Legal updates by Dr. Oliver Massmann | January 2023

Legal Update banner

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

  1. Minimum space standard of 20m2 per person: a compulsory condition for registration of domicile in Hanoi
  2. Criteria for identifying “made in Vietnam” goods set forth
  3. PM approves simplified procedures for imported used machinery
  4. Fiscal, tax support policies continue in 2023: deputy minister

Find more details as below:

  1. Minimum space standard of 20m2 per person: a compulsory condition for registration of domicile in Hanoi

Some highlines are as below:

  • Immigrants from other localities who wish to register a legal domicile in Hanoi would have to rent or borrow a house with a floor area of at least 20m2 per person, according to a draft resolution of the municipal People’s Council.
  • Law on Residence which states that citizens may register their legal domicile at rented or borrowed property if meeting both the following conditions:
    • Obtaining the consent of the owner of the property and
    • Satisfying the minimum space standard set by the provincial-level People’s Council, which, however, must not be less than 8m2/person.
  • In sum, the tentative policy designed by the Hanoi municipal administration lacks both scientific grounds and objective reasons for issuance and may cause harm to the rights and interests of low-income earners while benefiting apartment projects of large real estate investors.
  • In addition, it may lead to a rise in house rental rates, thus increasing the cost of living for the majority of the population.

2. Criteria for identifying “made in Vietnam” goods set forth

Some highlines are as below:

  • The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) has recently released a draft circular providing the principles of identifying “made in Vietnam” goods, which would be applied exclusively to goods sold in the domestic market.
  • Goods identified as “made in Vietnam” goods under the draft would not be automatically treated as exported goods of Vietnamese origin. The determination of origin of exported goods will comply with Vietnam’s law or importing countries’ regulations on origin of goods.
  • In case it is impossible to determine whether goods are made in Vietnam, producers and traders could label goods with phrases to express the place where the final stage of production/processing/finishing is conducted such as “assembled in Vietnam”, “bottled in Vietnam”, “mixed in Vietnam”, “finished in Vietnam”; “packed in Vietnam”, or “labeled in Vietnam”.
  • They also include products of sea-fishing and other marine products taken from international seas by vessels registered with Vietnam or entitled to fly the Vietnamese flag as well as products produced or made therefrom on board such vessels.

3. PM approves simplified procedures for imported used machinery

Some highlines are as below:

  • With a view to simplifying procedures for the import of used technological lines, the Prime Minister has recently issued Decision 28/2022/QD-TTg, which is designed to replace Decision 18 of 2019.
  • Under the new regulation, importers are required to submit inspection certificates to customs offices within 12 months from the date they import the first consignment of used technological lines, instead of only one month under Decision 18.
  • In addition, a customs office will only give customs clearance when the importer’s import dossier and relevant documents are complete and valid, and the inspection certificate states that the used technological line meets the prescribed criteria.
  • At least 30 days before the deadline, importers have to apply for a deadline extension to the Ministry of Science and Technology and customs offices where import procedures are carried out. The extension may be applied only once for up to six months.
  • In case technological lines fail to meet specified requirements, importers will be subject to administrative sanctioning and required to re-export those technological lines.

4. Fiscal, tax support policies continue in 2023: deputy minister

Some highlines are as below:

  • The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has suggested a series of solutions related to fiscal and tax policies in support of citizens and businesses this year, deputy minister of Finance Nguyen Duc Chi told a regular press conference of the government in Hanoi on January 3.
  • Chi said fiscal and tax support policies have been put in place since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. Last year alone, the value-added tax was reduced from 10 percent to 8 percent for most items.
  • Tax payment was delayed to support liquidity and cash flow of businesses, land taxes were also cut down while environmental protection taxes on petrol products were brought to the floor level.
  • The total support package amounted to 233 trillion VND (10.1 billion USD) which was unprecedented, helping businesses, citizens and the whole economy to improve their resilience, he said.
  • The government is ready with other scenarios if support from fiscal policies is needed, Chi affirmed, adding that the government will smoothly manage monetary and other macro policies to ensure macro balance for stable economic development.