ANT Lawyers

Vietnam Law Firm with English Speaking Lawyers

ANT Lawyers

Vietnam Law Firm with English Speaking Lawyers

ANT Lawyers

Vietnam Law Firm with English Speaking Lawyers

ANT Lawyers

Vietnam Law Firm with English Speaking Lawyers

ANT Lawyers

Vietnam Law Firm with English Speaking Lawyers

Thứ Ba, 30 tháng 1, 2018

Foreign investors allowed to purchase shares of logistics enterprises

This is a noticeable content of the Decree No. 163/2017/ND-CP on provision of logistics services. According to this Decree:
Foreign investors may purchase a certain ratio of shares and stakes in an enterprise upon provision of transport-related logistics services (previously, foreign investors have to establish a joint-venture).
In addition, a foreign investor in the country or territory that is a WTO member must comply with regulations on holdings and satisfy the following conditions:
- Regarding sea transport services (except for inland transport): Total number of foreign seafarers working on the ship shall not exceed 1/3 of ship’s crew. The captain or first mate must be a Vietnamese citizen.
set up company in Vietnam

- Regarding road transport services: all drivers of the enterprise must be Vietnamese citizens.
Notes: The provider that provides part or whole of logistic services on the Internet, cellular network or other open networks must comply with regulations on e-commerce.
The Decree No. 140/2007/ND-CP is null and void from the effective date of the Decree No. 163/2017/ND-CP (February 20, 2018).
Source: Thuvienphapluat .vn
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Thứ Hai, 29 tháng 1, 2018

What Important Step-by-Step Guide to Establish Company in Vietnam?

When foreign investors invest in Vietnam, they could establish company in Vietnam. Foreign investors have the right to choose the appropriate forms of enterprise such as a limited liability company, joint stock company, etc. with specific steps are as follows:
Step 1: Register the investment project
Investors submit an investment project registration file to the Business Registration office of the province or city or the management board of an industrial zone, an export processing zone or a high-tech zone for the approval of an investment project during the period within 15 days (without time for clarification).

Step 2: Apply for Certificate of investment registration
After approval of the investment project, investors submit a valid record tothe Department of Planning and Investment within 10 days to apply for a business registration certificate.
Step 3: Apply for the certificate of business registration
After obtaining the business registration certificate, the investor shall submit the application for enterprise registration certificate to the enterprise registration office within 3 days.
Step 4: Publish the content of the business registration
After being granted the certificate of enterprise registration, the investor shall disclose information about the enterprise on the national enterprise registration portal within 30 days, including the following information:
i, Business lines;
ii, List of founding shareholders and shareholders being foreign investors for joint-stock companies.
Step 5: Registered business stamp
The enterprise has the right to decide on the form, quantity and contents of the stamp of the enterprise. The content of the stamp must show the following information:
– Company’s name;
– Business code.
After receiving the legal entity stamp and before using the business stamp, the enterprise must send a notice on the stamp of the enterprise to the business registration office for publication in the National Information Portal on the business registration.
Step 6: Notice of use of stamp:
After having stamp made, investors submit notices on use of stamp forms to the Investment registration agency.After receiving the record, the Investment registration agency issues a receipt for the enterprise, publishes the notice of the enterprise on the National Business Information Portal and issues a notice of the posting, stamp samples of enterprises, branches and representative offices for enterprises.
Step 7: Open bank account:
Investors need to open two types of bank accounts, namely the investment capital account to receive the investment amount and the transaction account for conducting daily transaction in Vietnam.
Step 8: The post licensing procedures:
For the conditional business lines:
Investors investing in conditional businesses lines as regulated in Appendix 4 of the Investment Law 2014 must apply certificate of business qualification, practicing certificates, professional liability insurance, legal capital requirements, etc. before conducting business in Vietnam.

Thứ Tư, 24 tháng 1, 2018

Regulations on items not subject to VAT amended

This is one of the highlights of the Decree No. 146/2017/ND-CP amending the Decree No. 100/2016/ND-CP and the Decree No. 12/2015/ND-CP on Value-Added Tax (VAT) and Corporate Income Tax (CIT).

