Vietnam’s competition authorities have finally been officially established by the government, just over six-months after the new Competition Law became effective on 1 July 2005.
Vietnam Competition Administration Department (VCAD) Consistent with the government’s administrative reform policy aimed at streamlining Vietnam’s bureaucracy, VCAD is the state administrative body for competition as well as the state body responsible for anti-dumping, anti-subsidisation and self-protection in importation into Vietnam and also the state body responsible for consumer protection. VCAD has been getting organised to fulfil these roles since it was established under the Ministry of Trade in early 2004.
Wearing its competition hat, VCAD is responsible inter alia:
-To investigate competition cases concerning practices in restraint of competition (eg abuses of dominant market position),
-To investigate and deal with competition cases concerning unfair competitive practices (eg infringement of business secrets) and other practices in breach of the law on competition (eg failure to cooperate with competition investigations),
-To assess applications for exemption for economic concentrations (eg mergers and acquisitions) and agreements in restraint of competition and forward them to the minister of Trade or the prime minister for decision,
-To build and manage a database on enterprises in dominant market position, enterprises in monopoly position, cases of exemption, etc.
VCAD is headed by a director, appointed by the prime minister on the proposal of the minister of Trade. VCAD’s personnel now numbers 25, with 5 new appointments recently.
Vietnam Competition Council (VCC) is responsible inter alia:
-To deal with competition cases concerning practices in restraint of competition after investigation by VCAD,
-To establish case-specific panels of VCC members to hold hearings into competition cases,
-To resolve complaints regarding competition cases concerning practices in restraint of competition.
The VCC will consist of 1115 members, appointed by the prime minister on the proposal of the minister of Trade. VCC members must satisfy the following standards prescribed in the Competition Law: (a) having good ethics, being honest and objective, (b) having a bachelor degree in law, economics or finance, (c) having at least nine or more years work experience in one of the sectors of law, economics or finance, and (d) having the ability to complete the tasks assigned. VCC members are appointed for five-year terms (renewable). One member of the VCC will be the Chair. The minister of Trade has submitted to the prime minister his list of proposed members of the VCC and his proposal for Chair. At present, VCAD is waiting for the prime minister’s approval of VCC candidates.
This article was written by Phillips Fox lawyer