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Vietnam and difficulty of getting money out

 
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Porlestone



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 95
Location: Asia

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:01 pm    Post subject: Vietnam and difficulty of getting money out Reply with quote

Apparently Vietnam like no other country I've seen really has money within their country under control - more than where I was last. Most banks in Saigon told me they wouldn't allow wire transers out. A few will, various fees. No matter what you wire out they document it on your yellow slip in passport. This eats away at your $7000 customs max limit. They said that if I had all proper school documentation, contracts, pay slips and it meets their full inspection they would allow me to send out only what the school has paid me in documentation. If monthly wage is $1000 then I would be allowed to send that, only, all alligned with dates. (work at said school 3 months = 3 grand, and so on.) and not allowed to go above that.

You can't carry much out physically because your customs limit is decreased with each wire, and they can inspect you at any border / departure and can confiscate anything over what they allow. If you are teaching privates or making money other ways, which all of us teachers do from time to time, they really got the ball on this one. With laws against sending money through mail, government control on wires, and freedom of inspection at borders...
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spycatcher reincarnated



Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 236

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Porlestone

"Apparently" may be the correct word.

In reality it is very easy to transfer your salary out of the country if your employer pays your salary in to your bank account.

It is also very easy to hand carry money out of the country.

I do not believe that there is any coordination between customs and banks, and the government is generally making it easier to transfer funds out of the country.

No matter what laws say it is still easy to get money out of Vietnam, unless you are talking about large quantities.



Phillips Fox (lawyers) recently published this:

Part 1 Selected New Legal Instruments
1.1 Foreign exchange
Decree 131-2005-ND-CP of the Government dated 18 October 2005 on Amendment of and Addition to Decree 63-1998-ND-CP of the Government dated 17 August 1998 (as amended 17 January 2001) on Foreign Exchange Control
More than 4 years since the last amendments of Decree 63, the Government has introduced another raft of amendments. But the raft is small - only a few provisions on current transactions have been liberalized. The amendments have been introduced as part of Vietnam's efforts to join the WTO, a requirement of which is that payments and remittances for current transactions must be able to be conducted freely.
Under Decree 131, the scope of payments and remittances for international current transactions has been expanded to include:
- Payments relating to export/import of goods/services, other current transactions, short term loans from banks and on credit;
- Payments for net income from direct and indirect investments, depreciation from direct investment capital (if applicable);
- Payments for interest and gradual repayments of principal from foreign loans;
- One way payments for consumption and other similar purposes.
Main amendments under Decree 131 are as follows:
> Residents and non-residents are permitted to purchase, transfer or carry personally abroad foreign currency for the purposes of payment of lawful current transactions without presentation of documentation of satisfaction of tax liabilities to the Vietnamese Government.
> Residents and non-residents being foreigners who have foreign currency are permitted to transfer it abroad upon demand. If they receive income in Vietnamese dong, they are permitted to purchase foreign currency from authorized banks to remit abroad.
> Residents being Vietnamese citizens are permitted to purchase, transfer or carry personally abroad foreign currency for lawful purposes, such as tourism, study, medical treatment, subsidies for difficult situations, inheritance and permanent residency in accordance with regulations of the State Bank of Vietnam.
Decree 131 does not cap the amount of foreign currency permitted to be remitted abroad. However, according to Le Duc Thuy, the State Bank Governor, a maximum limit on foreign currency remittances will be stipulated in a new Ordinance on Foreign Exchange being drafted by the State Bank and will be about USD7,000. The new Ordinance will replace Decree 63 completely. The new Ordinance was added to the National Assembly's 2005 legislative program at the end of 2004 but was scheduled for preparation only - in mid-2005, it was re-scheduled for promulgation (also) in 2005. The new Ordinance was expected to be promulgated this month, but the introduction of the Decree 131 band-aid suggests that promulgation may be delayed.
Decree 131 does not liberalize the restrictions on foreign currency transactions within the territory of Vietnam. Transactions in foreign currency must still be conducted only through banking entities authorized to conduct foreign currency exchange - direct foreign currency transactions remain prohibited (see the recent case on this point in Part 3.5 below).
Decree 131 will be effective as of 8 November 2005.
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Porlestone



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 95
Location: Asia

PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a good enough reply there spycatcher, but at this time I'm not sure I can say I agree with some very fine things.

I would not doubt at all that there would be communication between banks and customs. They are all owned by the same entity. It wouldn't be difficult to do, especially locally or regionally. You have internet, some old computers and database software. Names and money amounts could easily be kept track of. Most importantly, by what was said to me and the impression I get of these people, I would all but expect it from them. Completely in control on anything they want to be.

