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This electronic guide serves to provide European SMEs interested in trading with Vietnam, alongside other interested stakeholders, a first point of call. It offers a set of initial answers to questions businesses may have, includes links to further details and documentation, and is updated regularly. Whilst this guide has been prepared by leading experts and with great care, it does not constitute legal advice. Your critique, comments and suggestions are most welcome via our feedback form.

1. An Introduction to Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) Trade in Vietnam

1.1. What should I know about Vietnam?

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are, according to the City Momentum Index 2020 report, ranked among the top-10 most dynamic cities in the world due to their low cost, rapid consumer market expansion, strong population growth, and transition towards activities attracting significant amounts of foreign direct investment.

Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world with, according to the World Bank, 7.1% and 7% percent GDP growth in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Although its growth rate declined to 2.91% in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it remains among the highest in the region, and globally.

Additionally, Vietnam has the fastest-growing middle class in the region. Vietnam’s middle class accounts for 13% of the total population with this figure is expecting to reach 26% by 2026. Vietnam’s super-rich population is also growing faster than elsewhere in the region, and there is no doubt it will continue to rise over the next ten years.

The implementation of the EVFTA stimulated growth in bilateral trade between Vietnam and the EU with two-way trade turnover reaching USD 17.8 billion during the first four months of implementation (August-November 2020) - an increase of 2.9% relative to the same period in 2019.

1.1.1. What etiquette should I be aware of when seeking to do business in Vietnam?

  • Vietnamese prefer discussions to be held in person rather than online, unless the latter is the only option (i.e. due to lockdown imposed by the Government amid the Covid-19 pandemic). Although English is gaining popularity, whenever possible, we recommend you have a translator with you. Ideally, you should learn to speak a few simple words in Vietnamese to show that you respect the culture and will endeavour to make the business deal;
  • Similarly, your business card should be in both English and Vietnamese. When giving or receiving business cards, do so with both of your hands;
  • Seniority and hierarchy are important in Vietnam. When working with an older male, refer to him as “Anh” followed by his first name. When working with an older female, refer to her as “Chị” followed by her first name. When shaking hands or handing business cards or documents, always address the people with the highest seniority first;
  • Vietnamese names follow the format of family name-middle name-first name. Some people have more than one middle name and some don’t have any. People refer to each other by their first name, or their middle name and first name (to differentiate from others with the same first name),but never their family name;
  • It is highly recommended to have all work documents translated to Vietnamese;
  • Vietnamese businesspeople tend to reply to investors introduced to them via a mutual connection, rather than cold calling.

1.1.2. What visa rules might apply to me when travelling to Vietnam to do business?

In order to enter Vietnam, foreigners need to obtain entry visas issued by the Department of Immigration under Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security (for issuance and renewal).

Visas can be obtained digitally. Vietnam has updated the process and procedures for the e-visa system, allowing visitors of single-entry visits with a duration of up to 30 days to apply for and obtain their visas online. The processing time for e-visas is three working days after completing registration and making the fee payment. You can find the link to apply for e-visas here.

Citizens of Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, and Sweden, can enter Vietnam visa-free for up to 15 days.

To work in Vietnam and remain for an extended period of time, foreigners need to apply for longer-term (three-month) single or multiple entry visas. It is advised to check with the Vietnamese Consulate General or Embassy in your country of residence on matters related to the application for longer-term visas (such as foreign workers visas or others).

Additional information regarding stays for businesspeople in specific sectors can be found in Section 4.3.2.

1.2. What does it mean to be an SME in Vietnam?

1.2.1. What is an SME, and does my business qualify as one?

SMEs describe microenterprises, small enterprises and medium-sized enterprises as determined in Article 6 of Decree No. 80/2021/ND-CP. The determination of SMEs according to the Decree follows two sets of criteria; (1) the sectoral group the enterprise operates in and (2) its average number of employees, annual revenue, and total investment capital. The determination is defined as follows (further information can be found here):

Sectors/Criteria Agriculture, forestry and aquaculture, industrial, construction Trade and services
The average number of employees participating in social insurance per year Microenterprise: 10 or fewer Small enterprise: 100 or fewer Medium enterprise: 200 or fewer Microenterprise: 10 or fewer Small enterprise 50 or fewer Medium enterprise 100 or fewer
Annual revenue (VND billions) Microenterprise: maximum 3 Small enterprise: maximum 50 Medium enterprise: maximum 200 Microenterprise: maximum 10 Small enterprise: maximum 100 Medium enterprise: maximum 300
Total investment capital (VND billions) Microenterprise: maximum 3 Small enterprise: maximum 20 Medium enterprise: maximum 100 Microenterprise: maximum 3 Small enterprise: maximum 50 Medium enterprise: maximum 100

If a company has any queries about its categorization, it can refer to the SME Assistance Portal managed by the Ministry of Planning and Investment. The Portal contains information about the network of SME assistance counsellors, SME assistance plans, programs, projects, schemes, activities; guidelines for business operation, credit, market, products, technology, business incubation and other information serving operation of SMEs, state management of assistance and development of enterprises according to demands of the organizations and individuals.

1.2.2. How do SMEs currently contribute to the Vietnamese economy?

What are the most common categories of SMEs?
Small and micro enterprises (both local and foreign-invested) account for a very large proportion of SMEs in Vietnam, whereas the number of medium sized enterprises accounts for only 1.6% of SMEs.

In which sectors are SMEs most prevalent?
Local and foreign-invested SMEs account for around 96.7% of total enterprises in Vietnam (as of September 2020). Most SMEs operate in the commerce, services and industrial sectors especially in traditional handicraft, exploiting and producing raw products such as minerals, seafood, forest products, processing and assembly, manufacturing high-tech products (machinery, electronics, chemicals, measuring equipment, engines, etc.).

In recent years, the trend of developing innovative business models (in the form start-ups, which are considered as SMEs in Vietnam) has been growing, especially in areas like construction, processing, manufacturing, the automotive industry, air transport, finance and banking. Currently, there are more than 3,000 active start-ups, most of them funded by start-up investment funds from the US and Singapore.

How ready are SMEs in Vietnam for the 4.0 industrial revolution

With a young and technology savvy workforce, increased connectivity and the presence of many large global technology corporations, rapid technology innovation and adaption is diffusing fast amongst Vietnamese SMEs. The International Labour Organization’s analysis on the readiness of Vietnam’s labour market to innovate and adapt to technology in the workplace can be read here.

How many people are employed in SMEs in Vietnam?

The latest data shows that between 2016-2017 the SME sector attracted 8.69 million employees. In the two years 2017-2018, the number of newly established SMEs created nearly 2.3 million new jobs.

How do SMEs contribute to the Vietnamese economy?

According to Vietnam’s Academy of Social Sciences, in recent years SMEs contribute annually approximately: 40% to Vietnam’s GDP, 30% to the state budget, 33 per cent of industrial output value, 30% of export value and attract nearly 60% of employees nationwide.

1.3. What is the EVFTA?

The EVFTA is the most comprehensive and ambitious trade and investment agreement that the EU has concluded with a developing country in Asia, and is the second EU free trade agreement concluded in the ASEAN region after the Singapore FTA.

The EVFTA is envisaged to intensify bilateral trade and investment relations between Vietnam and the EU, and is working towards developing Vietnam into an Asian manufacturing hub.

In services, Vietnam has not only liberalized additional sub-sectors for EU service providers under the EVFTA, but also made deeper commitments than those made under WTO Agreements, offering EU service providers the best possible access to Vietnam’s market. Some services sub-sectors covered by the EVFTA are: interdisciplinary Research & Development (R&D); nursing, services provided by physiotherapists and para-medical personnel; packaging; trade fairs and exhibitions, and building-cleaning.

In addition, for the sectors listed in Vietnam’s Specific Schedule of Commitments under the Agreement, except where there are specific reservations, Vietnam undertakes not to apply restrictions related to: (i) the number of businesses allowed to participate in the market; (ii) the transaction value; (iii) the number of activities; (iv) foreign capital contribution; (v) the form of legal entities; and (vi) the number of natural persons recruited.

In goods trade, Vietnam has committed to eliminate import duties on 48.5% of tariff lines, equivalent to 64.5% of EU exports to Vietnam from 1 August 2020.

In public procurement, Vietnam committed to treating EU bidders, or domestic bidders with EU investment capital, equally like Vietnamese bidders when the Government purchases goods or requests services worth over a specified threshold.

You can find the full text of the EVFTA here.

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2. What regulatory conditions do I have to satisfy to import goods into Vietnam from the EU?

This section will summarize most applicable regulations that may concern goods imports into Vietnam from the EU, including tariff rates and tariff rate quotas, rules of origin, documentation requirements, customs procedures, import controls, non-tariff barriers and trade remedies.

2.1. What tariffs, tariff rate quotas and rules of origin regulations might apply to goods I want to import into Vietnam from the EU?

2.1.1. The import tariff schedule

The preferential import tariff schedule of Vietnam under the EVFTA (effective from 1 August 2020 to 31 December 2022) can be found here. The preferential import tariff schedule for the next periods will be issued by the Government of Vietnam at a later stage, normally one month before or after the start of a new effective period. The Ministry of Industry and Trade issues the annual quotas for these products every year.

2.1.2. Import tariff rate quotas

Import tariff rate quotas are applied to the following products and quantities:

  • Raw tobacco (HS Code 2401): 62,053 tons (18 January 2021 to 31 December 2021);
  • Chicken eggs (HS codes 0407.21.00 and 0407.90.10), duck eggs, swans (HS codes 0407.29.10 and 0407.90.20), and others (HS codes 0407.29.90 and 0407.90.90): 60,819 tons (2021);
  • Salt (HS code 2501): 80,000 tons (2021);
  • Sugar (HS code 1701): 108,000 tons (2021).

In-quota imports of these products from the EU to Vietnam are subject to the preferential import tariff rate stipulated in the schedule. Imports of these products in quantities beyond the above quotas are subject to general MFN tariff rates.

To enjoy preferential in-quota tariff rates, importers need to obtain an import quota license from the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The application dossier, to be submitted to the Import- Export Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, shall include:

  • An original request for import tariff quotas made according to this form (available only in Vietnamese);
  • A self-certified true copy of an Investment Registration Certificate or Enterprise Registration Certificate of the importer.

Please note that for the import of tobacco raw materials, the importer must have a license to produce cigarettes issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and have a demand to import tobacco raw materials for cigarettes production.

The in-tariff quotas for refined sugar and raw sugar are currently subject to a pilot auction program by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (additional details on this program can be found here).

2.1.3. Rules of origin

Generally applicable rules of origin

Your products are considered as originating from the EU under the EVFTA if they are:

  • Products wholly obtained in the EU (such as for example plants, minerals, live animals); or
  • Products produced in the EU incorporating materials which have not been wholly obtained there, provided that such materials have undergone sufficient working or processing within the EU.

While it is simple for wholly obtained products in the EU to be considered as originating from the EU, the EVFTA sets out a set of working or processing procedures for products based on their HS Codes to qualify for origin status. Therefore, you will need to check the HS codes of products intended to be imported into Vietnam to find their respective originating requirements.

The following operations are not considered as sufficient working or processing to confer origin:

  • Preserving operations to ensure that the products remain in good condition during transport and storage;
  • Breaking-up and assembling of packages;
  • Washing, cleaning, removal of dust, oxide, oil, paint or other coverings;
  • Ironing or pressing of textiles and textile articles;
  • Simple painting and polishing operations;
  • Husking and partial or total milling of rice; polishing and glazing of cereals and rice;
  • Operations to colour or flavour sugar or form sugar lumps; partial or total milling of crystal sugar;
  • Peeling, stoning and shelling of fruits, nuts and vegetables;
  • Sharpening, simple grinding or simple cutting;
  • Sifting, screening, sorting, classifying, grading, or matching (including the making-up of sets of articles);
  • Simple placing in bottles, cans, flasks, bags, cases, boxes, fixing on cards or boards and all other simple packaging operations;
  • Affixing or printing marks, labels, logos and other like distinguishing signs on products or their packaging;
  • Simple mixing of products, whether or not of different kinds; mixing of sugar with any material;
  • Simple addition of water, dilution, dehydration or denaturation of products;
  • Simple assembly of parts of articles to constitute a complete article or disassembly of products into parts;
  • A combination of two or more of the operations specified above; or
  • Slaughter of animals.

Rules of origin for fabrics/textile products?

See here for the EVFTA guide on rules of origin for these products.

How can I determine EU origin status, and what forms should I use?

As laid out on page 5 of the EVFTA guidance on rules of origin, EU products imported to Vietnam benefit from the EVFTA tariff preferences upon the submission of a statement of origin made by exporters registered in the Registered Exporter System (REX) - an electronic database – and in accordance with the relevant legislation in the EU. The text of the origin statement can be found here (Annex VI to Protocol 1 of the EVFTA – English version).

Registration in the REX database is valid throughout the customs territory of the EU and therefore the REX number assigned to an exporter may be used irrespective of the place where products are declared for exportation and the country of export.

The REX database does not require exporters to specify the countries for which the registration has been completed for. Therefore, an exporter already holding a REX number for purposes of exporting to GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) beneficiary countries, may use the same REX number for purposes of exporting to Vietnam.

