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Lao Government Increases its Regulatory Focus on Imported Products

Lao Government Increases its Regulatory Focus on Imported Products

July 11, 2024

With inflation on the rise, the Lao Kip losing value, and a significant presence of imported products in the market, the Lao government is implementing various strategies to address these issues, such as enforcing importation regulations, promoting locally-produced goods, and guaranteeing the safety of imported items for consumers.

On 28 June 2024, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce issued Notice No. 1575 instructing the Department of Industry and Commerce nationwide to strictly enforce importation regulations and inspect products distributed by importers and retailers to ensure compliance with the following measures and standards:

  • Companies must be registered as importers with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in order to import products. They must conduct all import transactions through a designated import/export account at a local commercial bank.
  • Imported products must be imported through international borders.
  • Importers must have an import license and a sanitary and phytosanitary or technical barrier to trade certificate as required for imported products.
  • Agricultural and consumer goods, including animal products, must be approved by the Department of Food and Drug and the Department of Livestock and Fisheries.
  • Imported products must be labelled in the Lao language.
  • Alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and other tobacco products, phones, cameras, video cameras, watches, and eyeglasses must have a tax stamp.
  • Imported products for distribution must specify their origin and be verifiable.

Trade inspection officers are responsible for enforcing the above specified requirements and for seizing any imported products that do not meet the requirements.

Additionally, on 20 June 2024, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry issued Notice No. 3171 to limit the importation of agricultural products that can be produced locally through both local and traditional border checkpoints. Such agricultural products must be imported only through international borders that have a designated quarantine authority responsible for inspecting plants, animals, food, and drugs, and for contagious disease control.

If you have any questions or need any professional support regarding to above, please contact the undersigned or your usual VDB Loi adviser.


Khammanh is a legal associate with a strong grounding in civil procedure, intellectual property law, and corporate law, with a focus on the financial services sector. He is currently registered as a trainee lawyer with the Lao Bar Association.

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