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Sending a package TO someone in HCMC

My son is currently teaching in HCMC. He lost his ATM card and the bank sent the replacement to me. He also needs his original teaching certificate and asked me to send some stickers for him to pass out to his students. Can anyone suggest the best US carrier to send these items? Is there any way to track a package once it enters VN? Also, I'm concerned that the stickers might be considered "toys" (on the forbidden list) even though none contain any licensed characters -they're just pretty generic reward type stickers. Or that they might be mistaken as sent for resale because there are several packages. Would it be better to remove them from their store packaging? Would it possibly be better to send these items separately? (especially since the certificate and bank card could be sent as letters.) Would it be possible to send letters/packages to the US Consulate there for him to pick up? Sorry for such a long, nitpicky question, but any help would be appreciated. TIA  :)

I don't have direct answer for your questions,
but just want to give you information:

I've not received any package from the US,
but I've received package from the Philippines (an USB)
and Germany (some packs of candies and postcards, leaflets)
successfully via DHL.

From the Philippines: within few days
From Germany: took 7 weeks - no one knows why is that long

To check tracking number, I do it here: http://www.vnpost.vn/vi-vn/

I think UPS will be the best.

I shipped several boxes to Saigon in March via Golden Freight in San Jose, Calif (google it) and I was very pleased, and will do so again. They have workers in Saigon too, so they track and transport your stuff at both ends. I found the company based on positive reviews on Expat.com. Contact Christine, she will tell you all about the rules, whether or not you use their service.

I don't think the stickers will be classified as toys, but if you live anywhere a Vietnamese community, it's best to ship via a Vietnamese cargo agent. They should offer door to door for around $4-5 per lb. Otherwise, Fedex, and send everything as documents since the package contains a credit card.

UPS and DHL, while expensive, have worked quite well for me. Both are Large and well respected International Corporations.

MeoMun :

I don't have direct answer for your questions,
but just want to give you information:

I've not received any package from the US,
but I've received package from the Philippines (an USB)
and Germany (some packs of candies and postcards, leaflets)
successfully via DHL.

From the Philippines: within few days
From Germany: took 7 weeks - no one knows why is that long

To check tracking number, I do it here: http://www.vnpost.vn/vi-vn/

"Germany: took 7 weeks," Strange. DHL is a German Company

On 15 Jan 16 we sent a registered letter from Hawaii to Citibank VN in HCMC.  It included a return receipt card.  The bank asserted that it never came and my wife hand carried the same documents to HCMC later in May.

Just last week the return receipt was delivered to us.  The card is clearly marked Par Avion per international convention.  A bank employee signed for the documents on 27/1/16 which is not bad for time.  However, the VNPT never postmarked the return receipt in the places that they were supposed to and apparently tossed it in a corner for 6 months before deigning to mail it to the US without a single postmark.  Although they are providing a service in this case without compensation, there are international conventions that Hanoi has clearly signed on to but fails to follow.

I really don't believe that the VNPT is corrupt, at least not beyond the usual level for agencies in Vietnam.  I do believe that they are truly incompetent.

For Europeans, DHL may be best.  For the US, despite the cost, I will henceforth only use FEDEX for important documents.

It was MUCH!! worse in the old days.

@THIGV This is precisely what I'm concerned about, that once FedEx or UPS or DHL hand the package over to the VNPT, it will sit in a corner for weeks (or the contents rummaged through.) Thank you for confirming that the additional expense of sending it registered won't help, or at least I likely won't know if it did or not.

If you were referring to my experience in post #8, I should make clear that the original letter was sent my US Mail (USPS) and hence was to be delivered by VNPT.  I don't know about DHL and UPS but FEDEX does not turn packages over to VNPT (at least not in HCMC) and retains control door-to-door.  I know that UPS sometimes hands off to the USPS in rural areas of the US, but I don't have any idea if they make the parallel move to VNPT for final delivery in Vietnam.  If they do, I would not use them.

In Gia Lai Province, which could be considered remote and rural.
DHL and FEDEX both passed my letter size envelops to VNPT. Both were delivered directly to my hotel room within 10 days of being sent from the US. A signature was required for both. The last tracking information I saw was that the envelops departed HCMC, 2 days later they were in my possession. These were not packages, but that is my recent experience with the delivery process.
Would insurance cover any losses due to theft or missing items?
Could the recipient refuse delivery if package was incomplete?