- They are mineral resources which have yet to be processed or transformed into other products;
- They are goods which are made directly from main materials that are mineral resources, and which have the aggregation of value of such mineral resources plus the energy cost that accounts for at least 51% of their production cost, except to the extent that:     
+ Such exported products are finished products produced from other intermediate products which are made from mineral resources.
These mineral resources may be directly extracted and processed into, or purchased for further production of, or processed by hiring other toll manufacturers into, exported products, by business establishments.    
+ Such exported products are final products made from main materials which are other than mineral resources (these mineral resources have been processed into other products).
The Decree No. 146/2017/ND-CP is set to commence on February 1, 2018.
Source: Thuvienphapluat .vn
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Thứ Hai, 22 tháng 1, 2018

New regulations on application procedures for registration of enterprise establishment

On December 27, 2017 the Government has already issued the Resolution No. 136/NQ-CP on streamlining of administrative procedures and application documentation concerning residence administration under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Accordingly, documentation requirements and contents of application and declaration forms necessary to apply for registration of establishment of enterprises will be subject to changes in the coming time, specifically including:

- In terms of documentation requirements:

Repealing the documentation requirement such as “Citizen Identification card, Identity card, passport or other legally-required documents" for application of registration of enterprises.

- In terms of application and declaration forms:

+ Replacing the regulation regarding “permanent address, nationality, numbers of Citizen Identification card, Identity card, passport or other evidences of legal person" by "personal identification numbers" in the contents of the Request and Certificate of Enterprise Registration.

+ Replacing information about citizen and Citizen Identification in sample documents, forms or declaration sheets, etc., required for registration of enterprises, by "family name, middle name and last name, and personal identification numbers”.

For more details, please read the Resolution No. 136/NQ-CP that will enter into force from the signature date.
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Thứ Năm, 18 tháng 1, 2018

Vietnam Customs Law 2014

On 23rd June 2014, the Vietnam National Assembly has issued the new Vietnam Customs Law. This new law comprises of 8 Chapters, 104 Articles and shall come into effect on 1st January 2015.
Accordingly, the new 2014 Vietnam Customs Law is focusing on customs procedure reform, modernization of customs administration, codify international laws on international commitment in order to meet the requirements and facilitate integration beneficial for import and export activities; improve the effectiveness and efficiency of customs operations management.

Article 23 of the law regulates the custom documents towards reducing the numbers of papers of customs documents required in the relevant documents to be submitted when doing customs procedures i.e. commercial invoices, import-export document.  Custom documents can also be in writing or electronic invoices.
Besides, the new Vietnam Customs Law boosts the management practices from pre-check to post- check. Mechanism of post-clearance inspection for a period of 5 years is strictly specified in terms of objects, conditions and sanctions when a violation is detected. This provision not only facilitates but also tightly controls the flow of goods to ensure that it is in compliance with the customs declaration.
Clause 6 Article 88 of the 2014 Vietnam Customs Law regarding the jurisdiction of the customs authorities in the application of prevention of smuggling and illegally transporting goods across borders has been supplemented to detail the measures to control custom.
In addition, the provisions of Article 92 stipulates that Customs agency, customs officers shall be equipped with and using professional technical facilities, weapons, support tools, flags, signal flares, lights, screening, biochemical technology, mechanical equipment, electrical, electronic and other means as prescribed by law to perform the task of preventing and battling against smuggling, illegal transport of goods across the border. The equipment and the use of weapons and tools to support prescribed by law shall be governed in complied with regulations for management and use of weapons, explosives and support tools. These are important provisions to prevent and battling against smuggling, illegal transport of goods across the border.
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Thứ Hai, 15 tháng 1, 2018

Japanese firms sound out business prospects in Vietnam

The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) has organized a networking event for Vietnamese and Japanese businesses in Hanoi City in order to facilitate their cooperation, the Vietnam News Agency reports.

The event was part of a JETRO project for nurturing new industries in Japan and ASEAN countries, including Vietnam, to promote cooperation in some fields such as information technology, digitalization, and Internet of Things.

More than 100 representatives of Vietnamese and Japanese enterprises took part in the event in Hanoi City last Friday.

Hironobu Kitagawa, chief representative of JETRO in Hanoi, said Vietnam is the fifth country after Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia where the organization has held networking events as part of the project.

The event is aimed at creating an opportunity for companies of the two countries to cooperate with each other, he said.

Japanese startups develop various business ideas, and have the ability to assess market demand in Japan and other nations while Vietnamese counterparts have technical skills and creativity. Therefore, they will have good chances of becoming partners, he added.

Le Thai Phong, a lecturer specializing in business administration at the Foreign Trade University, said various organizations from ministries, State agencies, universities, and embassies offer their support for startups. However, a representative agency for the Vietnamese startup ecosystem has yet to exist.

Other participants also voiced their concerns over some disadvantages to the local startup ecosystem compared with its equivalents in other countries.

For example, they said, local startups spend at least US$50 and seven days registering to obtain business licenses. Meanwhile, those in other countries take around 30 minutes and pay no charge.

Besides, State and private companies in the same business environment receive different treatments for administrative procedures.

