A new start to the year 2019, brings new regulations which have taken effect in January, 2019

I. Main points of the new Decree 149/2018/ND-CP on the application of workplace democracy

This new Decree on the elaboration of Article 63, Clause 3 of the Labour Code regarding the application of workplace democracy has been in effect since January 1, 2019.

The Decree focuses on two issues in industrial relations: The public information obligation of employers and rights of employees to comment, decide, verify and inspect.

1. Employers no longer have the obligation to publicize the enterprise’s annual finance or about contents relating to employees and operational charter of enterprises. Instead, the Decree aims at publicizing information that has great impact on employees. For instance, the enterprise’s resolution on employees’ meetings.

An employer with fewer than 10 employees may be entitled to be exempt from holding employees’ meetings and promulgating regulations on workplace democracy

2. A new regulation is that employees have the right to formulate and amend the enterprise’s internal rules and other regulations on workers’ obligations, legitimate rights and interests.

II. Forestry Law came into effect from January 01, 2019 – Strengthening State management

The new forestry law that replaces the Law on Forest Protection and Development No. 29/2004/QH11 has provided more management ability to the State in its capacity as the owner representatives of public forests.

Linkage according to the value chain of forestry products

The Forestry Law has expanded the scope of linkages for a series of forestry activities to create forests, produce and supply forest products to meet the national economy and society’s demands.

The Forestry Law also focuses on clearly defining policies for developing forest products in the direction of supporting enterprises to cooperate, joint venture and link with forest owners to create raw material areas. The processing of specimens of endangered, precious and rare forest flora and fauna and endangered wild forest plants belonging to the appendices of CITES must meet specific conditions.

Redirecting to exploit benefits from forests and institutions of forest ownership

Organizations and individuals benefiting from forest environmental services must pay for forest environmental services.

The Law has also institutionalized the forest tenure regime in accordance with Vietnam’s Constitution of 2013, specifying two groups of forest ownership forms: Forests owned by the entire people are the owners’ representatives and forests owned by organizations, households, individuals, residential communities.

Organize management towards sustainability

One of the operating principles is risk management. Accordingly, forest owners do not change the purpose of using natural forests, except in case of national defence and security, and other urgent cases prescribed by the Government. Production forests are natural forests exploited under the risk management plan to protect existing natural forests and time is prouded for forests to grow and recover, ensuring environmental security, and meeting the long-term demand for forest products.

III. The new Fisheries Law – A turning point for Fisheries

The new Law took effect on January 1, 2019 and is expected to meet international standards as well as public policy.

With more detailed regulations meeting the requirements of integration, especially in the context of seafood exports, Vietnam faces many technical barriers, including the European Commission’s yellow card warning on Vietnam’s seafood on Illegal Unreported and Unregulated fishing regulations (IUU) and warnings from many other markets.

The Law on Fisheries 2017 was also introduced in the context of Vietnam is aggressively restructuring aggressively its agriculture, so the Law on Fisheries 2017 is also suitable for the current Government’s drive to construction while ensuring administrative reforms to facilitate enterprises

Regulations on the National Database on fisheries (where Law 2003 does not cover this issue)

The National Database includes all industry data on fisheries resources, aquaculture, fishing vessels. All information and data will be standardized and digitized by science and technology, built uniformly from the central to local levels, implemented according to e-government guidelines. Relevant agencies can update this database to get timely information.

Regulating the right to grant exploitation quotas to localities

The Law stipulates the right to grant exploitation quotas to localities. The Law also clearly stipulates based on the results of the survey and assessment of fisheries resources. In particular, based on the reserves and output that allow sustainable exploitation to determine the quotas for fishing and copper exploitation.

Legalize the relevant contents of IUU

The Law stipulates provisions of IUU regarding exploitation and sanctions against ship-owners, wrongdoing captains, with the highest level of penalty sanction for individuals being up to VND 1 billion. Thus, the fine level has been prescribed to increase 10 times compared to currently levels.

The Law also stipulates the revocation of exploitation permits for illegal exploiting individuals and organizations in waters outside Vietnam. Stricter regulations on conditions for re-granting exploitation licenses to organizations and individuals with fishing vessels on the IUU fishing vessel list, or without cruise monitoring equipment.

