LEGAL UPDATE – MARCH 2024 – Vietnam – Key compliance requirements on personal data protection

Issue March 2024

Nguyen Anh Tuan
Managing Partner 

Phan Thi Minh
Senior Associate


“With effectiveness from 01 July 2023 for compliance, acts related to personal data in the territory of Vietnam, acts of using cyberspace, electronic devices, equipment, or other forms to transfer personal data of a Vietnamese citizen to a location outside the territory of Vietnam or using a location outside the territory of Vietnam to process personal data of a Vietnamese citizens are subject to compliance with regulations on personal data protection set forth in Government’s Decree 13”

One of the latest and most fundamental legal instruments in place governing the protection of personal data in Vietnam is Decree No. 13/2023/ND-CP (“Decree 13”). This long-awaited Decree 13 was issued by the Government on 17 April 2023.

Decree 13 introduces, inter alia, new requirements with respect to the protection of personal data, which apply to any domestic or foreign organizations or individuals that directly participate in or are involved in processing personal data in Vietnam. Those requirements under Decree 13 take effect on 01 July 2023, save small and medium-sized enterprises are afforded a grace period of two years with regard to the obligation of appointing a data protection officer and/or department. As such, it is highly recommended for businesses to review their internal privacy policies and compliance practice to identify the incompatibilities with Decree 13 and take immediately actions to ensure compliance with Decree 13.

Key compliance requirements in Decree 13 are outlined hereunder.

1. Identifying role in processing personal data

Decree 13 clearly distinguishes between the different roles of parties involves in the processing of data and provides respective responsibilities for each role. Specifically:

Data Controller refers to an organization or individual that decides the purpose and means of processing personal data. The Data Controller has the highest responsibility to comply with data protection requirements, including obtainment of the data subject’s prior consent for all processing activities, receipt of the data subject requirements and carrying out notification of any personal data breach to the Ministry of Public Security (“MPS”).

Data Processor refers to an organization or individual that process personal data on behalf of the Data Controller through a contract with the Data Controller. Data Processor is responsible for notifying the Data Controller of any personal data breaches and process personal data in accordance with a contract entered into with the Data Controller.

Data Controlling and Processing Party is a hybrid role of both Data Controller and Data Processor.

Third Party refers to individuals or entities other than the data subject, Data Controller, Data Processor or Data Controlling and Processing Party that are allowed to process personal data. The Third Party is responsible to archive personal data in forms in conformity with its operation and adopt measures for protecting the personal data as prescribed by law.

Accordingly, it is crucial for businesses to identify their exact roles in processing personal data to determine their responsibilities in the course of processing personal data.

2. Obtainment of the data subject’s consents

Decree 13 requires the obtainment of the individual’s prior consent in all activities of data processing, save for a few exceptions. The consent by a data subject will be valid only when (i) it is freely given, and (ii) the data subject fully knows information about the type of personal data, purpose of data processing, parties processing the data, and the data subject’s rights and obligations. Noted that, the consent must be expressed by written instrument, by voice, by ticking the consent box, in the syntax of consents through text messages, by selecting technical settings to consent, or by another action that expresses the same.

A silence or non-response from the data subject shall not be deemed as their consent. In case of dispute, Data Controller and Data Controlling and Processing Party bears the burden of proving the data subject’s consent.

3. Assessment of the impact of personal data processing

All Data Controller and Data Controlling and Processing Party must form and store their personal data processing impact assessment dossier (“Impact Assessment Dossier”) since the commencement of processing personal data. Impact Assessment Dossier must be submitted to A05 within 60 days from the date of processing of personal data for A05’s review and made available at all times for the inspection and evaluation by the MPS.

