Vietnam: New Laws to be in Effect in 2018

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By: Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Koushan Das

In 2017, the Vietnamese government passed numerous laws which are going to come into effect in 2018. The laws primarily focus on sectors such as banking, agriculture, trade, and tourism. Most of the laws aim at improving the investment climate and reducing complexities in doing business in the country. 

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Laws in effect from January 1, 2018

Law on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Support

This law has entered into force on January 1, 2018. It establishes support measures for small and medium-sized enterprises and creates a legal framework to increase support for SMEs from the private sector and government agencies.

SMEs have been defined as micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises having no more than 200 employees per year on average and covered by social insurance. In addition, such an enterprise should have a total capital amount not exceeding VND 100 billion or a total revenue of the preceding year not exceeding VND 300 billion. 

Support measures include incentives in preferential tax, loan provision, credit guarantees, land rental preferences, technology transfers, training, and human resource development.

Tourism Law

Through this law, the government aims to encourage tourism development, increase service quality, increase professionalism, reduce administrative procedures, protect legitimate rights of tourists, and create a favorable environment for such businesses.

Law on Foreign Trade Management

This law regulates external trade management measures and deals with trade disputes. The law stipulates issues such as foreign trade measures, quarantine measures, tariff quotas, and anti-dumping/safeguard measures. It aims to increase transparency and domestic production, in line with the WTO.

The Law on Management and Use of Public Assets

In effect from January 1, 2018, this law creates a legal framework to ensure effective management of all public assets and prevent waste, corruption, and other violations coupled with mobilizing social resources for socio-economic development.

Law on Amending and Supplementing a Number of Articles of the Law on Credit Institutions

This law will be in effect from January 15, 2018. The amended law includes a provision allowing insolvent banks to file for bankruptcy. However, banks which are already under scrutiny and taking measures to resolve their issues, or which were bought at zero Vietnam dong by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), will be able to continue with their already-approved plans.

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Laws to be in effect from July 1, 2018

Law on Technology Transfer

The Law on Technology Transfer will be in effect from July 1, 2018. It creates a legal framework for providing financial support, loans, and preferential interest rates for investments focusing on technical infrastructure and establishing R&D units. The law aims to increase research activities, especially in the agriculture sector, which is need of high-tech expertise.

Irrigation Law

The Irrigation Law focuses on regulating the fees and prices of irrigation products and services, aiming to increase the participation of units and individuals in the irrigation sector.

Railway Law

The new Railway Law focuses on infrastructure planning, investment procedures, construction, protection, management, maintenance, preferential tax treatment, concessional loans, and high-speed railway development. It applies to domestic and foreign organizations and individuals involved in railway activities in the country.

The Law on State Compensation Liability

This law stipulates the State’s liability for compensating organizations and individuals who have suffered damages caused by official-duty performers in administrative management, procedure, and judgment execution. It also defines the rights of complainants and liable agencies, settlement procedures, and legal aid provisions for eligible people.

Law on Public Debt Management

This law provides for the management of public debts, which covers the borrowing, use of loans and debt payment, and public debt management operations. Public debt includes central Government debt, Government-guaranteed loans, and local government debt. It applies to organizations and individuals involved in the borrowing, use of loans, debt payment, and public debt management.

Other laws such as Forestry law, Fisheries law, and the Planning law will be in effect from January 1, 2019.



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Dezan Shira & Associates provide business intelligence, due diligence, legal, tax and advisory services throughout the Vietnam and the Asian region. We maintain offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as throughout China, South-East Asia, India, and Russia. For assistance with investments into Vietnam please contact us at or visit us at


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