New Regulations On The Import/Export Rights Of Foreign Traders Without A Presence In Vietnam

By Truong Hoai Nam, Associate 

To strengthen the management of import/export rights of foreign traders without a presence ("FTWP") in Vietnam, on 27 September 2012, the Ministry of Industry and Trade enacted Circular 28/2012/TT-BCT (Circular 28).

A FTWP is a foreign trader that does not make direct investment in Vietnam in a form as defined under the Investment Law and Commercial Law and has no representative office or branch in Vietnam as defined under the Commercial Law.

Apart from the procedures for application, amendment and extension of certificates of registration of import/export rights, Circular 28 sets out detailed regulations on import/export rights of FTWPs. Particularly, an FTWP that is already granted a certificate of registration of import/export rights, may exercise its rights as follows:

  • To import or export goods not included in the list of goods banned from import/export, the list of goods temporarily suspended from import/export or the list of goods having no right to import/export;
  • To perform import/export rights in accordance with the committed schedule, in case of goods being included in the list of goods imported or exported pursuant to the schedule in international commitments;
  • To directly perform import/export procedures for goods at customs offices, as prescribed under the laws, on the basis of contract of sale of goods signed with Vietnamese traders; and
  • To obey the content of the certificate of registration of export or import of goods during the exercise of the import right.

In addition, an FTWP is also entitled to directly sell the imported goods for (or purchase goods from) Vietnamese traders having business registration or having the right to distribute (or to export) such goods. However, such foreign trader is not entitled to organize or participate in a network to distribute goods (or to purchase goods) unless otherwise provided by law.

Circular 28 applies to foreign traders in countries and territories which are members of the World Trade Organization, countries and territories which have bilateral agreements signed with Vietnam regarding import and export rights, and other foreign organizations and individuals involved in import/export without a commercial presence in Vietnam.

Circular 28 takes effect on 15 November 2012.

*) Please contact the authors at if you wish to have more information or specific advice for the topic of this article.

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