The Impact Assessment Dossier must include:

  • Information on Data Controller, Data Controlling and Processing Party and their internal data protect officer;
  • Purposes and types of personal data processed;
  • Recipients of personal data, including overseas entities;
  • Cases of cross-border transfer of personal data;
  • Retention period; expected time for deletion or disposition of personal data (if any);
  • Description on measures of personal data protection applied;
  • Assessment of the impact of personal data processing; potential and unwanted consequences and/or damage, and measures for minimization or elimination thereof.

Data Processor also may be subject to the requirement of conducting and maintaining Impact Assessment Dossier if so required by a contract signed with Data Controller.

4. Cross border data transfer requirements

Decree 13 however allows the transferor (including Data Controller, Data Controlling and Processing Party, Data Processor and the Third Party) to transfer the personal data of the Vietnamese citizens to a third country, subject to the following requirements:

  • The transferor must prepare a cross-border personal data transfer processing impact assessment dossier. The dossier must include mandatory contents such as a description of types of personal data transferred overseas, descriptions and explanations of the objectives of the personal data processing of Vietnamese citizens, a document showing the binding and responsibilities between the transferor and the recipient of transferred personal data of Vietnamese citizens.
  • The impact assessment dossier must be available at any time for review and inspection by MPS. The transferor must submit an original of the impact assessment dossier in prescribed form to MPS within 60 days from the date of processing of personal data. MPS may require the transferor to complete the impact assessment dossier in the event of improper dossier;
  • Upon the successfully transfer of data, the transferor must submit a written notification on the data transfer and contact detail of person in-charge to MPS.

MPS retains the discretion to suspend any cross-border transfer if the transferor fails to satisfy such above requirements or violates interests and national security of Vietnam or has Vietnamese citizen’s personal data leaked or lost.

5. Personal data breach notification requirement

In the event of inspecting any personal data breaches, (i) Data Processor is required to notify the Data Controller immediately of a breach occurring, and (ii) Data Controller and the Data Controlling and Processing Party are required to notify MPS (Department of Cybersecurity and Hi-tech Crime Prevention) within 72 hours of the breach occurring. Notification must be made in a prescribed form with compulsory contents.  In case of notifying after 72 hours, Data Controller and Data Controlling and Processing Party is required to provide reasons for delay or late notification.

A comprehensive administrative penalty on violations against personal data protection regulations may not be available at the effectiveness of Decree 13. However, there are certain sanctions imposed on violations against regulations on collection, use, updating, alteration and removal of personal information and the assurance of security of personal information in cyberspace, with administrative fines ranging from VND 10 million to VND 70 million or be prosecuted under Penal Code for serious cases of violations.


Requirements set forth in Decree 13 place significant burdens to parties involved in the personal data processing, especially multi-national businesses. Given such requirements are broadly worded, it is expected that MPS would issue further guidance on interpretation and enforcement of provisions stipulated in Decree 13.

Download pdf version

VIETNAM: Is covid-19 outbreak an event of force majeure? How the laws of Vietnam regulate about force majeure, rights, obligations and responsibilities of parties to a contract in case of occurring an event force majeure?

April 13, 2020

Force majeure is a rather complicated issue under the laws of Vietnam. Courts and arbitrators heard and judged many disputes related to force majeure circumstances, and it should be noted that any occurrence of the events of force majeure defined and regulated in the contracts will be certainly accepted by courts, arbitrators, resulting in a situation that party suffering from such event will certainly be exempted from implementing its obligations, responsibilities stipulated in such contracts.

It has been recently published and discussed in the public communication means, newspapers, and social network forums different views, including legal views, on the coronavirus/COVID-10 pandemic, subjectively judging that coronavirus/COVID-19 epidemic outbreak in Vietnam is an event of force majeure, and party suffering from such event will be exempted from implementing its obligations, responsibilities stipulated in the contracts of various types, such as premise leases for business, sale and purchase contracts, service supply contracts, contracts for “lump system” of products/property, credit/loan agreements and contracts of other types. In consideration of such judgments flood in local mass media, many parties are considering various ways to unilaterally terminate contracts signed with their partners, with a hope that they would be exempted from implementing their contractual obligations, responsibilities. We suggest that you should be careful and should seek advice from counsels of high seniority and long-standing experience on force majeure under the laws of Vietnam before taking action of unilateral termination.

