Prior to hearing about iHerb, I only ever searched for Burdock Root capsules on Amazon. Back in the Philippines, I had purchased from Amazon before using My Shopping Box as a forwarding service. Since I am in Vietnam as of the moment, I thought I could also shop on Amazon using a forwarding service that would ship to Vietnam. It was easy searching for forwarding services that supports Amazon and that ships from the USA to Vietnam but I found myself signing up from one forwarding service to another until another became 3 or 4 futile signups. Why? Because the forwarding services charge membership fees unlike My Shopping Box. I finally found the solution by simply entering “Burdock root capsules” on Google search. An ad for Burdock root capsules on iHerb is at the top of the results which I clicked right through.
It was a breeze signing up and I even had a $0.70 discount. I placed an order for 2 bottles of Burdock Root capsules on the day I signed up, June 7th, and I got the notification that my order would arrive in my Hanoi address via DHL on June 10th.
On June 10th, I was contacted by DHL via email that my shipment has arrived but that they would need more information regarding the contents.
1 – Here is the information you would need to supply DHL for customs clearance:
• Description of goods (clear and specific: model, brand name, part number)
• Origin of goods: Erlanger, USA
• Material (Made Of): Vegetarian capsules
• Equipment/Machine part (if applicable):
• Use (applicable for equipment, chemicals): Supplements
• Harmonized System (HS) code: 121190
• 100% New or Secondhand: 100% new
• Company name, full address and registered VAT number for receipts printing: (not applicable for me)
Whatever product you order on iHerb, you may look for the harmonized system here
2 – After determining that the Burdock root capsules I ordered was categorised under Health and Beauty supplements, I was informed about this:
According to Decree No.15/ND-CP, your shipment need provide import license from Ministry of Health:
- The following import cases shall be exempted from state inspection on food safety;
- Foods in certain quantity passed through immigration for personal consumption within the limit of duty free paid;
- Foods in diplomatic bags, consular bags;
- Transited food and re-exported foods;
- Foods kept in bonded warehouses;
- Foods served as samples or for testing or research purposes;
- Foods served as samples for displaying at fairs and exhibitions.
However, with small quantity, please send me the photo of your passport and brand name of each item, and do the letter as attached, so that we can help you to submit to customs and wait for their approval.
In case customs officers still ask to provide import license, we will keep you updated.
3 – This is the template of the letter required:
To whom it may concern:
I am (Name).
Passport Number: xxxxxxx
I have a shipment sent by DHL Express AWB xxxxxxxxxx from iHerb US which contains:
- Nature’s Way Burdock Root Vegetarian Capsules (supplement) ; Nature’s Way, Burdock Root capsules, 2 plastic bottles, $13.38
They are totally for my personal use, not for sale.
I confirm that all above information is truly right and I commit to pay all taxes arising from this shipment.
I look forward to receiving your help to release my shipment soon.
4 – I replied with a passport of my photo and that template letter and the next day, June 12th, my Burdock Root capsules were delivered without any additional charges.
Update: November 27, 2018
For iHerb orders shipped to Thailand, it’s less inconvenient. I tried ordering Burdock Root and Hemp Oil on separate occasions to my address here in Nonthaburi and although the delivery waiting period is a bit longer compared to what I experienced back in Hanoi, I did not need to present certain documents on my part. My iHerb orders would usually arrive 2-3 days before the expected delivery time.