On 15 January 2018, the Vietnam Government issued Decree 09/2018/ND-CP, which regulates goods trading and other activities directly related to goods trading (“Trading and Related Activities”) by foreign investors and economic organisations with foreign owned capital (“foreign invested enterprises” or “FIEs”) in Vietnam. Decree 09/2018/ND-CP came into effect on 15 January 2018 and replaced Decree 23/2007/ND-CP.
One of the most significant changes of Decree 09/2018/NDCP is the removal of the requirement for a specific trading license with respect to export, import and wholesale distribution rights, except for the import and wholesale distribution of oil and lubricant products. Accordingly, FIEs and enterprises with 51% or more of the charter capital owned by FIEs with 51% or more foreign ownership (hereinafter referred to as “foreign-controlled enterprises”) are now permitted to conduct these activities once they have been registered pursuant to the Law on Investment and Law on Enterprises, and have been granted with the necessary Investment Registration Certificates (IRC) and Enterprise Registration Certificates (ERC). This greatly reduces the administrative burden for FIEs and foreign-controlled enterprises conducting trading activities in Vietnam.