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 Tư, 15 tháng 11, 2017

Taxman wants sweeping power to fight tax violations

HCMC – The General Department of Taxation has proposed new regulations that give sweeping power to tax authorities to fight tax violations, including putting violators in custody or filing criminal charges against them.

In the draft law on tax management sent to the Government, the tax authority plans to set up a force with investigative power, build a database and take professional measures to prevent violations against the tax law.

Besides, the tax authority wants to have authority to ask related agencies, organizations and individuals to provide information and documents to facilitate investigations, as well as seal goods, storehouses, documents, and detain violators in case there is proof of violations.

If serious violations subject to criminal charges are detected, the taxman can initiate prosecution and undertake investigations in accordance with the criminal procedure code and the law on organization of criminal investigation bodies.

According to the tax authority, those regulations are proposed to deter and prevent tax evasion and fraud.
As explained by the tax department, tax investigations are by nature prosecutions against taxpayers who intentionally decline to fulfill their tax obligations.

The taxman, according to the proposed regulations, can launch investigations without prior notice, and investigated tax payers will have lawyers or representatives during the process.

Many countries have already assigned tax investigations to their tax bodies. Once violations need to be prosecuted, tax authorities will take measures to collect evaded taxes, and at the same time hand over the cases to competent authorities in compliance with the criminal proceedings law.

More than 80 countries, including some ASEAN countries, have set up tax investigation bodies. The tax management body in Vietnam consists of both tax and customs agencies, with the customs having been given power to launch investigations in its area but the tax authority having no such power.

Source: The Saigon Times

Chủ Nhật, 12 tháng 11, 2017

Effectiveness of a Lawsuit against Infringement of IP in Vietnam

How to handle effectively with infringement is a big concern of Intellectual Property (IP) holders. Should the IP holder file a lawsuit at Court? Is this way effective in Vietnam?  This article will give you general information about handling of intellectual property disputes through legal action at court in Vietnam.
Unlike many countries in the world, in case of infringement, most IP holders proceed with lawsuits in the courts (judicial authorities), while other administrative agencies only perform measures to ensure enforcement of judgments of the court.

Protection of IP rights through the litigation has many advantages over administrative measures because it guarantees the enforcement and compensation from infringers. However, in our opinions, the practice of resolving IP rights disputes in courts is not as effective as administrative measures in Vietnam.
Vietnamese laws have not given separate regulations on procedures for settling IP disputes. Therefore, the procedures for settling disputes shall be governed by the Law on Civil procedure. According to Clause 2 of Article 30 and Clause 1 of Article 34 of this law, disputes over intellectual property rights and technology transfer between individuals and organizations and all purposes of profit are commercial disputes to be trialed at the courts of the province.
According to Article 202 of the IP Law, the court could decide the following civil measures to the infringers upon IP right:
-Compelling termination of the infringement of intellectual property rights;
-Compelling public rectification and apology;
-Compelling the performance of civil obligations;
-Compelling compensation for damages;
-Compelling destruction, or distribution/ use for non-commercial purpose.
In addition, when initiating a lawsuit or during dispute at court, the IP holders may request the court to apply provisional emergency measures in order to prevent damages.
In practice, the IP holder does not proactively protect IP rights by civil measures to file a lawsuit at court. The number of cases resolved by courts is much lower than the number of cases handled by administrative measures. Specifically, the number of cases resolved by court are 177 cases from 2012 to 2015, of which 91 cases were canceled. The number of cases resolved by administrative measure is of 22,914 cases (excluding cases handled by Vietnam Customs Authority)
The reason for the above survey is that, the IP holder is less likely to resolve disputes through courts because time for dispute resolution is lengthy, the process is cumbersome and complicated, but not as effective as administrative measures. Therefore, dealing with disputes in the specialized administrations will give faster effects to the IP holders in Vietnam.
Tuan Nguyen and Thao Hoang @ ANT Lawyers

Thứ Ba, 7 tháng 11, 2017

What Goods Allowed to Be Imported into Vietnam?

Foreign owned companies in Vietnam wishing to import and distribute physical goods into Vietnam must comply with many regulations. It is imperative that the right to conduct import business of foreign investors and FDI companies differ from the right of Vietnamese traders having no foreign direct investment capital because trading activities are considered conditional investment area.

