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Vietnam Issues New Regulations for Representative Offices

The Vietnam government issued Decree No. 07/2016/ND-CP on the regulation of reprehensive offices on 25 January 2016, replacing Decree No. 72/2008/ND-CP. Decree 07 limits the scope of operations that a representative office of a foreign entity may engage in to include:

  • Acting as a liaison office;
  • Conducting market research; and
  • Promoting investment and business cooperation opportunities for the foreign entity.

The coordination and implementation of contracts in Vietnam on behalf of the foreign entity is no longer allowed. However, representative offices licensed under Decree 72 may continue to engage in such operations until their license expires.

Other changes include allowing the management board of special-purpose zones to act as a licensing authority in addition to the department of industry and trade, and simplifying the licensing procedures with a reduction in the standard time to issue a license from 15 days to 7 days. Other aspects of representative offices are largely unchanged, including the conditions for establishment and the annual report requirements.

Decree No. 07/2016/ND-CP applies from 10 March 2016.

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