E-commerce regulations are set to change with the recent issuance of Decree 85/2021/ND-CP amending and supplementing several articles of Decree 52/2013/ND-CP on e-commerce (“Decree 85”). Most notably, Decree 85 brings offshore entities operating e-commerce websites in Vietnam within its scope. Decree 85 enters into force on 1 January 2022.
Broadened scope of application
Decree 85 and its requirements will apply to offshore traders and organisations operating e-commerce websites in Vietnam if the e-commerce websites fulfill any of the following:
Offshore traders and organisations falling within scope will have to register their e-commerce activities with the Ministry of Industry and Trade (“MOIT”) and establish representative offices in Vietnam or appoint representative(s). It is noted that social network platforms may also be deemed as e-commerce trading floors. Relevant entities must also coordinate with the competent authorities to prevent illegal transactions, protect consumers, and ensure the quality of products. Decree 85 also imposes stricter sanctions on e-commerce platforms with respect to infringement cases and disputes (more details are provided below).
Measures that must be taken upon detection or receipt of reports of violation(s)
Decree 85 requires e-commerce platforms to take prompt measures upon detection or receipt of reports of violation(s) relating to trade of illegal goods/services. Such measures, among others, include:
Duty to cooperate with the authorities for investigations and handling of infringements
E-commerce platforms are also obligated to actively support enforcement authorities. Specifically, e-commerce platforms are required to liaise with the competent authorities in the following ways:
Additional requirements for e-commerce platforms with online order features
Decree 85 imposes additional requirements on e-commerce platforms with online order features such as the following: