Vietnam: Guidance regarding cross-border e-commerce activities; website registration rules

The provisions will be effective 1 January 2022.

The provisions will be effective 1 January 2022.

The government issued guidance—Decree No. 85/2021/ND-CP (25 September 2021)—addressing and updating guidance regarding electronic commerce (e-commerce) activities provided by foreign entities.

The provisions contained in Decree 85 will be effective 1 January 2022.

Cross-border e-commerce activities of foreign entities are the focus on Decree 85. The decree includes a separate section addressing the cross-border e-commerce activities of foreign entities, including those having websites that provide e-commerce services in Vietnam and those selling goods in Vietnam’s e-commerce websites.

A foreign entity is considered as having a website to provide e-commerce services in Vietnam if its website is:

  • Either set up under a Vietnam’s domain name (.vn) or displayed in Vietnamese language
  • Has over 100,000 transactions from Vietnam per year

Such a foreign entity must register its e-commerce activities in Vietnam with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and must establish its representative office in Vietnam or appoint another to act as an authorized representative in Vietnam. This registration or appointment requirement must be done within 12 months from 1 January 2022.

There are other requirements, including having a trading (import) permit. Decree 85 also defines what are “e-commerce services” subject to statutory registration. For these purposes, a social network platform may be subject to the rules governing the provision of e-commerce services. A business entity setting up its e-commerce website to serve for its own commercial promotion activities or sale of its goods or services does not fall into the definition of “e-commerce service” and while not subject to registration, it is subject to a notification requirement.

Lastly, for goods and services listed in e-commerce websites, Decree 85 requires sellers to provide sufficient information so that buyers can accurately determine the particulars of goods or services and avoid misunderstanding when making decision to buy such products or services. Such information is to be published via an e-commerce website and must strictly follow the regulations on product labelling.

Read an October 2021 report [PDF 85 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Vietnam


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