LAOS

Logistic and forwarding services in Laos

Laos

Capital City
Vientiane

Population
6.65 Mio.

National languages
Latvian

Currency
Kip (LAK)

Gross national product (GNP)
USD 9.3 Mrd.

GNP per person
USD 1399

Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 1.88 Mio.

Financial imports from Switzerland
CHF 4.13 Mio.

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Laos

Switzerland is active in Laos primarily in the domain of development cooperation, for which it privileges a multilateral approach. Trade relations between the two countries are feeble.

Economic cooperation

Despite the rise in trade that began in the 1990s, commercial relations with Laos still remain marginal. Swiss exports to Laos consist of pharmaceutical products and machines, while Swiss imports from Laos primarily concern textiles.

 

Business language

French, English.

Dimensions and weights

Metric system.

Currency

1 Kip. ISO code: LAK

Customs tariff

Harmonised system.

Import control

Import licences are required for various goods such as animals, certain foods, pharmaceuticals, books and printed materials, steel, consular invoices Z and sports weapons. The licences are issued by the competent ministries. The required import licence must be obtained before the goods are shipped. The Lao customer can import the goods as soon as the licence has been granted. There is a general ban on the import of industrial chemicals, weapons and munitions, hazardous waste, coin presses and military vehicles.
Foreign currency transactions may only be processed via state authorised banks and currency traders under the control of the State Bank of Laos.
A payment authorisation from the state bank is required for every import.
Standard VAT rate: 10%.

Terms of payment and tenders

Request letters of credit; request e-invoicing, CIF Laos.

Designations of origin

No special labelling regulations known. Indication of the country of origin on the commercial invoice.

Marking/labelling

Standard marking in French or English with the addition of “Importé de …” or “Made in …” is advisable. No special labelling regulations are known.

Packaging

Heat and moisture-resistant packaging. Hay and straw are permitted.

Product samples

Samples with no retail value are duty free. The shipping of samples which are subject to customs duties as “product samples” or “packages” is not permitted.

Shipping and accompanying documents

a) Commercial invoices, 3 copies in French or English with all standard information:

The following declaration of origin and price is to be signed by the exporter (in accordance with the commercial register) and must appear at the end of the invoice: “Nous certifions que les marchandises dénommées dans cette facture sont de fabrication et d’origine de … et que les prix indiqués ci-dessus s’accordent avec les prix courants sur le marché d’exportation.” Certification by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (submit 3 copies, 1 copy remains with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce).

b) Certificates of origin, 1 copy, only on request. As the origin, indicate “Swiss” in the case of Swiss goods, or “European Union” for goods originating from UE. Chamber of Industry and Commerce certificates of origin.

c) Bills of lading uncertified; order bills of lading are possible if a notify address is given.

d) Postal shipments: maximum weight 20 kg, 1 international dispatch note, 1 customs declaration (French or English).