Legal updates by Dr. Oliver Massmann | April 2022

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Our long-standing GBA board member Dr. Oliver Massmann, Partner at Duane Morris Vietnam LCC, is sharing the most relevant legal updates with you.

Dr. Oliver Massmann is an International Attorney at Law and a Financial Accountant and Auditor, with over 20 years of experience working as a commercial lawyer in Vietnam. He is volunteering as a legal advisor for the GBA from the beginning of the association. Our regards and thank you!

  1. New policy expected to boost domain name trading
  2. Lawmakers approve environmental tax cut on gasoline
  3. Six tax laws are to be revised
  4. Government issues action plan on economic restructuring
  5. Vietnam’s sovereign credit ratings is set higher by 2030


  1. New policy expected to boost domain name trading

Some highlines are as below:

  • The Ministry of Information and Telecommunications has issued a circular with new provisions which are expected to create resources to develop the domain name market. Circular No.21/2021/TT-BTTTT, which supplants an earlier one on the management and use of internet resources, regulated the creation of three more second-level domain names
  • A second-level domain is part of a domain name or website address that comes before the top-level domain. In Vietnam, ‘.vn’ is the country’s code top-level domain.
  • A country code top-level domain (ccTLD) is an Internet top-level domain generally used or reserved for a country, sovereign state, or dependent territory identified with a country code. The three second-level names are ‘ID.VN’for individuals to register the use of images, products and personal trademarks,’IO.VN’ for institutions and individuals to register the use of digital technology applications, platforms and services, and ‘AL.VN’for individuals and firms to register their operations and services related to artificial intelligence.
  • Vietnam’s rapid digital transformation is underway based on the three pillars of digital government, digital economy and digital society. According to the 2021 e-Conomy SEA Report recently released by Temasek, Google and management consulting firm Bain & Company, Vietnam’s internet economy could rise to $220 billion in gross merchandise volume by 2030, ranking second in Southeast Asia only after Indonesia.
  1. Lawmakers approve environmental tax cut on gasoline

Here are some remarks:

  • The Standing Committee of the National Assembly approved a government proposal to cut environmental tax on gasoline by half as prices surge. The environmental tax on the popular gasoline RON95 will be reduced from VND4,000 ($0.17) to VND2,000 per liter.
  • The tax cut will apply to gasoline and diesel starting April 1 and will last until the end of the year, as the state’s support for the people and businesses as the economy recovers from Covid-19 impacts.
  • Gasoline prices in Vietnam reached a new peak on March 11 before declining slightly to VND29,190 per liter this week.
  1. Six tax laws are to be revised

Some points stated as below:

  • The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has recently requested ministries, sectors, provincial-level People’s Committee, and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry to review, consider and propose amendments to the Law on Environmental Protection Tax, Law on Personal Income Tax, Law on Agricultural Land Use Tax, Law on Non-Agricultural Land Use Tax, Law on Import and Export Duty and Law on Royalties.
  • Regarding the Law on Environmental Protection Tax, it is asked to review contents regarding taxable objects; non-taxable objects; taxpayers; quantity of goods for tax calculation; tax brackets; and tax declaration, calculation, payment and refund, to assess the consistency between the degree of pollution of taxable goods and their applicable tax brackets and tax rates for use as a basis for adjustment of tax brackets and rates.
  • Regarding the Law on Personal Income Tax, it is required to review such contents as taxpayers, taxable incomes, tax-exempt incomes, tax bases and methods of determining payable tax amounts; tax rates; family circumstance-based tax reduction, among others.
  • Regarding the Law on Agricultural Land Use Tax and the Law on Non-Agricultural Land Use Tax, the MOF wants to receive opinions as subjects liable to land rental, land use levy, registration fee, land use tax, and taxes upon transfer of land ownership or use rights; grounds for tax and fee calculation; and tax and fee exemption and reduction policy, to consider consolidating these two laws, adding contents on housing taxation or formulating a new law on property or real estate tax.
  1. Government issues action plan on economic restructuring

      Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai signed Resolution No.54/NQ-CP on April 12 outlining the action plan to restructure the economy up to 2025.

     Some remarkable points here:

  • It outlines plans to develop new technology-based national products, make breakthroughs in national competitiveness with the improvement of some key industries, efficiently change the growth model, and increase the resilience of the economy.
  • The country aims to increase labour productivity by an average of over 6.5 per cent annually. By 2025, it wants to narrow the gap of national competitiveness with countries in ASEAN-4, while reducing the state budget deficit to 3.7 per cent of GDP. The aim is to have about 35,000 cooperatives by the end of 2025, of which more than 3,000 will be high-tech collaborations.
  • To reach the targets, the resolution sets out a number of tasks. They include focusing on the restructuring of public investment, state budget, and credit institutions
  • The resolution also presents solutions for the development of the urban economy, increasing regional links and the role of key economic regions, restructuring industries in terms of modernisation, and promoting green projects.
  1. Vietnam’s sovereign credit ratings is set higher by 2030

 Some remarks here:

  • By 2030, the country sets to raise its credit rating to Baa3 or better on Moody’s scale and BBB- or better on the Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, which are considered as “investment-grade”. Such is highlighted in Decision 412 recently signed by Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai to approve the sovereign credit rating improvement project by 2030.
  • Under the project, the annual GDP growth during the period will average about 7 percent, with per capita GDP at the current price by 2030 reaching about USD 7,500, and total social investment accounting for some 33 – 35 percent of the GDP.
  • The project highlighted the need to enhance the structure and quality of the banking system and State-owned enterprises to lower risks for the State budget, and strengthen regulatory framework on providing loans and expanding credit growth, with a focus on production and the Government’s priority areas.
  • Currently, Vietnam’s credit rating on S&P and Fitch’s scale stands at BB while the country receives the rating of Ba3 on the Moody’s.