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Buying DVDs in Vietnam

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Melbourne, Australia
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Buying DVDs in Vietnam

I have been told it is relatively cheap to buy DVDs in Vietnam. Are there any tips to ensure I am getting a reasonable quality...with 3 children I am sure we will purchase a few.

Can these be sent home via post, carried in hand luggage or put into checked baggage? Do you need to declare these on your return and is there a limit ?

Thanks for your help

Lincoln, United...
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1. Re: Buying DVDs in Vietnam

You'll find HCMC customs can do watch out for these (various threads on here). Some get confiscated, some with a small number end up paying a fine but allowed to keep them. Most are counterfeit and the quality varies. What the Australian customs do on your arrival, depends on their attitude to pirated DVD's ...........

Nha Trang, Vietnam
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2. Re: Buying DVDs in Vietnam

I have been called up a couple of times on exit in HCMC but let go again when I explained that the DVD's contained backups of my photos. Which they did. I stopped buying low quality DVD's 10 years ago. I don't buy any DVD's these days, since we got streaming and more sat channels than I can count.

Adelaide S.A.
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3. Re: Buying DVDs in Vietnam

You wont have a problem with Australian customs as long as you don't bring in large quantities of the same title eg: for re-sale. I have bought over 100 DVD's ( different titiles) back in from Bali and never had a problem.

Australia
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4. Re: Buying DVDs in Vietnam

Forget about buying DVDs. The quality is almost always poor. We sit down to watch them and they freeze and skip. Just WAY too frustrating. Buy half a dozen each for fun then throw them away when they don't work. Oz customs won't bother you.

There is no way to determine if you are getting quality - they will happily give you a preview but that doesn't tell you the whole move will play through.

Lincoln, United...
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5. Re: Buying DVDs in Vietnam

AustraliaNoma...

Forget about buying DVDs. The quality is almost always poor. We sit down to watch them and they freeze and skip. Just WAY too frustrating. Buy half a dozen each for fun then throw them away when they don't work.

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But they are an authentic cinema experience.......... :-) Nothing better than having people walk across the screen in front of me. I had a couple like that. I think out of 6 I bought, 5 were instant trash for various reasons. Didn't buy any more.

Darwin, Australia
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6. Re: Buying DVDs in Vietnam

Buying DVD's in Vietnam (and taking home to Australia)

*** - Law in Vietnam

As for Vietnam, to buy actual genuine copies of DVD's is almost impossible. VN now being part of the World Trade Organisation are now obliged to stop piracy and fraudulent copies of clothes, hand bags etc... That being said, while the Govt of VN has signed the agreements, it is not being policed within the country, regardless of what Officers at the airport might say. It is just a bluff or a tool to try and get a bribe. (I know some Officers personally and they tell me they are instructed to tell people not to buy pirated DVD's or they might be fined in the future. A few corrupt Officers seize the DVD's only to resell them themselves, or demand a "fine" to allow you to keep them. I am told the VN Govt are only policing DVD's coming in from China (where most originate from). At this stage, the Govt are only targeting importers, not retailers nor their customers. This is to satisfy the WTO.

If you read the Decrees (laws) of Vietnam (can be found on the Net), there are currently no laws in place for the sale and possession of pirated DVD's. The only laws currently on the books are for importing.

In time, Decrees will be made, but that is unlikely to happen for some years to come. The VN Govt have many more important issues to address with the WTO (such as foreign trade, taxation and duties, political prisoners, prisoners right abuses, complaints from UN regarding Government torturing and murdering Hmong villagers, domestic violence, illegal drug manufacture and distribution etc..) then to worry about pirated DVD's given that almost no genuine retailer of DVD's exist in all of Vietnam.

