Vietnam Regulatory Brief: New Machinery Import Regulations, Gambling at Airports, and Publicly Listed Company Disclosures
This edition of Vietnam Regulatory Brief examines new allowances for the import of used machinery, a push for slot machines at airports, and new disclosure requirements for publicly traded companies.
New import requirements for machinery, equipment and production lines
The Ministry of Science and Technology (Most) on 13 November issued a decree describing the requirements and procedures for import of used machinery, equipment and production lines. The new law will take effect on 1 July 2016. Under the decree: used machinery, equipment and production lines which are not specifically prohibited from importing into the country may be imported if they meet the following conditions:
- They are imported within 10 years from the manufacture date.
- They are manufactured based on standards which conform to Vietnam’s National Technical Standards or National Standards; or that confirm with standards of G7 countries on safety, energy saving and environment protection.
The above requirements are exempted if the list of machinery, equipment and production lines has been approved in the investment license application dossier. In addition, used replacement components and spare parts can only be imported if companies need to fox or replace the currently used ones.
Government offers support for slot machines at Vietnamese airports
The government has – in principle – approved the installation of slot machines at the country’s 11 international airports in the country. The Prime Minister on 20 November stated that the gambling service would be offered in specific areas of airports under the management of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam. The proposal was arranged by the Ministry of Finance and hopes to be approved by the central government. Local companies will be responsible for installing and maintaining the machines.
Foreign nationals will be allowed to use these machines; however it is unclear if Vietnamese nationals transiting through or about to leave the country will be allowed to play. Under current laws, Vietnamese nationals are not allowed to gamble in the country. Vietnam has 43 points that offer electronic gaming machines and eight casinos for foreigners and foreign passport holders. As per the financial ministry, tax collections from casinos in 2014 was VND 336 billion (US $14.78 million). A survey by the Ministry of Public Security indicated that Vietnamese players go to Cambodia casinos which around US $250 million a year.
Government to give listed companies 24 hours to disclose unusual information
The Ministry of Finance has issued a decree on information disclosure on the stock market which aims to make such information transparent. The decree takes effect on 1 January 2016. The decree states that listed companies on the stock exchange must disclose unusual information within 24 hours of receiving requests from the State Securities Commission (SSC) as well as the stock exchange where they have listed the shares.
Unusual information may include changes in operations of the company such as expansion or reduction in business, corporate restructuring and personnel, treasury and dividend policies, accounting regime and prosecution and detention of corporate insiders such as directors and senior officers, apart from issuance of convertible bonds and changes in the number of voting shares. Public companies must also notify investors of changes in foreign ownership in their companies. The new law makes the regulation that requires companies to show their capital contribution or divestment from subsidiary and affiliated companies within 72 hours redundant.
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