The Law on Competition (2018) (“Law”) is effective, but it is not fully implemented due to the lack of appointed regulatory authority. Hence only the Law’s merger provisions have been enforced through the regulator under the now repealed Law on Competition 2004, the Vietnam Competition and Consumer Authority, under the authority of Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (“MOIT”). This lack of properly appointed regulatory authority has also resulted in very little guidance on the interpretation and implementation of the Law.
The Government issued Decree No. 03/2023/ND-CP dated 10 February 2023 on the functions, tasks, powers and organizational structure of the Vietnam Competition Commission (“VCC”) (“Decree 03”).
While the VCC (formerly referred to in English as National Competition Commission) has already been mentioned in the Law and Decree No. 96/2022/ND-CP dated 29 November 2022 as the authority in charge of state management of competition matters in Vietnam, its functions, tasks, powers and organizational structure were not set out until Decree 03. Notably, VCC is in charge of carrying out competition legal proceedings, controlling economic concentrations, making exemption decisions, resolving complaints against competition decisions, advising and assisting the MOIT in exercising the function of State administration of competition, protecting consumers’ interests and managing multi-level marketing activities. To support the VCC will be entities such as (i) the competition investigation agency, (ii) the secretariat of the Council handling competition cases and (iii) the competition supervisory board and (iv) units perform the function of state management of competition, protection of consumers’ interests, and management of multi-level marketing activities.
Decree 03 will be effective from 1 April 2023. Following our verbal discussion with the MOIT, there will soon be a decision on appointment of the VCC Chair from the Prime Minister as well as specific regulations from the MOIT regarding the VCC’s organization in the coming days.
Once the VCC and its supporting entities are operational, we expect that the Law will be fully implemented leading to an increase in enforcement activities.
If you have any questions with respect to this update or any other issue in relation to Vietnam’s competition regime and its implications for your business, please feel free to contact:
The information provided in this email 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.