IV. Brief Guidance on the new Cybersecurity Law

The new Law on Cybersecurity has provided several restrictions that give the Government power to take down any unacceptable contents.

Just days after the new Cybersecurity Law took effect on January 1, 2019, Vietnam accused Facebook of violating the Law by allowing users to post anti-government comments on it platform, according to the declaration of the Vietnam News Agency.[1]

The Law strictly prohibits untrue information on the Internet

Article 8 stipulates that many acts are strictly prohibited in the network environment. It is strictly forbidden to use cyberspace to perform acts such as: Organizing, operating, concluding and inciting to bribe and deceive, attracting people against the State; distorting history;

Acts of taking advantage or abuse of cyber security to infringe upon sovereignty, interests, national security, social order and safety, legal rights and interests of agencies, organizations or individuals or for self-seeking are prohibited acts.

Foreign enterprises must store user data in Viet Nam

Article 26, Clause 3 of the Law requires domestic and foreign enterprises to provide services on telecommunications networks, the internet and increased services on the cyberspace in Viet Nam, which have activities of collecting, exploiting and analysing, processing data about personal information must store this data in Viet Nam within the time prescribed by the Government.

Foreign enterprises must set up branches or representative offices in Viet Nam

Enterprises must provide user information for investigation

The above enterprises must also be responsible for verifying information when the user registers a digital account; information security, user account.

In particular, it must provide user information to the network security protection force of the Ministry of Public Security when requested in writing to serve the investigation and handling of violations of network security.

Infringement information on the internet is deleted within 24 hours

When users share prohibited information, enterprises providing services on telecommunications networks, the internet and increasing services on cyberspace in Vietnam must prevent and eliminate violated information within 24 hours from the time of request of the network security protection force of the Ministry of Public Security or the agency of the Ministry of Information and Communications.

At the same time, an enterprise must save the system log of such events to serve an investigation and handling of violations of network security Laws within the legally prescribed time.

Protect children on cyberspace

Article 29 stipulates that Children have the right to be protected, access information, participate in social activities and entertainment, personal information confidentially in cyberspace. Enterprises must ensure content is controlled so as not to cause harm to children; while at the same time, deleting information with harmful contents to children.

“Wiretapping” conversations are considered network spy acts

Network spy acts; infringing upon State secrets, business secrets, personal secrets, family secrets and private lives on cyberspace listed in Article 17, Clause 1 of the Law.

V. New Circular on the One-Stop-Shop Mechanism for Administrative Procedures

Circular No. 01/2018/TT-VPCP guiding the implementation of a number of provisions of Decree No. 61/2018/ND-CP on the One-Stop-Shop Mechanism (OSS).

According to the Circular, the implementation of receiving dossiers, settling and returning results at the OSS for administrative procedures must be announced in the Decision on announcement of administrative procedures, and in accordance with the Law on Administrative Procedure Control.

If administrative procedures are received and returned online or via public postal services according to the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 45/2016 /QD-TTg dated October 19, 2016 on receiving dossiers and returning results of administrative procedures settlement through public postal services supplementing on how to implement in the list of administrative procedures, and deciding on the announcement of the administrative procedures list to show relevant content clearly.

In particular, in guiding the implementation of administrative procedures, if deemed necessary, Ministers, Heads of ministerial-level agencies and provincial-level People’s Committee Leaders shall decide on the selection of common administrative procedures with the number of dossiers to guide the implementation of sample files and instructional videos, open at the OSS.

In addition, the Circular provides six forms in the process of handling administrative procedures issued together which include: Form No. 01: Form of receipt of documents and appointment to return results; Form No. 02: Form of request for supplement and completion of documents; Form No. 03: Form of refusal to receive and settle dossiers; Form No. 04: Sample of apology card and reschedule date of result return; Form No. 05: Form of control of the application process; Form No. 06: Sample record book.

[1] How is Facebook social network violating Vietnamese Law, uploaded at Vietnam News Agency website, link: https://vnanet.vn/vi/tin-tuc/khoa-hoc-cong-nghe-13/mang-xa-hoi-facebook-dang-vi-pham-phap-luat-viet-nam-nhu-the-nao-3666660.html


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