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NEW LEGAL DOCUMENTS

Three New Ordinances Announced

The State President's Office has announced three new ordinances, including the Ordinance on Post and Telecommunications, the Ordinance on Most Favored Nation and Na­tional Treatment in International Trade and the Ordinance on Safe­guards in Importing Goods into Vietnam.

The Ordinance on most favored nation (MFN) status and national treatment (NT) in international trade, effective from September 1, 2002, states that partial or complete MFN and NT treatment will be applied to specific cases stipulated by the Vietnamese laws, in­ternational agreements which Vietnam has signed, and countries or territories that have granted Viet­nam the treatment, and other cases as decided by the Government.

The Ordinance on Safeguards in Importing Goods into Vietnam aims at restricting the negative impact of excessive imports on domestic production. Un­der the ordinance effective from September 1, 2002, the Government can raise tariffs or impose import quotas where increased imports cause losses for lo­cal businesses.

However, the measures will be valid for a maximum of four years, and the time can be extended to six years at most.

Under the Ordinance on Post and Telecommuni­cations, effective from October 1, 2002, monopoly will be abolished to boost the development and mod­ernization of the post and telecom sector and raise the efficiency of State management. Businesses from all economic sectors can provide telecom services and decide prices, except for welfare and State con­trolled services.

 

LEASING

Registration Office Opens For Business

The National Secured Transactions Registration Office has opened this week and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has now issued its second piece of legislation concerning registration at the Registration Office.

Circular 04 deals with the registration of, and provision of information about, the finance leasing of assets; it contains 12 standard forms for use at the Registration Office and five appendices with additional forms describing the parties to a finance leasing transaction and certain types of assets.

Once the leasor and leasee have entered into a finance leasing contract they must register it using Form 01 at the Registration Office, for which a fee is payable. There is also a procedure for registering amendments and extensions to existing leases. If a finance-leasing firm has a large number of transactions to register, it can apply to the Registration Office to become a frequent customer, allowing it to lodge applications by fax and to pay registration fees on a monthly basis.

The setting up of a registration system is a very important step because, if it is used properly, it gives lenders and finance leasing companies certainty that they are taking proper security unaffected by prior encumbrances.

The Registration Office is situated at 25A Cat Linh Ha Noi and the MoJ plans to open branches in other major cities.

TAXATION

Salary Expenses Not Deductible

An answer to a query from Miras Co Ltd, the General Department of Taxation (GDT) has advised that the salaries and remuneration of investors in private enterprises, of the owners of production businesses and of family households cannot be treated as reasonable deductible expenditure for calculating business income tax. However other expenses such as business travel costs (where there is proper documentary evidence) can be regarded as reasonable deductible expenses.

VAT Rules For Export Processors

The GDT has sent a letter to Delta Shoes Ltd (Delta) advising hem that in normal cases exported goods, including goods processed for export, are liable to value-added tax (VAT) at the rate of 10 per cent. Because Delta entered into a contract for processing shoes for a foreign customer who requested Delta to buy certain materials and accessories in Viet Nam for use in processing the shoes for export, Delta can credit, or obtain a refund of, input VAT in respect of those materials and accessories but it must have proper invoices evidencing the purchase of the materials and accessories.

ODA Vehicles Go Tax Free

The Government has advised that projects using non fundable official development assistance (ODA) funds, nonrefundable aid from foreign non Government organizations (NGOs) and humanitarian aid that buy automobiles duty  free are only exempt from duty, VAT and special sales tax if those automobiles are used for the project purposes.

The projects will be liable for those taxes and duty if the automobiles are not used for their proper purpose.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) is to look into limiting the number of cars that can be bought duty free depending on the scale and nature of each specific project.

Foreign contractors using ODA funds are liable to pay special sales tax where applicable; they are not allowed to treat the automobiles as imports for re-export.

INVESTMENT

Investment Appraisal Process Improved

To improve investment and construction activities under Decree 52/1999/ND‑CP dated July 8 1999, the prime minister wants investors and others to improve the manner in which investments are inspected and carried out.

Investors are required to better organize implementation of their investment projects, send regular reports to the coordinating body and investment appraisal body, and notify them of any problems. Investors are responsible for any failure to properly comply with regulations on investment inspections.

The direct management body must monitor projects and encourage investors to comply with inspection regulations, and must ensure that it receives regular updates and deals with any difficulties arising from inspections.

The MPI is to co ordinate investment and construction activities, particularly Group A projects, and report difficulties to the prime minister.

