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LEGAL TUTORIALS FOR DOING BUSINESS IN VIETNAM

Investing in conditional sectors in Vietnam


There are 243 investment sectors whose conditions apply to both foreign (FDI) and Vietnamese investors.

Only when investors manage to meet the conditions of each sector are they permitted to invest in conditional business in Vietnam.


List of conditional investment sectors

No.

Business sectors

1.

Manufacture of seals

2.

Trading combat gear (including repair)

3.

Trading fireworks, except for firecrackers

4.

Trading camouflaged software and equipment used for audio and video recording and positioning

5.

Trading paintball guns

6.

Trading military equipment and goods for the armed forces, military weapons, specialized military equipment and vehicles for the army and police; special military components, accessories, materials and equipment and specialized military engineering

7.

Pawning services

8.

Massage services

9.

Trading signaling device for prioritized vehicles

10.

Debt collection services

11.

Security services

12.

Fire protection services

13.

Lawyer

14.

Notary services

15.

Judicial expertise in the fields of finance, banking, construction, antiques, relics, copyrights

16.

Auction services

17.

Services of commercial arbitration institutions

18.

Bailiff

19.

Asset safeguard and liquidation for enterprises and cooperatives during bankruptcy settlement process

20.

Accounting services

21.

Auditing services

22.

Tax procedure services

23.

Customs brokerage services

24.

Duty-free goods

25.

Bonded warehouses and retail collection sites

26.

Premises for conducting customs procedures, gathering, inspection and supervision

27.

Securities

28.

Registration, depository, offsetting, and liquidation services of securities issued by the Securities Depository Center / Organization of market for listed securities and other securities

29.

Insurance

30.

Reinsurance

31.

Insurance brokerage

32.

Insurance agencies

33.

Price evaluation services

34.

Lottery

35.

Electronic games with prizes for foreign nationals

36.

Debt trading services

37.

Credit rating services

38.

Casino business

39.

Gambling business

40.

Voluntary pension fund management services

41.

Trading petroleum

42.

Trading gas

43.

Manufacture and repair of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bottles

44.

Commercial assessment services

45.

Sale (and destruction) of industrial explosives

46.

Trading explosive precursors

47.

Sectors that use industrial explosives and explosive precursors

48.

Blasting services

49.

Chemicals, except for those prohibited in the International Convention on Prohibition of Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction

50.

Trading alcohol

51.

Trading tobacco products, materials, machinery and equipment specialized for the tobacco industry

52.

Foods under specialized management of the Ministry of Industry and Trade

53.

Commodity exchange

54.

Generation, transmission, distribution, wholesale, retail, export, and import of electricity, consultancy specialized in electric power industry

55.

Rice export

56.

Temporary import and re-export of goods subjected to excise tax

57.

Temporary import and re-export of frozen foods

58.

Temporary import and re-export of goods on the List of used goods

59.

Franchising

60.

Logistics services

61.

Minerals

62.

Industrial precursors

63.

Commodity trading activity and activities directly related to commodity trading by foreign investors and foreign-invested economic organizations

64.

Multi-level marketing

65.

E-commerce activities

66.

Oil and gas activities

67.

Energy audit

68.

Vocational education activities

69.

Quality assessment of vocational education

70.

Occupational skill assessment services

71.

Occupational safety inspection services

72.

Occupational safety and health training

73.

Employment agencies

74.

Overseas employment services

75.

Voluntary drug detoxification services

76.

Labor outsourcing

77.

Road transport services

78.

Automobile maintenance services

79.

Producing, assembling and importing automobiles

80.

Motor vehicles inspection services

81.

Driver training services

82.

Traffic safety inspector training services

83.

Driving test services

84.

Traffic safety inspection services

85.

Waterway transport services

86.

Building, repair and renovation of watercraft

87.

Inland watercraft crewmen and operator training services

88.

Training, recruitment and supply of marine crews

89.

Maritime safety services

90.

Shipping services and shipping agencies

91.

Towage services

92.

Import and demolition of used ships

93.

Building, renovation and repair of ships

94.

Seaport operation business

95.

Air transport business

96.

Design, manufacture, maintenance and testing of aircrafts, their engines, propellers, avionics and equipment thereof in Vietnam

97.

Airport operation business

98.

Aviation service at airports

99.

Air navigation services

100.

Flight crew training services

101.

Rail transport business

102.

Rail infrastructure business

103.