Last Friday, April 10, 2020, a group of high-seniority counsels of BIZCONSULT LAW FIRM have comprehensively discussed on their study and legal assessments on force majeure events, as to when and in what circumstances coronavirus/COVID-19 epidemic disease outbreak and certain preventive measures and lockdowns imposed by the Government of Vietnam for preventing and fighting against the fast and wide spreading of the epidemic disease would be considered a force majeure event, and that in such situation what and how rights, interests, obligations and responsibilities of each party to contract will be determined and judged in accordance with the laws of Vietnam.

If you are facing to any of the above issues, contact us for advice on your specific issue:

Counsel Nguyen Anh Tuan: [email protected]

Counsel Nguyen Trong Nghia: [email protected]


Bizconsult Law Firm is pleased to be the contributors of Asian-mena Counsel In-house Handbook Edition 2020

Bizconsult’s Chairman – Lawyer Nguyen Anh Tuan and bizconsult’s partners namely Lawyer Nguyen Thu Huyen, Lawyer Ha Thi Hai, Lawyer Tran Cong Quoc are pleased to be the contributors of Asian-mena Counsel In-house Handbook Edition 2020’s article “Vietnam market update”. The article offers a holistic approach to Vietnam’s current legal provisions in the most essential law areas that foreign investors need to be aware of when participating in Vietnam market such as investment law, labor law, competition law, provisions on foreign exchange controls.

Download PDF




On June 14th, 2019, the National Assembly enacted Law No. 42/2019/QH14 on amendment and supplement of a number of articles of Law on Insurance Business and Law on Intellectual Property (“Law No. 42”) to comply with the Intellectual Property regulations set forth in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Law No. 42 will officially take effect from November 1st, 2019 with points related to Intellectual Property noted as follows:
1. Novelty and inventive step of patent

A patent shall not lose its novelty if the patent application is submitted within 12 months in Vietnam from the date that:

i. The patent is directly or indirectly disclosed by the person who is entitled to registry or the person who has information about it.

ii. The disclosure of the patent by the State administrative agency of industrial property rights is inconsistent with the laws;

iii. The patent application is submitted by the person who is ineligible for registration.

The patent shall not be considered losing its novelty as new regulation of Law No. 42 extends the time limit for submission of patent application from 6 months to 12 months. Besides, Law No. 42 provides wider range of the applicants than the former regulations of Law on Intellectual Property.

In addition, Law No. 42 supplements the regulations that a technical solution which is a patent disclosed in the above cases shall not be used as a basis for evaluating the inventive step of such patent.

2. Validity of the Trademark Licensing Agreement (“TLA”)

The TLA between the parties is legally binding upon third parties without being registered at the National Office of Intellectual Property.

3. Obligation to use the trademarks

In the event that a dispute arises due to a request for termination of validity of Trademark Certificate of Registration of the third party as the trademark has not been used for five (05) consecutive years, the use of licensed trademark by a licensee is still considered the use of the trademark owner.

4. Self-defense right

According to Law No. 42, an organization/individual that is abused by intellectual property defense procedures (intentionally exceeding the scope or purpose of the procedure) is entitled to request the Court to compel the abusing party of compensation for damages caused by abusive procedures (including reasonable fees for hiring a lawyer).

Moreover, there are additional amendments as follows:

1. Names and indications, which are the common name of goods and widely accepted by consumers in Vietnam, are ineligible for protection as geographical indications;

2. Refusal or cancellation of geographical indications due to “potentially confusing” instead of “will cause confusion” with protected trademark in Vietnam;

3. An application for registration of industrial property rights shall be submitted in paper or electronic form according to the online filing system;

4. Supplementing provisions on International proposals and processing of International proposals for protection of geographical indications;

5. Material losses caused by intellectual property’s infringement can be determined by the intellectual property right’s holder in accordance with provisions of laws.