Phong stressed the Government has offered policy incentives for startups, but local authorities have still made life difficult for these companies.
Source: The Saigon Times

Thứ Sáu, 12 tháng 1, 2018

VN opens up logistics sector to foreign companies

HCMC – Foreign investors will be given the go-ahead to establish logistics companies in Vietnam, but with conditions on ownership and services, according to Government Decree 163 on logistics services which will come into force on February 20.

Foreign investors are given the green light to establish maritime shipping companies, except for domestic services.

They are required to meet some requirements such as their vessels carrying the Vietnamese flag, their captains and first vice captains being Vietnamese citizens, and the number of their foreign crewmen being less than one-third of the total on board.

Overseas investors who offer container loading and unloading services can set up their own companies, or hold a stake of below 50% in local enterprises.

Those providing goods customs clearance services can also do the aforementioned services. However, they have the right to establish a commercial presence in the form of business cooperation contract only.

Foreigners are allowed to set up companies specializing in goods shipping services by inland waterway and rail, or acquire stakes of less than 49% in local companies in the same sector.

Those active in road cargo transport can set up their own companies, but all of their drivers must be Vietnamese citizens.

According to the decree, they also must fulfill business investment requirements in line with regulations for their services. Besides, they must compensate their customers if goods become defective in their shipping process.

Statistics of the Vietnam Logistics Association indicate Vietnam has around 3,000 local companies, with 1,300 being small and medium enterprises, in the logistics sector. However, they hold a market share of a mere 25%. Meanwhile, 25 foreign companies make up the remaining proportion, mainly in international transport services.

The association said the domestic logistics sector has an annual growth rate of 15-16%. The Logistics Performance Index of the World Bank indicates that Vietnam was ranked 64th among 160 countries, and took the fourth place among ASEAN countries behind Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand in 2016.

However, logistics cost accounted for 20.8% of gross domestic product, totaling a whopping US$41.26 billion in 2016.

Thứ Hai, 8 tháng 1, 2018

Foreign capital via M&A mostly flows to HCMC

HCMC – Of the total value of share acquisitions and capital contributions by foreign investors in Vietnam at US$6.19 billion near the end of last year, HCMC accounted for nearly 60%.

According to the Foreign Investment Agency, the total value picked up 45.1% against 2016 and came from more than 5,000 cases of capital contributions and buyouts from last year’s beginning to December 20. This pointed to the explosion of the merger and acquisition (M&A) market as forecast by experts and foreign investors last year.

HCMC is the venue for most of the value. Data given at a meeting on 2018 socio-economic development and budgeting plans of the HCMC government shows HCMC approved 2,276 cases in which foreign investors carried out procedures to contribute capital, buy shares and acquire stakes of domestic enterprises with total registered capital of US$3.68 billion.

While foreign capital poured via M&A deals made up only 17.25% of the total value pledged for Vietnam, the proportion in HCMC was 57.7%.

Investments via capital contribution and share buying of foreign investors have reflected foreign capital flows in M&A activities in the Vietnamese market.

According to analysts and investors, M&A is regarded as the fastest way for foreign enterprises to penetrate the domestic market.

Vietnam’s M&A market has seen many high-value transactions since 2014 and higher value over the years, with a record high of US$5.82 billion in 2016. Though the number and value of M&A transactions were seen slowing down between late 2016 and mid-2017 with the absence of big deals, the market soon recovered and rose in the second half of last year.

However, it should be noted that the above-mentioned value is not final results of the year as data of localities are not fully updated yet like Vietnam Beverage’s acquisition of over 343 million shares of Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation (Sabeco) on December 18 with VND109.966 trillion (around US$4.8 billion).

If the aforementioned deal is included, total foreign capital invested via M&A of last year would be some US$11 billion, US$8.48 billion of it in HCMC.

Though more barriers need to be lifted to facilitate M&A transactions in Vietnam, many investors, experts and enterprises attending the Vietnam M&A Forum 2017 last August had the same opinion about growth potential in the coming years.

In particular, Seck Yee Chung, partner at Baker & McKenzie, said there have been improvements in terms of laws. Vietnam has taken action to create business opportunities, promote development and open the door to foreign investors.

Since July 1, 2015 when the 2014 law on investment came into effect, capital contributions and share acquisitions at Vietnamese enterprises have been busier.

Under the existing regulations, investment registration is not required for such M&A deals by foreign investors, helping them approach the Vietnamese market quickly.

In addition, this investment tendency is assisted by Vietnam’s policy to boost equitization and capital divestment at State-owned enterprises. Notably, Decree 60/2015/ND-CP raises foreign ownership at listed and public enterprises from 49% to 100%, except for enterprises active in certain conditional business areas.

