Vietnam Legislative Update: 2020 Advocacy Plan

Vietnam Legislative Update | April 15, 2020
Authors: Vu Tu Thanh, Bui Kim Thuy and Hai Pham
2020 Vietnam Advocacy Plan

Custom & Trade Facilitation

  • Decree on Customs Specialized Inspection
    The Government assigned the GDVC to be the focal point for customs specialized inspection for the importing/exporting of all goods with the following exceptions: Goods under SPS (sanitary and phytosanitary) measures are still under MARD’s management; Goods in the field of national defense are still under MND’s management; and goods in the field of security are still under MPS’ management. That means goods under management of MOH (medical device, pharmaceuticals, functional food,…), goods under management of MOIT (textile and apparel, consumer goods,…) goods under management of MARD (except for SPS measures) and many other Govt Agencies are now under management of GDVC in the field of customs specialized inspection. This will save a lot for member companies to do customs clearance.  The deadline for GDVC to submit to the Govt the Scheme detailing legal basis, current state, proposals/recommendations of being the focal point of Customs Specialized Inspection is no later than the end of March 2020. Deadline for GDVC to submit the final version and officially issue a legal Document (in the form of a Decree) on Customs Specialized Inspection is within the 4th Quarter of 2020. GDVC needs the support from USABC in order to have a high-quality version of the Decree that would create greatly substantial transformation in the export-import procedures. We will therefore organize at least two workshops to get comments of our members on this important Decree.
  • Decree on Management of Cross Border E-Commerce Activities in Customs Operations
    The Council regularly engages the General Department of Viet Nam Customs (GDVC) on a wide range of issues. We co-hosted the 1st workshop with GDVC on 8th Jan 2020 in Ha Noi to get input/comments from our members (UPS, FedEx, Amazon), from Vietnamese business community and other Govt Agencies. We will continue to co-host future Workshops with GDVC this year to generate additional private sector input, before a final submission to the Government in the last Quarter of 2020.

Food & Agriculture

  • Decree on the National List of Chemicals and New Chemical Management
    The Drafting Team is from MOIT with other contributors from OOG, MARD, MOST…Our industry members (Corteva, Bayer, Syngenta, Elanco, Dow, Dupont….) have always engaged closely with MARD, while the new Decree (chaired by MOIT) will have some substantial adjustments that affect our members’ business. The Drafting Team wants to insert some HS codes which are important products of our members into a highly hazardous list taking international practice/experience from the EU, not from the U.S.  The deadline to officially issue the Decree is November 2020. MOIT is ready to co-host with USABC in organizing workshops to get comments/ best practices from related stakeholders.
  • Decrees that provide guidelines for the Law on Seafood, Husbandry and Health Animal
    Thanks to the MOU signed between MARD and USABC on 28 June 2019, we have had a fruitful year of cooperation with MARD, with 4 among 5 of major issues in the F&A sectors that have already been solved in 2019 (animal feed, coccidiosis, antibiotics, GMO) – except for Glyphosate, however the ban for glyphosate is still pending, not yet in effect so we can proudly confess that cooperation between USABC and MARD is among the most effective ones when compared with other Govt Agencies.

    In 2020 MARD/Legal Dept wants to receive support from USABC to co-organize a number of workshops (in Ha Noi and HCMC) in the field of Seafood, Husbandry and Health Animal related legislation.

Financial Services

  • Decree amending and supplementing the Government's Decree No. 134/2016 / ND-CP of September 1, 2016, detailing a number of articles and measures to implement the Law on Export and Import Taxes.
    MOF has to provide further clarification in response to the counterproposal/comments from MONRE and MOJ. OOG is still waiting for MOF’s final clarification before sending it to all 26 Govt members for final comments and then it can be officially issued thanks to the utmost efforts from related stakeholders including USABC and members to provide input timely and appropriately.
  • Decree amending and supplementing Decree No. 125/2017 / ND-CP dated November 16, 2017 amending and supplementing Decree No. 122/2016 / ND-CP dated September 1, 2016 on the Preferential Tariff Nomenclature, List of Goods and Absolute Tax, Mixed Tax, Import Tax beyond tariff quota.
    Govt had planned to get this finished and signed by PM before the PM’s trip to the U.S. for US-ASEAN Summit in the middle of March 2020. Similar to the Decree amending and supplementing the Government's Decree No. 134/2016 / ND-CP of September 1, 2016, this Draft has been amended with crucial input from USABC and members, therefore the final version looks good to US companies exporting goods from US to VN to enjoy lower MFN tariff rate than the past version of the Decree.

    MOF has been showing their substantial effort to handle requests from USABC and members in lowering tariff rates of several major imports from the U.S. MOF leaders want to see USABC’s support in co-hosting with them some Workshops/Seminars to provide the business community with detailed guidelines when implementing the two Decrees, tentatively starting in April or May.
  • Draft Decree to replace Decree 101 on Non-Cash Payment
    The latest draft version still contains several inappropriate provisions revealing that VN has not yet been in compliance with WTO/CPTPP/EVFTA or at least the wording of the draft has led to the misunderstanding of the business community. Some of articles – according to the Drafting Team – has been taken from international experiences (Indonesia and some other countries that are not typical and not reflect the current/future context regionally/globally). Therefore, it requires more workshops to get further comments from US companies. SBV really wants to receive support from USABC in co-organizing such kinds of workshops, in the first quarter or latest April 2020.

Health & Life Sciences

  • The Circular providing technical guidelines of medical equipment according to ASEAN general regulations (under Decree 169/2018/ND-CP)
    The Drafting Team is DMEC (under MOH) and other related Govt agencies. The comment period is from now until 3rd Quarter of 2020. We are a close partner of DMEC and will organize at least one workshop to support in collecting input on this.
  • Revised Health Insurance Law: The Drafting Team includes leaders from MOH and VSS
    The team has just had a meeting to gain an assessment on the 2014-2019 period of implementing the Revised Health Insurance Law and detailing out the remaining items that hinder the effective implementation of the Current Law. There is no rush to submit this Revised Draft in May but they plan to submit the Revised Draft during the October Plenary Meeting Session of the National Assembly. MOH needs the support from USABC to get international best practices (it can be either study visits or workshops or both) so that the Drafting Team can submit a high-quality version to NA in October 2020.

Information & Communications Technology

  • Decree on Personal Data Protection (PDP)
    The Council is planning to hold virtual workshops with the participation of the drafting agency (MPS), other agencies and stakeholders and commission a report on the results to provide to MPS. Timeline: May – October 2020.
  • Decree amending Decree No. 52/2013 / ND-CP dated May 16, 2013 on E-Commerce
    Chaired by MOIT, the Drafting Team plans to submit the final version to the Govt no later than Oct 2020 and officially issue this Decree no later than Nov 2020. We are engaging closely with the Drafting Team to get the updated version of the Draft and will send to members for further comments when available. We will organize workshops (one in Ha Noi and another in HCMC) in partnership with the Drafting Team to get comments from affected members (Amazon, UPS, FedEx…)


  • Decree that provides guidelines for the Law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Investment Law
    MPI is reviewing conditions on opening investment markets to foreign investors and then MPI plans to draft the Decree with a list of conditional investment sectors applied for FDI. Comment period will be from May to October 2020. MPI (Legal Dept is the focal point for this issue) wants to be in partnership with USABC in organizing workshops, compiling inputs/comments from US companies from the starting point of the drafting process until the final submission of the Draft Decree in Dec 2020.