Sourcing smartphones from Vietnam to the US 

The number of “made in Vietnam” products increases in the global market. Vietnam’s exports to the US are nine times bigger than imports. The main products that Vietnam exported to the United States were in the electrical machinery and equipment and their parts category, mainly telephone sets and alike. This article discusses sourcing smartphones from Vietnam to the US.

How to source smartphones from Vietnam?

Vietnam is the third biggest exporter of telephones in the world. In 2021, Vietnam produced over 233 million mobile phones. There are several ways of finding smartphone suppliers in Vietnam.

B2B platforms with Vietnamese products

The easiest and most cost-effective way to find a Vietnamese supplier is via B2B platforms.

  • You can search for Vietnamese products on Alibaba, which is the easiest to navigate if you have used it to source products from China. 
  • One of the biggest B2B wholesale marketplaces is Global Sources. There is also a selection of Vietnamese suppliers on this site. 
  • You can easily find a supplier from Vietnam and post RFQs (Request for Quotation) on ACEvn.
  • A big online supplier directory focusing on manufacturers from Vietnam is Vietfactory.

Trip to factories in Vietnam

While Chinese factories tend to have an online presence, it is not always the case with Vietnamese suppliers. Many do not accept small-volume orders and only deal with large brands; therefore, they do not need online advertising.

Trade shows in Vietnam

Dedicated trade fairs are meant to connect suppliers and buyers in an industry. For example, Vietnam ICTCOMM is the most important trade show in Vietnam’s ICT/IT industry. It takes place at Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC). There are many suppliers specializing in mobile technology. It attracts 50,000 visitors and exhibitors from 20 countries.

How to make sure a Vietnamese supplier is reliable?

After you have made a list of potential suppliers from Vietnam you would like to do business with, you should investigate if they are trustworthy. ExamineChina can check Vietnamese suppliers for you by conducting due diligence.

US duty rates and requirements for smartphones

US duty rates on smartphones and telephones from Vietnam

Importers should find out the tariffs on sourced products before placing an order. US tariffs are available in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule.

  • 8517.13.00.00 – Smartphones – 0%
  • 8517.11.00.00 – Line telephone sets with cordless handsets – 0%
  • 8517.18.00.10 – Videophones – 0%

US requirements for smartphones 

Smartphones imported to the US or put into circulation have to be compliant with federal FCC technical requirements. For example, FCC Part 15.407 states that U-NII devices operating in the 5.25-5.35 GHz band and the 5.47-5.725 GHz band should have a TPC (transmit power control) mechanism. The U-NII device is required to have the capability to operate at least 6 dB below the mean EIRP value of 30 dBm. A TPC mechanism is optional for systems with an E.I.R.P. of less than 500mW. U-NII devices operating in the 5.25-5.35 GHz and 5.47-5.725 GHz bands should have a DFS radar detection mechanism to detect radar systems’ presence and avoid co-channel operation with radar systems.

Telephones have to come with a user manual and a label. It is required to provide a Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) about electromagnetic emissions. All US imports must also meet labeling requirements in English, with the country of origin and the recycling symbol, if applicable.

Aside from federal, there are also state regulations in the US. If your smartphone will be for sale in California, it must comply with California Prop 65.

UL certification is voluntary.

Sourcing smartphones from Vietnam to the US – to sum up

  • Vietnam is a rising market in terms of mobile phone manufacturing.
  • You can find Vietnamese smartphone suppliers on B2B platforms, by attending trade shows, or by going on a business trip.
  • US tariff on smartphones is 0%.
  • Smartphones in the US must comply with the FCC regulations.