Review of e-commerce legislation harmonization in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) [UNCTAD/DTL/STICT/2013/1]


[ Galexia Dots ]

In Brief


Viet Nam cyberlaws include the Law on E-transactions 2005 and the Law on Information Technology 2006, supplemented by several laws and decrees on the regulation of digital signatures. The Law on Protection of Consumers’ Rights was enacted in 2010 and provides basic protection to consumers engaging in electronic transactions.

The country also has a Decree on Management, Supply and Use of Internet Services and Information on Internet 2008, which contains some limited cybercrime provisions. Now Viet Nam is drafting the Law on Information Security which intends to be enacted in 2014.

Viet Nam faces a number of challenges in implementing laws, including a lack of skills and training for law enforcement agencies, and difficulties dealing with cross-border issues.

The ICT infrastructure in Viet Nam has improved considerably, and there is today a relatively high level of Internet use as well as mobile penetration. Nevertheless, there is still significant potential for greater use of e-commerce in the country.

Electronic transactions law

The Law on E-transactions 2005 includes broad provisions on e-commerce and e-signatures. It is based on the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce (1996).

The Law on E-transactions contains functional equivalence provisions including for electronic signatures and electronic communications. It also contains provisions creating legal rules which govern the circumstances surrounding when an electronic contract is formed, such as time and place of dispatch and receipt of an electronic message.

On 15 February 2007, the Government issued Decree No. 26 providing detailed Regulations on the implementation of the Law on E-transactions on digital signature and digital signature certification services – applicable to agencies and organizations providing such services as well as agencies, organizations and individuals seeking to use digital signature and digital signature certification services in electronic transactions. In addition, this Decree enacts most of the substantive provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts, to which, however, Viet Nam has not yet become a party.

Consumer protection

The Law on Protection of Consumers’ Rights was enacted in 2010 and provides basic protection to consumers engaging in electronic transactions. It requires suppliers to provide certain information about the transaction to the consumer and establishes a right to have complaints resolved by arbitration.

Privacy and data protection

The Law on Protection of Consumers’ Rights 2010 includes some limited data protection requirements for organizations collecting information from consumers online.

Online content regulation

Viet Nam currently regulates access to both Internet infrastructure and content.

Internet users in Viet Nam are required to connect to the Internet via a licensed ISP. Paragraph 3.2(c), section II of circular 04 on Internet prohibits any access to foreign ISPs by direct dialling of international telephone numbers.

Internet users are not permitted to use Internet application services to the extent that the use of those services is prohibited or is not expressly permitted by law pursuant to paragraph 3.2(e), section II of circular 04 on Internet.

Article 47 of the Law on E-transactions also contains a requirement for ISPs to cooperate with authorities in relation to online content regulation.

Cybercrime and cybersecurity

In 2001, the Management and Use of Internet Services Decree was issued which created a number of cyberoffences. Offences under the Decree include:

  • Use of software tools, passwords, encryption codes or personal information to access Internet services illegally;
  • Stealing a password, access code or private information of an organization and publishing it;
  • Using the Internet with the intention to harass, threaten or defame another person;
  • Creating and disseminating computer viruses on the Internet.

Cybercrime laws in Viet Nam only cover a limited range of activities, and are not as extensive as the offences contained in the Convention on Cybercrime.

Online dispute resolution and domain-name regulation

While there are no laws regulating the use of domain names, the Viet Nam Internet Network Information Centre is the administrator for domain names in the

country. It was established under an administrative decision of the Secretary General of the General Department of Posts and Telecommunications. The Centre is responsible for managing, allocating and supervising the use of Viet Nam’s domain names. Another administrative order, Decision No 92/2003/ QD by the Ministry of Posts and Telematics also sets out some principles governing the issuing of domain names.