Our Newsletter #14 would lead you on the following:
I. Law on Protection of Consumers’ Rights 2023
On 20 June 2023, the Vietnamese National Assembly issued Law No. 19/2023/QH15 on Protection of Consumers’ Rights, which takes effect on 01 July 2024. The following are some of its notable contents:
- Supplementing the rights of consumers: The consumers will have some new rights including the right to be facilitated to select a healthy and sustainable consuming environment; the right to be protected upon using public services as well as the right to seek an organization or support for negotiation to resolve disputes that arise.
- Identifying 07 groups of vulnerable consumers, including the elderly; people with disabilities: children; ethnics; people living in ethnic minority areas and mountainous areas, islands, disadvantaged and extremely disadvantaged areas prescribed by law; pregnant women or women raising a child under 36 months of age: people having terminal diseases and poor household members prescribed by law.
- Supplementing various prohibited acts against Organizations and individuals that perform multi-level sales; and Traders establishing, operating, and supplying digital platform services.
- Supplementing regulations on the responsibility to ensure the safety, measurement, quantity, weight, quality, and uses of products, goods, and services sold and supplied to consumers; specifying the responsibility to protect consumer information; clarifying the warranty period in the case of replacing new products, goods; and supplementing regulations on the responsibility to receive and handle feedback, requests, and complaints from consumers.
- Supplementing regulations on dispute resolution methods: Amending the regulations on simplified procedures applied to resolve civil cases on consumer rights protection. Accordingly, civil cases on consumer rights protection which have a value less than 100 million dong shall be handled following simplified procedures without satisfying the conditions prescribed by law.
- Supplementing particular duties to People’s Committees at all levels in addition to clarifying the responsibilities of state management agencies, Provincial People’s Committees in building a national consumer protection database; assigning tasks to social organizations whose principles and purposes are to protect consumers’ rights; and building a coordination mechanism for consumer rights protection at the central and local levels.
II. Law on Electronic Transactions 2023
On 22 June 2023, the Vietnamese National Assembly issued Law No. 20/2023/QH15 on Electronic Transactions, which takes effect on 01 July 2024. The following are some of its notable contents:
1. Supplementing new definitions
1.1. An electronic signature means data in electronic form that is attached to or logically associated with a data message to identify the signatory and authenticate his/her approval of the data message;
1.2. A digital signature is an electronic signature using an asymmetric algorithm consisting of a private key and a public key. The private key is used to add the digital signature and the public key is used to verify the digital signature. The digital signature ensures authenticity, integrity, and undeniability but fails to ensure the secrecy of the data message;
1.3. An electronic contract is a contract that is made in the form of a data message; and
1.4. Electronic data means the data generated, processed or stored by electronic means.
2. Regulations on digital signatures are recognized as E-signatures if they meet the following conditions
- Recognize the signatory and affirm the approval of the signatory for the data message;
- Digital signature creation data is only attached to the content of the data message that is approved;
- Digital signature creation data must be under the sole control of the signatory at the point of time when the signature is added;
- Any changes to the data message after the time of signing can be detected;
- Must be secured by a digital signature certificate; and
- The signature creation device must ensure that the digital signature generation data is not disclosed, collected, or used to forge signatures; ensure that the data used to create the digital signature can only be used once; and it does not change the data to be signed.
3. Supplement the requirements for the conversion of printed documents into data messages
Data messages converted from paper documents must meet the following conditions:
- The information contained in the data message is guaranteed to be as accurate as printed documents;
- The information in the data message can be accessed and used for reference;
- There is a specific sign verifying that the printed document has been converted to a data message, as well as the agency, company, or individual doing the conversion; and
- In case the printed document is a license, certificate, confirmation, or other approval document issued by a competent authority or organization, there must be an additional digital signature of the agency or organization performing the conversion, unless otherwise provided by law.
4. Supplement new regulations on electronic certificate
4.1. The definition of an electronic certificate: a license, certificate, confirmation, or other approval document issued by a competent authority or organization in the form of electronic data.
