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Vietnam to ban gold bullion at country’s borders

Tuesday, April 01, 2014, 12:09 GMT+7

Local and foreign individuals will be prohibited from carrying gold bullion and gold material when they enter or leave Vietnam, except for immigration purposes, starting May 15, according to a new circular recently issued by the country’s central bank.

The tightened rule is applicable to people who use passports or other approved travel documents that permit them to cross borders legally on their entry and exit, the State Bank of Vietnam said in its new fiat, in replacement of Decision No. 1165/2001, which is currently in effect.

The current regulation dictates that individuals are allowed to bring at most 1kg of gold bullion upon entry, but must declare it with customs agencies. On the other hand, they must obtain a license from the local branches of the SBV should they wish to leave the country with gold bullion.

Under the new regulation, Circular No.11/2014 which takes effect on May 15, individuals who carry gold bullion or gold material on their entry to Vietnam via passports have to either store the precious metal at customs agencies' warehouses and get it back upon exit, or transfer the gold back to their home country. The owners of the gold must cover all expenses for these activities.

People entering or leaving Vietnam with passports will be allowed to carry gold jewelry and fine arts products, but these products must be declared with customs if the gold collectively weighs 300g or more.

Those who use cross-border travel documents for their entry and exit will only be permitted to wear gold jewelry and customs declarations are also required if the weight of the jewelry totals at least 300g.

The only case when people can legally carry gold bullion is when their entry and exit is meant for immigration. They will be exempted from customs declarations if the precious metal weighs less than 300g. If an immigrant wants to leave Vietnam with 1kg of gold bullion or more, they will have to obtain a license from the central bank and report it to customs agencies.

Both the current and new regulations are intended to prevent people from carrying gold bullion to other countries when domestic gold prices are lower than global rates, according to experts.

The new fiat is seen as the latest step of the SBV in its bid to tighten management over Vietnam’s gold market, following a series of measures issued for this purpose.

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