Urban railway business

104.

Multimodal transport

105.

Transport of dangerous goods

106.

Pipeline transport business

107.

Real estate business

108.

Provision of training in real estate brokerage and property exchange operation

109.

Provision of training in apartment building operation and management.

110.

Construction management consulting services

111.

Construction surveying services

112.

Construction design and assessment services

113.

Construction supervision services

114.

Construction services

115.

Construction activities by foreign contractors

116.

Construction cost management services

117.

Construction quality assessment services

118.

Construction experiment services

119.

Apartment building operation and management services

120.

Cremation facility operation and management services

121.

Construction planning services

122.

Urban planning consulting services provided by foreign entities

123.

Trading white asbestos of Serpentine group

124.

Postal services

125.

Telecommunications services

126.

Certification services of digital signatures

127.

Publishing

128.

Printing services, except for printing of package

129.

Publication services

130.

Social networking services

131.

Online game business

132.

Paid radio and television services

133.

General information website development services

134.

Processing, recycling, repair and renovation of used IT products which are on the List of used IT products banned from import for foreign partners

135.

Provision of information services via telecommunications and internets

136.

".vn" domain name registration and maintenance services

137.

Cybersecurity products and services

138.

Civil cryptography services and products

139.

Trading potable jamming devices

140.

Preschool education business

141.

Secondary school education business

142.

Higher education business

143.

Operation of foreign-invested education institutions, representative offices of foreign education institutions in Vietnam and branches of foreign-invested education institutions

144.

Continuing education business

145.

Operation of special schools

146.

Association in education with foreign countries

147.

Education quality assessment

148.

Overseas study consulting services

149.

Fishing

150.

Trading aquatic products

151.

Trading aquatic feed and animal feeds

152.

Animal feed and aquatic feed testing services

153.

Trading biological preparations, microorganism, chemicals and environmental remediation agents used for aquaculture

154.

Building and renovation of fishing vessels

155.

Breeding, raising, artificial propagation of wild animals and plants according to CITES Appendix

156.

Breeding, raising, artificial propagation of wild, endangered and rare animals and plants according to CITES Appendix

157.

Breeding and raising of normal wild animals

158.

Export, import, re-export, transit and introduction of marine specimens stipulated in CITES Appendix

159.

Export, import and re-export of specimens bred, raised and artificially propagated according to CITES Appendix

160.

Trading forest animals and plants restricted from use for commercial purposes

161.

Trading plant protection products

162.

Processing of items subjected to undergo plant quarantine

163.

Pesticide testing services

164.

Plant protection services

165.

Trading veterinary medicines, vaccines, biological preparations, microorganisms and chemicals used in veterinary medicine

166.

Veterinary technical services

167.

Animal testing and surgery

168.

Provision of vaccination, diagnosis, prescription, treatment and healthcare services for animals

169.

Veterinary medicine testing and assay ( including veterinary medicines, aquatic veterinary medicines, biological preparations, microorganisms and chemicals used for veterinary medicines, aquatic veterinary medicines)

170.

Concentrated husbandry

171.

Slaughtering

172.

Trading foods under the administration of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

173.

Animals and animal product quarantine services

174.

Trading fertilizers

175.

Fertilizer testing services

176.

Trading plant varieties and animal breeds

177.

Trading aquatic breeds

178.

Testing of plant varieties and animal breeds

179.

Aquatic breed testing services

180.

Testing and assay of biological preparations, microorganism, chemicals and environmental remediation agents used for aquaculture

181.

Trading genetically modified products

182.

Medical treatment and examination

183.

HIV testing services

184.

Tissue banking services

185.

Reproduction assistance, sperm and embryo cryopreservation

186.

Testing of microorganisms causing infectious diseases

187.

Vaccination services

188.

Opioid substitution therapy

189.

Plastic surgery

190.

Surrogacy service

191.

Pharmaceutical business

192.

Cosmetics production

193.

Trading chemicals, pesticides, germicides for the use in medical appliances

194.

Trading foods under the administration of the Ministry of Health

195.

Trading medical equipment

196.

Medical equipment classification services

197.

Medical equipment testing services

198.

Appraisal of intellectual property (including appraisal of the copyrights and others relevant, appraisal of industrial properties and plant breeder’s rights)

199.

Radiological services

200.

Assistance in application of atomic energy

201.

Assessment of conformity

202.

