Several new regulations and taxes have taken effect across the country beginning January 1.
The minimum wage at local and foreign firms in Vietnam has been increased by between VND100,000 and VND370,000 per month.
Local companies are now required to pay minimum monthly wages of between VND830,000 and VND1,350,000 per month while foreign-invested companies must pay VND1.1-1.55 million a month. The wages vary among regions, with urban areas getting higher wages.
Lower car taxes
The Finance Ministry has slashed import tariffs on cars (up to nine seaters) from 83 percent to 77-82 percent.
According to the ministry, Vietnam is required to reduce import taxes under free trade commitments with other Southeast Asian countries. Similarly, more than 9,000 other tarriff lines on various products will be cut in 2011.
New driving license
The Ministry of Transport has created a new driving license that follows international standards.
The new license is made from water-proof and anti-counterfeit material, and has information in both Vietnamese and English. All driving licenses issued previously are still valid.
Fair game for all banks
Under a WTO rule, all banks are now subject to the same regulations regarding the amount of loans they want to provide.
Branches of foreign banks in Vietnam can now attract unlimited dong-denominated deposits, previously regulated based on their capital.
Brand new tax on gold
The Finance Ministry has imposed a 10 percent tax on gold exports.
The tariff is levied on gold of less than 99.99 percent purity and on jewelry made from more than 99 percent of pure gold. Vietnam previously did not impose any tax on gold exports.
Companies in Vietnam are now allowed to print their own invoices, instead of having to buy ready-made invoices from tax departments. Electronic invoices are also allowed.
The invoices, often known as the "red invoices" in Vietnam, are mainly used as official proof for tax-related purposes.