Legal updates by Dr. Oliver Massmann | February-March 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!


Legal updates by Dr. Oliver Massmann | February – March 2022

1. Guidelines on supervision, assessment of foreign investment issued
2. Vietnam welcomes some new policies in March
3. New criteria for basic, advanced new-style rural communes issued
4. Vietnam drops COVID-19 vaccine certificates, quarantine requirements for foreign arrivals
5. Vietnam waives entry requirements for citizens from 13 countries as tourism reopens

1. Guidelines on supervision, assessment of foreign investment issued
Some highlines are as below:

The Minister of Planning and Investment has issued a circular 02/2022/TT-BKHDT which will take effect on April 1 this year, replacing Circular 09/2016/TT-BKHDT dated June 30, 2016.
It is applicable to state management agencies related to foreign investment activities, including ministries, ministerial-level agencies, provincial-level People’s Committees, investment registration agencies, agencies tasked with state management of investment in accordance with legal regulations on investment, foreign-invested economic organisations and projects operating in Vietnam.
The circular stipulates the principles for foreign investment management, one of which is not to hinder or affect the normal operations of foreign-invested organisations and projects during the process of supervision and evaluation.

2. Vietnam welcomes some new policies in March
Here are some remarks:

New rules on real estate business, registration fees for battery-driven electric cars, and the management of product traceability are among the new policies of the government to take effect from March.
Decree No.02/2022/ND-CP dated January 6 is guiding the implementation of some regulations in the Law on Property Trading.
Also from March 1, the registration fees for battery-driven electric cars are to be zero per cent within the next three years following Decree No.10/2022/ND-CP issued on January 15.
Starting from March 15, Decree No.13/2022/ND-CP dated January 21 will amend some regulations in previous decrees guiding the Law on Product and Goods Quality and the Law on Measurement. Decree 13 adds the regulation on the management of product traceability. The Ministry of Science and Technology will take responsibility for this issue

3. New criteria for basic, advanced new-style rural communes issued
Some points stated as below:

A new set of criteria for new-style rural communes and another for advanced new-style rural communes for the 2021-2025 period were issued on March 8 following Decision No.318/QD-TTg.
A new-style rural commune has to meet 19 criteria in many fields, including planning, socio-economic infrastructure, economy and production, socio-culture and environment. The criteria are specified for different regions.
An advanced new-style rural commune must meet all criteria of a basic new-style rural area and have higher standards across all 19 criteria, according to the decision.

4. Vietnam drops COVID-19 vaccine certificates, quarantine requirements for foreign arrivals
The Ministry of Health has officially issued the long-awaited COVID-19 protocols for foreign arrivals in Vietnam. The regulations state that visitors with negative COVID tests can enjoy quarantine-free travel from day one. International visitors entering Vietnam will be “treated the same way” as domestic visitors.

Some remarkable points here:

Travellers entering Vietnam via air routes will have to present proof of negative SARS-CoV-2 tests (except for children under two years old) done within 72 hours prior to departure in cases of RT-PCR/RT-LAMP or within 24 hours in cases of rapid antigen tests, and the results must be certified by the authorities of the country where the tests are conducted. People entering via road, sea, and rail will be subject to the same requirements.
If arrivals cannot show proof of negative tests, they are required to take a test (either using RT-PCR/RT-LAMP method or rapid antigen tests) in the first 24 hours from the time of arrival. If the results are negative, they may travel outside of their place of accommodation, with public health measures still in place, if the results are positive, they must notify health authorities for further instructions.
At the border gate, if one shows symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection they must immediately notify the health agency at the border gate to take medical measures as regulated. No mandatory quarantine is required, but in the first 10 days after entry, people should self-monitor their health and if any symptoms develop, ask for assistance from the nearest medical facilities.

5. Vietnam waives entry requirements for citizens from 13 countries as tourism reopens
Some remarks here:

The details were provided in the newly-issued Resolution No.32/NQ-CP.

The waivers will last for three years, starting from March 15, 2022 to March 14, 2025, and an extension could be tabled in line with Vietnamese laws.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is tasked with the assessment, evaluation and putting forward recommendations to the Government with regards to the extension, suspension or termination of the unilateral visa exemption policy specified in this Resolution.
The move, reinstating the waiver policy that came to halt in early 2020 in response to the emergence of the coronavirus, coincides with the day Vietnam is set to fully resume inbound and outbound tourism activities.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, which is the main coordinator of the tourism reopening plan, along with travel agencies and tourism accommodation businesses in the country have been clamoring for the resumption of pre-pandemic visa policies as well as relaxed COVID-19 protocols given the high vaccination rate in Vietnam, to entice foreign tourists into the country after two years of severe disruptions.