 

BANKING

Flexible Loans Established

The State Bank of Viet Nam has issued new regulations (to replace or supplement those in Decision 284/2000/QDNHNN 1 dated August 25, 2000) on lending by credit institutions to their customers.

The decision covers the types of loans that can be made, the term of each type of loan which can be agreed, the lending interest rates, lending limits, loan application documents, approval of loans, methods of lending, credit contracts, rights and obligations of customers and credit institutions, and inspection of loans.

Total loans from a credit institution to a single customer must not exceed 15 per cent of the credit institution's equity; if more is required, syndication of the loan may be possible. A credit institution cannot provide loans to certain officers of the credit institution or their relatives, and cannot provide unsecured or preferential loans to auditors or major shareholders of the credit institution.

Decision 1627120011ODNHNN dated December 31, 2001

TAXATION

Company Incentives Clarified

The General Department of Taxation has provided guidelines on preferential tax incentives referred to in Circular 22/ 2001/TT‑BTC dated April 3, 2001.

Any production or business establishment which commits an offence involving tax evasion will be denied access to the preferential incentives in that fiscal year.

If the establishment commits certain types of tax evasion more than twice, the tax authorities will refuse all preferential tax incentives. Any enterprise undertaking an investment project with different business lines will only be given preferential incentives on the land rental for the part of the land on which it conducts the preferred business line and incentives for the machinery, equipment and vehicles imported for the purpose of conducting business activities in relation to the preferred business line.

Official Letter 34ITCTICS dated January 3, 2002

LAND

Leasing Guidelines Issued

The General Department of Land Administration (GDLA) has issued guidelines for procedures for preparing, considering and approving applications by domestic organizations, households and individuals to be allocated land and to lease land.

The circular details the responsibilities of GDLA, departments of land administration, district land administration authorities and various people's committees in the allocation and leasing processes and the procedures to be undertaken where a household or individual wants to build a house and requires land to be allocated for that purpose; where land is required to be leased for production and business purposes; and where an organization applies for land to be allocated or leased.

Circular 20741200 1ITT ‘TCDC dated December 14, 2001

CUSTOMS

Border Formalities Explained

The Government has issued Decree 101 to implement certain Articles of the Law on Customs relating to customs formalities, examination and inspection systems.

It applies to exports and imports and items such as currency, precious metals, gemstones, means of transport and anything brought into, or taken out of, Viet Nam or in transit through Viet Nam. Owners of goods, their agents or people legally authorized by the owners must provide customs declarations and other documentation. The decree details the customs formalities relating to imports and exports, goods in customs bond warehouses and bonded warehouses, and the procedures relating to planes, ships, trains and other vehicles entering of leaving Viet Nam or in transit.

Decree 10112001IND CP dated December 31, 2001

TOURISM

Rights And Obligations Spelled Out

The General Department of Tourism has issued guidelines on implementing Decree 27/2001/ND‑CP dated June 5, 2001, on travel and tour guide businesses which applies to all Vietnamese organisations and individuals and to foreign organisations and individuals operating under the Law on Foreign Investment in Viet Nam carrying on travel and tour guide businesses.

The circular sets out the conditions and documents necessary to obtain a licence for operating international package tours and domestic package tours. The rights and obligations of enterprises conducting these businesses have been clarified and added to and there are detailed provisions relating to the payment and use of deposits, the conditions for drawing on deposits, topping up deposits and returning deposits. Enterprises already operating package tour businesses have three months from January 8, 2002 to comply.

Circular 0412001ITT‑TCDL dated December 24, 2001

FINANCE

Quotas Put In Place For Salt, Tobacco, Cotton

The Government has instructed ministries and relevant authorities to experimentally apply tariff quotas to imported salt, tobacco leaves and cotton.

The Ministry of Trade is delegated to co ordinate with other State bodies to determine the quantity and the management principles applicable to those goods. The Ministry of Finance is delegated to co‑ordinate with relevant bodies to determine the tax rate applicable to the goods imported within, or exceeding, the tariff quota.

Official Letter 11601CP‑KTTH dated December 24, 2001

 

Foreign Loans

A number of significant reforms to the foreign loan regime became effective as of 1 December 2001.

Decision 1432‑2001‑QDNHNN of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) dated 16 November 2001 introduces amendments to Circular 031999‑TT‑NHNN7 of SBV dated 12 August 1999 as follows.

Time limit for registration of medium and long term foreign loans with the SBV has been extended to 30 days (up from 15 days) from the date of signing of the foreign loan agreement, but still prior to drawdown.