By Nguyen Thu Huyen.

Vietnam’s National Assembly passed the new Law on Competition (New Competition Law) on June 12, 2018 and it will be taking effect on July 1, 2019, 14 years after the implementation of the Law on Competition 2004.

The New Competition Law governs (i) the acts in restraint of competition, economic concentrations which have or may have a competition-restraining impact on Vietnam’s market; (ii) unfair competitive acts; (iii) competition legal proceedings; (iv) dealing with breaches of the law on competition; and (v) State administration of competition.

The New Competition Law extends the scope of its applicable entities that consist of “related domestic and foreign agencies, organisations and individuals”, apart from organisations and individuals conducting business and industry and professional associations operating in Vietnam. These broadened regulations aim to create the mechanism to settle anti-competitive acts and/or cases which may be implemented overseas but have or may have a competition-restraining impact on Vietnam’s market and to control acts relating to competition of state authorities. This content is to meet the requirements of economic integration and create a fair competition environment for both domestic and foreign organisation/individuals.

Pursuant to the New Competition Law, there are significant changes in regulating “acts in restraint of competition”, which are defined as actions that cause or may cause a competition-restraining impact, including “practices of agreement in restraint of competition, abuse of dominant market position, and abuse of monopoly position”. Under the 2004 version of Law, the “acts in restraint of competition” apply only to enterprises and consist of “economic concentration”, meanwhile, these matters are now no longer provided.

The approaching method under the 2004 version of the law to control “agreements in restraint of competition” is solely based on “combined market share”. At present, the New Competition Law manages these agreements by its nature or ability to have a significant competition-restraining impact in the market. The term “significant competition-restraining impact” is newly provided and shall be determined by the National Competition Committee according to market share ratio, barriers to market access or expansion, restriction of research, development and renovation of technologies, etc. The New Competition Law further provides three more types of agreements in its list of “agreements in restraint of competition”, including: agreements not to trade with parties not participating in the agreements; agreements to restrain the product sale market or sources of supply of goods and services of parties not participating in the agreements; and other agreements which have or may have a competition-restraining impact. In addition, the New Competition Law provides the new term of “significant market force”, which is a ground to verify “a dominant market position” of an enterprise, apart from the one of “holding of 30 percent or more of the market share in the relevant market”.

The management of economic concentration is another noteworthy change of the New Competition Law. Unlike the 2004 version of the law, which determines the prohibited economic concentration by relevant market share ratio, presently, economic concentration shall be prohibited if it causes the effect or is capable of causing the effect of significantly restricting competition in the market of Vietnam. The “significantly restricting competition effect” shall be also confirmed by the National Competition Committee based on specific elements provided in this New Competition Law. Regarding “the unfair competitive acts”, the New Competition Law does not re-provide and refer to other acts that are governed under other relevant laws, and “illegal multi-level sales” are excluded from unfair competitive acts.

One last remarkable point of the New Competition Law is to strengthen and ensure the independence of the state administration of competition by having new regulation on the National Competition Committee, which is an agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, being in charge of advising and assisting the Minister of Industry and Trade in exercising the function of state administration of competition; carrying out competition legal proceedings and to perform other duties in accordance with the laws.


By Phan Nhat Phuong.

In the middle of the year 2018, the Government of Vietnam issued Decree No. 86/2018/ND-CP (Decree 86) to regulate foreign cooperation and investments in education sector in Vietnam, taking effect as from August 1, 2018 and replacing Decree No. 73/2012/ND-CP (Decree 73) and Decree No. 124/2014/ND-CP (Decree 124).

One of the noteworthy points under Decree 86 is educational association, which is defined as twinning between Vietnamese private kindergartens, Vietnamese private general educational institutions and foreign educational institutions accredited by an education quality assessment organisations or foreign competent authorities in order to implement the integrated education programme; provided however that the educational association and the integrated education programme must be approved by the Vietnamese competent authorities. The period of educational association shall not exceed five years from the date of approval, which can be extended five years for each renewal.

