In progress

Introducing a modern customs bond system for conditional release of goods

Supporting Vietnam in strengthening its position as a regional manufacturing powerhouse


Trade facilitation is a key national priority for Vietnam’s government. Since 2014, changes in legal and regulatory frameworks have significantly simplified customs procedures and increased transparency.  Yet our analysis found that many shipments are held within congested Vietnamese ports simply due to a lengthy release process. In fact, Vietnam’s hold rates for imports and exports remain among the highest in Asia.

What we are doing

We are working with the government and the private sector to implement a modern customs bond system for the conditional release of goods. Vietnam will be the first country in Asia with such a comprehensive system. Traders will be able to purchase bonds to guarantee their payment of duties and taxes as well as regulatory compliance, allowing customs to expedite release of their goods.

Our project involves:

  • supporting the legal and regulatory reforms required to implement the project
  • providing training for customs and other government officials, as well as private sector stakeholders
  • developing a customs bond pricing model in consultation with insurers
  • designing a bond management software module that will interface with Vietnam’s existing eCustoms system


The introduction of a customs bond system is a win for the government, the private sector, and the wider Vietnamese population. It will:

  • streamline administrative requirements, thus significantly reducing the need for physical  inspections and documentation checks by border agencies
  • protect Vietnam’s customs revenues and ensure compliance with laws and regulations
  • increase predictability and efficiency for traders, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, when shipping items to and from Vietnam
  • improve Vietnam’s competitiveness and appeal for foreign direct investment

Monitoring and evaluation

We are monitoring and evaluating the project throughout its duration. Key indicators include:

  • the percentage of Vietnamese traders using customs bonds
  • the number of harmonised system codes covered
  • the reduction in hold time of imports and exports covered by the customs bond system

Private sector support

In Vietnam we are looking for businesses to get involved in a wide range of activities including:

  • advising on software development, customs bond processes, bond valuation, and legal and regulatory reforms
  • project management development and roll-out
  • translations into Vietnamese
  • promoting the project to stakeholders

Project Structure

Phase 1

In progress

Concept development and agreement on solution

Phase 2

In progress

Full implementation 
of bond system

Phase 3



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Robert Kielbas

Roanoke’s Vice President of Global Development at Roanoke
Roanoke provides international logistics and transport companies with creative insurance, bond and ATA Carnet solutions, helping traders to manage risk and expedite customs clearances as they move goods around the world. It’s a niche area of expertise and Roanoke has been working in it since 1935. “Our ethos is about uncomplicating the complicated – putting the framework in place so that trade is as simple as possible. We know the issues our clients encounter when transporting cargo and the pitfalls in the insurance world. We believe in the benefits of trade and partnering with the Alliance means we can use our expertise to help realise them."
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Revathi Roy

Revathi Roy, Co-founder and CEO, HeyDeedee, Mumbai
Revathi Roy set up India’s first all-female delivery company HeyDeedee in 2016 to offer new training and professional opportunities to low-income women in Mumbai. Three years later, her business operates in 10 Indian cities, employs 10 000 women agents, and has partnerships with giants like Amazon. “A career in logistics is not an intuitive leap for Indian women since this field has been largely dominated by men. Parents see jobs in the call centre industry as a safer option for their daughters,” explains Revathi.
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Paulina Abrokwah

Paulina Abrokwah, Freight Forwarder, Accra
Paulina Abrokwah works hard to keep goods moving. As a freight forwarder in Ghana, she helps businesses get the right documents, comply with regulations and transport their goods across the country’s borders. Her role ensures Ghanaian consumers can buy a wide range of products and that Ghanaian businesses can export their wares across the world. Every day she deals with shipments, from cars to electronics, sending to and receiving from as far away as Mexico, China, Brazil and Europe. “The difficulties we face now in clearing the border can make the process very stressful and that can discourage people from trading,” says Paulina.
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Mark FeDuke

Director of Risk Management and Regulatory Affairs at ArdoVLM
ArdoVLM is an international food trading company moving frozen fruits and vegetables, animal proteins and grains across the world from field to market. “You can be in business and do well by doing good and we are big believers in leveraging trade to deliver positive outcomes in developing countries."
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