Time limit for registration of any changes to the details of SBV loan registration is now 30, days from date of signing a written agreement as to changes (or 30 days from date on which changes become effective if no written agreement).

The borrower may sign a written agreement (if any) as to changes and give effect to such changes prior to SBV registration provided that the changes are consistent with the conditions for medium and long term loans under Circular. 03 Previously, Circular 03 was silent as to the time limit for registration of changes but prohibited agreements being signed or changes becoming effective prior to registration.

As agreements on changes to loan details may now be signed prior to SBV registration, a copy of the signed agreement (if any) must now be submitted when registering such changes. Previously, only the final draft of such agreement was able to be submitted.

Authority to consider and confirm registration of borrowing and repayment of foreign loans (and changes in details of such loans) is now as follows:

Provincial and municipal SBV branches may register medium and long term foreign loans (and changes thereto) of non State owned enterprises located within their localities up to US$10 million (or another foreign currency with equivalent value at the time of signing of the foreign loan agreement) where loans comply with the conditions under Circular 03. Where loans do not so comply, they must be submitted to the SBV Governor for his consideration and decision;

SBV Department of Foreign Exchange Control will register all other medium and long term foreign loans (and changes there to).

 

Viet Nam Relaxes Rules On Sending Money Offshore

The State Bank of Viet Nam has eased the rules over offshore remittances by Vietnamese people.

The new rules, which come into force on next January 1, outline how much money can be sent overseas and when.

Any Vietnamese person wishing to study or receive medical treatment abroad can send sufficient money to cover living expenses.

If those expenses are not expressly stated, they can send no more than US$5,000 on top of their tuition fees and $10,000 on top of the hospital fees.

No more than $5,000 every year can be sent abroad to support family members living overseas.

An inheritance amount of $10,000 can be sent overseas a year under the new rules, with a 20 per cent cap if the inheritance exceeds $50,000.

A Vietnamese person going to live abroad permanently can transfer up to $10,000 every year offshore, or 20 per cent of the total should it top $50,000.

 

Decree Ease House Sales To Viet Kieu

Viet Kieu (over-sea Vietnamese) will be officially permitted to buy a house, apartment or even a villa in Vietnam after November 20th. They also will be given a land use rights certificate for the house.

The degree stipulates that eligible Viet Kieu can not own more than one house at a time.

The four new categories of Viet Kieu house buyer:

1.  Viet Kieu committed to long term investment projects in Vietnam. This category applies to investors acting under the Foreign Investment Law or Domestic Encouragement Investment Law, provided they have been granted an investment license or business registration from the appropriate bodies.

2.  Viet Kieu who have made valuable contributions to the country, in the following sectors:
- Those who have been offered preferable conditions under the ordinance concerning "invalids, martyrs and people who have helped the revolution"
-  Those who contributed to national liberation or the country's development, or who have been awarded medals by the government, merit certificates by the prime minister, chairman of the Fatherland Front Committee or other leaders of cities and provinces.
-  Those who have participated on the management board of social, economic and political organisations of cities and provinces, or who have actively helped Vietnam's representative branches abroad.

3.  Cultural specialists and socialists who have been awarded certificates in science, education and culture and economic experts who regularly come back to Vietnam and have been invited by government bodies to contribute their knowledge to the country's development.

4.   Those who wish to stay a long time in Vietnam.


Consumer Protection Responsibilities Of Producers And Traders 

Decree 69‑2001‑ND‑CP of the Government dated 2 October 2001 provides in detail for implementation of the Ordinance on Protection of Consumers' Rights dated 27 April 1999. Effective as of 17 October 2001, Decree 69 governs all organizations and individuals producing and trading in goods and services ("producers and traders").

 

 Producers and traders must:

    -          ensure that consumers may make their own choice, independently purchase or not purchase, and agree or not agree to any model/type of goods, and any method or terms and conditions of services;

-         create favorable conditions so that consumers may purchase goods and services the quality of which is ensured, at an appropriate price, and which include measures for warranty and repair;

-          publish standards and quality (where required) and ensure they satisfy same; ensure quality, hygiene and safety of goods and services not on the list requiring appropriate standards to be published;

-         comply with regulations on labeling and hygiene, safety and quality;

-          ensure accurate weight, measurement and numbers of goods and services;

-          provide accurate and truthful information on country of origin, labeling of goods, place of production, use, special characteristics, standards, grade, main components, date of manufacture, any existing quality inspection and quality control certificates, and instructions on transportation, use and storage of goods or services;

-          list publicly the prices of all types of goods and services; deliver to consumers correct invoices;

-          with respect to goods and services which could potentially endanger health or cause environmental pollution, draw this to the attention of consumers and warn them in advance; and explain clearly and provide instructions on methods of using the goods and measures to avoid harm and damage;

-          not issue any rules which are contrary to law or apply pressure to consumers regarding undertakings, terms and conditions of sale of goods or services; 

-          discharge obligations regarding warranties, repair, exchange of goods, refunds and taking back goods already sold, and other liabilities to consumers correctly in accordance with the commitments they have agreed; and not delay or refuse to fulfill these obligations;

-          guide consumers on the rational and economical use of goods and services. 

