Nine laws come into effect as from July 2018

There are nine laws coming into effect as from July 2018, including Law on public debt management; Law on guard force; Law on management and use of weapons, explosives and supporting tools; Law on state compensation liability; Law on technology transfer; Law on irrigation; Law on railway; Law on amendments and supplementations to some articles of the Law on Overseas Representative Missions of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and Law on access to information.
1. Law on public debt management comprises of 10 chapters, 63 articles and replaces the Law on public debt management No. 29/2009/QH12. One of the important new points of the law is that the Ministry of Finance is now responsible for issues related to ODA and foreign soft loans instead of the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
This Law sets forth public debt management, which covers the borrowing, use of loans and debt repayment and public debt management transactions.
“Public debts” comprise government debts, sovereign-guaranteed debts, and provincial debts. According to Clause 3 Article 36 of this Law, an enterprise is eligible for an on-lent loan when it fulfills the following conditions:
- It has legal status, established lawfully in Vietnam and operated for at least 3 years;
- It has an investment project to be financed by ODA on-lent loans;
- It has a feasible financial plan approved by competent authority;
- Its debt-to-equity ratio does not exceed 3 to 1 according to the last annual financial statement;
- It has not incurred loss for the last 3 consecutive years according to the audit report, except for the loss incurred due to adoption of state policies;
- It has no overdue debt when the application for an on-lent loan is submitted; and the loan has been secured
On-lending interest rate includes external loan interest rate, charges specified in the loan agreement, charges for management of on-lent loans and on-lent loan loss reserves.
In which, the charge for management of on-lent loans is 0.25% per year calculated based on on-lent outstanding debt. The maximum on-lent loan loss reserve must not exceed 1.5% per year based on the outstanding debt.
2. Law on guard force has 6 chapters and 33 articles and replaces Ordinance on guard force No. 25/2005/PL-UBTVQH11.
The Law regulates measures to protect high-ranking officials of the Party, State and the Vietnam Fatherland Front. It also specifies four situations in which a guard can open fire. According to the Law, high-ranking officials of the Party, State and the Vietnam Fatherland Front protected by guard force include:
a) General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam;
b) State President;
c) Chairman of the National Assembly;
d) Prime Minister;
dd) Former General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, former State President, former Chair-person of the National Assembly and former Prime Minister.
e) Politburo member;
f) Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam;
g) Chairman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, Vice President, Vice Chairman of the National Assembly, Deputy Prime Minister.
3. Law on management and use of weapons, explosives and supporting tools consists of 8 chapters and 76 articles, replacing Ordinance No. 16/2011/UBTVQH12 dated June 30, 2011 and Ordinance No. 07/2013/UBTVQH13 dated July 20, 2013.
In comparison with the Ordinance on management and use of weapons, explosives and combat gears, this Law supplements regulations on “explosives precursors” which mean dangerous chemicals directly used for producing explosives.
In addition, this Law also supplements some prohibited actions related to management and use of weapons, explosives, explosives precursors and combat gears such as possession of weapons, explosives and combat gears; Illegal research into, manufacture, trading, export, import, storage, transport, repair, use of weapons, explosives, explosives precursors and combat gears or components used for assembling weapons and combat gears.
However, this new Law adds new regulations on allowing bringing weapons or combat gears from foreign countries into the territory of Vietnam or taking them out the territory of Vietnam to be used as props in cultural and artistic activities.
4. Law on state compensation liability with 9 chapters and 78 articles, aims to ensure the compensations is undertaken in a prompt and effective manner, and address limitations and obstacles in the work in the past time. The new Law replaces the Law on State compensation liability No. 35/2009/QH12 dated June 18, 2009.
Compared to its predecessor enacted in 2009, the Law contains numerous new provisions consistent with the 2013 Constitution and relevant codes and laws promulgated in 2015 such as the Civil Code, Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, Civil Procedure Code, Law on Administrative Procedures, and Law on Custody and Temporary Detention.
Under Article 5 of the Law, the following persons have the right to claim state compensation:
- Damage sufferers;
- Heirs of deceased damage sufferers; organizations taking over rights and obligations of damage-suffering organizations that no longer exist;
- At-law representatives of damage sufferers that are required by the Civil Code to have at-law representatives; and,
- Individuals or legal entities authorized by the above persons to exercise the right to claim compensation.