Some additional notes on the text of origin statements:

  • For EU exporters exporting to Vietnam, the customs authorization number will be the registration number (REX number), not the approved exporter authorization number;
  • For goods originating in the EU, the origin to be indicated in (2) is “EU”;
  • Statements on origin made by registered exporters do not need to be signed;
  • Exporters who are not registered exporters may still complete a statement of origin up to the value threshold of EUR 6,000, for each consignment. Such statements of origin must bear the signature of the exporter in manuscript. Therefore, the original document on which a statement of origin is made should be provided to the importer in Vietnam.

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2.2. What documentation requirements and customs procedures might be applicable to my goods imports?

2.2.1. General requirements for most goods imports

The customs dossier

The customs dossier for imported goods from the EU under the EVFTA includes the following documents:

  • A customs declaration of imported goods, whether using e-customs declaration form with the data fields by accessing this site with a registered account, or using this form (available only in Vietnamese);
  • An import permit (if applicable) or the quota-based import license or a notification of tariff quota;
  • A commercial invoice;
    • If the goods owner buys the goods from a seller in Vietnam and is instructed by the seller to receive goods overseas, the customs authority shall accept the invoice issued by the seller in Vietnam to
      the goods owner;
    • The declarant is not required to submit the commercial invoice in the following cases:
      • When goods are imported to execute a processing contract with a foreign trader;
      • When goods are imported without invoices and the buyer is not required to pay the seller;
  • A bill of lading (for goods imported for the purpose of oil and gas exploration and exploitation and transported on non-commercial service ships, the cargo manifest must be submitted in place of the bill of lading);
  • An origin statement;
  • An inspection certificate;
  • The certificate of eligibility to import prescribed by investment law;
  • A value declaration: the declarant shall make the value declaration using this form (available only in Vietnamese) and send the electronic declaration to the e-customs system or submit two original copies to the customs authority. Value declaration is not required in the following cases:
    • Non-taxable goods, goods eligible for tax exemption or consideration for tax exemption;
    • Goods that are imported in the form of importing raw materials for the manufacture of exported goods;
    • Goods that are eligible for the transaction value-based method and for which the declaration of imported goods of Vietnam Automate Cargo And Port Consolidated System is sufficiently informed, allowing the system to determine the customs value automatically;
    • Goods that are imported without a sale contract or commercial invoice.
  • A list of machinery and equipment in case they are combination machines or set of machines falling under Chapters 84, 85 and 90 of Vietnam’s nomenclature of exports and imports, or they are unassembled or disassembled machinery and equipment;
  • A contract to sell goods to a school or research institute, or a contract to supply goods or services that are imported to serve teaching or scientific experiments.

The certificate of origin; the inspection certificate; the certificate of eligibility to import prescribed by investment law; and the import permit (if applicable) or quota-based import license or notification of tariff quota can be sent electronically through the National Single-window Information Portal by the inspecting or regulatory authority, or through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Single-window Information Portal by a competent authority of the exporting country, or through another portal dealing with the EVFTA. Both single windows are accessible through the Vietnamese National Single Window website.

General customs clearance procedures

The customs declaration dossier for imported goods must be submitted before the goods reach the border or within 30 days from the date when the goods reach the border. If the means of transport follow electronic customs procedures, the date of arrival of goods at the entry point is the date of arrival of the means of transport at the checkpoint as informed by the shipping company on the e-customs system. In cases where the means of transport follow manual customs procedures for entry, the date of arrival of goods at the checkpoint is the day on which the customs authority appends the seal on the declaration of imports at the port of discharge which is enclosed with documents about the means of transport (by sea, by air, or by rail) or the date written on the declaration of means of transport crossing the checkpoint or the logbook of means of transport (by river or by road).

The fully completed customs dossiers can be submitted online. After receiving the dossier, the system will check the conditions for registering the submitted customs declaration form, and if such conditions are met, the customs authority approves the registration. If there is a need for correction, it is possible to correct the data directly in the online customs dossier. The customs authority in charge will them decide on one of the following customs inspection forms and levels based on the result of the online system:

  • Lane 1: Accept information on the declaration. The goods can be cleared from customs without having to go through further steps;
  • Lane 2: Inspect relevant documents of the customs dossier submitted or presented by the declarant or relevant documents on the National Single-window Information Portal while being exempted from actual inspection of goods;
  • Lane 3: Carry out physical inspection of goods based on inspected relevant documents of the customs dossier submitted or presented by the declarant or relevant documents on the National Single-window Information Portal;

In cases where a physical inspection is required, if the cargo or any sample of the cargo corresponds accurately with the information contained in the forms and documents, Customs will record the results of the inspection and will release the goods to the importer. The Customs Authority may require additional documents/information to complete its inspection. If the declarant cannot provide that information, or the goods are not allowed to be cleared from customs after inspection, the goods stay at the border or are returned by agreement of the importer, the exporter and/or the seller.

In addition, goods which have completed customs procedures but have not paid or fully paid the applicable tax amounts within the regulated time limit can be released if they have such payable tax amounts guaranteed by a credit institution, or enjoy a tax payment time limit in accordance with the tax law.

Further to the above, customs laws also provide customs procedures for goods in transit, goods brought into entrepots, free trade zones, bonded warehouses, duty free warehouse, for temporary import for export goods, for means of transport on entry, exit or in transit.

2.2.2. What are the documentation requirements and customs procedures specific to importation of agricultural and fishery products?

In addition to the general requirements, the importation of agricultural and fishery products is subject to additional requirements, described here.

2.2.3. What are the documentation requirements and the customs procedures to importation of tobacco?

In addition to the general requirements, the importation of tobacco raw materials is subject to import tariff quotas and an import quota license. In addition, the importer must submit a license to produce cigarettes issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and have a demand to import tobacco raw materials for cigarettes production.

The importation of tobacco products is under the sole authority of Vietnam National Tobacco Corporation (VINATABA) according to the mechanism of state trading.

2.2.4. What are the documentation requirements and the customs procedures for the importation of food and beverages?

See here on pages 27-28 for more information.

2.2.5. What are the documentation requirements and the customs procedures to importation of iron and steel?

See general requirements under Section 2.2.1.

For a list of iron and steel subject to quality inspection, please refer to this list.

The importation of iron and steel listed above requires the submission of the proof of registration for quality inspection and of an announcement on technical standards conformity (a self-announcement registered by laws). See Section 2.3.3 for further information on conformity assessments.

2.2.6. What are the documentation requirements and the customs procedures for the importation of precious metals?

The importation of gold materials for manufacturing gold bars is within the State exclusive authority.

For import of other precious metals, please see the general requirements under Section 2.2.1.

2.2.7. What are the documentation requirements and customs procedures specific to importation of chemicals?

For chemicals prohibited from import please refer to Section 2.3.1.

The importation of chemicals listed in List 2 and List 3 in the Appendix issued with Decree 38 of the Government dated 6 May 2014 on management of chemicals under control pursuant to the Treaty Prohibiting Development, Production, Storage, Use and Destruction of Chemical Weapons, is subject to import licensing.

Importers must declare their imported chemicals on the national single-window here as a condition to clear their imports from customs.

2.2.8. What are the documentation requirements and customs procedures specific to importation of pharmaceuticals?

See general requirements under Section 2.2.1. For additional information, please see here.

2.2.9. What are the documentation requirements and customs procedures specific to importation of electronic data processing, office and telecommunications equipment?

See general requirements under Section 2.2.1. For telecommunications equipment, please see here.

2.2.10. What are the documentation requirements and customs procedures specific to importation of automobile products (vehicles and component parts)?

Please refer to Section 2.3.1 to check if your products are prohibited from import in Vietnam.

For the documentation requirements for the importation of vehicles, motorcycles and automobile parts for commercial purposes, please see general requirements under Section 2.2.1.

Additional documents include an import license and a registration for quality/technical standards conformity (see Section 2.3.3 for conformity assessment documentation).

Please note that the import of passenger cars under 16 seats may only be conducted via the following sea ports: Quang Ninh (Cai Lan), Hai Phong, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh and Ba Ria - Vung Tau.

2.2.11. What are the documentation requirements and customs procedures specific to importation of power generating machinery?

See here.

2.2.12. What are the documentation requirements and customs procedures specific to importation of power generating machinery?

See here.

2.3. What import controls or non-tariff barriers might apply to my products?

2.3.1. What products are prohibited from import into Vietnam?

The list of prohibited imports into Vietnam as issued by the Government includes:

  • Weapons, ammunition, explosive materials (except for industrial
    explosives), and military technical facilities and equipment,
    including:
    • Products bearing HS codes 3601.00.00, 3602.00.00, 3603, 8710.00.00,
      8802, 8906.10.00, 9301, 9301.10.00, 9301.20.00, 9302.00.00, 9305,
      9306;
    • Equipment for electronic warfare, breaking waves, jamming,
      intercepting, monitoring radio and satellite communications
      specialized for military use, including but not limited to:
      • Countermeasure and counter measurement electronics (i.e. equipment
        designed to emit false, artificial, or jamming signals to radar or
        transmitted radio receivers; communicate or interfere with the
        reception, operation, or disablement of enemy electronic equipment)
        including jamming and anti-jamming equipment;
      • Electronic equipment or systems designed for the purposes of
        monitoring and testing the electromagnetic spectrum for military
        intelligence and security purposes, or for use against such
        surveillance;
      • Equipment for underwater countermeasures, including transmitters of
        camouflage, interference, and equipment designed to generate false or
        misleading signals to distract devices receiving ultrasound waves;
      • Equipment for data security, data processing, transmission and signal
        transmission used in encryption and decryption processes to protect
        state secret information (except for civil cryptographic products);
      • Equipment used in identification, authentication, key generation and
        management, production and distribution of cryptographic equipment to
        protect state secret information;
      • Specialized military guidance and steering equipment (such as
        guidance or missile piloting technology);
      • Digital de-modulators specially designed for intelligence signals;
      • Military communication machines, specialized military command
        machines of all types;
  • All types of firecrackers (except for flares used for maritime safety
    pursuant to guidelines of the Ministry of Transport), sky lanterns,
    and various types of equipment interfering with road traffic
    speed-measuring instruments;
  • Type I chemicals stipulated in the Treaty Prohibiting Development,
    Production, Storage, Use and Destruction of Chemical Weapons and
    Appendix 1 to Decree 38/2014/ND-CP dated 6 May 2014 regulating
    management of chemicals subject to control and listed on the above
    Treaty;
  • Chemicals on the list of prohibited chemicals in Appendix 3 issued
    with Decree 113/2017/ND-CP
    dated 9 October 2017 implementing the Law
    on Chemicals
    (available only in Vietnamese);
  • Second hand consumer goods, medical equipment, and vehicles,
    comprising the following groups of goods:
    • Textiles and garments, footwear and clothing;
    • Electronic goods;
    • Refrigerating goods;
    • Household electrical appliances;
    • Medical equipment;
    • Home interior decoration goods;
    • Household goods comprising of porcelain, terracotta and china, glass,
      metal, plastic or similar resin, rubber, plastic articles and other
      materials;
    • Bicycles;
    • Motor vehicles and motorcycles;
  • All types of cultural products in the category prohibited from
    dissemination or circulation or for which there is a decision
    suspending dissemination, circulation, recall, confiscation or
    destruction in Vietnam;
  • Goods classified as second hand information technology products,
    including products with HS Codes 8443.31.19, 8443.31.29, 8443.31.39,
    8443.32.19, 8443.32.29, 8443.32.39, 8443.32.49, 8443.32.90, 8443.99.20, 84.70, 84.71, 85.17, 85.18, 85.25, 85.26, 85.27, 85.28, 85.34, 85.40, 85.42, 85.44.42.11, 85.44.42.13, 85.44.42.19, 85.44.42.21, 85.44.42.23, 85.44.49.11, 85.44.49.13, 85.44.49.19, 85.44.49.21, 85.44.49.22, 85.44.49.23, 85.44.49.24, 85.44.49.29, 85.44.49.31, 85.44.49.32, 85.44.49.39, 85.44.70.10, 85.44.70.90;
  • All types of publications in the category prohibited from
    dissemination and circulation in Vietnam;
  • Postal stamps in the category for which trading, exchange, display or
    dissemination is prohibited by the Law on Post (the English text of
    which can be found here);
  • Wireless equipment and wireless wave application equipment that is
    not compliant with the master planning on frequency and with the
    relevant technical specifications in the Law on Radio Frequency
    (the English text of which can be found here);
  • Right hand drive [RHD] vehicles (including vehicles in a dissembled
    state and vehicles with a RHD mechanism which has been rearranged
    prior to import into Vietnam), except for specialized use RHD
    vehicles used on a small scale and not on road traffic. The latter
    exceptions comprise of: cranes, canal and drain digging machines,
    road sweepers, road watering vehicles, rubbish collecting vehicles,
    road surfacing vehicles, passenger vehicles for airports, forklift
    trucks for warehouses and ports, concrete pump trucks, and small
    buggies for golf courses and parks;
  • Various types of automobiles, 4-wheeled motorized vehicles and sets
    of components to assemble automobiles the frame number or engine
    number of which has been erased, modified or re-stamped;
  • All types of motor bikes and mopeds the frame number or engine number
    of which has been erased, modified or re-stamped;
  • All types of specialized automobiles and motorcycles the frame number
    or engine number of which has been erased, modified or re-stamped;
  • Second hand materials and transport facilities comprising of:
    • Machines, frames, tires and tubes, accessories and engines of
      automobiles, tractors, mopeds and other motorized vehicles;
    • Chassis attached to automobiles, tractor engines (including new
      chassis attached to second hand engines, and including second hand
      chassis attached to new engines);
    • Various types of automobiles the structure of which has been modified
      to convert the original designed function;
    • Various types of automobiles, motorcycles and mopeds (excluding any
      second hand items), and 4-wheeled motorized passenger vehicles which
      are second hand for more than five (5) years calculated from the year
      of manufacture up until the year of import;
    • Ambulances;
  • Chemicals in Appendix III of the Rotterdam Convention (can be found
    here).
  • Plant protection agents prohibited for use in Vietnam prohibited for
    use in Vietnam (can be found here);
  • Specimens of rare and precious animals and plants listed in Appendix
    I of CITES (can be found here) derived from nature
    that are being imported for commercial purposes;
  • Specimens and processed products from white rhinoceros, black
    rhinoceros and African elephants;
  • Scrap and waste, and refrigerating equipment using CFCs;
  • Products and materials containing asbestos of the amphibole group;

