New Rules and Regulations Effective Jan. 1 in Vietnam

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Jan. 10 – Beginning January 1, 2011, several new rules have come into effect.

Minimum wage increase
Minimum wages at both local and foreign firms in Vietnam have increased by VND100,000 and VND370,000 per month, respectively.

Depending on region, with urban areas having a higher minimum wage, local companies are required to pay a monthly minimum of VND830,000 to VND1,350,000 per month, while foreign companies must pay VND1.1 million to VND1.55 million a month.

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Lower car taxes
Import tariffs on cars (vehicles with up to nice seats) have decreased from 83 percent to 77 percent-82 percent. Also, import tariffs on vehicles that carry less than nine passengers that are sourced from ASEAN countries will reduce from 83 percent to 70 percent.

Tariff cuts on various other types of consumer goods are to follow in 2011 resulting from Vietnam’s obligations under free trade agreements signed with other Southeast Asian nations.

Fairer rules for banks
In accordance with rules laid out by the World Trade Organization, all banks in Vietnam are now subject to the same regulations regarding the amount of loans they want to provide.

While foreign banks were previously restricted regarding how many deposits they could hold of the local currency, they can now hold unlimited dong deposits.

Gold tax
A new 10 percent gold tax is imposed on gold exports.

The tariff is levied on gold of less than 99.99 percent purity and on jewelry made from more than 99 percent pure gold.

Invoice printing
Companies in Vietnam are now permitted to print their own invoices, instead of having to follow the previous policy of purchasing ready-made invoices from tax departments. Electronic invoices are also allowed.

The invoices, sometimes known as “red invoices” in Vietnam, are used for tax-related purposes.