  1. General Principles of Imported Goods
In principle, as other countries, the importers have to follow the general rules when importing and distributing physical goods into Vietnam:
  1. Not to import goods specified under the list of goods banned from import or suspended from import provided, published by Vietnam government;
  2. Follow the guideline or import regulations and conditions required by ministries and ministerial-level agencies. There are specific conditions for importing certain goods which the importers have to follow i.e. certain medical equipment have to be approved by the Ministry of Health; Food, cosmetics products need to be testedReceiving and transmitting telecom equipment must be inspected by Ministry of Information and Communication; Books, CDs will be checked and scanned for contents to be approved by Ministry of Cultures, Sport and Tourism; Equipment must satisfy energy, environmental regulations to be inspected and labeled by Ministry of Science and Technology…
  3. Implement other relevant laws, commitments of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in treaties which it has signed or acceded to, and the roadmap announced by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
  1. Goods Prohibited to Be Imported into Vietnam
  1. For the goods being banned to be imported and distributed in Vietnam, the importers have to follow strictly to avoid penalties:
  2. Weapons, ammunitions, explosives (excluding industrial explosives), military technical equipment.
  3. Assorted fireworks, sky lanterns, assorted devices causing interference to vehicle speedometers.
  4. Used consumer goods: Textiles and garments, footwear, clothes; Electronic appliances; Refrigerating appliances; Home electric appliances; Medical equipment; Interior decoration goods;
  5. Assorted publications banned from dissemination and circulation in Vietnam
  6. Assorted cultural publications banned from dissemination and circulation or decided to be suspended from dissemination and circulation in Vietnam.
  7. Right-hand drive means of transport; assorted automobiles and their spare parts which have their frame or engine numbers erased, modified or tampered with; Assorted motorcycles, special-use motorbikes and motorbikes which have their frame or engine numbers erased, modified or tampered with
  8. Used supplies and vehicles
  9. Chemicals in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention.
  10. Pesticides banned from use in Vietnam.
  11. Wastes and scraps, refrigerating equipment using C.F.C.
  12. Products and materials containing asbestos of the amphibole group
  13. Schedule-I toxic chemicals; Chemicals on the list of banned chemicals
It is important for foreign trader wishing to establish a trading company in Vietnam to not only study the market demand in Vietnam but also the country’s law on import, export, customs law to ensure their compliance during the operation.  If doubted, the Client is suggested to reach out for help and advisory of law firm in Vietnam by qualified lawyers in the area of import, export and customs.

Thứ Sáu, 3 tháng 11, 2017

Draft cyber security law mismatches WTO rules

HANOI - The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has pointed out discrepancies between some provisions of the draft Law on Cyber Security and the nation’s commitments to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

VCCI has written to the National Assembly Security and Defense Committee detailing the incompatibility between the draft law and Vietnam’s commitments to WTO and EVFTA. The draft law, crafted by the Ministry of Public Security, is now on the table of the National Assembly (NA) for discussion.
VCCI said Article 34 of the draft law specifies: “Foreign firms providing telecommunication and Internet services in Vietnam shall comply with Vietnamese regulations, respect national sovereignty, interests and security, user interests, obtain licenses, locate their representative offices and servers in Vietnam, and secure user data and accounts...”
However, according to Vietnam’s WTO and EVFTA commitments, foreign telecommunication and Internet service providers are not required to locate their representative offices in Vietnam.
Besides, Article 14.13 of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement which Vietnam signed in February 2016 says: “The Parties agreed not to require the use of computing facilities within their territories as a condition for doing business.”
Although the NA has not approved the TPP, Vietnam and 10 other Pacific Rim countries are still conducting negotiations to finalize a deal without the United States. Therefore, VCCI said the draft law should run counter to the TPP.
VCCI said the country’s Cyber Information Security Law crafted by the Ministry of Information and Communications came into effect on July 1, 2016, so there is no need to issue a law on cyber security.
Article 11 of the draft law states the Ministry of Public Security is responsible assessing providers of cyber information security services. However, Article 44 of the Cyber Information Security Law regulates the Ministry of Information and Communications is in charge of coordinating with relevant ministries and agencies to issue licenses for those entities providing cyber information security products and services.
This is a clear indication that the Draft Law on Cyber Security and the Cyber Information Security Law overlap to some extent.
VCCI noted some requirements in the Ministry of Public Security’s draft law would make life difficult for businesses and push up the cost of doing business in the cyber security domain.
VCCI suggested the Ministry of Public Security eliminate Article 49 of the draft law that requires enterprises to ask the ministry for permission before finalizing their contracts because the draft law does not provide the procedures for doing so.
Source: The Saigon Times

Thứ Tư, 1 tháng 11, 2017

Australia seen becoming huge market for Vietnam exporters

CAN THO – Australia will be a huge market for Vietnamese exporters in the years to come though shipments from Vietnam to this country remain limited, said Le Thanh Tung, general director of Tien Thinh International Migration and Investment Consulting Company, at a seminar in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho last Friday.