The following list (Appendix 1) denotes further goods prohibited from import based on their HS Codes:

2.3.2 Which types of products require import permits or licenses?

Import permits are required for the importation of the following products:

  • Goods subject to the tariff quota regime of:
    • Salt;
    • Tobacco raw materials;
    • Poultry eggs;
    • Refined sugar and raw sugar;
  • Chemicals and products containing chemicals:
    • List 2 and List 3 chemicals in the Appendix A issued with Decree 38
      of the Government dated 6 May 2014 on management of chemicals under
      control pursuant to the Treaty Prohibiting Development, Production,
      Storage, Use and Destruction of Chemical Weapons (only available in
      Vietnamese);
    • Industrial precursors;
  • Explosives materials and industrial explosives materials;
  • Tobacco raw materials, tobacco products, tobacco/cigarette papers,
    and specialized machinery and equipment used to produce tobacco and
    replacement accessories;
  • Flares used for maritime safety;
  • Plant protection agents not yet on the list of plant protection
    agents permitted to be used in Vietnam in order to temporarily import
    them for re-export or to import them for production in Vietnam for
    the purpose of eventually exporting them pursuant to a contract
    signed with a foreign party;
  • Plant protection agents used for fumigation purposes not containing
    the chemical methyl bromide or other toxic chemicals of Type I and II
    pursuant to the globally harmonized system of classification and
    labelling of chemicals (GHS);
  • Plant protection agents not yet on the list of plant protection
    agents permitted to be used in Vietnam, imported for testing and then
    for registration as [legal] plant protection agents;
  • Plant protection agents not yet on the list of plant protection
    agents permitted to be used in Vietnam, imported for testing and
    research; or for use in an foreign investment project; or for use as
    samples at an exhibition; or in other cases pursuant to decisions of
    the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD);
  • Agents on the list of plant protection agents not permitted for use
    used in Vietnam but imported as reference materials;
  • Animal breeding materials outside the list of those permitted to be
    produced and traded in Vietnam, various types of insects which are
    not yet found in Vietnam, and the essence of animal breeding
    materials imported for the first time into Vietnam;
  • Seedlings for growing crops and raising plants for the purposes of
    plant protection, and other objects on the list of those subject to
    quarantine and plant pest risk analysis prior to importation into
    Vietnam;
  • Seedlings for growing crops and plants not yet on the list of objects
    permitted to be produced and traded in Vietnam and which are imported
    for purposes of research, testing, trial production, or imported for
    the purpose of international co-operation, samples at an exhibition,
    as a gift or in order to implement an investment program or project;
  • Feed for livestock and raw materials for production of animal feed;
    aquaculture feed and raw materials for producing feed for aquatic
    creatures not on the list of items permitted to be circulated in
    Vietnam;
  • Fertilizers not recognized for circulation in Vietnam in the
    following cases:
    • For testing purposes, i.e., monitoring and evaluating criteria in
      order to determine the method of use, impact on the environment,
      agronomic efficiency and economic efficiency of fertilizers;
    • Specialized fertilizer used for sports stadiums and entertainment
      areas;
    • Specialized fertilizer for enterprises with foreign owned capital to
      assist production within the scope of the enterprise or to use in
      foreign investments in Vietnam;
    • Used as a gift or sample;
    • To be presented at a commercial fair or exhibition;
    • Imported as a component part in production of fertilizer for export;
    • For use in scientific research;
    • Fertilizer raw materials in order to produce fertilizer;
  • Genes of plants, animals, and micro-organisms for us in scientific
    research and scientific and technical exchange;
  • Finished products not yet on the list of items permitted to be
    circulated in Vietnam, or on the list of products the import of which
    is conditional;
  • Marine seedlings not on the list of permitted items for first time
    normal import into Vietnam;
  • Live products of aquaculture/fisheries not on the list of such
    products permitted to be imported into Vietnam for use as food;
  • Postal stamps, publications on postal stamps and other lines of post
    stamp articles;
  • Cybersecurity products comprising of:
    • Products for testing and assessing network safety;
    • Products for surveying network safety;
    • Anti-hacking products;
  • Medicines that are subject to special control (a list of which can be
    found here);
  • Raw materials for production of medicines which must be subject to
    special control;
  • Raw materials for production of medicines which do not have
    certificates of registration for circulation in Vietnam, not
    including raw materials for the production of medicines subject to
    special control;
  • Reference materials and packaging which directly contacts the
    medicine [contained therein];
  • Medical equipment and facilities without a circulation number which
    are imported for scientific research or for testing or for the
    purpose of guiding the use and repair of medical equipment and
    facilities;
  • Medical equipment and facilities without a circulation number which
    are imported for aid purposes (these must be evidenced by aid
    agreement and other supporting documentation);
  • Medical equipment and facilities without a circulation number which
    are imported for use for purposes of individual medical treatment;
  • Chemicals and chemical preparations which are imported for the
    purposes of scientific research;
  • Chemical preparations which are imported for serving aid purposes; or
    which are used for other special purposes (such as donations, or
    where there are no products and methods of use consistent with use
    demand of the applicant for import in a market);
  • Registered medical equipment containing narcotic substances or
    precursors, or the materials for manufacture of medical equipment the
    are narcotic substances or precursors;
  • Medical equipment containing narcotic substances or precursors being
    imported for scientific research or inspection;
  • Raw materials for manufacture of medical equipment that may contain
    narcotic substances or precursors and imported for scientific
    research or inspection;
  • Raw materials for the production, extraction or refining of gold.

2.3.3. What technical requirements might apply to my imports, and how can I show proof of conformity with domestic and international standards?

2.3.3.1. General technical requirements and conformity assessment documentation

Goods are divided into two groups:

  • Group 1 includes goods that cause no harm to humans, animals, plants,
    assets, or the environment;
  • Group 2 include goods that can latently cause harm to humans,
    animals, plants, assets, or the environment.

While the quality control of goods in Group 1 is based on applicable standards announced by producers, the quality control of goods in Group 2 is based on relevant technical requirements issued by relevant competent authorities.

All imported goods must have their applicable standards announced. Producers and importers shall announce fundamental properties, warning information and standard codes on goods or on (i) goods package; (ii) goods labels; or (iii) documents accompanying products or goods.

Imported goods of Group 2 must pass a quality inspection. The inspection of these goods includes the examination of conformity evaluation results, goods labels, standard or regulatory conformity stamps, and documents accompanying the goods subject to examination. In addition, imported goods samples must be tested according to announced applicable standards and relevant technical regulations as necessary.

Technical requirements for goods in Group 2 are issued by the government agency/ministry in charge of regulating the product.

Products and goods under the management authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, together with relevant technical standards/regulations and form of inspection can be found in Circular No. 14/2018/TT-BNNPTNT.

Products and goods under the management authority of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, together with relevant technical standards/regulations and form of inspection can be found in Circular No. 01/2021/TT-BLDTBXH.

Products and goods under the management authority of the Ministry of Public Security, together with relevant technical standards/regulations and form of inspection can be found in Circular No. 08/2019/TT-BCA.

Products and goods under the management authority of the Ministry of Industry and Trade can be found in Circular No. 33/2017/TT-BCT (available only in Vietnamese).

Products and goods under the management authority of the Ministry of Transport, together with relevant technical standards/ regulations and form of inspection can be found in Circular No. 41/2018/TT-BGTVT.

Products and goods under the management authority of the Ministry of Information and Communication can be found in Circular No. 01/2021/TT-BTTTT.

Products and goods under the management authority of the Ministry of Science and Technology can be found in Circular No. 01/2009/TT-BKHCN.

Products and goods under the management authority of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism can be found in Circular No. 24/2018/TT-BVHTTDL.

The registration dossier for the declaration of conformity with technical standards (Group 1)

The product owner shall make two sets of applications for registration of the declaration of conformity with technical standards. The first one shall be submitted directly or through post to the local Department of Standards, Metrology and Quality where the manufacturer is registered while the second application shall be kept with the product owner. The application shall include the following documents:

  • If the declaration of conformity with standards is based on results
    of certifying conformity by a registered certifying organization (a
    third party to those involved in the import transaction), an
    application for registration of the declaration on conformity with
    standards shall include:
    • A completed declaration of conformity with standards document (found here);
    • Original copies of documents proving business operation of the
      organization or individual declaring product standard conformity (may
      include enterprise registration certificates, investment registration
      certificates or other equivalent documents);
    • An original copy of the applied standard;
    • An original copy of the standard conformity certificate issued by the
      registered certifying organization(s), enclosed with standard
      conformity marking specimen;
  • If the declaration of conformity with standards is based on the
    results of self-assessment by the organization or individual (the
    first party), an application for registration of the declaration on
    conformity with standards shall include:
    • A completed declaration of conformity with standards document (found here);
    • Original copies of documents proving business operation of the
      organization or individual declaring conformity with product
      standards (may include enterprise registration certificates,
      investment registration certificates or other equivalent documents);
    • An original copy of the applied standard;
    • In cases where the product owner has not yet obtained the
      certificate of conformity with standards on quality management
      systems (such as ISO 9001, ISO 22000 or HACCP, or other equivalent)
      granted by a registered certifying organization, the application must
      include the production process enclosed with the plan on quality
      control formulated and applied (according to this form) and the
      plan on supervising the quality management system;
    • In cases where the product owner has obtained the certificate of
      conformity with standards on quality management systems (ISO 9001,
      ISO 22000, HACCP, or other equivalent) granted by a registered
      certifying organization, the application must include a copy of the
      valid original certificate of conforming with standards on quality
      management systems;
    • A report on assessing the conformity with standards (according to
      this form), enclosed with an original copy of the test result of the
      sample within 12 months calculated up to time of submitting
      application for registration of the announcement on standard
      conformity made by the registered testing organizations.

The registration dossier for the declaration of conformity with technical regulations (Group 2):

Organizations and individuals declaring conformity with the technical regulations shall prepare dossiers of their declaration of conformity and submit them directly or by post to the Ministry in-charge (see the list above). The dossier shall include:

  • If the declaration of conformity is based on the self-assessment of
    the organization or individual (first party), the dossier shall
    include:
    • The declaration of conformity with technical regulations (using this
      form
      ) and the following additional content:
      • The self-assessment report, signed with a date by the leader of the
        organization or individual, that shall include the below information.
        The self-assessment report is based on the self-implementation of
        the organization or individual. It can also be based on the
        assessment of the registered conformity assessment organization.
        • The name of organization or individual; address; telephone and fax
          number;
        • The names of products and goods;
        • The number of technical regulations being declared to be inconformity
          with;
        • The conclusion that the products/goods conform to technical
          regulations;
        • A self-declared commitment to product and goods quality in accordance
          with the technical regulations applicable standards, and the
          commitment of taking full responsibility before the law for product and
          goods quality and self-assessment results;
  • In cases where the declaration of conformity is based on the
    certification results of a registered testing organization (third
    party), a dossier for the declaration of conformity with technical
    regulations shall include:
    • The declaration of conformity with technical regulations (using this form);
    • The name of the registered testing organization, certificate number
      and certificate issue date;
    • A copy of the original certificate of conformity for the relevant
      technical regulations, enclosed with a specimen of the regulation
      conformity seal, issued to the organization or individual by the
      registered testing organization.

2.3.3.2. What are the technical requirements for imported medical equipment?

In addition to the declaration of conformity with standards/technical regulations and the associated certification mentioned above, the circulation of medical equipment in Vietnam’s market must meet the following conditions:

  • Have an effective registration number or have obtained an import
    license (except for medical gas);
  • Have a label or supplementary label containing sufficient
    information. This should include the following:
    • Goods’ name;
    • Name and address of the organization or individual responsible for
      the goods;
    • Goods’ origin;
    • Circulation number or the number of the license to import the medical
      product;
    • The batch or serial number of the medical device;
    • Date of manufacture and expiry date:
      • Sterilized, single-use medical equipment, reagents, calibrators,
        control materials, chemicals must have an expiry date;
      • In other cases, indicate the date of manufacture or the expiry date;
        for medical machinery indicate the year of manufacture or month and
        year of manufacture;
      • Warning information, instructions for use, storage instructions and
        warranty information;
  • Be accompanied by technical documents serving the repair and
    maintenance of medical devices, excluding disposable medical devices
    where said repair and maintenance is not prescribed by its
    manufacturer;
  • Contain instruction in Vietnamese on how to use the medical devices;

The information required in the application dossiers differs depending on the classification of the medical equipment – this is regulated through the Department of Medical Equipment and Health Works (DMEHW) and outlined in Decree 98/2021/NĐ-CP (Medical Equipment Management). The devices are classified into 4 classes (A, B, C and D) which are also categorized into two groups: group 1 (Class A – those of low level of risks) and group 2 (Class B – those of lower average level of risk , C – those of upper average level of risks, and D – those of high level of risks) based on the level of potential risks associated with the technical design and manufacture of such medical devices. The classification of medical equipment is conducted by qualified agencies.

Application dossiers for declaration of conformity of standards applications for medical equipment of Classes A or B

An application dossier for medical equipment of Class A and Class B must include:

  • A written announcement of the application of standards for medical
    equipment Class A or Class B;
  • A certificate of ISO 13485 quality management standard being valid at
    the time of application;
  • A consularized or a copy of the consularized power of attorney of the
    owner of the medical equipment for the applicant to announce the
    applicable standards, still valid at the time of submission of the
    application unless the applicant is a Vietnamese enterprise, business
    household or cooperative and is the owner of the medical equipment;
  • A certificate of satisfaction of warranty conditions, issued by the
    owner of the medical equipment, except for the case of single-use
    medical equipment according to regulations of the manufacturer ,or
    upon showing documents proving that there is no warranty;
  • A brief technical description of the medical equipment in Vietnamese,
    enclosed with a technical document describing the functions and
    specifications of medical equipment issued by the manufacturer;
  • For reagents, calibrators and in-vitro control materials: technical
    documents in Vietnamese) together with documents on materials,
    product safety, manufacturing processes, preclinical and clinical
    research reports including stability reports;
  • A certificate of conformity or a copy of product standards announced
    by the owner of the medical equipment;
  • A user manual for the relevant medical equipment;
  • Sample label to be used when circulating medical equipment in
    Vietnam;
  • A certificate of free sale still valid at the time of application.

Application dossiers for issuance of a registration number for medical equipment of Classes C or D for which there are no equivalent national technical regulations

The following is required for an application dossier for medical equipment of Classes C or D for which there are no equivalent Vietnamese national technical regulations.

  • An application for a registration number;
  • A certificate of ISO 13485 quality management standard being valid at
    the time of application;
  • A consularized or a copy of the consularized power of attorney of the
    owner of the medical equipment for the applicant to announce the
    applicable standards, still valid at the time of submission of the
    application, unless the applicant is a Vietnamese enterprise,
    business household or cooperative and is the owner of the medical
    equipment;
  • A certificate of satisfaction of warranty conditions, issued by the
    owner of the medical equipment, except for the case of single-use
    medical equipment according to regulations of the manufacturer ,or
    upon showing documents proving that there is no warranty;
  • A certificate of free sale still valid at the time of application;
  • Appraisal results of the general technical dossier on medical
    equipment as prescribed by ASEAN (“CSDT”) by an agency appointed by
    the Minister of Health together with the CSDT dossier;
  • For in vitro diagnostic medical equipment that are reagents,
    calibrators, control materials, there must be an additional quality
    certificate issued by a competent Vietnamese agency;
  • For chemicals and preparations that have only one purpose of
    sterilizing medical equipment, either the following document must be
    added: (i) A test sheet of ingredients and content of disinfectants
    issued by a qualified agency; or (ii) A test sheet to evaluate the
    biological efficacy of the product and the product’s side effects on
    test participants issued by a qualified agency.

Application dossiers for issuance of a registration number for medical equipment of Classes C or D for which there are equivalent national technical regulations

The following is required for an application dossier for medical equipment of Classes C or D for which there are equivalent Vietnamese national technical regulations:

  • An application for a registration number;
  • A certificate of ISO 13485 quality management standard being valid at
    the time of application;
  • A consularized or a copy of the consularized power of attorney of the
    owner of the medical equipment for the applicant to announce the
    applicable standards, still valid at the time of submission of the
    application, unless the applicant is a Vietnamese enterprise,
    business household or cooperative and is the owner of the medical
    equipment;
  • A certificate of satisfaction of warranty conditions, issued by the
    owner of the medical equipment, except for the case of single-use
    medical equipment according to regulations of the manufacturer ,or
    upon showing documents proving that there is no warranty;
  • A certificate of free sale still valid at the time of application;
  • A certificate of conformity with technical regulations;
  • A CSDT dossier.

2.3.3.3. What are the technical requirements for imported pharmaceutical products?

Importing and circulating pharmaceutical products in the Vietnamese markets requires, on top of the general technical requirements and documentation discussed above, specific expiry date and labelling standards.

Vietnam largely bases its technical regulations on international standards, practices and guidelines developed by bodies such as the WHO, OECD, the International Council for Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH), amongst others.

Expiry dates of imported pharmaceutical products:

a) The expiry date of finished medicines with a shelf life of more than 24 months, must be at least 18 months from expiry upon the date of their arrival in Vietnam;

b) The expiry date of finished medicines with a shelf life of 24 months or less, must be at least 12 months from expiry upon the date of their arrival in Vietnam;

c) Vaccines and medical biological products without registration numbers must have at least 2/3 of their total shelf life remaining on the date of their arrival in Vietnam;

d) Vaccines and medical biological products with valid circulation registration numbers in Vietnam must have at least half of their shelf life remaining on the date of their arrival in Vietnam;

e) The expiry date of biological products used in -n-vitro diagnosis with a shelf life of 12 months or less must be at least three months after the date of their arrival in Vietnam;

f) The expiry date of raw materials used in making medicines, except for pharmaceutical materials, must be more than 36 months from the date of their arrival in Vietnam. Raw materials with a shelf life of 36 months or less must arrive at Vietnam’s ports at the latest six months after their date of manufacturing;

g) Drugs sent as part of humanitarian aid, rare drugs (the list can be found here) and drugs for hospital treatment (this has to be evidenced by an import dossier) must have a shelf life of 24 months or more and may only expire at a minimum at least 12 months after the date of their arrival at a Vietnamese port. If the drug has a shelf life of less than 24 months, the remaining shelf life from the date of arrival at a Vietnamese port must be at least 1/3 of the drug’s total shelf life;

h) Medicines and medical products that do not comply with the regulations on expiry dates of medicines mentioned above (except point e) but whose quality is still ensured and which need to be imported to serve the needs of treatment, or domestic production of medicine, might obtain import permits upon the consideration of the Vietnamese Ministry of Health’s Drugs Administration Department.

Labelling requirements of pharmaceutical products:

Labelling requirements include: the position and size of a label; the size of letters and numbers on a label; the colour of letters, symbols and images on a label; the language shown on a label; and presence of a secondary label and drug instruction sheet. Below are some of the key labelling requirements for pharmaceutical products:

  • The outside package label of pharmaceutical products must include:
    The drug name; dosage form; the composition of the drug, contents,
    weights or concentrations of active ingredients or herbal
    ingredients; package contents; indications, usage instructions and
    contraindications; registration number or import license number (if
    any); batch number, manufacturing date, expiry date, quality
    standards and storage conditions; precautions and recommendations;
    name and address of manufacturer; name and address of importer (for
    imported drugs); and the origin of the product;
  • If the label of a product imported into Vietnam has no or
    insufficient mandatory information in Vietnamese, a secondary label
    containing mandatory information in Vietnamese is required and the
    original label shall remain unchanged. The Vietnamese content shall
    be consistent with the original label text;
  • If the secondary label is so small that it cannot contain mandatory
    information, certain mandatory information must be written as
    follows:
    • Indications, usage instructions, contraindications and other
      information: please refer to the attached drug instruction sheet;
    • Clearly indicate how to find out the information about the
      manufacturing date, expiry date and batch number printed on the
      original label;
    • Registration number or import license number may be not specified but
      information regarding registration number or import license number
      (if any) must be specified before drugs are sold on the market and
      after the registration number is issued by the Drugs Administration
      of Vietnam or the import license number issued by the Ministry of
      Health in case there is no registration application yet.

2.3.3.4. What are the technical requirements for imported cars?

Imported cars must meet national technical regulations/standards on, inter alia: fireproof safety structure; gas emission level 4; fuel consumption limit and determination methods; technical safety quality and environment protection; safety glasses; rear-view mirrors and air tires.

Please find here a complete set of applicable technical regulations and standards.

The importer must register to test their imported cars for compliance with these standards/technical regulations and obtain a Certificate of satisfaction illustrating compliance to be able to pass customs clearance procedures. This can be done at the Vietnam Register. Depending on the specific types (HS codes) of imported cars, they may be subject to a further need for satisfaction of standards/technical regulations after customs clearance and prior to circulation of the products in the market.

Recognition of international standards for motor vehicles

Products originating from the EU and falling under Chapters 40, 84, 85, 87 and 94 of HS 2012 will be subject to technical requirements included in UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) regulations.

2.3.4. What are the current sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements for product imports into Vietnam?

Vietnam’s current SPS requirements include: plants quarantine, inspection for hygiene and safety of foodstuffs, and inspection for compliance with quality standards. Products subject to SPS requirements are categorized in the following groups:

  • Plants;
  • Animals;
  • Land, fertilizers;
  • Forestry;
  • Agricultural products, foodstuffs;
  • Fishery products;
  • Other.

National technical regulations/standards for your products can be found here (in Vietnamese only):

In Vietnam, the primary authority for developing and adopting SPS requirements is the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The SPS requirements applicable to different types of products, can be found here (in Vietnamese only).

These SPS requirements are classified into those related to (i) food safety; (ii) animal quarantine; and (iii) plants quarantine.

2.3.5. What domestic Vietnamese taxes may apply to my imported products?

Your products could be subject to value added tax (VAT) and special consumption tax.

Generally, goods are subject to a 5% or 10% VAT. There are exceptions for certain goods that are exempt from VAT, or imports that are exempt from VAT under circumstances such as goods transiting through Vietnam’s territory, goods temporarily imported for re-export, etc.

Additionally, certain imports are subject to the special consumption tax, at a rate varying from 7% to 150% depending on the type of goods:

  • Cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco preparations used for smoking, inhaling, chewing, sniffing or consuming orally;
  • Liquor;
  • Beer;
  • Under-24 seat cars, including cars for both passenger and cargo transportation with two or more rows of seats and fixed partitions between passenger holds and cargo holds;
  • Two- and three-wheeled motorcycles of a cylinder capacity of over 125 cubic cm;
  • Aircraft and yachts;
  • Gasoline of all kinds;
  • Air-conditioners of 90,000 BTU or less;
  • Playing cards;
  • Votive gilt papers and votive objects.

The special consumption tax rates can be found here.

2.3.6. What information must be included on my products’ labels?

Generally, a product label must contain the following information: the product name, the name and address of the organization or individual who is responsible for the product, and the product origin.

A supplementary label presenting the compulsory information in Vietnamese is required for imported goods along with the original label. The information on the label must be the direct Vietnamese translation of the label in its original language. In addition, where the original label of imported goods does not fully contain the above compulsory information in Vietnamese, the importer must add a subordinate label in Vietnamese to the goods before or after customs clearance but before their circulation in the market.

Depending on the types of goods imported and the specific laws governing such goods, there may be additional compulsory labelling requirements. Please refer to this document for these labelling requirements.

Please see the above Section 2.3.3.3 for specific labelling requirements for pharmaceutical products.

2.4. What trade remedies might Vietnam apply against my imports?

Vietnam imposes additional duties or measures on imported goods if these goods cause: (i) injurious dumping; (ii) injurious subsidization or (iii) in case of injurious sudden increases of imported goods.

2.4.1. Anti-dumping duties

Under Vietnamese domestic law, imported goods are subject to anti-dumping duties if an anti-dumping investigation shows that the export price of the imported goods is lower than its normal price, thereby causing or threatening to cause material injury to the affected domestic industry.

Currently Vietnam does not impose any anti-dumping duties on goods imported from the EU.

2.4.2. Countervailing duties

Whilst anti-dumping duties address the private commercial conduct of exporters, countervailing measures address certain types of subsidies granted by governments. Countervailing measures are applied where the subsidized goods imported into Vietnam cause substantial injury or threaten to cause material injury to the domestic industry or prevent the formation of a domestic industry.

Currently Vietnam does not impose any countervailing duties on goods imported from the EU.

2.4.2. Safeguard measures

Safeguard measures are measures applied in cases where goods are excessively imported into Vietnam, causing serious damage or threatening to cause damage to the domestic industry.

Safeguard measures include applying (i) safeguard tax, (ii) import quotas; (iii) tariff quotas; (iv) import permits; and other safeguard measures.

Currently Vietnam imposes safeguard tax on the following imported goods (including those imported from the EU but excluding those imported from Bulgaria and Romania):

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3. What regulations apply to the distribution of my goods within the Vietnamese market after I have imported them?

3.1. What might I be required to do before selling goods to final customers?

You will first need to apply for an Investment Registration Certificate. For more information, please refer to Section 7.3.1.

