custom duties are high unless you have diplomatic immunity.
Essential documents and cost of shipping
There is about 40% import duty when you ship to Vientiane or any other city in Laos. There is additional excise fee, if the vehicle has been listed as luxury item. It is important to know that the right hand drive vehicles are prohibited from being imported in the country. The custom duty on general goods has been calculated as turnover tax in addition to import duty. While on the luxury goods you have an additional excise tax apart from paying the import duty and turnover tax.
There is a provision for temporary import of cars and other vehicles, especially for tourism, supervision of projects and other businesses if the vehicle is sent back within the specified time period. Additionally, the cost to import vehicles in Vientiane is calculated on the basis of:
- Import costs
- Value of insurance of the vehicle
- Vehicle age and freight charges
- Type of vehicle and size of the engine
These are some of the key features that are calculated before the Lao PDR Customs levies are imposed on the imported vehicle. Additionally, as with any import, there are documents that need to be submitted. These include details of the car such as:
- Model and make of the vehicle
- Registration deed and VIN
- Purchase invoice of the vehicle
To ensure a hassle-free shipping of the vehicle from the local US port to Vientiane, it is good to hire the services of an experienced international shipping service such as our company, A1 Auto Transport Company. There is other paperwork that needs to be submitted including:
- Import licenses
- Proof of vehicle purchase
- Driver’s license
- Insurance of the vehicle
- Title deed
- Bill of Lading
It is important to have all the necessary identification documents to make sure that the shipping is hassle-free.
Shipping Methods to Laos
There are different shipping options that you can select based on your budget. The most common ways to ship include RORO wherein the vehicle is driven on and off the ship using ramps. On the deck, the vehicle is harnessed and secured to minimize movement during transit. You are not allowed to keep any accessories in the car and it has to be cleaned before you ship it out.
The other more expensive method is container shipping which includes hiring a 20 feet container or for more goods, a 40 feet container which is sealed after the car is secured in place and other goods that you need shipped placed inside. We can work with you to help you get the best price.
If you are keen to know additional details about importing vehicles to Laos, the related laws and procedures, you can directly get in touch with the Embassy of Laos in USA.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.