4.2. When the following regulations are met, the information included in the electronic certificate has legal value:
- The electronic certificate is signed with a digital signature of the issuing authority or organization;
- Information in the electronic certificate can be accessed and used in a complete form; and
- If a time determination is required by law in relation to the electronic certificate, the electronic certificate must include a timestamp.
Note: Electronic certificates issued by a foreign competent agency or organization must be consular legalized to be recognized and used in Vietnam.
III. Law on Procurement 2023
On 23 June 2023, the Vietnamese National Assembly passed Law No. 22/2023/QH15 on Bidding, which takes effect on 01 July 2024. The following are some of its notable contents:
1. Two new regulated entities of the Law
In addition to 10 applicable subjects of Law on Procurement No.43/2013/QH13, Law on Procurement 2023 supplements 02 more applicable subjects related to the contractor appointment activity as below:
- Bidding packages under investment projects of state-owned enterprises according to the Law on Enterprise and enterprises holding 100% charter capital of state-owned enterprises, and
- Bidding package for equipping material facilities and technical, machinery, and equipment support to develop science and technology from the science and technology development fund of state enterprises.
2. Eligibility of contractors, investors
Eligibility of contractors and investors is amended and supplemented by several regulations:
- Division of enterprise establishment conditions between domestic and foreign contractors and investors;
- For domestic contractors and investors: they shall be enterprises, cooperatives, unions of cooperatives, units of cooperatives, public non-business units, and foreign-invested economic organizations registered for establishment and operation in accordance with Vietnamese law; and
- For foreign contractors and investors: they shall have registration of establishment and operation under foreign laws.
- Supplement of criteria on the eligibility of contractors and investors
- Not to have had revocation of the certificate of enterprise registration, certificate of cooperatives, unions of cooperatives, unit of cooperatives registration; and
- Not to have been prosecuted for criminal liability.
- Supplement of criteria on the eligibility of contractors that are household businesses
- Having the certificate of household business registration in accordance with law;
- Not to be in the process of terminating its operation or revoking the certificate of business household registration; and the owner of the business household is not being prosecuted for criminal liability; and
- Fulfilling conditions on criteria of contractors, and an investor that is an organization.
3. Acts of bid rigging and acts of obstruction are prohibited in procurement
The Law on Procurement 2023 has supplemented and regulated prohibited acts in activities of procurement in detail as below:
- For acts of bid rigging
- Arranging, agreeing, or forcing one or two parties to prepare a bidding dossier or withdrawing a bidding dossier so that one party has awarded a bid;
- Arranging or agreeing to refuse to provide goods or services, not to sign subcontracts, or perform other forms of agreement to limit competition in order for one party to award a bid; and
- Qualified and experienced contractors and investors have participated in the bid and met the requirements of the bidding documents but intentionally failed to provide documents to prove their capacity and experience when requested by the bid solicitor to clarify their bid documents or when requested to compare documents in order to create favorable conditions for one party to win a bid.
- For obstructing acts
- Destroying, deceiving, altering, concealing evidence or making false statements; threatening or suggesting to any party in order to prevent the clarification of acts of giving, receiving, brokering bribes, cheating or colluding with competent authorities in charge of supervision, inspection, inspection, and audit;
- Obstructing competent persons, investors, bid solicitors, contractors, and investors in selecting contractors and investors;
- Obstructing competent agencies to supervise, examine, inspect, and audit bidding activities;
- Deliberately making false complaints, denunciations, and petitions to obstruct bidding activities; and
- Violating the law on network safety and security in order to interfere with or obstruct online bidding.
The above is not official advice from BLawyers Vietnam’s lawyers. If you have any questions or suggestions about the above, please contact us at email@example.com. BLawyers Vietnam would love to hear from you.
Date: 25 September 2023
Writer: BLawyers Vietnam
Legal News and Update Team
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