 

VAT Refund Rules For Exporters Issued

The Finance Ministry has issued a circular governing the refund of value added tax paid incurred in the production of export goods subject to 0% export tax.

To benefit from the zero tax rate, Circular 10216 requires an export manufacturer to submit a signed export contract as covered by articles 49, 50 and 81 of the Commercial Law or a telegraph, telex, fax or e‑mail which contains the basic elements of a sales contract.

A customs declaration form must be submitted for export goods marked "customs procedures done" to prove the goods have been exported.

Companies failing to provide the required documentation are not entitled to 0% VAT.

The documents can be kept at business premises and do not have to be handed over to tax bureaus.

 

Land Mortgages To Foreign Banks Allowed

Domestic organizations and individuals can now mortgage their land use rights to foreign banks operating in Vietnam following an amendment to the existing Decree 17/ 1999.

The amendment issued on Thursday governs the transfer, lease, rent, and inheritance of land use rights, and their use as a mortgage or capital contribution.

Legal holders can mortgage land use rights to any credit institutions in Vietnam if certain criteria are met; and in that case, they can also give guarantees on the strength of their land use right mortgaged at banks.

Families and individuals who use farming or forestry land assigned by the Government or legally inherited are now able to mortgage their land use rights and the assets attached to the land to any credit institution in the country to borrow for production or trade purposes.

Economic organizations who have paid for the rights to land assigned by the Government or rent land from the Government and have paid all rental money due are also included.

Users of land assigned free by the Government for timber growing, or fisheries or salt farming without, and those who rent land from the Government and pay the rent annually, can only mortgage assets attached to the land, not the land use rights.

The amendment also allows people to transfer the assets attached to land use rights or to inherit the assets from others by using any of eight kinds of legal documents equivalent to a land use rights certificate, instead of the certificate regulated in the old version of Decree 17.

The substitute documents are a temporary land use right certificate, a decision to lease out or assign land, land assignment certificates issued by the former regimes and court verdicts on disputed lands.

 

New Tender Regulations Come Out

From November 1, the Service of Planning and Investment oversees all tenders put out for projects financed with State capital in HCMC, the city government rules in Decision 82/ 2001/QD UB dated September 19.

The new rules allow contractors and equipment suppliers to be appointed for projects capitalized below VND300 million, and consultants for projects capitalized below VND200 million.

 

New Tax Incentive For Bike Makers

Motorbike manufacturers who produce at least 10 per cent of the parts they use in bike assembly are set to enjoy preferential import tariffs next year, according to a new instruction issued by Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Manh Cam.

The instruction says the assemblers can either make the components themselves, or co operate with other producers on a contractual and profit sharing basis.

Moreover, the parts produced domestically must meet quality standards issued by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment as well as the labeling requirements laid down by the Industry Ministry.

The rules are the latest salvo in the Government's bid to get motorbike makers to up their "localization rate that is, the proportion of parts and components sourced within Viet Nam.

Most parts are imported, undermining the Government's hopes of developing a domestic motorbike components production capability.

The deputy PM's instruction sets an "H Index" the tariff calculating factor applied for cases where assemblers buy parts and components from domestic suppliers to feed their assembly lines.

Motorbike assemblers must also abide by the "K Index," which is the preferential tariff standard for engine production applying when the engine localization rate is above 20 per cent. But some parts produced locally are not included in the list of those enjoying preferential taxes.

As a result of the new rules, the Finance Ministry has announced that from today it will temporarily an import tax of 60 per cent on motorbike parts. It will also abolish the current tax calculation method, which is based on last year's localization rates, for imported parts in 2002.

 

Customs Delegates Antes Inspection Powers

The General Department of Customs has authorized provincial bureaus to decide on the way to carry out inspections and the ratio of goods subject to random inspection.