Compensation claimants may request compensation-settling agencies to settle their compensation claims and be informed of results of the settlement. The Law allows a sufferer to initiate a lawsuit to request a court to settle his/her compensation claim when having a document as a basis for claiming compensation in administrative management, civil or criminal proceedings and criminal or civil judgment execution activities.
One among the principles set out in the Law is that a compensation claimant that has requested a compensation-settling agency to settle his/her compensation claim and had his/her claim accepted for settlement may not request another authority to settle such compensation claim.
The State will settle a compensation claim after a document used as a basis for claiming compensation is issued or integrate the settlement of a compensation claim in criminal or administrative proceedings at the court for compensation claims in administrative management, civil or administrative proceedings, and execution of criminal or civil judgments. The Law is silent about the integration of compensation claim settlement and complaint settlement.
5. Law on technology transfer has 60 articles and 6 chapters and replaces the Law on technology transfer No. 80/2006/QH11 dated November 29, 2006.
In comparison with the current Law on technology transfer, there are changes in state policies on technology transfer, transferable technologies and technologies banned from transferring under this Law.
Accordingly, part from advanced technology, new technology and high technology, clean technology now is also prioritized for transfer. “Clean technology” refers to the technology that generates less environmental pollutants as defined in the law on technical standards and regulations, and uses less non-renewable resources than existing technology.
Transferable technologies now are added accompanying machinery and/or equipment of technical know-how and technological know-how, technological solutions
However, this new Law also adds certain technologies banned from transferring, such as:
- Technologies that are no longer popularly used and transferred in developing countries and fail to satisfy national technical standards and regulations;
- Technologies that use toxic chemicals or generate hazardous waste that fails to satisfy the national technical standards and regulations on environment;
- Technologies that use or create radioactive substances that fail to satisfy the national technical standards and regulations.
6. Law on irrigation includes 10 chapters and 60 articles, and replaces the Ordinance on Exploitation and Protection of Irrigation Projects No. 32/2001/PL-UBTVQH10 dated April 4, 2011.
The Law clarifies principles in investment in construction of irrigation works, in which the State will only build major irrigation works of special significance, projects facing difficulties in mobilising social resources, projects that serve both irrigation and national defence-security and natural disaster control; works in disadvantaged areas including areas inhabited by ethnic minority communities, mountainous areas, islands, especially poor areas and localities hard hit by climate change.
7. Law on railway has 10 chapters and 87 articles, replacing the Law on railway transport No. 35/2005/QH11 dated June 14, 2005.
This Law provides for planning for, investment in, construction, protection, management, maintenance and development of railway infrastructures; railway industry, railway vehicles; railway signals, railway rules and railway safety; railway business; rights and obligations of organizations and individuals involved in railway activities
Under this Law, railway infrastructure business, rail transport business, urban railway business and railway industry are business lines eligible for investment incentives.
An organization or individual involved in railway activities shall be eligible for incentives and support as follows:
- They are allocated land without paying land levy on the land area used for construction of urban and railway infrastructure;
- They are exempt from land rent with regard to land for construction of dedicated railway infrastructure and railway industrial work;
- The railway infrastructure enterprise, urban railway enterprise and railway industry enterprise shall be eligible for incentives for enterprise income tax rate;
- They shall enjoy exemption from import duties on machines, equipment, components, railway vehicles, raw materials for manufacture of machines and equipment or spare parts of machines and equipment necessary for construction of railway infrastructures that are yet to be domestically produced.
8. Law on amendments and supplementations to some articles of the Law on Overseas Representative Missions of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam makes changes to 11 out of the total 36 articles of the current law. It adjusts and supplements the stipulation on the consular duties of representative missions. The law also regulates that the National Assembly’s Standing Committee shall approve proposals on appointment and dismiss of ambassadors.
9. Law on access to information has 5 chapters and 37 articles, stipulating the exercise of citizens’ rights to access information as well as principles, procedures to implement the rights and the obligations of State agencies in ensuring the rights.
 “Information” mentioned in this Law refers to details and data that are contained in existing documents and papers and stored in writings, printouts, electronic texts, pictures, photos, drawings, tapes, disks, video recordings, audio recordings or in other forms produced by state agencies
According, citizens are entitled to access to all information of state agencies, except the inaccessible information prescribed in Article 6 of this Law (about national defense and security, state’s secrets) and accessible information with particular conditions prescribed in Article 7 of this Law (about trade secrets, secrets and privacy of each individual)./.