Then you will then need to obtain an Enterprise Registration Certificate. For more information, please refer to Section 7.2.

To sell products to final customers, a business license and a license to establish an outlet are required. For more information, please refer to Section 3.3.

For ease of reference, distribution includes:

  • Wholesaling;
  • Retailing;
  • Sale agencies; and
  • Franchising.

The major difference between wholesaling and retailing lies in to whom the goods are sold and for what purposes.

Wholesaling involves selling goods to wholesalers, retailers, other organizations and traders;

Retailing involves selling goods to individuals, households, other organizations for consumption purpose. Retailing also includes operating retail outlet which means the place where retailing is conducted.

3.2. When are importers restricted to only selling to wholesale distributors?

An import right is the right to import goods from foreign countries into Vietnam for sale to traders that have the right to distribute those products in Vietnam. An import right does not include the right to establish, or participate in, a product distribution system in Vietnam.

Therefore, if you have the right to import your products into Vietnam, you have the right to sell it to traders that have the right to distribute those goods in Vietnam.

Please see the list of goods (Appendix 1) prohibited from distribution by foreign invested enterprises (including wholesaling and retailing) here.

If the products being sold are lubricants, the local Department of Industry and Trade may consider granting import rights and wholesale distribution rights to a foreign-invested business entity performing one of the following activities:

  • Manufacturing lubricants in Vietnam; or
  • Manufacturing or distributing machinery, equipment or goods using
    particular lubricants in Vietnam.

If the products being sold are: rice; sugar; recorded items; books; newspapers; or magazines, the local Department of Industry and Trade may consider granting retail distribution right to a foreign-invested entity already having retail outlets (in forms of supermarkets, mini supermarkets, or convenience stores) to distribute the products.

3.3. What regulations must I follow to open a retail outlet in Vietnam to sell my imported products?

A foreign-invested entity must apply for a license for establishment of a retail outlet after obtaining business License and retail outlet documentation.

If the retail outlet is in the same province/city as the headquarters, the foreign invested entity must apply for a business License and a license for establishment of retail outlet at the same time.

The foreign invested entity can submit an application dossier directly, via post or online to the local Department of Industry and Trade. The details of such a submission are as follows:

3.3.1. Application dossiers for business licenses

An application dossier for a business license should include:

  • An application form for a business license from filling in this form;
  • An explanation document specifying:
    • Conditions for issuance of a business license (available here);
    • A business plan: business activities and methods of doing business;
      presentation of business plan and market development; labour demand;
      evaluation of the implications and socio-economic effectiveness of
      the business plan;
    • A financial plan: an income statement made on the basis of the last
      audited financial statement if the enterprise has been established in
      Vietnam for at least one year; an explanation of capital, a summary
      of sources of funds and fund-raising plans; other relevant financial
      documents;
  • A document from the relevant tax authority specifying that the
    enterprise has no outstanding tax debts;
  • Copies of: the enterprise registration certificate; investment
    registration certificate for sale of goods and other related
    activities.

Within three working days from the receipt of the application dossier, the local Department of Industry and Trade may request the submission of additional documents in case of an invalid dossier. Within ten working days from the receipt of a valid dossier, the local Department of Industry and Trade will issue the business license if the foreign invested entity satisfies the requirements for issuance of a business license.

3.3.2. Simultaneous applications for business and establishment of retail outlet licenses

In cases where the foreign invested entity applies for the business license and the license for establishment of a retail outlet at the same time, the application dossier should include:

  • An application form for a business license from filling in this form;
  • An application form for a license for establishment of a retail
    outlet from filling in this form (available exclusively in
    Vietnamese);
  • An explanation document (for the business license) specifying:
    • The conditions for issuance of a business license (see here);
    • A business plan: business activities and methods of doing business;
      presentation of business plan and market development; labour demand;
      evaluation of the implications and socio-economic effectiveness of
      the business plan;
    • A financial plan: an income statement made on the basis of the last
      audited financial statement if the enterprise has been established in
      Vietnam for at least one year; an explanation of sources capital,
      funds and fund raising plans; enclosed with other relevant financial
      documents;
  • An explanation document (for the retail outlet license) specifying:
    • Location of the retail store: the address of the store; a description
      of the general common area, related areas and areas to be used for
      establishing the store; retail store location data; and an
      explanation on satisfaction of the conditions prescribed;
    • A business plan on trading through the retail store: a presentation
      of the business plan and market development; the labour demand; and
      an assessment of the impact and socio-economic efficiency of the
      business plan;
    • A financial plan for establishment of the retail store: business
      operational results on the basis of the audited financial statements
      for the most recent year if the applicant has been established in
      Vietnam for one year or more; and an explanation of capital, capital
      sources and methods for mobilizing capital, enclosing financial data.
  • A document from the relevant tax authority specifying that the
    enterprise has no outstanding tax debts;
  • Copies of: the enterprise registration certificate; investment
    registration certificate for sale of goods and other related
    activities and establishment of a retail outlet (if any).

Within 3 working days from the receipt of the application dossier, the local Department of Industry and Trade requests additional submission of documents in case of invalid dossier. Within 20 working days from the receipt of a valid dossier, the local Department of Industry and Trade will issue the business license if the foreign invested entity satisfies the requirements for issuance of a license for establishment of a retail outlet.

3.3.3. Applications for licenses for establishment of retail outlets subsequent to attaining business licenses

In cases where a foreign invested entity applies for a license for establishment of a first retail outlet which is not in the same province/city as the headquarters, after obtaining the business license, and it must apply for another license for establishment of a retail outlet. An application dossier should include:

  • An application form for a license for establishment of a retail
    outlet;
  • An explanation document specifying:
    • The conditions for issuance of a business license (see here);
    • A business plan: the business activities and methods of doing
      business; a presentation of the business plan and market development;
      labour demand; and an evaluation of the implications and
      socio-economic effectiveness of the business plan;
    • A financial plan: an income statement made on the basis of the last
      audited financial statement if the enterprise has been established in
      Vietnam for at least one year; an explanation of sources of capital,
      funds and fund raising plans; enclosed with other financial
      documents;
  • An explanation document specifying:
    • The location of the retail store: the address of the store; a
      description of the general common area, related areas and areas to be
      used for establishing the store with the retail store location data;
      and an explanation on satisfaction of the conditions prescribed
    • A business plan on trading by the retail store: a presentation of the
      business plan and market development; the labour demand; and an
      assessment of the impact and socio-economic efficiency of the
      business;
    • A financial plan for establishment of the retail store: business
      operational results on the basis of the audited financial statements
      for the most recent year if the applicant has been established in
      Vietnam for one year or more; and an explanation of capital, capital
      sources and methods for mobilizing capital, enclosing financial data;
  • A document from the relevant tax authority specifying that the
    enterprise has no outstanding tax debts;
  • Copies of: the enterprise registration certificate; investment
    registration certificate for sale of goods and other related
    activities and establishment of a retail outlet (if any).

Within three working days from the receipt of the application dossier, the local Department of Industry and Trade may request the submission of additional documents in case of an invalid dossier. Within 20 working days from the receipt of a valid dossier, the local Department of Industry and Trade will issue the Business License provided the foreign invested entity satisfies the requirements for issuance of a License for establishment of a retail outlet.

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4. How can I export services to Vietnam from the EU?

4.1. Modes of services exportation outlined in the EVFTA

Vietnam and the EU opened their markets to each other for trade in services in a range of sectors. including: business services, communication services, financial services, and education services.

EU service providers’ services can be exported to Vietnam through one or more of the following modes of supply:

  • Cross-border supply (Mode 1): services flow from the territory of one trading partner (country) into the territory of another partner;

    Example: a legal memo sent by a law firm in Belgium to a client in Vietnam;

  • Consumption abroad (Mode 2): the service consumer travels to the territory where the service is provided to consume it;

    Example: a Vietnamese student studying at a university in France;

  • Commercial presence (Mode 3): the service is supplied through the establishment of a commercial presence in the territory of the
    consumer;

    Example: German banks opening branches in Vietnam to provide banking services;

  • Temporary presence of natural persons for business purposes (Mode 4): Service providers from one party are temporarily present in the
    territory of the consumer;

    Example: a Lithuanian specialised surgeon travels to operate patients in Vietnam.

4.2. How does the EVFTA affect trade in services between the EU and Vietnam?

The EVFTA offers traders and consumers predictable and reliable access to EU and Vietnamese services markets under certain conditions – referred to as reservations. In terms of market access, Vietnam committed to not affording EU service providers less favourable treatment than those provided for under the terms, limitations and conditions agreed and specified in its Annex 8-B (Viet Nam’s Schedule of Specific Commitments).

In sectors where market access commitments are provided, Vietnam shall not adopt or maintain measures either on the basis of a regional subdivision or on the basis of its entire territory, unless otherwise specified in its Schedule of Specific Commitments.

In terms of national treatment, in the sectors inscribed in Annex 8-B (Viet Nam’s Schedule of Specific Commitments) and subject to any conditions and qualifications set out therein, Vietnam shall accord to services and service suppliers of the EU, in respect of all measures affecting the cross-border supply of services, treatment no less favourable than that it accords to its own like services and service providers.

The EVFTA covers the supply of all services sectors/subsectors, except:

  • Audio-visual services;
  • National maritime cabotage; and
  • Domestic and international air transport services, whether scheduled
    or non-scheduled, and services directly related to the exercise of
    traffic rights, other than: (i) aircraft repair and maintenance
    services during which an aircraft is withdrawn from service; (ii) the
    selling and marketing of air transport services; (iii) computer
    reservation system (CRS) services; and (iv) ground handling services.

4.3. What restrictions on cross-border services trade might affect me?

To see the specifics regarding restrictions for cross-border supply of services (Mode 1) and consumption abroad (Mode 2), please refer to Annex 8-B-1, Section A, Chapter 12, EVFTA. The following is a summary of restrictions that may apply:

4.3.1. Restrictions to cross-border services

  • Limitations on the number of service providers in the form of quotas,
    monopolies, exclusive service providers or the requirement of
    economic needs tests;
  • Limitations on the total value of service transactions or assets in
    the form of quotas or the requirement of economic needs tests;
  • Limitations on the total number of service operations or on the total
    quantity of service output expressed in in the form of quotas, or the
    requirement of an economic needs test; and
  • Licensing, procedure, and qualification requirements.

4.3.2. Restrictions to the presence of natural persons providing services in Vietnam

For entry and temporary stay:

  • For managers or executives, a period of up to three years;
  • For specialists, a period of up to three years;
  • For trainee employees, a period of up to one year. This restriction
    is effective from 1 August 2023;
  • For business visitors for establishment purposes, a period of up to
    90 days;
  • For business sellers, a period of up to 90 days.

For contractual service suppliers in the following sectors and sub-sectors:

  • Architectural services;
  • Urban planning and landscape architecture services;
  • Engineering services;
  • Integrated engineering services;
  • Computer and related services;
  • Higher education services (only privately funded services);
  • Foreign language training; and
  • Environmental services
  • The natural person shall be engaged in the supply of a service on a
    temporary basis as employee of a juridical person, under a service
    contract not exceeding 12 months;

The natural person entering Vietnam should be offering such services as employee of the juridical person supplying the services for at least two years immediately preceding the date of submission of an application for entry into Vietnam; in addition, the natural person shall possess, at the date of submission of an application for entry into Vietnam, at least five years’ professional experience in the sector of activity which is the subject of the contract;

The natural person entering Vietnam shall possess: (i) a university degree or a qualification demonstrating knowledge of an equivalent level; and (ii) professional qualifications in the case that this is required to exercise an activity pursuant to the laws, regulations or legal requirements of Vietnam where the service is supplied.

Whilst entering and staying in Vietnam for the purposes of cross-border services provision, the natural person shall not receive remuneration for the provision of services in Vietnam other than the remuneration paid by the juridical person employing the natural person;

The entry and temporary stay of natural persons within Vietnam shall be for a cumulative period of not more than six months or for the duration of the contract, whichever is less;

The number of persons covered by the service contract shall not be larger than necessary to fulfil the contract, as may be required by the laws and regulations or other measures of Vietnam where the service is supplied; and

Other discriminatory limitations, including on the number of natural persons in the form of an economic needs test, are specified in Appendix 8-B-2, Chapter 8, EVFTA.

All requirements pursuant to the laws and regulations of Vietnam regarding entry, stay, work and social security measures continue to apply, including regulations concerning the period of stay, minimum wages as well as collective wage agreements.

4.3.3. Restrictions for cross border supply of professional services

There are no restrictions besides the general restrictions mentioned above if the services are provided through the cross-border supply, consumption abroad or the presence of natural persons.

4.3.4. Restrictions for cross border supply of financial services

There are no restrictions if the services are provided in the consumption abroad mode (Mode 2). If the services are provided through the cross-border supply of the service, various restrictions apply depending on the specific types of financial services. Please refer to Point 7 (Financial Services), Section A, Annex 8-B-1, Chapter 12, EVFTA for details. Financial services provided through the presence of natural persons (excepting contractual service suppliers) are only subject to the general restrictions stated above.

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5. What are Vietnam’s e-commerce platforms, at what regulations might I need to follow to utilize them?

