peacock peacock posted July 10th, 2009 at 8:50 pm to Help!. Viewed 34 times. Answered 10 times.

luxury problem: i'm going to HK this weekend with two laptops - one personal - and one broken office laptop. my own still works, but needs replacement after four years of intensive use, and am planning on buying a new one in HK.
I will also pick up a replacement for the office laptop.
As a result I will be travelling back to Hanoi with three laptops - one really new (personal), one relatively new (office), and one old one (personal - as I do not want to discard it yet).

Will I have any (tax) issues entering Hanoi? If so, any suggestions on how to work around it safely? (putting two in checkin luggage doesn't really seem to be very safe....)

Last answered by Newman about 109 months ago.

Answers (jump to newest answer)

dawnation wrote on July 10th, 2009 at 9:51 pm
dawnation (elite user)

I brought in two from the US last year - same situation (one older than Jesus, one spanking new) and had no problem. Since they rarely do any serious checks as you enter (at least in my experience - correct me if I am wrong), I don't think you will have a problem. You may need to list them on your customs card. But then I tend to fly by the seat of my pants (forgive the pun) and always hope to "get by." Others who follow rules more carefully may want to comment.

pippasweetie wrote on July 10th, 2009 at 11:59 pm
pippasweetie (elite user)

Same as Dawnation. Last July I carried in my new laptop and had my sons repaired xbox etc in my luggage. We have also have carried our own desk top computer, food processors, bread maker etc all well wrapped in luggage. Of course there is not much room or spare weight allowance for other items..Probably about as safe as anything else....

TscTempest wrote on July 11th, 2009 at 10:16 am
TscTempest (elite user)

There was something similar in a recent thread relating to Mobile Phone repair. I'd recomend reading that and applying that to your 'Office' laptop, pack it and your old laptop (on the way back) very well in your checkin luggage and carry the new one on to the plane as per normal.

Remove the battery from the old laptop and leave it at home. Have the repair man do his repairs/parts replacement etc. and then have him put a sticker on it declaring it Redundant or Dead or whatever.

At least if you do happen to be unlucky enough to "Have to" go through the red channel, you got some paperwork, a old, 'Can't be bothered to repair it' laptop and your Normal device (with all your files and work etc. already on it).

kloonvn wrote on July 12th, 2009 at 11:42 pm

As harsh as it sounds: The less you look like a local, the more you can bring along. I have brought three notebooks and a imac mini at one time. No questions asked. But they will always check more carefully if you look like a Vietnamese. At least they always did when I travelled with Vietnamese (or Vietnamese looking) friends.

Danthetaydevil wrote on July 13th, 2009 at 8:03 am
Danthetaydevil (elite user)

Completely agree, Im australian and never once been stopped in customs here in vietnam, and when i travel with vietnamese friends they always seem to be pulled up and checked. Ive proabbly been in and out of this country about 10 - 15 times in the last 4 years and have walked though customs everytime untouched.

LostinHanoi85 wrote on July 13th, 2009 at 10:10 am

I brought back 3 laptops and 10 iphones(gifts) last year and they didn't say anything to me.

peacock wrote on July 15th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

thanks for the tips guys. this is what happened: nothing. actually gave my colleague, who happened to be on the same flight back, one of the laptops, so we just walked across with two laptopbag as handluggage each. Even if I had carried all three, I don't think there would have been an issue either.
just before me two vietnamese with a fairly big stack of suitcases were pulled aside for interrogation - like Dan already suggested, being VN and coming back in seems to significantly increase the chance of getting searched.

clock iconThen Some Time Passed...
ltmagnificent wrote on May 9th, 2011 at 1:10 am
ltmagnificent (elite user)

Any updates on this? I am taking a two month vacation to the states and would like to bring back two laptops (one of which will be new). Further, is a netbook treated differently than a laptop?

Grant wrote on May 9th, 2011 at 9:36 am
Grant (elite user)


It's never a problem. Just don't bring them in the box, of course. No idea if a netbook is seen as any different to a laptop. I'd assume Customs would view it as the same thing because it basically is.


Newman wrote on May 10th, 2011 at 9:46 am
Newman (elite user)

Agree with Grant. You can bring back whatever you like really. A netbook is exactly the same as a laptop for these purposes - I have traveled with both and never had a problem.

Remember that on the way back into Noi Bai, some flights are made to put hand luggage through a scanner before you get into the baggage collection area. This is a cursory thing looking for dangerous and/or illegal stuff. Not laptops/netbooks. As long as items don't look brand new there won't be an issue. Boxes take up too much room in luggage anyway.

Having said that though, I have bought through large items in their original boxes with barely a glance on the way through. Pretty safe I reckon.

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