The remarkable regulations to implement the integrated education programme under Decree 86 includes: (i) foreign education programme used in the integrated education programme shall be accredited in the home country or by an educational competent authority of the aforesaid country; (ii) the integrated education programme shall ensure the objectives of the Vietnamese education programme and still satisfy the requirements of the foreign education programme; learners shall not be forced to re-study the same contents, and the integrated programme shall maintain its stability throughout the study level and the interconnection between levels for the interests of the students; and ensuring volunteer participation and not overwhelming the students; (iii) the size of class and the facilities shall adequately meet the requirements of the integrated education programme and shall not affect the teaching activities of the Vietnamese educational institution during the education association process; (iv) the Vietnamese teachers assigned to teach an integrated education programme shall satisfy the training requirements according to the regulations of Vietnamese laws; the foreign teachers assigned to teach an integrated programme is required with a bachelor’s degree corresponding to his/her teaching majors and also a teacher certificate or equivalent.

One more notable point is that the administrative procedure provided under Decree 73 to obtain decision on establishment of foreign invested centres providing short-term training on foreign languages, IT, cultures and specialised skills are repealed under Decree 86. Accordingly, the establishment of such centres is subject only to the following procedures: (i) obtaining Investment Registration Certificate for foreign investors; (ii) obtaining Enterprise Registration Certificate for enterprise operating the centres and (iii) obtaining approval of educational operation and publication on the websites of the licensing competent authority. Under Decree 86, in order to issue Investment Registration Certificate, the licensing competent authority (ie, Department of Planning and Investment) is required to send the official letter to get the appraisal of the corresponding Department of Education and Training; however, in practice, the licensing authority at its discretion may ask for further appraisal from District People’s Committee and Department of Transportation.

In addition, the limitation of Vietnamese students has been raised from 10 percent of primary and 20 percent of secondary students under Decree 73 to a higher percentage of not exceeding 50 percent of the total enrolment of the international school.

Lastly, Decree 86 opens more opportunities for the foreign-invested kindergartens to enrol Vietnamese children under five years old which was previously prohibited under Decree 73.


By Huynh Hoang Sang.

The number of solar power projects (SPP) in Vietnam has grown quickly in recent years, especially after the Prime Minister promulgated Decision No.11/2017/QD-TTg (Decision 11) on April 11, 2017 providing a mechanism for encouragement of solar power in Vietnam. This Decision took effect from June 01, 2017 and expires on June 30, 2019.

With the expiry date fast approaching, SPP investors are focused on the construction and completion of such SPPs before the benefit of Decision 11 come to an end. There are two main benefits. Firstly, Decision 11 allows SPPs to be eligible for the exemption and/or the reduction of import duties, corporate income tax, land levy, land rent and water surface rent in accordance with application laws of Vietnam (Art 10, Art 11 of Decision 11). Secondly, Decision 11 also provides a compulsory responsibility of Vietnam Electricity (EVN) as an electricity buyer to purchase all of electricity created by SPPs (Art 9.1 of Decision 11).

Following Decision 11, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) issued Circular 16/2017/TT-BCT (Circular 16) on September 12, 2017 regarding project development and sample of power purchase agreements (PPA) mandatorily applied to SPPs including rooftop solar power project (rSPP) and grid-connected solar power project (gSPP). One of the noteworthy points of Circular 16 is that the investor shall only be permitted to form a gSPP if it is approved in the provincial or national solar power planning or provincial or national power development planning (Art 10.1 of Circular 16). However, the investor of rSPP shall only need to register the connecting terminal with the electricity company at provincial level for the rSPP having capacity under 1 megawatt (MW) or follow the regulatory procedures for inclusion of rSPP having capacity of 1 MW or over in the solar power development planning (Art 11 of Circular 16).

