Vietnam’s National Assembly Approves Three New Laws

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Nov. 17 – Vietnam's National Assembly has approved three laws for new tax rates on consumption, health insurance and civil judgements.

The decision also came with the ruling that will extend the tenure of People’s Councils and People’s Committees.

The Special Consumption Tax Law is applicable starting April 1, 2009 excluding the new taxes on alcohol, including beer that will apply beginning January 1, 2010.

The new law calls for a tax decrease for alcohol, including that for draught, canned and bottled beer, from 50 percent to 45 percent within 2010 and 2012. Come 2013, tax for alcohol will return to 50 percent. The law also allows tobacco products to be taxed at 65 percent.

In addition, it will divide nine-seater vehicles into three categories and corresponding tax rates. Vehicles with an engine capacity of less than 2,000cc qualifies for 45 percent tax; 2,000 to 3,000cc for 50 percent tax and vehicles with an engine capacity above 3,000cc, 60 percent.

Electric cars with less than nine seats will be taxed at 35 percent while those with 10 to 16 seats at 15 percent and those with 16 to 24 seats at 10 per cent.

According to Vietnam News, two-wheel and three-wheel motorbikes with cylinders of above 125cc will be taxed at 20 percent and air-conditioners of less than 90,000 BTU at 10 percent.

The consumption law also metes a 40 percent tax for dancing services, massages at 30 percent and lottery at 15 percent. It will not be taxing cosmetics and beauty-salon services.

The new Health Insurance Law is effective starting July 1, 2009 and expands the categories of those subject to obligatory health insurance at 24. It will also increase the maximum monthly payments for health insurance to 6 percent of income, including scholarships.

On the other hand, the Civil Judgements Execution Law is also applicable starting July 1, 2009. It will extend the tenure of People’s Councils and People’s Committees until 2011 instead of 2009 and will also allow for National Assembly and People’s Councils elections to be held simultaneously.