UK Company Drop Shipping China to Vietnam


I am setting up a UK company. Much of my business will be based on drop shipments going direct from manufacturer in China to end customer in Vietnam.

I am confused as to whether I will be the exporter or the importer. An which Commercial Invoice should be used – the one between the manufacturer and me or between me and the end customer?

I am guessing it should be the CI between me and the end customer as that is the final value against which I would pay the Import Tax and VAT. This would mean I would always be the exporter, I should make sure all the paperwork reflects this and I pick up and organise the shipment as Ex-Works.

If this is the case, what paperwork should I expect the manufacturer to prepare for me? eg Bill of Lading etc??


Hello Ed,

I work for a freight forwarder and arrange shipments like this all the time.

Can I just ask, presume you are buying the goods from a manufacturer in China and then selling them with a mark up to a customer in Vietnam?

If this is the case, you would be the shipper and provide your marked up invoice to Vietnam, so Duty and VAT would be paid upon import on that (and this hides the buy rate). Your customer buying from you would be the importer / consignee.

If you did the above, you could pay for all the movement charges, but end customer in Vietnam could pay the import Duty and VAT (if this is what you want)? Because they wouldn’t know the buy rate of the goods, but also, presume they would be able to claim back the VAT (like we do in the UK). If you paid the import tax, I presume you wouldn’t have a way of reclaiming.

Let me know anymore questions – [email protected]


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