Most banks in HCMC don't do money transfers out of Vietnam and when you ask them, they reply "No and you cannot do it anywhere in Vietnam." This alone gives a very bad impression of their modus operandi. But that's not all.

Having talked to two well dressed employees at two branches that do, they also made it very clear that all money going out of vietnam must be checked on first, even saying directly "we need to make sure all money is 'legal.'" And you know what they mean. "legal" means they approve of it first, and they aren't going to go lightly.

They said every bit wired out is written on the yellow paper. This is subtracted from your limit you can carry out at any border/departure. They also said this verbatim at the banks I was at. Moreover when you near your $7000 customs limit you need to have as much employer / contract documentation as possible. Simply by what they were saying alone my feeling is they will play hardball. They are not at all about customer service. They are in it to win.

I will know in just a few more months once I cross that customs limit mark and get to have them "inspect me over." Let's be honest, everyone in ESL has some money here, some money there. Some undocumented, some from privates, etc etc.

On a final note I actually found not only contradictions with that lawyer documentation you provided, but also see that in the real world these new "Vietnam Decrees" may not be worth the paper they were written on, likely. Vietnam has said alot of things in recent times, like their Prime Minister flying personally to meet Bill Gates in Washington and promise a crackdown on software piracy as a priority. To this day I actually don't know where in HCMC I can buy a real copy of Windows. Every CD and computer shop in Ho Chi Minh City is heavily involved in piracy, nothing has been done. These decrees sound like "talk".

In a few more months I'll know for sure, but from all I've seen in this year and heard from bank employees, I see every need to be doubtful.
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Porlestone



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 95
Location: Asia

PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

> Residents and non-residents are permitted to purchase, transfer or carry personally abroad foreign currency for the purposes of payment of lawful current transactions without presentation of documentation of satisfaction of tax liabilities to the Vietnamese Government.

Unfortunately it boils down to breaking down Lawyer speak, but I would still have to say I'll believe this one after I see it. Being able to carry or send out money from Vietnam without providing proper tax documention is not what banks told me and I find it hard to believe Vietnam is going to allow it, esp. surpassing their customs limit. But I guess let's hope it does come true! I'm going to try and read up on this more...
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spycatcher reincarnated



Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 236

PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the bank's idea of writing the transfers on the yellow slip. I expect this is the limit of their "computerisation" and liaison with customs at present. Why would they need to write this on the yellow slip if they were linked up with customs?

Why not just lose the yellow slip like nearly everybody else does?

I heard that about 6 months ago Vietcom Bank allowed bank transfers, no questions asked.
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legaleagle



Joined: 08 Jul 2005
Posts: 59
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 4:26 am    Post subject: Vietcombank Reply with quote

Can you work out with your employer to pay you electronically in dollars? If so, then just take your contract down to Vietcombank and open up a dollar account. If you have one, then you can easily wire money out of Viet Nam. And if you had some other gig on the side, you could use that other cash to live and never touch the electronic, officially-cleared account.
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spycatcher reincarnated



Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 236

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most employers are not legally allowed to pay their staff in foreign currencies. This, however, is not a problem. If your employer pays your salary in to your bank account in Dong you are legally allowed to have this changed in to a foreign currency if you want this transferred out of the country.

One should be aware that although you are legally allowed to transfer your salary out of the country some banks decide not to offer this service.
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VC



Joined: 11 Feb 2003
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's pretty easy to send money home if you have an account at Shinhan Vina Bank (5 Ho Tung Mau, Dristrict 1). It's a Korean bank and they don't document the amount you send home on your yellow slip if you can provide evidence (such as a pay slip) to show that you legally earned the money.
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countdown



Joined: 15 Jul 2004
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have been dealing with Shinhan Vina bank for 2 years and have provided them with copies of our contracts and more recently have shown them the pink tax slip proving that we've paid tax. We have sent a few thousand euros and Cdn $ out of VN on a regular basis and have NEVER had a problem. Nothing has ever been written on our yellow papers nor has anyone asked to see them.
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Galileo



Joined: 10 Oct 2006
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the past, I have had no problem sending money home from my account at Vietcom Bank. However, they recently informed me that they no longer buy US dollars. So I can't exchange the VND in my account for dollars and and then transfer the money to my bank in the US.
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lucreziaborgia



Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never had a problem transfering money out of Vietnam provided I could demonstrate where it came from. Hence you have to show the source of the income at the time of deposit. This is the same requirement for banking in Australia, the UK and I assume many other countries. It's to prevent money laundering and fraud. There is nothing different about Vietnam.
You can buy US dollars, GBP, Euro etc at Vietcom Bank and deposit them in your bank accounts in whatever country is appropriate. You pay a transfer fee as you would in any country.
I have never had a problem provided I showed the source of the money.
Once again: it's the same in most countries.
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