E-commerce websites and 4 differences between the notification of e-commerce websites and the registration of e-commerce websites?

Currently, the use of e-commerce websites in business activities is very popular, especially with the effect of Covid-19. However, not everyone can comprehend complying with the relating law. In particular, the law on e-commerce websites has 2 different procedures: website notification and website registration. How they are different, BLawyers Vietnam will analyze below.


1. Definition of e-commerce websites

An e-commerce website is an electronic information platform being set up to serve the activities of buying and selling goods or providing services, from displaying and introducing goods and services to entering into contracts, service provision, payment, and after-sales service.

As mentioned above, before running a business with such websites, the founder must perform one of two procedures that are to notify the e-commerce website or register the e-commerce website.

2. Objects to be applied

  • Website notification

Previously, the law stipulated the subjects of e-commerce website notification including:

    1. Traders;
    2. Organizations whose functions and duties include selling of goods and services, or other e-commerce activities; and
    3. Individuals who are granted personal tax identification numbers and are not required to apply for business registration according to the provisions of the law on business registration.

However, the above subjects have been abolished according to Article 1.1 of Circular No. 21/2018/TT-BCT. Therefore the subjects who must notify the e-commerce websites are not specified by the law.

  • Website registration

Registrants refer to traders or organizations having e-commerce websites providing at least one of the following services:

    1. E-commerce exchange services;
    2. Online promotion services; and
    3. Online auction services

3. Procedures

  • Website notification

Traders, organizations, and individuals notify e-commerce websites in the following steps :

Step 1: The website owner shall register an online account;

Step 2: Within 03 working days, traders, organizations, or individuals shall receive results from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (“MIT”) via registered emails;

Step 3: After being granted an account for access to the system, traders, organizations, and individuals shall carry out logging on, select online shopping website notification and fill in the forms as instructed;

Step 4: Within a period of three working days, traders, organizations, or individuals shall receive responses from MIT via registered emails if confirmation that the declared information is adequate and eligible. If the notification that the declared information is inadequate or invalid, traders, organizations, and individuals should return to Step 3 for declaration again or providing additional information as requested;

Step 5: MIT shall confirm the notification within three working days since receipt of adequate and valid notification documents sent by traders, organizations, and individuals;

Step 6: Upon confirmation of notification, MIT shall send to traders, organizations, and individuals via a registered email a code segment for insertion into the online shopping website and displayed onscreen as a “notified” sign.

  • Website registration

The registration of e-commerce websites shall take place more complicatedly than the notification of that. First, Traders, organizations, and individuals that register websites shall prepare an application dossier.

Then, applicant must do the following steps:

Step 1: Traders, organizations, and individuals register for the account to access the website (shall receive results within three working days since the registration date);

Step 2: Enclosing registration documents after being granted an account for access;

Step 3: Within a period of seven working days, MIT shall notify of documents’ status;

Step 4: After receipt of the notice confirming adequacy and eligibility of the documents, traders, organizations, and individuals shall send to MIT (Department of E-commerce and Information Technology) a complete registration dossier (hard copy);

Step 5: Within 05 working days shall send to traders, organizations, and individuals a code segment for insertion into the e-commerce service websites and display on-screen as a “registered” sign if the hard copy is adequate and eligible.

4. Regular updating of notification

  • Website notification

Once a year since the receipt of confirmation of notification, traders, organizations, and individuals are responsible for updating notification by accessing the e-commerce management portal and filling in the forms as instructed.

  • Website registration

Currently, the law has not stipulated that traders, organizations, and individuals must update information after registering an e-commerce website.

5. Periodical reporting obligations

  • Website notification

Currently, the law has not stipulated that traders, organizations, and individuals must periodically report after notifying an e-commerce website.

  • Website registration

Before January 15 annually, traders, organizations, and individuals building e-commerce service websites should report statistical figures of the preceding year’s performance to MIT via user accounts of traders and organizations or via written communication by post.

Should you have any questions about the above contents, please revert to BLawyers Vietnam at consult@blawyersvn.com. We are more than happy to hear from you!

Date: 11 January 2022

Writer: Huy Nguyen

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