Testing, calibration and inspection of measuring instruments and measurement standards

203.

Manufacture of biker helmets

204.

Technology assessment and evaluation services

205.

Intellectual property presentation services

206.

Film production and distribution

207.

Antique appraisal services

208.

Development of project planning, construction, project supervision, maintenance, renovation and restoration of relics

209.

Karaoke and nightclub business

210.

Travel services

211.

Sport business and professional sport clubs

212.

Business involving art and fashion shows, model contests and beauty pageants

213.

Trading art performance videos and audio recordings

214.

Accommodation services

215.

Advertising services

216.

Trading in national relics, antiques and treasures

217.

Export of relics and antiques other than those under the ownerships of the Government, political organizations and political-social organizations; import of cultural products under the administration of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

218.

Museum services

219.

Video game business (other than casino video games for foreigners and online casino video games )

220.

Land assessment and survey consulting services

221.

Land use planning services

222.

Information technology infrastructure and land information software system development services

223.

Land database development services

224.

Land pricing services

225.

Geodesic and cartographic services

226.

Meteorological and hydrological forecasting services

227.

Groundwater drilling and exploration services

228.

Extraction and use of water resources, discharge of wastewater into water sources

229.

Basic survey and consulting services for preparation of water resource planning, schemes and reports

230.

Mineral exploration

231.

Mineral extraction

232.

Transport and treatment of hazardous wastes

233.

Import of scraps

234.

Environmental monitoring services

235.

Trading biological preparations from waste treatment

236.

Commercial bank business operations

237.

Non-credit institution business operations

238.

Business operations of cooperatives, people's credit funds and microfinance institutions

239.

Payment intermediary services

240.

Credit information services

241.

Foreign exchange activities by non-credit institutions

242.

Trading gold

243.

Money printing and minting

Annex 4, stipulated in Law No. 03/2016/QH14 on amendment and supplement to Article 6 and Annex 4 on the list of conditional business of the 2014 Investment Law.

 

General conditions include:

  • Minimum investment capital.
  • License for a specific business activity.
  • Certificate of eligibility to conduct business in a specific sector.
  • Practising license.
  • Certificate of professional liability insurance.
  • Written verification of eligibility to conduct business in a specific sector.
  • Requirements that investors must meet in order to carry out business and investment activities without verifications or approvals in written forms mentioned above.
  • Other written forms as provided for by law.

Clause 2 Article 9 of Decree No. 118/2015/ND-CP
 

Depending on certain sectors, there are specific conditions that also apply to foreign investors, such as:

  • Ownership percentage of the foreign investor in an economic organization.
  • Type of investment.
  • Scope of investment activity.
  • Vietnamese partner involved in the investment activity.
  • And other conditions.

Example: tobacco business

In order to engage in the trading of tobacco, apart from the Certificates of Business Registration and Investment Registration, investors will also need 3 types of Trade License for the purchase and sale of tobacco products, including:

  • License for distribution of tobacco products issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade;
  • License for wholesale of tobacco products issued by the Department of Industry and Trade;
  • License for retail sale of tobacco products issued by the Industry and Trade/Business Office.

Article 26, 27, and 28 of Decree No. 67/2013/ND-CP.

Should investors choose to invest in a number of conditional sectors, it is required to sufficiently meet all conditions of said sectors.


Vietnamese conditions on sectors different from those in International Treaties?

In case certain Vietnamese regulations on business sectors contradict the International Treaties to which Vietnam is a party, the International Treaties shall prevail.

A number of International Treaties to which Vietnam is a party:

  • Vietnam’s WTO Commitment on Services,
  • ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS),
  • ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA),
  • European Union - Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA),
  • Other free trade agreements (FTAs) …

Vietnamese laws shall apply to investment sectors that are neither in the Schedule of Specific Commitments in Services between Vietnam and WTO nor the International Treaties to which Vietnam is a party.

In the event where Vietnamese law lacks provisions regulating said sectors, relevant ministries and departments will come to consider.


How do investors determine specific conditions of the sectors in which they aim to invest?

The conditions of each investment sector are detailed in a number of different legal documents, which include: Investment Law, International Treaties, and other specialized legal documents, etc. There are 5,719 conditions in total.

In addition, those conditions are presented entirely in Vietnamese.

PLF offers assistance in specifying conditions and translating them into English to clients who use our service to Start a business in Vietnam, or Legal translation service. 

Questions