DECREE 40 AND CIRCULAR 10 ON MULTI-LEVEL MARKETING

In the past there have been issues with MLM companies in Vietnam, such as unfairness towards the customers, failure to fulfil tax obligations, and the sale of low-quality products. Consequently, the authorities have become stricter. Decree 40 intends to address these issues and provide a better legal framework for companies using MLM as well as create transparency.

DECREE 22 ON IPR

Decree 22 provides additional information regarding the timeline for re-registration, change and abolishment of copyright registration certificate, collection and distribution of royalties, protection of copyright and related rights and invalidation of a registered copyright or related right.

DECREE 82 ON NEW CONCEPTS OF INDUSTRIAL PARKS AND THEIR INCENTIVES

Vietnam is working towards supporting different kinds of industries by introducing new concepts of industrial zones with incentives. Decree 82 introduces the new concepts, such as the auxiliary industrial zone, or supporting industry zone, and the eco-industrial zone. Incentives are also set out for manufacturers of supporting industries' products and eco-enterprises.

COMPETITION LAW WILL IMPACT M&A ACTIVITIES AND OFFSHORE COMPANIES

One of the most important points in the new Competition Law is that the Vietnamese competition authorities could prohibit competition-restricting agreements and decide that an economic concentration is not allowed in case these have or potentially have the effect of significantly restricting competition in the (Vietnamese) market. This is expected to have an impact on mergers, consolidations, acquisitions, joint ventures even between offshore parties. The law will also apply to foreign companies, with or without a presence or subsidiary in Vietnam.

DECREE 74 ON PRODUCTS QUALITY INSPECTION

The Law on Product and Goods Quality sets out requirements products must meet before they can put on the Vietnamese market. Most notable changes in Decree 74 are the possibility to self-assess product conformity and that several products such as samples and luggage when arriving at Tan Son Nhat international airport, are exempted of inspection.

DECREE 86 ON FOREIGN INVESTMENT AND COOPERATION IN EDUCATION

This decree sets out several points, including educational linkage, a more relaxed program enrolment, approval and accreditation requirements, more severe teaching credentials, joint programs for foreign language proficiency, and increased investment capital minimums.
On the one hand the Vietnamese Government seems to be more relaxed about foreign investment in the educational sector allowing more Vietnamese students to enrol, but on the other hand investment capital and teacher qualification requirements have increased.

OVERCOME THE TECHNICAL BARRIERS FOR EXPORT OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS TO THE EU

It is expected that the European Union Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will be signed before the end of 2018. On 17 August a seminar organised by the Vietnamese High Quality Product Business Association took place to inform companies on the EVFTA.
Marieke van der Pijl, Business Development Manager at ACSV Legal (former Legal Consultant and Vice-Chair of the Food, Agri and Aqua Business Sector Committee of the European Chamber of Commerce, gave a presentation providing insights on the impact of the EVFTA and suggestions.

DECREE 27 ON THE USE OF INTERNET SERVICES AND ONLINE INFORMATION

Decree 27 on the use of internet services and online information intends to create an investment environment that will increase online activities ranging from online gaming, social networks and website creation. At the same time, it will regulate the management of social network sites.

PROMISING INVESTMENT SPOTLIGHT: WHY VIETNAM NOW?

Elaine Chew, Senior Associate of ACSV Legal, gave a presentation on 'How to structure your investment in Vietnam and an update on investing in industrial parks and special economic zones' at the event organised by Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP, www.vsip.com.vn) on 26 July last in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Other companies participating in this event were Savills, KPMG, and VSIP. There were about 100 attendees who attended the event.

DECREE 63 ON INVESTING THROUGH PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS

The new decree will likely bolster Vietnam’s PPP framework through simplified administrative procedures, increased transparency in investment projects, and strengthened decentralisation. Decree 63 is expected to minimise difficulties arising during the creation of PPP projects, thus promoting the PPP form of investment in Vietnam’s future.

DECREE 81 ON TRADE PROMOTIONS

Decree 81 provides guidance on the Commercial Law regarding trade promotion activities. It is expected to create a more efficient trade environment with simpler procedures and more detailed regulations on commercial promotions.

ENFORCEMENT OF NON-COMPETE CLAUSE

Recently the People’s Court has judged that an arbitral award related to a non-compete clause for an employee was correct. It is one of the first times in Vietnam in which the enforcement of a non-compete clause was upheld. Even though it is not a legally binding precedent, it is still an important judgement.

DECREE 51 ALLOWS FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN COMMODITY EXCHANGE IN VIETNAM

Decree 51 allows foreign investment in the establishment of a commodity exchange in Vietnam, and foreigners can now trade on the commodity exchange, or become a broker or trader. It will also make trading in commodities such as coffee and pepper easier for Vietnamese farmers.

PRIVATE EQUITY SURVEY 2018 – HKBAV+BBGV EVENT

Vietnam has been chosen to be the most-attractive destination for Private Equity investment among other economies in Southeast Asia. But what are the expectations and challenges faced by Private Equity investors in 2018? On 6 June 2018 Ms Nhung of Grant Thornton presented some highlights of the PE Survey 2018 and Mark Oakley, Managing Partner of ACSV Legal, talked about issues related to structuring a PE deal in Vietnam.

HOW TO BE COMPLIANT AS A BUSINESS – BBGV EVENT

Marieke van der Pijl, Business Development Manager of ACSV Legal, and Matthew Lourey, Managing Director of Domicile Corporate Services, gave presentations on 'How to be compliant as a business' at the BBGV Breakfast Seminar on 8 May 2018. Presentations were followed by a panel discussion with Mark Oakley, Managing Partner of ACSV Legal and Colin Blackwell, owner of Enablecode.

COMPREHENSIVE AND PROGRESSIVE AGREEMENT FOR TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP

On 8 March 2018, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). This agreement is largely the same as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

OUTLOOK 2018 – BBGV EVENT

Elaine Chew, Senior Associate of ACSV Legal, gave a general overview and update on the draft law on Special Administrative-Economic Zones at the Outlook 2018 luncheon of the BBGV in HCMC, Vietnam.

CIRCULAR 16 ON AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING CIRCULAR 1 ON IPR LAW

Circular 16 entered into force early 2018 and will further align Vietnam with international Intellectual Property norms. It amends and supplements 49 out of 67 points of Circular 01. Circular 16 contains application rules, examination procedures, deadlines, and provides information on changes related to trademarks, patents and industrial designs.

NEW PENAL CODE

The new Penal Code brings the Vietnamese law more in line with international laws and introduces corporate criminal responsibility for criminal offences such as insurance fraud, tax evasion, violation of competition regulations, terrorism financing, money laundering, pollution, manufacturing of counterfeit products and corruption.