“Australia ranks 15th among Vietnam’s important trading partners. This is a market full of great potential in years to come, so Vietnamese companies should prop up their exports to the country,” he told the seminar on investment and trade promotion between the two countries.

He cited data of the Vietnam Trade Office in Australia, saying that Vietnam exported goods worth around US$480 million to this market in 2016, mostly farm produce. Tung said Vietnam’s agro-forestry-fisheries exports to Australia reached an estimated US$450 million a year between 2011 and 2016, a year-on-year rise of 8.3%.

However, products which posted strong growth lately included cameras and accessories (up a staggering 315.3%), iron and steel products (127.1%), material for textile, garment, leather and footwear (up 89.9%), computers, electronic products and their components (up 59.4%), and non-wood furniture products (up 47.1%).

He stressed the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement opens up opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises that want to make business deals with their Australian partners.

Tien Thinh International Migration and Investment Consulting Company has organized many seminars in Hanoi and HCMC, and has facilitated many companies and local governments to survey the Australian market.

He told the Daily that the company is willing to serve as a bridge between Australia’s state governments and Vietnamese companies who have achieved quality and reputation in production and business activities.

“I am optimistic about the consulting work to Vietnamese small and medium enterprises that have capability and prestige to help them become successful businesses in Australia,” he said.

Thứ Ba, 31 tháng 10, 2017

Protecting Intellectual Property Rights Abroad for Vietnam Enterprises

The development of international supply chains has become a critical success factor for big companies, and should be seen as important key for products of developing countries to gain entry into high standard market such as USA, European Countries, and Japan. However, many Vietnam companies have experienced problems in shifting their supply chain abroad as well as managed their intellectual property such as geographical indication, trademarks.

On October 24th, 2017, Vietnam Intellectual Property Association (VIPA) in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights (AIPPI) organized the seminar “Protecting intellectual property rights abroad for Vietnamese enterprises” to provide Vietnam companies value information for protecting their Intellectual Property right in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and global supply chain development.
All the experts have strongly recognized the important role of intellectual property protection abroad for Vietnamese enterprises and introduced:
-Introduction to the International World of Intellectual property
-Protecting a valuable asset- How to protect your Brand with Madrid
-Options to protect an invention: Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and trade Secrets
-Introduction to the international design System- Hague
-Other WIPO services, Tools and Products
-About International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property- AIPPI (Association Internationale pour la Protection de la Propriété Intellectuelle)
Vietnam is a member of the WIPO and is a signatory to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. It has acceded to the Patent Cooperation Treaty and the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, and in 2004 joined the Berne Convention. Therefore, the Vietnamese enterprises should file trademarks, patents or industrial designs by international systems for saving cost and managing the registration procedures effectively. However, it is suggested that the international Bureau of WIPO does not decide whether trademarks, patents or industrial designs are eligible for protection or not, and the final decisions must depend on Intellectual Property law of each country i.e. Vietnam. For differences of laws in every country and difficult techniques when preparing Intellectual Property application, applicants should find valuable assistant from Intellectual Property agent.
Our licensed agent of intellectual property practice at ANT Lawyers helps clients to protect, and profit from their intellectual assets in Vietnam.
ANT Lawyers is supported by a team of experienced patent, trademark, design attorneys with qualification and skills handling full range of legal services relating to intellectual property in Vietnam.  We have specialized in the preparation and registration of patents, trademarks and designs for our clients.

Tuan Nguyen and Thao Hoang at ANT Lawyers

Thứ Tư, 25 tháng 10, 2017

Vietnam trade ministry slashes 675 business and investment conditions

The move aims at reducing business obstacles and boosting Vietnam’s business climate.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) on Friday has decided to cut down more than half of the total business and investment conditions, from around 1,200 terms to just 675.

“It is such a breakthrough and it's beyond my expectations,” said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. More than half of the business conditions were cut, meaning there will be less administrative burden placed on businesses.

The move is a part of the ministry’s ongoing institutional reform to improve business climate, Minister Tran Tuan Anh commented.

A simplified inspection process will also be applied to a wide range of goods. Only products at high risk of violating food safety regulations will fall under customs’ specialized inspection. The Ministry of Industry and Trade will work with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to later publish a list of exempted goods.

Accordingly, customs checks will take three to fours days less to clear, which will help save an estimated VND2 million ($100) per batch of goods.

However, a lot remains to be done to improve ease of doing business in Vietnam, which according to the World Bank, lags behind Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

PM Phuc urged the ministry to accelerate privatization of state owned enterprises and come up with better solutions to deal with 12 long-term loss projects.

Meanwhile, businesses wish the ministry could reduce the time it takes to issue some certificates and provide better support.  

Source: e.vnexpress