On 20 June 2023, the National Assembly of Vietnam passed the new Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights (“LPCR 2023“). Below are key highlights of LPCR 2023:
1. Protecting vulnerable consumers: The LPCR 2023 defines “vulnerable consumers” and requires business organisations to prioritise handling their requests without transferring them to third parties for resolution. Vulnerable consumers include the elderly, people with disabilities, children, ethnic minorities, pregnant women, nursing women of infants under 36 months, people with severe diseases, and members of poor households.
2. Disclosure of influencer sponsorship: Business organisations must inform and publicly disclose any sponsorship given to influencers to promote products or services. Influencers are experts, reputable individuals, or those recognised in a specific field, industry, or profession.
3. Providing invoices and vouchers: Business organisations must provide consumers with invoices and vouchers upon request. They should facilitate online transactions’ access, download, storage, and printing of transaction-related documents.
4. Consumers’ information protection: Prior consent from consumers is required if a business organisation authorises or hires a third party to handle their information. The authorisation and hiring of a third party must be in writing and clearly specify the scope and responsibilities of each party. Businesses must inform and obtain consumers’ prior consent about the purpose, scope, and duration of data collection, use, and storage of consumer data. Additionally, businesses must establish and apply consumer information protection rules specified by the LPCR 2023.
5. Registration of Template Contracts and Terms & Conditions: Organisations offering products or services with significant consumer impact must register their template contracts and general terms and conditions with the competent authority. The Prime Minister shall promulgate the list of products and services subject to this registration obligation.
6. Handling Defective Products: Defective products are categorised into two groups: Group A, which poses potential harm to consumers’ health and lives, and Group B, which poses potential harm to consumers’ properties. If a product falls under both categories, it is classified into Group A.
If defective products under Group A are discovered, the business organisation must publicly announce the defective products and their recall through radio stations, television stations, newspapers, and websites for at least five consecutive issues or days in the areas where the products were sold. For Group B products, the announcement on such products and their recall must be made at the organisation’s head office, business locations, and websites until the recall process is completed.
7. Simplified procedures for small claims relating to the protection of consumer rights: A civil case on protecting the consumers’ interests with a transaction value of less than VND 100 million (approximately USD 4,255) can be settled according to the simplified procedures provided under the Vietnamese Civil Proceeding Code.
LPCR 2023 will take effect from 1 July 2024 and replace Law on Consumer Protection Right No. 59/2010/QH12 adopted by National Assembly dated 17 November 2010.
The information provided is for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Legal advice should be obtained from qualified legal counsel for all specific situations.