Vietnam Imposes New Restrictions on Phone Imports

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Vietnam's mobile phone networks and handset retailers are complaining about a new law that restricts handset imports to just three seaports in HCM City Da Nang and Hai Phong.

Currently, many of the higher value smartphones are shipped via air-freight and with minimal paperwork needed to clear customs, but the new regulations will also impose additional paperwork requirements.

Officially, the restrictions are to cut down on phone smuggling, but local retailers point out that most smuggling is across the land borders and do not go through the government controlled ports.

Doan Thanh Nhan, senior executive of Viettel Trade Import-Export Company told the VietNamNet news that the increased bureaucracy would particularly hit sales of Nokia and Apple smartphones.

The new regulations are expected to transform a one week order-to-delivery timeframe into something closer to a month, not only delaying the sale of fashionable smartphones, but also causing the phone companies to have to increase their stock holdings to absorb potential delays.

On the web: VietNamNet

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