5.1. What are Vietnam's major e-commerce platforms?

E-commerce platforms can be broken down into the following:

  • E-commerce sales website: It is an e-commerce website developed by
    traders, organizations or individuals to conduct their sales,
    commercial promotion or service provision;

  • E-commerce service provision website: It is an e-commerce website
    developed by traders or organizations to provide an environment for
    other traders, organizations or individuals to conduct their
    commercial activities;

    An e-commerce service provision website could be of the following types:

    • An e-commerce trading floor;
    • An online auction website; or
    • An online promotion website.

The major e-commerce platforms in Vietnam are Tiki, Lazada, Shopee and Sendo.

5.2. How are payments handled on Vietnamese e-commerce platforms?

Payments can be made by cash on delivery, bank transfer, e-wallet, credit card or scratched cards.

Alongside cash on delivery, which remains a popular payment method in Vietnam’s online shopping market, card payments were used for 34 percent of transactions in 2019. With debit card ownership standing at 1.29 per capita compared with credit card ownership at 0.08 per capita, debit-based payments are far more likely than credit card payments.

Digital wallets are the fastest-growing e-commerce payment method. At present, popular digital wallet brands include PayPal®, and the domestic brands Momo and ZaloPay.

5.3. What regulations and policies can apply to me when selling products through e-commerce platforms?

Under the current Decree No. 52/2013/ND-CP on e-commerce activities in Vietnam (as revised by Decree No. 85/2021/ND-CP effective from 01st January 2022), selling products through e-commerce platforms is restricted to:

  • Vietnamese traders, organizations and individuals;
  • Foreign individuals residing in Vietnam; or
  • Foreign (offshore) traders and organizations providing e-commerce
    services in Vietnam in the form of (a) an e-commerce website; or (b)
    selling goods on Vietnam’s e-commerce platform.

In order to sell your products on major e-commerce platforms in Vietnam, you will have to comply with these platforms’ policies for seller registration.

For selling products on Tiki, please see here.

For selling products on Laza, please see here.

For selling products on Shopee, please see here.

For selling products on Sendo, please see here.

5.4. What are the returns policy for cross border e-commerce?

Each e-commerce website has their own return policy.

For Tiki, please refer here.

For Lazada, please refer here.

For Shopee, please refer here.

For Sendo, please refer here.

5.5. What are the inspection and quarantine requirements for cross border e-commerce imports into Vietnam?

Cross-border e-commerce imports into Vietnam are subject to inspection and quarantine requirements as applied to normal imports into Vietnam. Please refer to Section 2.2 for further information.

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6. What intellectual property rights might apply to the products and services I want to export to Vietnam?

6.1. Intellectual property protections through Vietnamese domestic law and the EVFTA

6.1.1. Vietnamese domestic intellectual property law

Vietnamese laws provide protection for the following intellectual property (IP) rights:

  • Copyright, including the right to literary, artistic and scientific
    works: subject matters of copyright-related rights include
    performances, phonograms, video recordings, broadcasts and encrypted
    program-carrying satellite signals;
  • Industrial property rights, including rights to inventions,
    industrial designs, layout-designs of semiconductor integrated
    circuits, trade secrets, marks, trade names and geographical
    indications;

The Vietnamese law on intellectual property can be found in English here.

6.1.2. EVFTA and TRIPS IP protections

The EVFTA covers all categories of intellectual property that are referred to in Sections 1 to 7 of Part II of the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement), namely:

  • Copyright and related rights;
  • Trademarks;
  • Geographical indications;
  • Industrial designs;
  • Patent rights;
  • Layout-designs (topographies) of integrated circuits;
  • Protection of undisclosed information; and
  • Plant varieties.

6.2. How do I register my IP in Vietnam?

6.2.1. Copyrights

Registration of copyrights is conducted at the National Copyright Office. Copyrights also apply to computer programs that cannot be patented. While copyright registration is not required in Vietnam, most patent experts suggest registering copyrights with the country’s copyright authorities.

The registration dossier for copyrights and related rights should include:

  • A declaration for registration of copyright or related rights
    according to this form (available in English here);
  • Two copies of the work subject of the application for copyright
    registration, or two copies of the formulated object that is subject
    of the application for related rights registration;
  • A letter of authorization where the applicant is an authorized person
    (an authorized person being the author, copyright holder, related
    rights holder or person authorized on behalf of the author, copyright
    holder, related rights holder);
  • Documents proving the right to file the application where the
    applicant acquires such right by way of inheritance, succession or
    assignment;
  • The written consent of the co-authors in the case of a work under
    joint authorship;
  • The written consent of the co-owners if the copyright or related
    rights are jointly owned.

6.2.2. Patents

Individual patent registrations (such as industrial designs and inventions) must take place in Vietnam. However, for patent rights other than industrial designs, applications can be handled by the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

The registration dossier for industrial property rights should include:

  • Declaration for registration according to this form (available
    in English here);
  • Documents, samples and information identifying the industrial
    property object registered for protection;
  • Power of attorney, if the application is filed through a
    representative;
  • Documents evidencing the registration right, if such right is
    acquired by the applicant from another person;
  • Documents evidencing the priority right, if such right is claimed;
  • Receipt for payment of fees and charges.

6.2.3. Trademarks

The trademark system in Vietnam protects symbols, three-dimensional objects, colours, and other visual devices that are used to identify a business’ products or services. Trade name rights are established through use rather than being formally registered. With respect to online domains, these are handled on a first-come, first-served basis. Trademarks can be registered in Vietnam at the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) or by using the Madrid Protocol.

6.2.4. Plant varieties

The registration dossier for the rights to specific plant varieties through the Department of Crop Production of MARD should include:

  • A written application for protection of plant varieties according to
    this form (available in English here);
  • A declaration of the distinctness, uniformity and stability testing
    techniques (DUS testing) according to the templates in the regulation
    on DUS testing of each kind of plant;
  • Copies of the receipts, or the fax of the papers proving that the
    registration fee has been transferred to the account of the
    Department of Crop Production;
  • A letter of authorization according to this form (available
    in English here) (if the application is submitted by a representative);
  • At least 3 pictures (size 9 cm x 15 cm) of the variety that
    demonstrate its 3 distinct characteristics.

6.3. How much does it cost to register my IP?

The administrative cost for first-time registration of copyright vary from VND100,000 to VND600,000 (~USD5 - USD26) depending on the subjects of the copyright. Please see the detailed costs here.

The administrative cost for registration of industrial property rights can be found here.

The administrative cost for registration of industrial property rights can be found in this form (available in English here):

6.4. How long can it take to register IP rights?

  • For copyright registration: 15 days from the receipt of a valid
    registration dossier;
  • For industrial property right registration:
    • Formal examination: one month from the date of application;
    • Announcement of applications: within two months from the date of
      accepting valid applications;
    • Substantive examination: no more than seven months from the date of
      publishing the application;
  • For registration of rights to plant variety: 30 days from the receipt
    of a valid registration dossier.

6.5. Are there protections for any unregistered IP?

Types of unregistered IP include copyright, common law trademarks and database rights, confidential information, and trade secrets.

6.6. How can I enforce my IP rights in Vietnam if I feel they are being breached?

Information on IP enforcement in Vietnam can be found here.

Information on the enforcement of the IP rights under the EVFTA can be found here.

6.7. What is the SME IP Rights Helpdesk and how can it help my business?

The South-East Asia IP SME Helpdesk is a EU Commission initiative that provides free, practical business advice relating to EU SMEs to protect and enforce their IP rights in South East Asian countries, including Vietnam. To learn about intellectual property rights in South-East-Asia and how to enforce them, you can visit the online portal here. For free expert advice on IPR protection for your business in Vietnam, please e-mail your question to: question@southeastasia-iprhelpdesk.eu. You will receive a reply from one of the Helpdesk’s experts within five working days.

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7. As a EU investor, how can I go about investing in Vietnam?

7.1. How do the EVFTA and EVIPA help me invest in Vietnam?

The EVFTA and EU Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) provide numerous benefits for EU investors doing business with Vietnam or are in Vietnam, from better market access conditions to the ability to enforce foreign courts’ judgements in Vietnam. Please find here a collection of analyses by Duane Morris Vietnam on the positive implications of the EVFTA and EVIPA for EU businesses and investors.

7.2. What are my options for structuring my company in Vietnam, and how can I go about registering my company?

There are four types of legal entities in Vietnam, with the most common being the limited liability company and the joint stock company.

Below are summaries of the key elements of each type of entity, and instructions for the relevant application dossiers:

7.2.1. Sole proprietorships

A sole proprietorship is an enterprise:

  • That is owned by a single individual whose liability for its entire
    operation is equal to his/her total assets;
  • That may not issue any kind of securities;
  • That may not contribute capital upon establishment or purchase shares
    or stakes of partnerships, limited liability companies or joint stock
    companies;
  • Whose owner may establish only one sole proprietorship. The owner of
    a sole proprietorship must not concurrently own a household business
    or hold the position of a general partner in a partnership.

The dossier for the Enterprise Registration Certificate (ERC) for a sole proprietorship should include:

7.2.2. Partnerships

A partnership is an enterprise in which:

  • There are at least two partners that are joint owners of the company
    and do business under the same name (“general partner”). There can be
    capital contributing partners in addition to the general partners;
  • A general partner shall be an individual whose liability for the
    company’s obligations is equal to all of his/her assets;
  • A capital contributing partner can be an organization or an
    individual whose liability for the company’s debts is equal to the
    promised capital contribution.

A partnership may not issue any kinds of securities.

The dossier for ERC for a partnership should include:

  • An application form for enterprise registration as per this form:
  • A company charter;
  • A list of general partners;
  • Legalized copies of the following documents: legal documents of
    general partners that are individuals (i.e. passports); legal
    documents of general partners that are organizations (i.e.
    certificate of incorporation); legal documents of authorized
    representatives (i.e. passports) and letters of appointment of
    authorized representatives;
  • An investment registration certificate;
  • An MOU or contract for office lease if applicable.

7.2.3. Multi-member limited liability companies and joint-stock companies

A multi-member limited liability company:

  • Is an enterprise owned by 2-5 organizations or individuals
    (“members”). The members’ liability for the company’s debts and other
    liabilities shall be equal to their contributed charter capital;
  • Must not issue shares except for conversion into a Joint Stock
    Company;
  • May issue bonds.

A joint stock company is an enterprise in which:

  • The charter capital is divided into units of equal value called
    shares;
  • Shareholders can be organizations and individuals; the minimum number
    of shareholders is three; there is no limit on the maximum number of
    shareholders;
  • A shareholder’s liability for the company’s debts and liabilities is
    equal to the amount of capital contributed to the company by the
    shareholder;
  • Shareholders may transfer their shares to other persons in accordance
    with the Law on Enterprise.
  • A joint stock company may issue shares, bonds and other kinds of
    securities.

The dossier for ERC for a multi member liability company or joint stock company should include:

  • An application form for enterprise registration:
  • A company charter;
  • A list of members of the multi-member limited liability company if
    applicable; lists of founding shareholders and shareholders that are
    foreign investors of the joint-stock company if applicable;
  • Legalized copies of the following documents:
    • Legal documents of the enterprise’s legal representative (i.e.
      passport);
    • Legal documents of members or founding shareholders and foreign
      shareholders that are individuals (i.e. passports); legal documents
      of members or founding shareholders and foreign shareholders that are
      organizations (i.e.); legal documents of authorized representatives
      of members or founding shareholders (i.e. passports) and foreign
      shareholders that are organizations (i.e. incorporation certificates)
      and their letters of appointment of authorized representatives;
  • Copies of the investment registration certificate;
  • An MOU or contract for office lease if applicable;

7.2.4. Single-member limited liability companies

A single-member limited company:

  • Is an enterprise owned by a single organization or individual
    (“owner”). The owner’s liability for the company’s debts and other
    liabilities shall be equal to the company’s charter capital;
  • May not issue shares except for conversion into a Joint Stock
    Company;
  • May issue bonds.

The dossier for ERC for a single member limited company should include:

  • An application form for enterprise registration:
  • A company charter;
  • Legalized copies of the following documents:
    • Legal documents of the enterprise’s legal representative (passport);
    • Legal documents of the company’s owner that is an individual
      (passport); legal documents of the company’s owner that is an
      organization (certificate of incorporation); legal documents of the
      authorized representative (passport) and letter of appointment of
      authorized representative;
  • An investment registration certificate;
  • An MOU or contract for office lease if applicable.

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7.3. Investment regulations and documentation requirements

The Law on Investment and the Law on Enterprises require foreign investors in Vietnam to apply for and obtain: (i) a Certificate of Investment Registration (IRC); and (ii) an Enterprise Registration Certificate (ERC). Note that so far, registration cannot be done online.

The registration for the certificates differs depending on the form of investment being undertaken. The relevant procedures are outlined below:

7.3.1. Registering for a certificate of investment

Firstly, investment projects are required to register with the local Department of Planning and Investment (DPI) and obtain a Certificate of Investment Registration setting out key details of the investment project, including: its objective, duration, investment capital (equity and debt) and names of its investors. Obtaining the certificate of investment registration takes 15 business days on average from the date the DPI receives the complete application dossier.

