Vietnam's new rules for 2013

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Several new rules are slated to take effect in Vietnam as of January 1

Higher minimum wages

The minimum wage at local and foreign firms in Vietnam will increase by between VND250,000 and VND350,00 (US$12-16.8) per month.

Companies are now required to pay their employees at least VND1.65-2.35 million ($79.23-112.85) a month. Salaries vary among regions, with urban areas getting higher wages.

More transport fee

The government now collects a road use fee from automobile drivers of between VND1.56 and 12.48 million ($74.18-593.48) a year. For motorbikes, it is between VND50,000-150,000.

Car and truck drivers will pay the fee annually or when obtaining roadworthiness certificates at local vehicle registries at stipulated intervals of three to 30 months. Meanwhile, bike owners are required to pay the fee at their local people's committee office every year.

The revenues from the fees will be spent on road maintenance.

Visa fee raised

Under a circular issued by the Finance Ministry, the cost of all visas to Vietnam has increased by $15.

Foreign and overseas Vietnamese visitors must now pay $45 for a single-entry visa, while a one-month multiple entry visa costs $65.

A multiple-entry visa for less than six months costs visitors $95; one valid for up to 12 months costs $135.

Deposit insurance limited

Deposit insurance in Vietnam is now restricted to local currency deposits, and will no longer include foreign currency and precious metals like gold.

Only deposits by individuals, not by households, cooperatives, or companies, are insured under the new law.

Insurance cap is not stated in the law, but will be decided by the government in accordance with the proposals of the State Bank of Vietnam.

Restricted alcohol trade

Licenses to alcohol drink retailers, traders and distributors in Vietnam will be issued on a limited basis, in accordance with the population of the country and the localities where they operate.

Only one distribution license will be issued for every 400,000 people in Vietnam, the population of which now stands at approximately 87.8 million.

The rate is set at one in every 100,000 in a province for traders, while the number of licenses to retailers is restricted to one in every 1,000 persons in a district or a town.

Alcoholic beverages will be banned from being sold at vending machines and online.

Curb on spamming

Under a government decree issued in October, anyone who violates new regulations on SMS and email advertisements will be subjected to a suspension lasting one-three months, or even permanently.

The new regulations include a requirement that advertisers give the owners of phone numbers and email addresses an option to refuse further solicitations or information from them.

They have to stop sending junk messages and emails to the receivers immediately after receiving the latter's rejection. They are also required to send back confirmation of receipt of such refusal messages.

Even when people do not send refusal messages, advertisers are not allowed to send one message or email with the same content to one phone number or one email address more than once within a 24 hour period.

No ads for formula for under-two kids

The Advertisement Law bans ads promoting formula milk for children under 24 months old; nutritional products for kids under six months old as well as baby bottles and nipples.

Tobacco, alcohol with concentration higher than 5 percent, together with hunting guns and other products that can provoke violence are also banned from being advertised under the law.

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