Decree 85/2021/ND-CP amending and supplementing a number of articles of Decree 52/2013/ND-CP on E-commerce

On September 25, 2021, the Government issued Decree 85/2021/ND-CP (hereinafter referred to as “Decree 85/2021“), amending and supplementing a number of articles of Decree 52/2013/ND-CP (hereinafter referred to as “Decree 52/2013“) on e-commerce. This article covers new notable regulations in Decree 85/2021, specifically as follows:

1.         Supplementing logistics services as the subject of e-commerce activities (hereinafter referred to as “e-commerce”)

Clause 6, Article 1 of Decree 85/2021 amending Clause 5, Article 24 of Decree 52/2013 as follows:

“Article 24. Subjects of e-commerce activities

5. Traders or organizations providing technical infrastructure, logistic and other support services for e-commerce activities.”

Thus, traders providing logistics services are officially recognized as subjects of e-commerce activities. In addition, the responsibilities of logistics service providers during transactions through e-commerce platforms are also specified in Clause 14, Article 1 of Decree 85/2021.

2.         Supplementing regulations on the responsibility of providing information of the seller

According to the new regulations, information about goods and services for sales e-commerce websites must be provided in detail by the sellers, specifically in Clause 12, Article 1 of Decree 85/2021 as follows:

–           For goods and services introduced on the website, the seller shall provide information so that customers can correctly identify features of goods or services in order to avoid misunderstanding when deciding to make a proposal for conclusion of contract.

–           Information about goods published on the website must include mandatory contents shown on goods labels according to the provisions of the law on goods’ labels, except for information that is product-specific such as: year, month, date of manufacture; expiry; production batch number; the machine’ s frame.

–           Sellers shall satisfy investment and business conditions on the list of conditional business lines and shall announce the number, date and place of issue of the license or approval certificate, written certification, or other forms as prescribed by law.

3.         Supplementing regulations on mandatory publication of goods inspection policy on e-commerce websites

According to Clause 1 Article 13, e-commerce websites must publish the goods inspection policy; return policy, including return period and method or exchange of goods purchased, method of getting refunds and cost of this return.

Thus, from January 1, 2022, the inspection policy must be clearly displayed on the e-commerce website. However, the specific inspection policy is determined by the regulations of each e-commerce website.

4.         Facebook, Instagram… are e-commerce websites

According to Clause 15, Article 1 of Decree 85/2021, the operational forms of an e-commerce trading floor include:

–           Website allows participants to open booths for display and introduction of goods or services;

–           Website allows participants to set up accounts to perform the process of entering into contracts with customers;

–           Website has a sale and purchase section permitting participants to post news of sale and purchase of goods or services; and

–           Social networks have one of the forms of activities specified in items 1, 2 and 3 above and participants directly or indirectly pay fees for the performance of such activities.

Hence, from January 1, 2022, in addition to the form of operation of an e-commerce trading floor through a website as before, traders and organizations can also conduct e-commerce activities through social networks such as: Facebook, zalo, instagram… Accordingly, participants directly or indirectly in trading activities must pay fees and register according to regulations.

5.         Supplementing detailed regulations on registration procedures for authentication of e-contracts

Clause 4, Article 63 of Decree 52/2013 regulated that:  the Ministry of Industry and Trade stipulates in detail the procedures for establishment and operation of traders and service providers e-contract authentication service; cases of revocation of operation licenses; order and procedures for granting, amending, supplementing and withdrawing operation licenses of these traders and organizations.

Now, the Decree 85/2021 details the registration process for providing e-contract authentication services. Accordingly, the submission, receipt and processing of applications for registration of e-contract authentication services providers are carried out online by the Ministry of Industry and Trade through the e-commerce management portal at the address

6.         E-commerce activities of foreign traders and organizations

This is a notable new regulation of Decree 85/2021. Accordingly, foreign traders or organizations that have websites providing e-commerce services in Vietnam are traders or organizations with one of the following forms of operation:

  • E-commerce website under Vietnamese domain name;
  • E-commerce website with display language is Vietnamese;
  • E-commerce website has over 100,000 transactions from Vietnam in a year.

Decree 85/2021 takes effect from January 1, 2022.

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