PLF Tutorials

LEGAL TUTORIALS FOR DOING BUSINESS IN VIETNAM

Organize and participate in commercial fairs and exhibitions in Vietnam


Organizing and participating in trade fairs and exhibitions bring opportunities to effectively promote sales and brands.

Who can organize and attend trade fairs and exhibitions?

Vietnamese traders and branches of Vietnamese traders, such as: joint stock companies, limited liability companies, private enterprises, branches of joint stock companies, and branches of limited liability companies, etc.

Vietnam-based branches of foreign traders.

Representative offices are not allowed to directly organize or participate in trade fairs and exhibitions. Once authorized, representative offices will have the right to enter into contracts with traders providing trade fair and exhibition services on behalf of the traders they are representing.

Foreign traders can directly participate or hire traders providing trade fair and exhibition services in Vietnam to participate on their behalf.

In case they wish to organize trade fairs and exhibitions in Vietnam, foreign traders must hire Vietnamese traders providing trade fair and exhibition services.

Traders must register their business of providing trade fair and exhibition services before gaining permission to arrange for other traders to participate in overseas trade fairs and exhibitions.

Article 131 and 133 of the 2005 Commercial Law.
 

Goods and services permitted at trade fairs and exhibitions

Goods and services at trade fairs and exhibitions in Vietnam

Most goods and services are permitted for participation in trade fairs and exhibitions, except for the following:

Goods and services prohibited or restricted from trading, or not yet permitted for circulation.

Goods and services supplied by overseas traders that are banned from import.

Example: Used electronics and refrigeration.

Organize and participate in commercial fairs and exhibitions in Vietnam

Image of used air conditioners at the customs border gate.


Counterfeit goods and goods in breach of intellectual property rights (except where they are approved in writing by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to be displayed and introduced for comparison with authentic goods).

Example:

Organize and participate in commercial fairs and exhibitions in Vietnam

ROLEX compares their authentic watch with fake ones when participating in exhibitions.


Goods and services subject to specialized management must comply with regulations on specialized management of such goods and services.

Example: For a natural mineral water brand to participate in trade fairs or exhibitions in Vietnam, a Certificate of Food Hygiene and Safety must be obtained from the Department of Food Hygiene and Safety (Ministry of Health).

Organize and participate in commercial fairs and exhibitions in Vietnam

A Certificate of Food Hygiene and Safety.


Goods temporarily imported for participation in trade fairs and/or exhibitions in Vietnam must be re-exported within 30 days after such fairs and/or exhibitions end.

Goods and services at trade fairs and exhibitions abroad

All types of goods and services are entitled to participate in overseas trade fairs and exhibitions, except for those banned from export.

Goods and services prohibited from export are only permitted for participation in overseas trade fairs and exhibitions if approved by the Prime Minister.

The time limit for temporary export of goods for participation in overseas trade fairs and exhibitions is 1 year from the date such goods are temporarily exported; if they are not re-imported within said time limit, such goods will be subject to export taxes.

Article 131, 134, and 135 of the 2005 Commercial Law.


Procedures for registration to hold trade fairs and exhibitions

Order of registration

Organize and participate in commercial fairs and exhibitions in Vietnam

Notice: Departments of Industry and Trade of localities administer the organization of trade fairs and exhibitions in Vietnam while the Ministry of Industry and Trade handles those held abroad.

 

Dossier for registration to organize trade fairs and exhibitions

  • A written application to organize the trade fair or exhibition using the sample form stipulated by the Ministry of Trade. Contents of the application comprise the following details:
    • Name and address of the trader or organization with trade-related activities to hold the trade fair or exhibition;
    • Name and theme of the trade fair or exhibition (if any);
    • Timing and location of the trade fair or exhibition; and
    • Proposed scale of the trade fair or exhibition.
  • Copy of the Investment - Business Registration Certificate, Decision on establishment, or other decision with equivalent legal validity in accordance with law.
  • Certificates proving the quality and title of the goods and services participating in the trade fair or exhibition, or certificates proving the prestige and trade name of the traders, organizations, or individuals participating in the trade fair or exhibition consistent with the name and theme of the trade fair or exhibition.

To receive PLF’s advise and assistance in registering and organizing fairs and exhibitions in compliance with legal regulations, please contact:
Tổ chức, tham gia hội chợ, triển lãm thương mạiPLF LAW FIRM
12th Floor, Ruby Tower, 81-85 Ham Nghi Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Tel: +8428 3821 2161
Email: info@plf.vn

Business hours:
8AM - 5.30PM (UTC+7)
Monday - Friday

Report of results

Within 30 days from the date of completion of a trade fair or exhibition, traders must forward a written report to the Department or Ministry of Industry and Trade on the results of the trade fair or exhibition.

Article 34, 35, 36, 37, and 38 of Decree 37/2006/ND-CP;

Section III of Joint Circular 07/2007/TTLT-BTM-BTC.
 

Sale, presentation of goods as gifts and provision of services at trade fairs and exhibitions

Goods and services displayed and introduced at trade fairs and exhibitions are permitted to be sold and/or presented as gifts.