Circular4628/TCHQGSQL issued late last week says the ruling applies in cases where a customs check could affect goods quality or make it difficult to re containerize the goods, and to imports subject to 30% tariffs or higher.

The authorization comes on the heels of complaints several days after piloting the Customs Law at a couple of ports that the new procedures, while speeding up goods clearance in the majority of cases, are causing problems for goods owners who have to transport their export consignments to the ports for inspection.

Previously, they could have this done at their warehouses. The circular also names more import goods exempt from customs inspections, including clinkers oil and gasoline, gas, malt and fertilizer. In addition, goods subject to quarantine are only permitted to enter after all quarantine procedures have been completed, the department reiterates.

Trial runs of the new Customs Law have been extended to Khanh Hoi Port, Ben Nghe Port, Thu Duc Customs and Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCMC and Van My Port in Hai Phong.

 

International Conferences And Seminars In Vietnam

Effective as of early September 2001, new regulations have been introduced governing international conferences and seminars held and/or hosted in Vietnam.

Permission from the Prime Minister (PM) must be obtained for the following:

- High-level international conferences and seminars where the participants are the heads of countries or people at ministerial or higher level of countries or of international organizations;

International conferences and seminars where the subject matter relates to political, ethnic or religious issues, national security and defense, or State secrets.

Other types of international conferences and seminars need permission from the head of the relevant central or local State body.

Applications specifying purpose, subject matter, time and location of a conference or seminar, locations for any sightseeing or investigation, details of the Vietnamese and/or foreign organizers and the funding source, number and composition of delegates (domestic and foreign), and opinions from the relevant State bodies (if any) must be submitted:

In cases subject to the PM's permission: one month in advance by Vietnamese applicants; two months in advance by foreign applicants;

In other cases: 10 days in advance by Vietnamese applicants; one month in advance by foreign applicants.

A report summarizing the results of the conference or seminar must be submitted to the body which permitted it and the Government Committee on Organization and Personnel within one month following the conference or seminar.

Central and local State administration of international conferences and seminars includes:

Controlling the contents of all documents, reports, speeches, material and data disseminated and all publications circulated before, during and after the conference or seminar;

 Identifying and taking measures to deal promptly with any acts of individuals and organizations in breach of the law.

 

Government Promotes Investment In Housing

Businesses engaged in developing housing projects for sale and lease will enjoy a number of incentives.

According to Decree 71/2001, the Government will offer incentives to local and foreign real estate businesses participating in building high rises (five stories or more in Hanoi and HCM City, and three stories or more in other localities), condominiums and housing projects where 60% or more of the land space are for high rise condominiums.

Local businesses will be exempt from land use fees for hirise condominiums and offered a 50% reduction of the land use fee for houses within the land reserved for these projects.

In addition, they will not be required to pay land use fees if the projects are located in challenged areas. Developers in extremely difficult areas will enjoy a corporate income tax of 15%, in difficult areas 20% and in other areas 25%.

The decree, effective from October 20, also encourages foreign investors to develop housing projects in urban areas. They will enjoy land rent exemption during the land lease term for high rise condominiums and three year exemption for other housing projects. Projects where construction or operation must be temporarily stopped with the approval of competent authorities will enjoy 50% reduction of land rent during the time of suspension. Developers in extremely difficult areas will be offered a corporate income tax of 10%, in difficult areas 15% and in other areas 20%

 

Banks Get Green Light To Sell Forfeited Assets

The Government has issued new regulations giving banks the right to sell forfeited assets mortgaged as collateral to help them recover long frozen capital.

A decision signed recently by Prime Minister Phan Van Khai entitles bankers to sell forfeited assets to locals, to State Debt Trading Co. or via the Assets Auction Service Center.

Courts must hand assets involved in settled economic cases over to banks as soon as possible to allow them to boost the sale process.

Nearly all local banks are facing difficulties in auctioning off forfeited assets to recoup their capital.

In HCMC alone, banks are holding on to more than 2,900 forfeited property items valued at VND 1,030 billion.

Among 375 items valued at VND2,142 billion involved in the Minh Phung Epco case, only 16 items have been sold, for VND29.4 billion.

The central bank will conduct U.S. dollar dong swap deals up to US$20 million within one day, following a proposal by commercial banks.

Decision 1289/2001/QD NHNN signed by governor Le Duc Thuy on October 11 and effective immediately says dong purchases will be transferred to commercial banks within one day to encourage dong hungry banks to use swaps.

 

Foreign Owned Legal Firms In The Planning Stages

The Justice Ministry is drafting regulations allowing foreign law firms to set up wholly owned and joint venture legal firms in Vietnam in line with conditions stated in the trade agreement with the United States.

