Safety and Security in Vietnam

An Expert's View about Public Order, Fire, Safety Services in Vietnam

Last updated: 4 Mar 2011


Safety and security equipment is a growing market in Vietnam with good sales potential for U.S companies in the medium and long-term future. The demand is largely tied to the development of foreign-invested construction and property projects as well as a growing interest by the government in safety standards. In addition to the state budget, the Government has relied on substantial assistance from outside sources, particularly Official Development Assistance (ODA), to improve and upgrade the country’s infrastructure systems. ODA-funded projects also help initiate safety and security upgrades in many government dominated sectors such as banking, maritime, power, oil and gas, and transport.


Security equipment import duties range from 0 percent - 40 percent, depending on the components and the manner in which the components and systems are imported into Vietnam. Building-related equipment and systems paid for with foreign investors’ capital contributions may be imported duty free.


The private security services market is another growing sector in Vietnam. These services include providing security consulting and equipment, residential and building guards, bodyguards, and lifeguard monitoring. In Vietnam today there are hundreds of companies registered to provide security services. According to the Decree 14/2001/ND-CP, only local companies with police approval can be licensed to enter the security services business. Furthermore, private investigator services are not permitted under the law. Importation of certain kinds of security equipment that service police operations must be approved by the Ministry of Public Security. U.S. exporters must also comply with any applicable export control regulations.


Best Prospects/Services

The installation of safety and security systems usually accounts for 5 to 8 percent of the total investment in construction works or project development. This rate is higher in large projects where safety and security issues are critical during operation such as power plants, oil & gas complexes, and heavy industries. Given the current significant construction and development in Vietnam, across a variety of sectors, there is significant sales potential for access control security (i.e. anti-theft/burglary, and anti-intrusion monitoring systems, entry control and surveillance systems) and specialized fire fighting systems (foam, CO2 and inert gas suppression systems, gas detection systems)


Further, U.S. suppliers will find increasing opportunities to provide systems to the rapidly growing number of high rise buildings in Vietnam such as: sprinkler systems, sensors, hose/reels, emergency illumination systems, and break-glass alarms. U.S. companies have also been successful in supplying control panels, fire extinguishers, hydrants, and pumps to oil and gas operations, as well as to several power plants and airport projects in Vietnam.



More than 95 percent of Vietnam’s security safety equipment/systems are imported since domestic equipment production by local companies is limited. Local manufacturers currently produce only low-end items such as locks, safes, safety gloves and ropes.


In general, U.S. safety and security equipment is highly regarded in the Vietnamese market. However, brand name and high-standard U.S. products are more expensive than those from other countries, which impacts sales volume in this market. Due to good reputation and known quality, many agents and distributors in Vietnam are still eager to represent U.S. companies and products. They are especially interested in U.S. suppliers of automated security systems, such as advanced CCTV systems, integrated security systems, electronic card access control systems, smart card technology and intruder detection equipment.



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Posted: 12 August 2010, last updated 4 March 2011