As of March 11, 2019, the MOIT further issued Circular 05/2019/TT-BCT (Circular 05) to amend and supplement a number of articles of Circular 16, which provides a specific electricity pricing and new template of PPA for rSPP. In particular, the electricity pricing for rSPP prior to January 01, 2018 is unchanged but after January 01, 2018, it shall be adjusted in accordance with the exchange rate between VND/USD as publicly announced by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) on the last working day of the previous year (Art 1.1 of Circular 05). The adhesion of exchange rate herein may be an issue for the investor as it may be treated as a violation under Ordinance on Foreign Exchange Control and its guiding regulations. If this was the case, the investor would be subject to a fine up to VND250 million (US$10,700) (Art 24.6 (c) of Circular 32/2013/TT-NHNN).

Further to Circular 05, the new sample of PPA for rSPP replaces two previous templates of PPA of rSPP as attached in Circular 16 and makes it more preferable on the scope of electricity trading, payment method, rights and obligations of the parties (Art 1.2 of Circular 05). This sample is compulsory for purchasing of electricity by and between EVN and electricity seller for a term of 20 years from the commercial operation of rSPP (Art 7.1 of PPA of rSPP attached in Circular 05). The parties are permitted to supplement some new articles without making any change of the principal contents of this agreement (Art 18.3 of Circular 16). During the term of this agreement, any requirement on amendment of the agreement must be notified to other party 15 days in advance (Art 7.2 of PPA of rSPP attached in Circular 05). The SPP investors, especially for rSPP, should place importance to this Circular and the new sample PPA of rSPP before the effective date of Circular 05 (April 25, 2019).


By Tran Cong Quoc.

In December 2018, the Government of Vietnam issued the Decree 163/2018/ND-CP (Decree 163), effective from February 2019. Decree 163 is said to be a radical reform of regulations on private issuance of corporate bonds in Vietnam, repealing the Decree 90/2011/ND-CP (Decree 90).

One of the most notable points under the Decree 163 is that the requisite conditions for issuing corporate bonds have been significantly liberalized. Specifically, the requirement to be profitable in the year immediately before issuance is now lifted. The condition for one-year test period before issuance shall be counted from the date of initial issuance of issuer’s business registration certificate, rather than the date of official operation as under Decree 90. In this regard, for issuers that have undergone restructuring such as merger, conversion or division, such time period before restructuring shall be taken into account for the purpose of that one-year test. Another noteworthy point is that a form of issuing by direct placement to  bondholders without going through issuing agent or underwriter is now allowed for any issuers. Previously, under Decree 90, it was limited for the credit institution only. With respect to international bonds, conditions requiring a credit rating for the issuer and legal opinion regarding issue have been revoked. Nonetheless, Decree 163 introduces a new condition for bond issues that requires an  issuer has to fulfill any outstanding due principal and interest accrued from those bonds issued in three consecutive years prior to the current issuance. Further, transferring of privately issued bonds upon issuance in the secondary market shall be, within first year of issuance, restricted to the extent of 100 investors, excluding professional investors.

Decree 90 previously mandates an audited financial statement (FS) of issuer for the year immediately preceding the year of issuance as a condition for bond issuance. Should the bonds be issued in first quarter of a year where yearly audited FS has not been prepared, then the unaudited one shall be alternatively allowed, but to this end, that unaudited yearly FS must firstly be approved by the board of directors (for joint stock companies) or members’ council (for liability limited companies) in accordance with the charter of the issuer. However, the charter of companies in Vietnam do not usually regulate such power of board of directors or members’ council to approve unaudited yearly FS for the purpose of bond issuance, leaving a legal uncertainty whether an issuer can use the yearly unaudited FS approved by its board of directors or member’s council for such purpose. Decree 163 now has relieved such uncertainty by stipulating that in such circumstance, an issuer may adopt the quarter or semi-annual audited FS instead, thus no longer requiring the yearly unaudited FS.