These envelops contained credit cards. I would definitely try to have the bank or financial institution send them if possible. Remember banks want you to have their cards, and will send them most of the time.

arc8iablue :

@THIGV This is precisely what I'm concerned about, that once FedEx or UPS or DHL hand the package over to the VNPT, it will sit in a corner for weeks (or the contents rummaged through.) Thank you for confirming that the additional expense of sending it registered won't help, or at least I likely won't know if it did or not.

I failed to note in my first post that despite paying for registered mail, our letter was no longer traceable by USPS once it left the US making the added cost a complete waste.  VNPT has a tracking site but it doesn't seem to post the intermediate steps and only posts on delivery,

It seems there are still problems with rural areas, but since your son is in HCMC, FEDEX should be fine door-to-door.  I remember when I had my passport replaced, the clerk in the consulate told me that they use FEDEX.  If he is not home during the day, you can get a higher level of security if you specify against delivery but arrange for pickup at their terminal at Than Son Nhat but that could be inconvenient depending on where he lives.  If he is a teacher, another possibility would be to send it to his school, as there will be someone present to receive the package.  This of course assumes he has a trusting relationship with the school.

My daughter sent 4 months of heart meds to me from the states plus some very important papers. We used UPS and were pleased. Customs does go through everything and make a mess. Good luck with the bank card

starwatcher67 :

My daughter sent 4 months of heart meds to me from the states plus some very important papers. We used UPS and were pleased. Customs does go through everything and make a mess. Good luck with the bank card

A good place to buy virtually any Medicine is the International SOS Clinic or any of the major hospitals. The downside is that SOS does have one of their Doctors examine you to confirm the prescription and their prices are a bit higher. Getting my, retired US Army, insurance to reimburse, works a lot better at SOS than any place else in Viet Nam as they generate their own signed Doctor's prescription. Other Insurance . . .

Emergency Services
Address: p. 7, 167 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Phone: +84 8 3829 8520

For the average expat, do not go to SOS, over priced medical care. It may be worthwhile for some as 70 year old said, but for the average John, definately not.

colinoscapee :

For the average expat, do not go to SOS, over priced medical care. It may be worthwhile for some as 70 year old said, but for the average John, definately not.

Basically it depends on your insurance. Tricare(U S military) Insurance and International SOS are different divisions of the same company. SOS does decent medicine and speak a lot of different languages.

We both agree that they are expensive. As our drug bill runs over USD $1,000.00/month getting paid back is a big deal.

I second that. SOS is amazingly expensive. Equally competent staff and adequate equipment can be found in many hospitals nearby for less than 20% of the SOS costs. For good or ill, foreigners usually get priority treatment in Viet. hospitals. As for medication, reliable versions of most drugs are among the cheapest in the world in Vietnam (at least until the TPP is signed). Go to a popular local pharmacy.
As for receiving articles/packages, my success rate with Vietnam Post is 75%.

Philganesh :

I second that. SOS is amazingly expensive. Equally competent staff and adequate equipment can be found in many hospitals nearby for less than 20% of the SOS costs. For good or ill, foreigners usually get priority treatment in Viet. hospitals. As for medication, reliable versions of most drugs are among the cheapest in the world in Vietnam (at least until the TPP is signed). Go to a popular local pharmacy.
As for receiving articles/packages, my success rate with Vietnam Post is 75%.

Vietnamese hospitals differ greatly in quality and in the good quality hospitals the conditions vary drastically depending on how much you pay.

I happened to be staying at a good Vietnamese hospital, Trieu An Hospital at the same time as a dear friend and medical professional's daughter was staying at the same hospital. I stayed in a very nice room with almost instantaneous Nurses Care and my choice of which MD Kidney Professor in Sai Gon that I wanted to do my surgery. Our friend's daughter in the same hospital was sleeping 3 patients to a bed in a Ward and was being treated by a Staff Doctor.

Yes. We both had successful surgery. Yes. I paid more than 5 times as much as our friend's daughter paid. You pays your money and you gets your choice.

Hello!!

I have a related question to the original post but I have to send a package.  I Have a package to send to VN; which service should I use?? I heard also there are taxes added to the package if the package is not sent through proper channels. Any thoughts???

OanhLife :

Hello!!

I have a related question to the original post but I have to send a package.  I Have a package to send to VN; which service should I use?? I heard also there are taxes added to the package if the package is not sent through proper channels. Any thoughts???

My mother uses Hoa Phat.

http://www.goitien.com/Locations.aspx

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