Covid-19 has reshaped the ways we live, work, trade, shop and interact with each other. Comes with it, e-commerce has been booming in Vietnam over the past few years. Market analysts say that Vietnam is the 28th largest market for e-Commerce with a revenue of US$6 billion in 2020. Revenues for e-Commerce continue booming with new markets are emerging, and existing markets also have the potential for further development. 

In response to the compelling growth rate of the e-Commerce, on 25 September 2021, the Vietnamese Government passed Decree No. 85/2021/ND-CP amending several provisions of Decree 52/20213/ND-CP on E-commerce ("Decree 85").

Decree 85, taking effect on 1 January 2022, provides revisions focusing on the provision of cross-border e-commerce services in Vietnam, and thus may impact e-commerce businesses in Vietnam. 

Below is a summary highlighting the key changes under Decree 85:

  • Offshore entities operating websites to engage in e-commerce activities in Vietnam may fall under the purview of Decree 85 and be subject to relevant obligations thereof. 
  • Decree 85 provides that if the website has (i) a ".vn" address, (ii) is presented in the Vietnamese language, or (iii) has more than 100,000 transactions from Vietnam per year, it will be subject to this Decree.
  • Cross-border e-commerce service providers in Vietnam shall register their e-commerce activities in Vietnam and set up a representative office or appoint a representative in Vietnam.
  • A social network platform may be regarded as an e-commerce trading floor and be subject to relevant obligations thereof.
  • Foreign investors wishing to invest in the e-commerce sector in Vietnam must adhere to the specified market access conditions (e.g., foreign investor controlling one or more enterprises in a group of five leading enterprises in Vietnam’s e-commerce service market (as listed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade) shall be appraised by the Ministry of Public Security regarding national security matter).
  • New obligations of e-commerce trading floors include, among others: (i) taking down information of infringing goods and services within 24 hours upon receipt of competent authorities' request; (ii) providing information of organizations/individuals showing signs of violations against Vietnamese laws on e-commerce trading floors; and (iii) regularly updating keywords as recommended by competent state management agencies and filter information by keywords before the information of goods and services is displayed on their websites.