"The Government is calling for foreign investment, and opening the door wider to foreign law firms would help," an official in the ministry department responsible for lawyers said yesterday.

Many foreign companies shy away from investing in Vietnam because they do not trust local lawyers, while many of those already here hire Vietnamese lawyers to advise on the country's rules and regulations.

The draft will include a provision giving Vietnamese lawyers more freedom in choosing to work for foreign law firms, a practice currently restricted.

"These conditions are included in the trade agreement, which will be ratified by Vietnam's National Assembly next month," the official said.

The proposed regulations might not be welcomed by the legal community, who objected strongly to the 1995 decision allowing foreign law firms to open branches here, he said.

"We will hold a meeting to collect opinions on the draft next month," he said.

In the last six years, 42 law firms from France, the United States, Britain, Singapore and elsewhere have set up operations in Vietnam. A Singapore firm plans to startup number 43 soon.

 

Local Foreign Joint Ventures In Freight Forwarding

State owned companies seeking to form local foreign joint ventures in freight forwarding by air, road or river should hold a 51 % stake or more in the proposed venture, the Ministry of Communications and Transport proposes in a written submission to the Government.

The ministry says this field of business can be handled by domestic companies and does not need foreign investment.

 

On The Spot Import And Export Of Processed Goods

Processed goods, leased or borrowed machinery and equipment, left over raw materials, sub materials and supplies, and faulty products and scraps (under processing contracts with foreign entities) are now permitted to be exported on the spot to domestic and foreign invested enterprises wishing to import them, under Government Decree 442001‑ND‑CPdatedAugust2,2001 (reviewed in this column on September 14).

The Ministry of Trade has provided specific guidelines for on the spot import and export of processed goods in Circular 202001 TT 13TM dated August 17, 2001 (effective as of September 4, 2001), including:

  Legal basis for on the spot import and export:

 (1) Processing contract or appendix thereto signed between the processor and the foreign entity, specifying the name and address of the domestic or foreign invested enterprise which will import the processed goods on the spot;

 (2) Foreign trade contract for purchase and sale signed between the foreign entity and the domestic or foreign invested enterprise importing the processed goods on the spot.

  Conditions for on the spot import and export:

 (1) The processed goods must not be prohibited imports;

 (2) For goods imported under license, an import license must be obtained from the competent body before signing the foreign trade contract;

 (3) For goods subject to specialized management, the conditions for import must be satisfied;

 (4) Second hand processed goods and faulty products and scrap which are imported on the spot must comply with the regulations of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment.

  Procedures for on the spot import and export:

 (1) Export procedures for the consignment of processed goods must be carried out in accordance with customs regulations and the processing contract must be finalized with the customs office which registered it;

 (2) Import procedures must be carried out in accordance with customs regulations, import duty must be paid, and other financial obligations (if any) must be discharged in accordance with law.

 Liquidation Of Processing Contracts

After completion of part or all of a processing contract, the processed goods must be dealt with as agreed by the contracting parties and in accordance with law. Procedures for on the spot import and export, re-export, purchase and sale, giving as a gift or donation, destruction, and transfer to another contract must be carried out at the customs office.

 The Ministry of Trade must provide written approval to the purchase and sale, giving as a gift or donation, or destruction of processed goods which are prohibited imports or imports subject to license.

 

Busi­nesses Will Be Exempt From Certifi­cate Of Origin (C/O) Check

Beginning October 17, busi­nesses will be exempt from certificate of origin (C/O) check upon completion of customs procedures for export goods.

According to Cir­cular 22 of the Ministry of Trade and the General Department of Cus­toms, businesses importing goods, excluding machinery, equipment and means of transport, that come from countries enjoying the most favored nation status granted by Vietnam and having long term busi­ness contracts of over six months must only show C/Os for the first impost shipment.

 

Regulations Protect Consumer Interests

The Gov­ernment issued Decree 69/ 2001/ND CP, dated October 2, which provides guidelines for implementing an ordi­nance on consumer interest protection.

The decree states that all organizations and/or indi­viduals involved in trading and manufacturing goods are responsible for providing honest and exact information on all their goods and services.

This includes delivery of invoices and bills from tax agencies. The decree also states that such organizations and/or individuals are banned from providing illegal and obligatory rules to their cus­tomers.

These organizations and individuals are obligated to abide by their agreed guarantees in providing maintenance services, exchanging goods and refunding money to their customers.

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