Importing cosmetics involves a series of procedures that businesses need to follow to ensure compliance and product safety. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of the import process for cosmetics

1. Initial Steps and Product Information

  • Obtain a business registration license and ensure your business is authorized for cosmetic trading.
  • Initiate the process of importing cosmetics by submitting the required documents.
  • Provide detailed product information, including manufacturer details, local distributor information, representative contact, importing entity, and a list of product ingredients.
  • Attach the business registration certificate or investment certificate of the importing entity, indicating permission to trade cosmetics.
  • Present the Certificate of Free Sale (CFS) for cosmetics obtained from the originating country, legalized by the consulate.

2. Authorization and Documentation

  • Include an authorization letter from the manufacturer, legalized by the consulate.
  • ¬†Attach the Import Cosmetic Product Declaration Form (Appendix 01).
  • Provide a composition breakdown (percentage) of the imported cosmetic product.

3. Customs Importation File

  • Complete the customs declaration form for the imported goods.
  • Gather essential documents such as contracts, invoices, packing lists, and BL.
  • Include a valid Cosmetic Product Declaration Form for the imported products.
  • Provide a certificate of origin for the goods (physical copy or electronic Certificate of Origin, C/O) if seeking special import tax benefits.

4. Cosmetic Product Labeling

  • After customs clearance, add supplementary labels to the products in compliance with regulations before they hit the market.

Essential details to include on the supplementary labels:

  • Product name and function.
  • Complete ingredient list.
  • Usage instructions.
  • Country of manufacture.
  • Responsible company or individual’s name and address (in Vietnamese).
  • Weight or volume.
  • Manufacturing and best-before dates (DD / MM / YYYY) – products stable for up to 30 months must display expiry dates.
  • Safety warnings.
  • Batch number.


  • Cosmetic product compositions can change over time. Before each new batch import, verify if there are any alterations in the product’s composition.
  • If there are changes, update the Cosmetic Product Declaration Form to avoid container inspections by customs upon arrival.
  • Consistency between the original label and the Cosmetic Product Declaration Form is crucial. Administrative penalties may be imposed if inconsistencies are found. In case of penalties, a new Cosmetic Product Declaration Form must be provided within 30 days to avoid further action.
  • Failure to provide the new declaration within 30 days may lead to customs re-export procedures.

By following these detailed procedures and requirements, businesses can navigate the intricate process of importing cosmetics, ensuring compliance and the safety of their products in the market.

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