Remarkably, Decree 163 introduces a more systematical administration regime for corporate bonds as compared with Decree 90. In particular, the stock exchange shall now be the responsible state authority directly monitoring private corporate bond offerings in Vietnam, instead of Ministry of Finance under Decree 90, which shall receive any statutory pre-issuance report, post-issuance report and regular and irregular information disclosure by the issuer in respect to the bonds issued. In addition, issuer shall be required to deposit issued bonds with depository agent, ie the Vietnam Securities Depository (VSD) or a member of VSD, to manage the registrar and transferring thereof within 10 days from issue, and status of ownership of such bonds shall be updated by depository agent to the stock exchange on semi-annual basis. The stock exchange shall establish and manage a corporate bond website to collect and publicise the information on international and domestic corporate bonds issued by Vietnamese issuers, which shall include, among others, information regarding bond terms & conditions, conversion of the bonds, attached-warrant exercise and regular and irregular information disclosure of the issuers. Investors may log in such website to search for the status of bond issues in accordance with the operation rules of such website which shall be issued by stock exchange down the road. The previously-issued bonds shall also comply with such requirements on depositing and information disclosure under the Decree 163 as from the effective date thereof.


New regulations on foreign investment conditions in logistics services

On 30 December 2017, the Vietnamese Government issued the Decree No. 163/2017/ND-CP (“Decree 163”) replacing the Decree No. 140/2007/ND-CP (“Decree 140”) on the logistics service. Decree 163 shall take effect from 20 February 2018.

1.Classification of logistics service

Previously, Decree 140 classified logistics services into three groups with a range of services. Under Decree 163, logistics services are divided into 17 service categories with clearer and more consistent regulations comparing to Vietnam’s commitments in the Schedule of Specific Commitments in Services of Vietnam when access to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Such classification does not limit the form of logistics service since it recognizes “Other services agreed by logistics service providers and customers which are in compliance with the basic principles of Law on Commerce”.

2.Conditions of foreign investors for investment in logistics service business

In comparison with Decree 140, Decree 163 does not provide the conditions of foreign investors for investment in logistics service businesses which are already allowed 100% market access such as: Warehouse services; Transportation agency services but regulates the conditions of foreign investors for investment in other logistics service business pursuant to the Schedule of Specific Commitments in Services of Vietnam to WTO. Accordingly, the maximum foreign ownership in some logistics services are regulated as follows:

  • For cargo transport services classified as sea transport services (except for inland transport) (excluding sea transport company), cargo transport services classified as inland waterway transport services or cargo transport services classified as rail transport services (does not exceed 49%);
  • For container handling services classified as auxiliary services for sea transport and multimodal transport, except for services provided at airports (does not exceed 50%);
  • For cargo transport services classified as road transport services (does not exceed 51%);
  • For customs clearance services classified as auxiliary services for sea transport and for other services (does not exceed 100%);
  • For technical inspection and analysis services which are  provided in order to exercise authority of the Government (does not exceed 100% after three years or 100% after five years, as from the date on which the private enterprise is permitted to conduct business in such services)

Noteworthy, Decree 163 acknowledges foreign investment by way of capital contribution and share purchase and business cooperation contract beside the establishment of enterprises as prescribed in Decree 140.

Moreover, foreign invested organizations providing the unbound logistic services must obtain the business license under regulations of Decree No. 09/2018/ND-CP.


New Decree amending certain decrees related to business investment conditions under the State management scope of the Ministry of Industry and Trade


On January 15th, 2018, the Government issued Decree No. 08/2018/ND-CP amending certain decrees related to business investment conditions under the State management scope of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (“MOIT”) (“Decree 08”). According to this Decree, the Government has eliminated a total of 675 conditions among 1216 business conditions managed by MOIT. Accordingly, the following areas are mainly focused:


Decree 08 completely repeals Article 5 on the master plans on development of the petrol and oil trading system and Article 10 on the conditions for petroleum production. The planning conditions related to production location, production scale has been reduced to facilitate the enterprises in freely selecting suitable petroleum production and business models.