Therefore, analysts believe that foreign investments via capital contribution and share buying will grow faster in the coming time.

Source: The Saigon Times

Thứ Năm, 4 tháng 1, 2018

Govt says will halve business conditions

HCMC – The Government has issued Resolution 01 asking ministries and agencies to halve the current business conditions to improve the business environment, the Government news website reports.

At a meeting between the Government and local authorities last week, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hailed the Ministries of Industry-Trade, Agriculture-Rural Development and Construction for removing from one-third to half of their business conditions. However, there have been many complicated procedures.

Minister of Justice Le Thanh Long said there are 243 fields still bound by 4,284 business and investment conditions.

It is difficult for enterprises as these conditions change frequently. Some of the conditions even appear in different decrees by different ministries and agencies. For example, business conditions for food processing and trading enterprises are set by the Ministries of Industry-Trade, Agriculture-Rural Development and Health, and even provided in a law and four Government decrees.

Business and investment conditions remain troublesome, affecting market entry, competitiveness and labor productivity of local firms, and leading to harassment. Therefore, ministries and agencies should continue abolishing business conditions to facilitate business activity.

The Ministry of Justice has proposed cutting 31 legal documents with unreasonable business conditions since July 1, 2015. In 2017 alone, the ministry suggested abolishing six documents, taking the total to 26.

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said the reduction of business conditions is aimed at boosting competition among companies. The PM has assigned ministries to continue reviewing, evaluating and removing from one-third to half of the current business conditions that are hindering business and investment activities.

However, just five ministries had complied with the PM’s order by December 22 last year. The Ministry of Industry and Trade was the first to revise and remove 675 business and investment conditions among 1,216 conditions under its management.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also plans to amend 53 business conditions and abolish 65 others out of 345 conditions under its management. However, the ministry has not thrashed out specific amending solutions.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Construction has considerably streamlined business conditions. Particularly, the ministry has proposed eliminating nine fields and 89 conditions and simplifying 94 conditions out of the total 215. These proposals will be stated in a draft law amending and supplementing the Laws on Construction, Housing, Real Estate Business and Urban Planning and a draft Government decree.

Besides, the Ministry of Information and Communications has suggested amending and eliminating 51 business conditions but has yet to issue a roadmap.

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) proposed maintaining business conditions in the banking sector as this is a sensitive business field.

Ten other ministries and agencies have yet to make proposals for business condition reductions. Certain ministries are struggling to tell business conditions and management criteria apart, said Dung.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment proposed the PM ask the Ministries of Finance, Science-Technology, Agriculture-Rural Development, Transport, Public Security, Health, Information-Communications, Natural Resources-Environment, National Defense, Culture-Sports-Tourism, Education-Training, and Labor-Invalids-Social Affairs, and SBV to quickly simplify business and investment procedures and report results to the PM this month.

Commenting on Resolution 01, economic experts said the resolution which had been prepared carefully with extremely important contents is expected to create social and economic breakthroughs this year, an important transitional year in the five-year socio-economic development plan between 2016 and 2020.

Tran Du Lich, an economic expert, said the Government had consulted ministries, agencies and experts before the resolution came out. The Government has issued feasible action plans to maintain economic growth, stabilize the macro economy, and speed up the economic restructuring.

In addition, the resolution lists 242 specific tasks for ministries, agencies and localities.

Nguyen Dinh Cung, president of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said the Government should boost the restructuring of State-owned enterprises, the banking system and public investment, and focus on developing the logistics, tourism and agriculture sectors.

Vietnam could be optimistic about the economic outlook this year thanks to higher-than-expected results in inflation control, economic growth, export-import operations and foreign currency reserves last year, said Nguyen Tri Hieu, another economic expert.

Foreign investors can continue seeking investment opportunities in Vietnam as the Government’s reforms and policie

Source: The Saigon Times

Thứ Tư, 3 tháng 1, 2018

HCMC to invest VND29 trillion in public projects

HCMC – The government of HCMC will spend VND29 trillion on public investment projects in the first few months of this year.

Of the amount, VND4.88 trillion will come from official development assistance loans, VND2.52 trillion from the city budget as reciprocal capital for ODA-funded projects, and VND540 billion from the city budget for public-private partnership (PPP) projects.

In the first tranche of funding this year, city departments and districts in their capacity as supervisors of project developers will be responsible for disbursing capital and giving assignments to project developers.

To make sure capital disbursements will be on time, the city government told directors of departments and leaders of districts to sign an agreement in which half of the capital needed must have been disbursed by late July. If the disbursement target is missed, they would be held accountable.

