Top 10 legal documents in 2015
These include the amended Civil Code, the amended Penal Code, Government Decree No. 15/2015/ND-CP, Government Decree No. 82/2015/ND-CP, etc.

(Selected by VLLF)

1. The amended Civil Code

The National Assembly on November 24, 2015, passed the amended Civil Code, which will take effect on January 1, 2017.

Under the Code, subjects of civil legal relations include individuals, legal entities and households, cooperative groups and other organizations without the legal entity status, which may enter into civil relations through their members or representatives.

Some of the Code’s remarkable contents include individuals’ rights to reassign or change their genders, register for changes in their civil status registration and have personal rights suitable to their genders; agreed interest rates; and dispute settlement when there are changes in civil contracts, etc.

2. The amended Penal Code

The National Assembly on November 24, 2015, passed the amended Penal Code, which will take effect on July 1, 2016.

The Code contains 26 chapters and 426 articles with highlighted amendments such as the abolition of death penalty for seven crimes, including plundering property; destroying important national security works or facilities; disobeying orders; surrendering to the enemy; producing and trading in fake goods being food, foodstuffs or food additives; illegally storing narcotics; and appropriating narcotics.

In addition, the Code has new provisions on penal liability and scope of penal liability of legal entities, aiming to meet the requirements on crime prevention and combat in the new situation, especially for serious economic and environmental violations committed by legal entities, and to ensure the consistency of the legal system. In order to maintain the transparency and humanity in handling adolescents in accordance with the 2013 Constitution and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the 2015 Penal Code also prescribes the scope of penal liability applicable to people aged between full 14 years and under 16 years.

3. Government Decree No. 15/2015/ND-CP

Decree No. 15/2015/ND-CP dated February 14, 2015, on investment in the form of public-private partnership (PPP), identifies the role of the State in PPP investment activities as a party or partner to PPP contract, and in carrying out commitments and sharing risks with investors. It is also responsible to construct infrastructure facilities and control investment quality and efficiency. The Decree diversifies the fields subject to PPP investment to public-utility projects with the State’s participation in case such projects see no capital recoverability.

The Decree also provides fast-track procedures for small group-C projects, and adds new types of contract, including build-own-operate contract (BOO), build-transfer-lease contract (BTL), and build-lease-transfer contract (BLT).

The Decree takes effect on April 10, 2015.

4. Government Decree No. 118/2015/ND-CP

Decree No. 118/2015/ND-CP, dated November 12, 2015, guides in detail the implementation of the Law on Investment regarding the application, control and announcement of business investment conditions, investment guarantee measures, investment incentives and procedures, investment project implementation, and the state management of all these activities.

The Decree replaces Decree No. 108/2006/ND-CP, and takes effect on December 27, 2015.

An electronic equipment assembly line at the Republic of Korea-invested Hanmi Flexible Vina Compary in Trang Due industrial park, Hai Phong city __Photo: Danh Lam/VNA

5. Government Decree No. 96/2015/ND-CP

Decree No. 96/2015/ND-CP, dated October 19, 2015, provides specific guidance on the provisions of the 2014 Law on Enterprises regarding selection criteria, rights and responsibilities of social enterprises, enterprise seals and parent and subsidiary companies, as well as the responsibilities of state management agencies for administering operation of enterprises.

The Decree takes effect on December 8, 2015, and replaces Decree No. 102/2010/ND-CP.

6. Government Decree No. 76/2015/ND-CP

Decree No. 76/2015/ND-CP, dated September 10, 2015, details a number of articles of the 2014 Law on Real Estate Business, requiring an enterprise engaged in real estate business to have a legal capital of at least VND 20 billion.

The Decree also stipulates model contracts for real estate business; transfer of contracts on hire-purchase of ready-built houses and construction works; transfer of contracts on purchase and sale or hire-purchase of future houses; and procedures for transfer of the whole or part of real estate projects.

The Decree takes effect on November 1, 2015, and replaces Decree No. 153/2007/ND-CP dated October 15, 2007.

Vinpearl Phu Quoc, a 300-ha resort with a 750-room five-star hotel, modern entertainment facilities and a 27-hole golf course __Photo: Le Hai/VNA

7. Government Decree No. 82/2015/ND-CP

Decree No. 82/2015/ND-CP, dated September 24, 2015, provides visa exemption for overseas Vietnamese and foreigners who are spouses or children of overseas Vietnamese or Vietnamese citizens.

To be eligible for visa exemption, the above-mentioned individuals must have a passport or an international travel document valid for at least one year; and papers proving that they are overseas Vietnamese and foreigners being spouses or children of overseas Vietnamese or Vietnamese citizens; and not fall into the cases subject to entry and exit postponement prescribed in Articles 21 and 28 of the Law on Foreigners’ Entry into, Exit from, Transit through, and Residence in, Vietnam.

The Decree takes effect on November 15, 2015, and replaces Prime Minister Decision No. 135/2007/QD-TTg dated August 17, 2007, and Decision No. 10/2012/QD-TTg dated February 10, 2012.

People of Ho Chi Minh City come to the municipal Pocice Department’s Immigration Division for renewal of their passports __Photo: Manh Linh/VNA

8. The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs’ Circular No. 16/2015/TT-BLDTBXH

Circular No. 16/2015/TT-BLDTBXH, dated April 22, 2015, guides the assignment or authorization of the recruitment and management of Vietnamese employees working for foreign organizations and individuals in Vietnam; application form; and regular reports on the recruitment, employment and management of Vietnamese employees working for foreign organizations and individuals in Vietnam as prescribed in Decree No. 75/2014/ND-CP.

The Circular takes effect on June 6, 2015.

9. The Ministry of Transport’s Circular No. 29/2015/TT-BGTVT

Circular No. 29/2015/TT-BGTVT, dated July 6, 2015, provides the issuance and use of international driving permits (IDPs) issued by Vietnam; and the use of international driving permits issued by contracting states to the 1968 Convention on Road Traffic (the Vienna Convention). An IDP will be valid for no more than three years from the date of issue corresponding to the remaining validity duration of the relevant domestic driver license.

The Circular takes effect on October 1, 2015.

10. The Ministry of Finance’s Circular No. 123/2015/TT-BTC

Circular No. 123/2015/TT-BTC, dated August 18, 2015, provides guidance on foreign investment activities on the Vietnamese securities market. Accordingly, foreign investors with securities trading codes may directly or authorize their trading representatives or securities trading organizations to trade in shares, bonds and other securities; contribute capital; buy, sell and exchange shares in accordance with the regulations on securities and securities market; and carry out indirect investment in the form of entrusting their capital to fund management companies or Vietnam-based branches of foreign fund management companies.

Each foreign investor may open one indirect investment capital account at one depository bank licensed to trade in foreign exchange; and be allowed to hold under 51 percent of charter capital of securities trading organizations. Foreign organizations satisfying the requirements prescribed in Clauses 21 and 24, Article 1 of Decree No. 60/2015/ND-CP may hold at least 51 percent of charter capital of securities trading organizations.

The Circular takes effect on October 1, 2015, and replaces Circular No. 213/2012/TT-BTC of December 6, 2012.-

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