Forms of investment for foreign investors:

a) Investment in the form of establishment of a business entity;
b) Execution of an investment project;
c) Investment in the form of a business cooperation contract;
d) Investment in the form of capital contribution or purchase of shares
or capital.

7.3.1.1. Investment in the form of establishment of a business entity (a)

An application dossier for the Certificate of Investment Registration should include:

  • An application form for execution of the investment project;
  • A document concerning the legal status of the investor (passports of
    individuals, certificate of incorporation for corporations, and the
    passport of the legal representative of the corporation);
  • Document(s) proving the financial capacity of the investor including
    at least one of the following documents: the investor’s financial
    statements for the last two years; commitment of a parent company to
    provide financial support; commitment of a financial institution to
    provide financial support; guarantee for the investor’s financial
    capacity; other documents proving the investor’s financial capacity;
  • Proposal for the investment that addresses the following: investment
    objectives, investment scale, investment capital and plan for raising
    capital, location, duration and schedule of the investment,
    information about the current use of land in the location of the
    project and proposed demand for land use (if any), demand for labour,
    proposal for investment incentives, impact and socioeconomic
    efficiency of the project and preliminary assessment of environmental
    impact (if any) in accordance with the Law on Environmental
    Protection;
  • If the investment project does not require the State to allocate or
    lease out land or to permit land repurposing, a copy of the document
    regarding the land use rights
    or other document identifying the right
    to use the land for execution of the investment project is required
    to be submitted;

7.3.1.2. Execution of an investment project (b)

This form of investment applies to projects:

  • That need to meet requirements concerning national defence, security
    and state secrets; or
  • Where only one investor enters in open bidding.

The selection of investors shall be carried out by bidding, by one of the following methods:

  • Bidding on land use rights;
  • Bidding for selection of investor; or
  • Investor appointment.

An investment in the project execution form is subject to an application for a Decision of Investment Policy from the local People’s Committee or the Prime Minister. Within five days from the date of issuance of the Decision on Investment Policy, the People’s Committee or the Prime Minister shall instruct the local Department of Planning and Investment to issue the IRC for the foreign investor. It takes 35 working days for the People’s Committee to inform on the Decision on Investment Policy application result to the investor and there is no fixed time in which the Prime Minister must issue a response.

The application dossier for the Decision on Investment Policy is the same as the one submitted for the purpose of the Certificate of Investment Registration.

Projects that are subject to approval by a Decision on Investment Policy are listed in Article 30, 31 and 32 of the Investment Law, accessible here.

An application dossier for the Certificate of Investment Registration should include:

  • An application form for the execution of the investment project,
    including a commitment to incur all costs and risks if the project is
    not approved;
  • A document concerning the legal status of the investor (a passport
    for an individual, a certificate of incorporation for corporation as
    well as the passport of the legal representative of the corporation);
  • Document(s) proving the financial capacity of the investor, including
    at least one of the following documents: the investor’s financial
    statements for the last two years; commitment of a parent company to
    provide financial support; commitment of a financial institution to
    provide financial support; guarantee for the investor’s financial
    capacity; other document proving the investor’s financial capacity;
  • A proposal for the investment project that addresses the following:
    the proposed investor(s) or method of investor selection; the
    investment objectives; the investment scale; the investment capital
    sought and a plan for raising said capital; the location, duration
    and schedule of the investment project; information about the current
    use of land in the location of the project and proposed demand for
    land use (if any); demand for labour; a proposal for investment
    incentives, impact and socioeconomic efficiency of the project; and a
    preliminary assessment of environmental impact (if any) in accordance
    with the Law on Environmental Protection.

If the Law on Construction (found here) requires formulation of a pre-feasibility study report, the investor is entitled to submit the pre-feasibility study report instead of a proposal for the investment project:

  • If the project does not require the State to allocate or lease out
    land or to permit land repurposing, a copy of the document regarding
    the land use rights
    or other documents identifying the right to use
    the land for execution of the investment project is required to be
    submitted;
  • An explanation on any technology to be used in the investment project
    (if relevant). For example, information on the technology of the
    solar panels being used in a solar power development project.

7.3.1.3. Investment in the form of a business cooperation contract (c)

An application dossier for the Certificate of Investment Registration should include:

  • An application form for the execution of the investment project:
  • A document concerning the legal status of the investor (a passport
    for an individual, a certificate of incorporation for a corporation
    as well as the passport of the legal representative of the
    corporation);
  • Document(s) proving the financial capacity of the investor, including
    at least one of the following documents: the investor’s financial
    statements for the last two years; commitment of a parent company to
    provide financial support; commitment of a financial institution to
    provide financial support; guarantee for the investor’s financial
    capacity; other document proving the investor’s financial capacity;
  • A proposal for the investment project that addresses the following:
    the proposed investor(s) or method of investor selection; the
    investment objectives; the investment scale; the investment capital
    sought and a plan for raising said capital; the location, duration
    and schedule of the investment project; information about the current
    use of land in the location of the project and proposed demand for
    land use (if any); demand for labour; a proposal for investment
    incentives, impact and socioeconomic efficiency of the project; and a
    preliminary assessment of environmental impact (if any) in accordance
    with the Law on Environmental Protection.
  • If the project does not require the State to allocate or lease out
    land or to permit land repurposing, a copy of the document regarding
    the land use rights
    or other document identifying the right to use
    the land for execution of the investment project is required to be
    submitted;
  • An explanation of any technology to be used in the investment project
    (if relevant). For example, information on the technology of the
    solar panels being utilized in a solar power development project;
  • The business cooperation contract.

7.3.1.4. Investment in the form of capital contribution or purchase of shares or capital (d)

Foreign investors who wish to invest in the form of capital contribution or purchase of shares/capital shall follow the procedures for registration of capital contribution or purchase of shares or stakes of a business entity, then proceed to carry out any necessary amendments to the enterprise’s details of members or shareholders.

An application for registration of capital contribution or purchase of shares/capital consists of:

  • A registration form which specifies: enterprise registration
    information of the business entity in which foreign investors are
    contributing capital or whose shares/stakes are being purchased by
    foreign investors; business lines; a list of founding shareholders, a
    list of shareholders that are foreign investors (if any); information
    regarding the holding of charter capital by the foreign investor
    before and after capital contribution or purchase of shares/stakes;
    the transaction value of the contract for capital contribution or
    purchase of shares/stakes; information about the business entity’s
    investment project (if any);
  • Copies of legal documents of the individual or organization that
    contributes capital or purchases shares/stakes, and of the business
    entity to which foreign investors contribute capital or whose
    shares/stakes are purchased by foreign investors;
  • A written agreement/contract on the capital contribution or purchase
    of shares/stakes between the foreign investor and the business entity
    receiving capital contribution from or selling shares/stakes to the
    foreign investor.

Investors shall submit the application to the local Department of Investment and Planning (DIP) and should receive the result of the application within 15 business days. This may take longer if the DIP needs to solicit the views of relevant government agencies on the application. In such cases, the DIP will notify the investor.

7.3.2. Registering for an enterprise registration certificate

After the investor obtains the Certificate of Investment Registration, the investor needs to register the legal entity/project company that is carrying out the investment in Vietnam at the business registrar of the DPI, and obtain an ERC.

Once the ERC is issued, the project company is officially established with a legal status and can commence its commercial operations under its own name pursuant to Vietnamese law.

Please refer to Section 7.2 for the requirements and procedures to obtain an ERC for various forms of legal entities/companies.

7.4. Are there any sectors with additional special rules for foreign investors?

A complete list of conditional investment sectors for foreign investors according to international treaties and Vietnamese laws can be found here.

A complete list of conditional business activities within different sectors (together with required licenses/permits) can be found here.

7.5. What are the applicable taxes for businesses?

Some taxes that may apply to you are:

  • Corporate Income tax
  • Value-added tax
  • Foreign contractor tax

Further details regarding applicable taxes can be found here.

7.6. Do I have access to credit as an SME in Vietnam?

Vietnamese financial institutions assess the credit “worthiness” of businesses on the basis of criteria such as the firm size, firm age, firm ownership, total asset, return on equity, and return on assets, factors that could be challenging for SMEs to satisfy. A 2015 survey conducted by the Provincial Competitiveness Index in Vietnam shows that financial institutions rejected loans to SMEs due to the lack of profitability and acceptable collateral… The Vietnamese government has made efforts to improve SMEs’ access to credit, namely by setting up the SME Development Fund and the Credit Guarantee Fund. The OECD raised the following limitations of the Vietnamese SME Development Fund (SMEDF): the lack of incentive for commercial banks to apply the SMEDF loan, difficulties for SMEs to comply with the conditions of the loan, difficult selection process, and the lack of awareness of the SMEDF by SMEs.

For a detailed analysis of the challenges faced by SMEs in regard to access to finance (credit), please see this paper published by MDPI and this paper published by the Asian Development Bank Institute. These papers also contain information on funding and mentorship scheme for SMEs.

7.7. What grants, funding or mentorship schemes might my SME qualify for?

The OECD Library contains updated information and studies on SME and Entrepreneurship support programmes in Vietnam.

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8. What do I need to know about the EVFTA chapter on trade and sustainable development?

8.1. Corporate social responsibility (CSR)

The EU and Vietnam have committed to promote sustainable development by fostering the contribution to trade and investment related aspects of labour and environmental challenges. Vietnam has the right to establish its own levels of domestic protection in areas of environmental and social policy, as well as modify its policies to match international treaties to which it is a signatory. Chapter 13 of the EVFTA requires Vietnam to uphold multilateral labour standards and agreements (e.g. ILO standards), multilateral environmental agreements, commitments under climate change protocols and commitments to protect biological diversity. Vietnam pledges to ensure its laws and policies provide for and encourage high levels of domestic protection in the environmental and social policy areas, meaning companies operating in Vietnam shall be required to comply with EVFTA-related CSR standards.

International standards referred to in Chapter 13 include: Agenda 21 on Environment and Development of 1992, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development of 2002, the Ministerial Declaration of the United Nations Economic and Social Council on Full Employment and Decent Work of 2006, the International Labour Organization (hereinafter referred to as "ILO") Decent Work Agenda, the Outcome Document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development of 2012, entitled The future we want, and the Outcome Document of the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development of 2015, entitled Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In the event of disagreement on any matters related to CSR, EU investors can have direct recourse to the EU Committee on Trade and Sustainable Development and if disputes are not satisfactorily resolved by the Committee, a Panel of Experts under the EVFTA can be formed to address the matter.

Vietnam does not have separate laws or regulations on CSR, but CSR obligations are apparent in key laws such as the Enterprise Law, the Labour Code, the Law on Environmental Protection, and CSR has definitely been gaining momentum among businesses in the past years. Since 2005, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry together with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Industry and Trade together and other associations have awarded the “Corporate Social Responsibility towards Sustainable Development” award yearly to honour businesses that integrate CSR effectively into their business practices.

8.2. Labour rights

The English version of Vietnam’s latest labour code can be found here.

At the heart of EVFTA is the 1998 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. The Declaration focuses on committing its members to respect and promote core conventions on elimination of child and forced labour, elimination of discrimination at work and promoting gender equality, freedom of association and right to collective bargaining.

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) revised the Labour Code towards better alignment with international labour standards, with support from the ILO and other partners, including the EU. An analysis of Vietnam’s latest labour code conducted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) can be found here.

Below are the key labour rights addressed in the EVFTA and their corresponding provisions in domestic legislation:

  • The freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right
    to collective bargaining. This right is recognized by the Vietnamese
    Labour Code under Articles 3, 7, 36, 44, 63 and 65. However, the
    strict control of the State poses a challenge to the implementation
    of this provision.
  • The elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour. This
    right is recognized by the Vietnamese Labour Code under Article 8.
  • The effective abolition of child labour. Although the minimum working
    age in Vietnam is 15 years, chapter XI of the Labour Code still
    allows enterprises to employ children from the age of 13 years if the
    enterprises satisfy simple conditions such as taking care of these
    children, obtaining their parents’ approval and making sure they
    carry out works within their physical and mental capacity. This is
    not yet in line with EVFTA standard, and the Ministry of Labour,
    Invalids and Social Affairs claims that all form of child labour
    shall be abolished by 2025.
  • The elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and
    occupation. This right is recognized by the Vietnamese Labour Code
    under Article 8.

Some basic obligations under Vietnam laws should be kept in mind by employers and employees:

8.2.1. Normal working hours

Normal working hours shall not exceed eight hours per day or 48 hours per week. However, employers have the right to determine the daily or weekly working hours and inform the employees accordingly. The daily working hours shall not exceed 10 hours per day and 48 hours per week where a weekly basis is applied.

The State encourages employers to apply 40-hour workweeks, and employers should in turn limit working hours to prevent harmful effects of overworking employees in accordance with relevant National Technical Regulations and laws.

8.2.2. Maternity leave and protection

The employer must not dismiss an employee or unilaterally terminate the employment contract with an employee due to his/her marriage, pregnancy, maternity leave, or nursing a child under 12 months of age.

Upon expiration of the employment contract with female employee who is pregnant or nursing a child under 12 months of age, conclusion of a new employment contract shall be given priority.

During her menstruation period, a female employee shall be entitled to a 30-minute break in every working day; a female employee nursing a child under 12 months of age shall be entitled to 60 minutes breaks in every working day with full salary as a default term in the employment contract.

