E-Commerce Vietnam: Stricter Regulations Proposed on the Sector
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E-Commerce Vietnam: Stricter Regulations Proposed on the Sector

The E-Commerce sector is developing at an accelerated rate due to the effects of the industrial revolution 4.0. Because of this, amending the legal framework of this sector under the current Decree 52/2013/ND-CP dated 16 May 2013 of the Government (“Decree 52”) is essential.

In response, the Ministry of Industry and Trade issued a third draft decree, amending some provisions of Decree 52 on E-Commerce (“Third Draft”). Some important amended regulations proposed by the Third Draft are as follows:

1. Limitation on the scope of application:

The Third Draft proposes to clarify that some sectors would not be subject to application of Decree 52, including: financial, banking, credit, insurance and raffle services;

  • gold trading, currency exchange, foreign exchange and other payment services;
  • services of online games, betting, or games with prizes;
  • services of broadcasting, television and other services stipulated in specialised legislation.[1]

The E-Commerce activities in the above-mentioned sectors would be included under the regulations of the specialised legislation.

2.  Formal notification required once E-Commerce Website is Established.

Pursuant to the Third Draft, individuals and organisations are required to notify the Ministry of Industry and Trade about their E-Commerce trading website, if the website has an online ordering function.[2]

Compared with the current regulation of Decree 52 that applies to all E-Commerce trading websites, this proposal could reduce pressure on administrative procedures for many owners of E-Commerce websites.

3. Websites providing E-Commerce platform must be registered with the Ministry of Trade

The Third Draft proposes to expand the scope of form of E-Commerce platform as follows:

  • Website permitting participants to open sale booths to display and introduce goods or services;
  • Website permitting participants to open accounts to perform the process of entering into contracts with customers;
  • Website having designated section for sales on which permitting participants can post information on sales of goods and services;
  • A social network having one of the above forms and participants directly or indirectly paying fees for the performance of such activities.[3]

Therefore, the regulations on E-Commerce may also apply to social networks.

4. Adding new regulations for Cross-border E-Commerce activities of foreign traders and organisations

The Third Draft intends to add a new section governing Cross-border E-Commerce activities of foreign traders and organisations.
(Section 5: E-Commerce activities of foreign traders and organisations of the Third Draft)
This supplement means that cross-border E-Commerce activities in Vietnam are beginning to be more strictly controlled under the regulations of Vietnamese Laws.


[1] Clause 1 Article 1 of the Third Draft
[2] Clause 8 Article 1 of the Third Draft
[3] Clause 13 Article 1 of the Third Draft

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Quynh Vu
ECOVIS Vietnam OC Law
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