to Private Enterprises
A Draft Circular on pricing issued by the Ministry of Finance (“MOF”) was posted on the MOF website on 24 December 2009. This Draft Circular is designed to replace Circular No. 104/2008/TT-BTC, issued by the Ministry of Finance on November 13, 2008, which guides various regulations and provisions on prices, including price registration requirements, and price stabilization measures.
Private Enterprises Must Register Prices or Face Sanctions for Non-compliance
The most significant change between the Draft Circular and Circular No. 104 is the extension of price registration requirements to private enterprises. Under Circular No. 104, the only enterprises that are required to register their prices are those in which State capital accounts for over 50% of the charter capital. However, under the Draft Circular, all enterprises – including private enterprises – are required to register their prices.
In particular, price registration would apply to enterprises that 1) conduct wholesale business; 2) conduct both wholesale and retail business, 3) are simultaneously importers and exclusive distributors; 4) are distributors; or 5) are sales agents.4 In the enterprises’ application for price registration, they must disclose their production costs, selling expenses, enterprise management expenses, and expected profit (among other information).5 Authorities can request enterprises to explain and re-submit their price registrations, should they determine that the corresponding price registration applications include “unreasonable price constituents.”
If the enterprise fails to comply with the provisions of the Draft Circular, it could face sanctions for administrative violations, as well as: 1) suspension of the prices the enterprise is using; 2) requisition of a selling price stipulated by the competent authority; 3) collection of the differences in price; 4) and/or revocation of its certificate of satisfaction of conditions for business and the business licenses.
Since the Draft Circular was posted on the MOF website on 24 December 2009, the period for public review and consultation should last at least until 22 February 2010,
Under the revised Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents (which took effect from 1 January 2009),10 there must be a period of at least 60 days for public consultation, during which all affected parties are encouraged to view and discuss the Draft Circular.
Furthermore, Vietnam has agreed to allow parties affected by proposed legal instruments to provide opinions on the formulation of laws under its commitments to the WTO and the US-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement (“BTA”).