Decree 08 abolishes the conditions related to the storage system, transport vehicles. Accordingly, a petrol and oil trader is no longer required to own or co-own (with a capital contribution of at least 51%) regarding the storage system and to be able to satisfy at least one-third of the trader’s reserve demand. This article also applies to the local petrol transport vehicles having capacity of 3,000m3 after being granted the Business License for import and export of petrol and oil.

In addition, Decree 08 abrogates the conditions for scale expansion by requiring petrol and oil traders to own or co-own at least four (04) retail stations each year until they reach at least one hundred (100) petrol retail stations belonging to the distribution network of the trader after being granted the Business license for import and export of petrol and oil.

However, this abrogation may lead to the situation of disorder, inappropriate distribution of petrol stations, only focus on urban areas, large roads, not satisfy the demand of people in rural and remote areas.


The only condition applied to franchisor is the business system intended for franchising has been operating for at least one (01) year. Although it is not explicitly stated yet, it may be construed that the removal conditions applicable to both the original franchisor and the sub-franchisor. In addition, the conditions for the franchisee and the goods and services allowed to be franchised have also been abolished.


Decree 08 abolishes unclear regulations related to conditions of individuals, organizations when they want to set up sales e-commerce websites, e-commerce service provision websites and credit rating of e-commerce websites.

In particular, in relation to evaluation and certification of protection of private information policy in e-commerce activity, Decree 08 annuls the conditions on having business registration or establishment decision specifying the field of operation as evaluation and certification of protection of private information policy in e-commerce; independence in organization and finance from traders, organizations and individuals who are assessed and certified for their privacy policy; having detailed activity plan approved by the MOIT; having criteria and procedures for assessing privacy policies in compliance with the regulations of the MOIT.

Moreover, Decree 08 also eliminates the conditions related to valid domain name or request for financial and technical evidence in the certification of e-contracts.


 Decree 08 abolishes the conditions of locations, workshops, machinery, equipment, technological processes, warehouses and conditions for testing and analyzing chemicals related to Table 1 chemical production conditions.

This relaxation seems to be a bold move as the production of chemicals is highly dangerous while safety conditions are minimized. However, if based on the provisions of Decree 113/2017/ND-CP detailing and guiding the implementation of certain articles of the Chemicals Law dated October 9th, 2017 (“Decree 113”), the abolition of these regulations is only formalistic when more stringent conditions are already stipulated in Decree 113.


Decree 08 amends, supplements a number of articles and clauses of Decree No. 77/2016/ND-CP dated July 1st, 2016 of the Government on amendment and supplementation of certain regulations on investment and trading conditions on international trade in goods, chemicals, industrial explosive material, fertilizer, gas business and food business under the state management of MOIT. In particular, the Decree 08 focuses on reducing regulations related to general conditions to ensure food safety for food production and trading establishments. There are remarkable points including the abolition of conditions on business registration certificates, household business registration certificates or equivalent documents. In addition, the regulations related to production facilities, business facilities and equipment for production and business activities are also reduced, such as the conditions of ventilation, lighting, water supply systems; warehouse conditions such as full nameplate, having temperature and humidity monitoring equipment, and warehouse conditions monitoring records, etc.; unclear conditions of the conformity of equipment; conditions for the prevention of animals, insects and harmful microorganisms are also more appropriately regulated.


In addition, Decree 08 also abolishes some conditions related to production facilities, equipment and tools for processed milk, beer and vegetable oil production. Particularly, all provisions related to food safety conditions specifically provided for small food production and retail facilities were abolished.

Aside from the above-mentioned areas, Decree 08 also reduces the business conditions in the areas of tobacco, electricity, industrial explosive material. This Decree takes effect from the signing date.