8.2.3. Annual leave

Any employee who has been working for an employer for 12 months is entitled to fully-paid annual leave, which is stipulated in his/her employment contract as follows:

  • 12 working days for employees who work in normal working conditions;
  • 14 working days for employees that are minors or disabled, employees
    who do laborious, toxic or dangerous work;
  • 16 working days for employees who do highly laborious, toxic or
    dangerous work.

An employee who has been working for an employer for less than 12 months will have a number of paid leave days proportional to the number of working months.

An employee who, due to employment termination or job loss, has not taken or not entirely taken up his/her annual leave shall be paid in compensation for the untaken leave days.

8.2.4. Sick leave

Employees can enjoy insurance-paid sick leaves, if they are:

  • Employees who have to take leave due to sickness or accidents other
    than labour accidents, with the certification of a competent health
    establishment under the Ministry of Health’s regulations. The
    sickness regime does not cover employees who take leave due to
    sickness or accidents as a result of self-infliction, drunkenness or
    use of narcotics or narcotic precursors on the Government-prescribed
    list.
  • Employees who have to take leave for caring for sick children aged
    under 7 years, with the certification of a competent health
    establishment.

Employees working under normal conditions benefit from the regime for the following duration:

  • 30 days, if they have paid social insurance premiums for less than 15
    years;
  • 40 days, if they have paid social insurance premiums for between 15
    and 30 years; or
  • 60 days, if they have paid social insurance premiums for 30 years or
    more.

8.2.5. Employment and insurance

Employers and employees negotiate on the payment of social, health and unemployment insurance. Employees can pay for insurance themselves, or this employers can pays on the employee’s behalf and deduct the corresponding amount from employee salaries.

8.3. Environment and climate change

The English version of Vietnam’s Law on Environmental Protection can be found here.

Central to the EVFTA provisions on environment protection and climate change is the parties’ commitment to adhere to international treaties that they are parties to, namely the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change of 1992, the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change and The Paris Agreement.

Please refer to this article published by Vietnam’s Department of Environment comparing local regulations to the EVFTA’s provisions.

Under Article 5 of the Commercial Law (found here), where a treaty to which Vietnam is a contracting party stipulates the application of foreign laws or international commercial practices, or contains provisions that are inconsistent with this Law, the provisions of such treaty shall apply. This means that, where the EVFTA provides more protection to EU investors than Vietnamese laws do, investors could rely on and make use of provisions of the EVFTA in order to ensure compliance.

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9. What methods of legal recourse or dispute resolution might be available to me?

9.1. Dispute resolution under the EVIPA

Investors are given high level of protection under the EVIPA which contains key principles of the New York Convention 1958 and the ICSID 1965. The EVIPA makes it possible for EU investors to sue the Vietnamese Government for investment-related decisions. The final arbitral award is binding and enforceable without any question from the local courts regarding its validity.

In particular, EVIPA stipulates a two-tier arbitration mechanism, through which parties can appeal if they are not satisfied with the first award issued by the arbitration panel. However, if neither disputing party has appealed the provisional award, the award shall become final and “shall not be subject to appeal, review, set aside, annulment or any other remedy” (Article 3 of the EVIPA).

EVIPA, however, still needs to be ratified by the Parliaments of all 27 EU members to come into effect. Additionally, when this occurs and EVIPA comes into effect, for the first five years from effectiveness of the EVIPA, if Vietnam is the defendant in an investment dispute, the Vietnamese courts retains authority to either recognise or not final awards for execution in Vietnam.

EU investors are advised to seek recourse for international disputes through other mechanisms (such as ICC or SIAC) in the meanwhile.

9.2. When should I engage a local Vietnamese lawyer?

It is recommended to engage a Vietnam-based law firm to advise and assist you when doing business in Vietnam. Whether you wish to establish a new company or enter into a business cooperation contract with a local partner, a professional lawyer can help you to save time and costs associated with possible fraud or disputes by advising you on the required licenses, solutions to mitigate legal and financial risks, as well as carry out in-person negotiation. Businesspersons in Vietnam prefer to discuss and negotiate in-person rather than via electronic means of communication unless there is no other option, since they prefer the rapport that parties build face-to-face. As such, it is helpful to have someone on the ground to work on your behalf, at least until you arrive in Vietnam.

9.3. What are some general aspects of local contract law that I should be aware of?

When reviewing a general sales and purchase contract, key provisions to look out for include:

9.3.1. Dispute resolution

A dispute resolution clause in a commercial contract may look like:

  • Any differences or disputes arising from this Contract or other
    agreements related to the Contract performance will be resolved by
    mediation efforts between the Parties;
  • Any disputes or differences related to the contract which cannot be
    settled based on mediation will be resolved at the Vietnam
    Arbitration Centre;
  • The costs of arbitration and/or other expenses (including the cost of
    hiring a lawyer(s)) shall be borne by the bailiff;
  • The language of arbitration is Vietnamese.

9.3.2. Termination

Force majeure: Under Article 156 of the Civil Code, an event of force majeure is an event which occurs in an objective manner which is not able to be foreseen and which is not able to be remedied by all possible necessary and admissible measures being taken.

Typical Force majeure circumstances in contracts include:

  • Natural phenomena such as rain, flooding, fires, storms, tsunamis,
    volcanic eruptions;
  • Social phenomena such as wars, coups, strikes, embargoes, changes in
    government policies;
  • In addition, the parties can agree on additional clauses including
    events such as: lack of fuel, power failure, network failure, etc.,
    to exempt liability in case of violation.

9.3.3. Events of Default

An event of default is an event specified in a commercial agreement that gives the non-defaulting party the right, among other things, to terminate the agreement. Events of default are common in loan agreements or debt instruments. An event of default entitles the lender to cancel the facility and/or declare all amounts owing by the borrower to be immediately due and payable. Typical events of default in loan agreements include non-payment or late payment of amounts due, breach of certain material representations and warranties or covenants, cross-default, breach of change of control provisions, and/or insolvency.

Descriptions of events of default should be clearly listed in commercial agreements; avoid use of vague terms such as “in accordance with laws”, as domestic law cannot address all possible circumstances, and it may be difficult for the investors to comprehend whether a specific event qualifies as an event of default.

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10. Additional useful links and contact information

10.1. Vietnamese authorities

Agency & Webpage Agency Address Contact Email
Ministry of National Defence No 1B, Nguyen Tri Phuong St., Ba Dinh Dist, Ha Noi, Việt Nam info@mod.gov.vn
Ministry of Public Security 44 Yet Kieu St., Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs No.1 Ton That Dam, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam ttll.mfa@mofa.gov.vn
Ministry of Justice No. 60 Tran Phu St., Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam btp@moj.gov.vn
Ministry of Finance No. 28 Tran Hung Dao St., Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam support@mof.gov.vn
Ministry of Transport No. 80 Tran Hung Dao St., Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam Vpbaocao@mt.gov.vn
Ministry of Construction No. 37 Le Dai Hanh St., Hai Ba Trung District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam boxaydung@moc.gov.vn
Ministry of Education and Training No. 49 Dai Co Viet St., Hai Ba Trung District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam bogddt@moet.edu.vn
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development No. 2 Ngọc Hà St., Ba Đình District, Hà Nội webmaster@agroviet.gov.vn
Ministry of Industry and Trade No. 54, Hai Ba Trung St., Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam NgocPM@moit.gov.vn
Ministry of Planning and Investment No. 6B Hoang Dieu St., Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam ttth@mpi.gov.vn
Ministry of Health No 138A Giang Vo St., Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam byt@moh.gov.vn
Ministry of Science and Technology No. 113 Tran Duy Hung St., Cau Giay District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam ttth@most.gov.vn
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment No. 83 Nguyen Chi Thanh St., Dong Da District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam webmaster@monre.gov.vn
Ministry of Information and Communications No. 18 Nguyen Du St., Hoan Kiem Dist, Ha Noi, Viet Nam office@mic.gov.vn
Ministry of Home Affairs No. 08 Tôn That Thuyet St., Cau Giay District, Hà Noi, Viet Nam vanphongbo@moha.gov.vn
Government Inspectorate No. 220 Doi Can St., Ba Dinh District, Hà Nội, Việt Nam ttcp@thanhtra.gov.vn
State Bank of Việt Nam No. 47-49 Ly Thai To St., Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi thuky_vp@sbv.gov.vn
Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs No. 80-82 Phan Dinh Phung St., Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam banbientap@cema.gov.vn
Government Office No. 01 Hoang Hoa Tham St., Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam vpcp@chinhphu.vn
Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs No. 12 Ngo Quyen St., Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam tiepnhanykien@molisa.gov.vn
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism No. 51-53 Ngô Quyền St, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam bovanhoathethaodulich@chinhphu.vn

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10.2. Bilateral chambers of commerce

Entity & Webpage Vietnam Office Address Contact Information
Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam Casa Italia, 18 Le Phung Hieu St., Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam Tel: (+84) 24 3824 5997
German Business Association in Vietnam - 4th floor - Deutsches Haus Ho Chi Minh City, 33 Le Duan Blvd, District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Tel: +84 28 3823 9772 Email: info@gba-vietnam.org
Czech Trade Promotion Agency Vietnam Unit 1616, Level 16, Bitexco Financial Tower Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Tel: +842 862 876 103 Mob: +84 767 133 953 Email: ivan.nikl@czechtrade.cz
Belgium - Luxembourg Chammber of Commerce in Vietnam 5th Floor, the Deutsches Haus, 33 Le Duan Blvd District 1, Ho Chi Minh-City Tel: +848 38 224 029
CCI France Vietnam 186 Nguyen Van Huong, 1st floor, Le Square Thao Dien, Ho Chi Minh City Contact details available here
Portugal - Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry 5F, Deutsches Haus, 33 Le Duan St., Dist. 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Tel: +84 (0) 28 3827 2705
Central and Eastern European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam NMazars Office, 17th Floor, Mipec Tower, 229 Tay Son, Dong Da District, Hanoi Email: office@ceecvn.org
Dutch Business Association Vietnam N4th floor, Sofitel Saigon Plaza, 17 Le Duan Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1 70000, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Email: admin@dbav.org.vn Tel: +84 2873002294
Nordic Chamber of Commerce Vietnam Unit 08, 3B Floor, Horison Towers, 40 Cat Linh, Ha Noi Tel: (84-24) 3 715 2228 Email: chair@nordchamvietnam.com
Spanish Chamber of Commerce Vietnam 701-702, 7 Floor, Diamond Plaza, 34 Le Duan, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Tel: (84-28) 3825 1939 Email: spanishchambervn@gmail.com
Business France
Delegate of German Industry and Commerce in Vietnam Deutsches Haus Ho Chi Minh, 4th Floor, 33 Le Duan Blvd, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Tel: +84 (28) 3823 9775 Email: info@vietnam.ahk.de
European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam Unit 08, 3B Floor, Horison Towers 40 Cat Linh, Ha Noi Tel: (84-24) 3 715 2228 Email: info-hn@eurochamvn.org
Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and Advantage Austria Commercial Office Hanoi 8th Floor, Prime Centre 53 Quang Trung Street 10000, Hanoi, Vietnam Tel: +84 (0)24 3943 4869 Email: hanoi@advantageaustria.org

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10.3. Useful EU and Vietnamese trade resources

Entity & Webpage Vietnam Office Address Contact Information
European Delegation to Vietnam 24th floor, West wing, Lotte Center Hanoi 54 Lieu Giai street, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi Tel: +84 24 3941 0099 Email: Delegation-vietnam@eeas.europa.eu

The European Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission information on trading with Vietnam can be accessed here, and the 2019 guide to the EU’s trade and investment agreements with Vietnam can be found here.

The Access2Markets database, a database that provides product-by-product information on trade for EU businesses to more than 120 export markets can be accessed here.

The TARIC, or integrated Tariff of the European Union database, a database that provides information on trade policy and tariff measures that apply to specific goods in the EU can be accessed here.

The South-East Asia Intellectual Property Helpdesk discussed in Section 6.7 of this guide can be accessed here.

The Info Viet-Trade Portal, an online gateway on international trade procedures implemented by the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) can be accessed here.

Additional guides to the EVFTA and import/export procedures published by the French Chamber of Commerce can be accessed here.

News and information regarding trade and investment in Vietnam published by Germany Trade and Investment can be accessed here.

Information on economic, commercial and bilateral relations between Spain and Vietnam published by the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade can be accessed here.

Information on Ready to Export, a program founded by the Dutch Business Association Vietnam (DBAV) to enhance the capacity of Vietnamese SMEs can be accessed here.

The AHK Knowledge Hub Vietnam, a website aiming to provide companies trading with or investing in Vietnam with essential knowledge for their activities, can be accessed here.

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Legal Notice and Disclaimer

Responsible: WTI Advisors SARL (Capital: EUR 2000), 250 bis Boulevard Saint-Germain, F – 75007 Paris. Phone : +33-1-82280789; Fax: +33182280789; Email: paris@wtiadvisors.com; Website: www.wtiadvisors.com.
This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of WTI Advisors SARL and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.
This website does not constitute legal advice. The contents has been principally curated by Dr Oliver Massmann, Duane Morris Vietnam LLC, and a team of experts under his guidance. Website: www.duanemorris.com.

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