At a conference on socio-economic development plans and budget estimates this year held by the city government on January 2, the secretary of the HCMC Party Committee, Nguyen Thien Nhan, said the city’s daily budget collections last year totaled VND1.11 trillion, excluding Sundays. The city accounted for nearly 28% of the country’s State budget revenue.

The city’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) last year grew 8.25%. Agriculture grew 6.3% at some VND19.4 trillion.

In 2017, the city beat its budget collection target.

This year, the city will focus on piloting a special mechanism already approved by the National Assembly, enhancing the quality of growth and the competitiveness of the city, creating a favorable and fair business environment, and encouraging innovations and startups.

In addition, the city will drastically streamline administrative procedures and boost e-government development. Another mission is to develop HCMC into a smart city in the 2017-2020 period with a vision towards 2025 to better serve residents and enterprises.

The city will also downsize the State apparatus while ensuring its efficiency and improving the quality of officials and civil servants.

Source: The Saigon Times

Thứ Hai, 1 tháng 1, 2018

Vietnamese steel makers in battle against steep US import duties

The U.S. claims Chinese steel is being processed or shipped through Vietnam to avoid heavy taxes.
The Vietnam Steel Association (VSA) is working with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to protect what Vietnamese authorities call the legitimate rights and interest of local steel producers who have been accused of tax evasion by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC).

The DOC said it will apply the same anti-dumping and anti-subsidy rates on corrosion-resistant and cold-rolled steel from Vietnam that it does on the Chinese equivalents if they are produced using Chinese hot-rolled steel.

Although the products receive their corrosion resistant treatment or are cold-rolled in Vietnam, the DOC agreed with claims by American producers that as much as 90 percent of the products' value originates from China, according to Reuters.

Vietnamese cold-rolled steel will face combined preliminary U.S. anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties of 531 percent, while corrosion-resistant steel will face combined duties of 238 percent. The final duties are expected to be announced on February 16.

The DOC said that after anti-dumping duties were imposed on Chinese steel products in 2015, shipments of cold-rolled steel from Vietnam to the U.S. shot up to $295 million annually from $11 million.

Dismissing the claim, the VSA said the processing of cold-rolled steel and corrosion-resistant steel from hot-rolled steel is a substantial transformation. The process involves many stages, which creates an added value equal to 30-40 percent of the products’ value, it said.

Thus, the U.S. claim is groundless, the VSA stressed.

Nguyen Thanh Trung, CEO of Ton Dong A Corporation, argued against the decision, saying that the company mainly uses materials imported from Japan to produce steel to export to the U.S.

His company is one of four Vietnamese steel makers that have been accused of importing Chinese steel for minor processing before shipping it to the U.S.

Vietnam imported 100,000 tons of hot-rolled steel from China in the first 11 months of this year, which accounted for just 2 percent of the country’s total imports of the product during that time, according to the General Department of Customs.

Commenting on the issue, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said cold-rolled steel and corrosion-resistant steel produced in Vietnam from imported steel should be considered Vietnamese products.

According to the World Trade Organization’s rules of origin, a country is considered the origin of goods if it is where a substantial transformation to create the goods is carried out, it said.

Vietnam affirms that the production of cold-rolled steel and corrosion-resistant steel from imported hot-rolled steel is a substantial transformation, the ministry added. “Thus, there is no tax evasion as claimed by the DOC.”

Diversify markets

The U.S. decision is expected to have negative impacts on Vietnam’s steel industry, said economist Le Dang Doanh. “This is a regrettable decision for Vietnam. The country should make efforts to clarify any doubts held by the U.S., and demonstrate that the steel products it exports to the U.S. do not originate from China.”

He said local steel makers should upgrade their technology and cut production costs to make their products more competitive, while diversifying export markets.

Predicting risks in the U.S. market, some local steel makers have expanded their exports to other markets and sought alternative sources of input material.

Pham Manh Hung, CEO of steel producer Nam Kim, said his company stopped using hot-rolled steel from China after the U.S. launched a formal investigation into whether Chinese companies were shipping steel through Vietnam to avoid import tariffs late last year.

The company has increased its use of products imported from other markets such as India, South Korea and Japan, or those locally produced to avoid risks.

Vietnamese steel products are exported to more than 50 countries and territories, including ASEAN, the E.U., South Korea, India and Taiwan. The country’s steel shipment to the U.S. accounted for 13 percent of its total steel export in the first eight months of this year, lower than the ratio of 27 percent in the same period last year, said the VSA.

Vietnam earned over $2.7 billion from iron and steel exports in the first 11 months, surging 52.8 percent over the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Department.
Source: E.vnexpress