*** - Law in Australia

Since the Australian High Court Sony Decision some years ago, it is NOT illegal to bring pirated copies into Australia (google it), nor is it illegal to be in possession. BUT, you must not bring in more than one copy of the same DVD and you must not pass them on to a 3rd party in Australia. (That means, give, swap or sell) That is deemed to be distribution of pirated DVD's with fines issued from courts exceeding $10,000 for an individual (lawn sale), and in excess of $200,000 for a business (shops or market vendors)

*** - Censorship

Both Australia and VN have strong laws regarding censorship, with VN being the stricter.

Examples :-

AUS - Aussie man in 2011 returned from Thailand in possession of laptop and USB memory drives containing child porn. It was noted in the evidence that the porn was placed on his laptop and USB's within Australia prior to his going overseas. The Supreme Court in Darwin took no regard as to where and when he obtained the material, but the fact that he was entering the country in possession. By memory he got 2 years jail.

Aussies have entered Australia in possession of porn videos that would be legal in Australia, but being they have no censorship rating attached, they are seized as illegal imports under censorship laws, but no subsequent prosecution unless the content is prohibited material. The same applies to non-porn movies that depict violence, animal cruelty or other content that might be subject to censorship.

VN - in 2010, an aussie fellow had his laptop confiscated and was allowed to leave the country minus his lap top after a severe warning (this was reported in media both in VN and Australia). Just at random, VN custom's inspected his laptop. His desktop background picture was that of women in various forms of full or partial nudity. Import or Export of even mild nude photography can result in jail time. Similar applies to any images or video that depict extreme violence, homosexuality, ant-Govt content etc..

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--- What I am saying here is that aside from the censorship issues and the moral issues of the purchase of pirated DVD's, buying them in VN is not illegal, nor is it illegal to take them home to Australia for personal viewing.

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**** DVD Quality of those bought in VN ****

While you will read some poster comments saying they are all low quality or video cam recordings from within a cinema, this is not entirely correct. (What I am buying now are about 8 in 10 all high quality having found the right shops to buy from.)

It will depend on which shop or person sells them, and which country and how they made them. DVD's sold in VN are made in either VN, China, South Korea, Malaysia, Phillipines and some from Europe.

Those DVD's sold in VN are sourced from the following...

- in cinema cam recording

- digitally recorded from cable TV. (adds removed but station/channel logos remain)

- copied from the original DVD (purchase or rental DVD)

- copied from original master disk

======== Of the above, the last two methods are generally of high quality, subject to which country produced them. The variation being the quality of the disc itself. Chinese made discs are really very cheap rubbish... missing data segments, easily scratched, with some even having clear windows where the manufacture failed to coat the whole disc.

- Of note, of the Star Wars movies, the last movie was available for sale throughout all of S.E. Asia on DVD about 6 weeks prior to it's first cinema release. A master disk apparently fell into the hands of a DVD manufacturer/distributor in China. That particular DVD was apparently 25 minutes longer than the eventual cinema release.

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== I personally have no moral dilemma in buying pirated DVD's in VN. I never buy them in Australia anyway given the price tag of as much as $45 for new release. So my buying them in VN for under a $1 each is in no way effecting the revenue of the movie maker.

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WHERE TO BUY QUALITY DVD's in SAIGON (HCMC).

On Pham Ngu Lao Street , just a short distance north of Liberty 3 hotel, go to number 177. This is the Huong Vy cafe. Across the lane still on Pham Ngu Lao Street, is the Giant Dragon hotel. walking north (toward Binh Tinh Market), still on PNL about 4 doors up just past Cyclo Bar is a Travel Agent with numerous racks of DVD's selling at 12,000 to 15,000 dong each. Most are produced in Malaysia or Europe, with only around 1 in 5 you buy being no good.

Adelaide S.A.
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7. Re: Buying DVDs in Vietnam

Well that certainly covers it all..Thanks Darwin Australia especially for the tip on where to buy!

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: Buying DVDs in Vietnam

Ditto

Thanks Darwin Australia and everyone else for your input.

Chris545

9. Re: Buying DVDs in Vietnam

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