Gov't tightens e-commerce rules

Saturday, Dec 13, 2014 13:34

A clothing retail website that offers online payment. Commodity-trading businesses with special conditions will not be allowed to trade via e-commerce. — Zalora Photo
HA NOI  (VNS) — Commodity-trading businesses with special conditions will not be allowed to trade via e-commerce, according to a recent circular dispatched by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

These businesses include those handling hunting and sport guns and bullets, cigarettes, cigars and alcohol. Enterprises running businesses involving endangered animals and plants and other commodities with special trading conditions are prohibited from participating in e-commerce trade as well.

Circular 47/2014/TT-BCT, which will be effective starting January 20, 2015, will replace the existing regulations, 12/2013/TT-BCT and 2/2013/ND-CP, signed in 2013.

The new circular will also require businesses with websites applying auto uploading filters to closely monitor the content automatically uploaded on their sites to avoid inappropriate feeds.

Meanwhile, businesses using social networking sites, such as Facebook, to set up pages to introduce and trade commodities must register with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, according to the new circular.

Last month, as many as 17 local e-commerce websites were fined more than VND345 million (US$16,430) for violating the law.

The Viet Nam E-commerce and Information Technology Agency, under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, announced on November 18 that the surveillance agency had fined five individuals and organisations engaged in the supplementary food business for operating unregistered e-commerce websites, which should have been listed first with the state management agencies.

They had violated Clause 2, Article 81, of Decree No185/2013/ND-CP, which was issued by the government on November 15, 2013.

The websites were,,, and The individuals and organisations also failed to register with the ministry before setting up the websites, as per Article 27 of Decree No52/2013/ND-CP on e-commerce.

At the end of October, the Ha Noi Market Surveillance Agency fined 12 e-commerce websites VND239 million ($11,380) for committing administrative violations.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, 44 per cent of Vietnamese Internet users have never bought goods online due to fear of the risks posed by online shopping.

Viet Nam ranks 7th in Asia and 18th worldwide in terms of Internet usage, according to the 2014 White Book on Vietnamese Information and Communication Technology.

The country, with a population of 90 million, has 41 million Internet users and 33 million Internet subscribers. — VNS

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