The Decree No.52/2013/ND-CP (Decree 52) on e-commerce will be effective from July 1st, 2013. However, this Decree does not have specific regulations on e-commerce activities for foreign investors conducting e-commerce activities in Vietnam. Therefore, the draft of the Decree amending Decree 52 shall fill the missing gap for foreign investors with particulars in conducting e-commerce activities in Vietnam.
The draft decree has supplemented regulations on management of e-commerce activities for foreign investors setting up business in Vietnam. Specifically, the draft decree (i) adds specific regulations on foreign traders and organizations conducting e-commerce activities in Vietnam; (ii) supplements market access conditions for foreign investors in accordance with the Law on Investment; and (iii) provides the exclusion of foreign investors investing in economic organizations that are innovative and creative enterprises in order to promote innovation activities in accordance with the law on support small and medium enterprises.
In particular, the draft decree also provides plans for e-commerce activities of foreign investors in Vietnam. According to the draft decree, foreign investors can set up an e-commerce website under the Vietnamese domain name or an e-commerce website with the display language in Vietnamese. The option of setting up an e-commerce exchange floor with a specified number of transactions from Vietnam in a year is also considered for selection.
In addition, foreign investors setting up e-commerce websites in Vietnam must notify and register e-commerce activities according to regulations. At the same time, they need to ensure the fulfillment of obligations on protection the interests of consumers. The quality of the goods need to be protected by their representative office, designation of a legal representative in Vietnam.
Foreign investors selling goods on Vietnamese e-commerce exchanges must comply with the operating regulations of e-commerce exchanges in Vietnam. When providing Vietnam e-commerce exchanges, foreign investors are responsible for verifying their identities. In addition, foreign investors conducting e-commerce activities are responsible for complying with the provisions of Vietnamese law on the right to export and import goods in accordance with the laws.
The draft decree also specifies that e-commerce service is a conditional market access industry for foreign investors. Market access conditions will also be considered accordingly. In addition, the control and domination of enterprises providing e-commerce services are also clearly regulated.
In the coming time, Vietnam will continue to receive comments to supplement and complete the draft of decree amending Decree 52 on e-commerce activities. It is important to create a clear and appropriate e-commerce operating environment to attract foreign investors with experience and capability to invest, set up company and operate in Vietnam in the area of e-commerce to facilitate goods transaction, protect intellectual property, reduce cost. However, it is also equally important to ensure the management of investment activities of foreign investors in the field of e-commerce in Vietnam.