Imported goods must be registered with customs offices to be sold or presented as gifts at trade fairs and exhibitions in Vietnam.

Goods exported or imported under permits of competent state agencies can only be sold or presented as gifts once approved in writing by such competent state agencies.

Example: An Importation Permit granted by the Ministry of Health is required when selling or presenting cosmetics as gifts at trade fairs and exhibitions in Vietnam.

Organize and participate in commercial fairs and exhibitions in Vietnam

Cosmetics sold at the Thailand Retail Goods Exhibition in Vietnam.

Selling and presenting goods and services subject to specialized management as gifts must comply with regulations on specialized import management of such goods and services.

Example: Selling and gifting imported functional foods at fairs and exhibitions in Vietnam requires a Certificate of Food Hygiene and Safety issued by foreign competent agencies.

Sale and presentation of goods as gifts, which are banned from export but have been temporarily exported for participation in overseas trade fairs and exhibitions, are only permitted after the Prime Minister’s approval is obtained.

Goods and services sold or presented as gifts or provided at Vietnam and overseas trade fairs and exhibitions are subject to taxes such as import tax, corporate income tax, and value added tax, etc.

Article 136 and 137 of the 2005 Commercial Law.


Use of names and themes of trade fairs and exhibitions

Traders, when holding a trade fair or exhibition, have the right to choose its name and theme.

Example:

Organize and participate in commercial fairs and exhibitions in Vietnam

Asus used “Asus EXPO” as their exhibition name in Hochiminh City


Use of certain words and expressions to advertise the quality and brand name of any goods and services must be in compliance with the following regulations:

Must have proof that the quality or brand name of the goods and services participating in the trade fair or exhibition is consistent with the registered name or theme of such trade fair or exhibition.

Example: Lubricants and fuels produced by Petrolimex Petrochemical Corporation received the title of High-Quality Vietnamese Goods.

Organize and participate in commercial fairs and exhibitions in Vietnam

Therefore, Petrolimex Petrochemical Corporation can use the title “High-Quality Vietnamese Goods” at the Fair of High-Quality Vietnamese Goods.


Must have proof that the reputation or trade name of the trader participating in the trade fair or exhibition is consistent with the registered name or theme of such trade fair or exhibition.

Example: The brand TAKA of TaKa Vietnam Co., Ltd. receives the title “Leading Brand of Vietnam”

Organize and participate in commercial fairs and exhibitions in Vietnam

Therefore, TAKA can use the phrase “TAKA – Leading Brand of Vietnam” when attending fairs and exhibitions.
 

If two or more traders register to hold trade fairs or exhibitions with overlapping names, themes, duration, and/or the same location:

The Department or Ministry of Industry and Trade will arrange a negotiation in order to select the trader permitted to organize the trade fair or exhibition, provided that the traders have already registered with the Department or Ministry of Industry and Trade before October 1st of the year prior to the year in which the trade fair or exhibition is to be held.

Should the negotiation fail, the Department or Ministry of Industry and Trade will decide to select a trader based on the following grounds:

  • Results of similar trade fairs and exhibitions previously held;
  • Capability to organize trade fairs and exhibitions;
  • Experience in holding a trade fair or exhibition of the same name or theme or similar trade fairs and exhibitions;
  • Assessment from relevant industrial associations.

If both traders registered with the Department or Ministry of Industry and Trade after October 1st of the year preceding the year of organization of trade fairs and exhibitions, the Department or Ministry of Industry and Trade will choose the one who registered earlier.

Article 31 and 32, Clause 3 and 4 Article 34 of Decree 37/2006/ND-CP.

 

Display of counterfeit goods or goods in breach of intellectual property rights for comparison with genuine goods

Display of counterfeit goods or intellectual property right-infringing goods for comparison with authentic goods requires submitting a written application to the Department of Industry and Trade.

organize-and-participate-in-commercial-fairs-and-exhibitions-in-vietnam
 

The goods used for this specific purpose must be certified by the competent state administrative body as being counterfeit goods or goods in breach of intellectual property rights.

Example: The People's Court of Binh Duong Province declared Hao Hang Noodles’ intellectual property right infringement against Acecook's Hao Hao Noodles.

Organize and participate in commercial fairs and exhibitions in Vietnam

Therefore, if products of Hao Hang noodles are to be compared with those of Hao Hao Noodles in fairs and exhibitions, it will not be considered illegal if Acecook has received certification by competent authorities in this regard.

Where counterfeit goods or goods in breach of intellectual property rights are displayed, there must be a notice specifying that such goods are counterfeit goods or goods in breach of intellectual property rights.

Article 30 of Decree 37/2006/ND-CP;

Clause 8 Section III of Joint Circular 07/2007/TTLT-BTM-BTC.

 

Amendment and supplementation of application to organize fairs and exhibitions

organize-and-participate-in-commercial-fairs-and-exhibitions-in-vietnam

Article 35 of Decree 37/2006/ND-CP;

Clause 6 Section III of Joint Circular 07/2007/TTLT-BTM-BTC.

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