Excerpts from the Bilateral Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the United States
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AND THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
ON TRADE RELATIONS
TRANSPARENCY-RELATED PROVISIONS AND RIGHT TO APPEAL
Each Party shall publish on a regular and prompt basis all laws, regulations and administrative procedures of general application pertaining to any matter covered by this Agreement. Publication of such information and measures will be in a manner which enables governmental agencies, enterprises and persons engaged in commercial activity to become acquainted with them before they come into effect and to apply them in accordance with their terms. Each such publication shall include the effective date of the measure, the products (by tariff line) or services affected by the measure, and all authorities that must approve or be consulted in the implementation of the measure, and provide a contact point within each authority from which relevant information can be obtained.
Each Party shall provide nationals and companies of the other Party with access to data on the national economy and individual sectors, including information on foreign trade. The provisions of this paragraph and the preceding paragraph do not require disclosure of confidential information which would impede law enforcement or otherwise be contrary to the public interest, or would prejudice the legitimate commercial interests of particular enterprises, public or private. For the purposes of this Agreement, confidential information that would prejudice the legitimate commercial interests of particular enterprises means specific information concerning the importation of a product that would have a significant adverse effect on the price or quantity available of such product, but shall not include information required to be disclosed under the agreements administered by the WTO.
Each Party shall allow, to the extent possible, the other Party and its nationals the opportunity to comment on the formulation of laws, regulations and administrative procedures of general application that may affect the conduct of business activities covered by this Agreement.
All laws, regulations and administrative procedures of general application referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article that are not published and readily available to other governments and persons engaged in commercial activities as of the date of signature of this Agreement will be made public and readily and quickly available. Only laws, regulations and administrative procedures of general application that are published and readily available to other governments and persons engaged in commercial activity will be enforced and enforceable.
The Parties shall have or designate an official journal or journals and all measures of general application shall be published in such journals. The Parties will publish such journals on a regular basis and make copies of them readily available to the public.
The Parties shall administer, in a uniform, impartial and reasonable manner all their respective laws, regulations and administrative procedures of general application of all the types described in paragraph 1 of this Article.
The Parties will maintain administrative and judicial tribunals and procedures for the purpose, inter alia, of the prompt review and correction (upon the request of an affected person) of administrative action relating to matters covered by this Agreement. These procedures shall include the opportunity for appeal, without penalty, by persons affected by the relevant decision. If the initial right of appeal is to an administrative body, there shall also be the opportunity for appeal of the decision to a judicial body. Notice of the decision on appeal shall be given to the appellant and the reasons for such decision shall be provided in writing. The appellant shall also be informed of the right to any further appeal.
The Parties shall ensure that all import licensing procedures, both automatic and non-automatic, are implemented in a transparent and predictable manner, and in accordance with the standards of the WTO Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures.