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Establish a representative office of a foreign publisher in Vietnam

The reading demand of the Vietnamese market is increasing rapidly leading the demand for cooperation between domestic and foreign publishers. The establishment of a representative office will help foreign publishers easily access and understand the market, serving the business cooperation of foreign publishers. Viet An Law Firm would like to demonstrate legal provisions related to this issue as follows.

Establish a representative office of a foreign publisher in Vietnam

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    Legal basis

    • The Law on Publication 2012;
    • Decree 195/2013/ND-CP, as amended and supplemented by Decree 150/2018/ND-CP detailing a number of articles and measures to implement the Law on Publication;
    • Circular 23/2014/TT-BTTTT, as amended and supplemented by Circular 02/2023/TT-BTTTT detailing and guiding the implementation of a number of articles of the Law on Publishing and Decree 195/2013/nd-cp.

    Conditions for establishing a representative office of a foreign publisher in Vietnam

    • The foreign publishing house is operating lawfully in a foreign country;
    • The person expected to be appointed as head of the representative office permanently resides in Vietnam, has full civil act capacity in accordance with law, possesses a university or higher degree and is neither being examined for penal liability nor serving a legally effective court judgment;
    • Before 2018, the law required a representative office of a foreign publisher to have a definite place of establishment, but now this condition has been abolished to facilitate foreign publishers to apply for a license for establishment first and search for the place of establishment later.

    Operation scopre of representative offices of foreign publishers

    • Introducing, displaying, organizing exhibitions on, advertising, or otherwise disseminating information in accordance with Vietnamese law about, the organization and publications of the publishing house or publication distribution organization it represents;
    • Supporting trade promotion, cooperation, exchange of copyright, publishing, printing and distribution of publications for the publishing house or publication distribution organization it represents.

    Dossier for applying a license for establishment a representative office of a foreign publisher

    • An application form for a license to establish a representative office of a foreign publisher (Form No. 01 – Appendix IV – Circular 23/2014/TT-BTTTT);
    • A written certification of the lawful operation of the concerned publishing house or publication distribution organization in the country where it is headquartered, issued by a competent foreign authority;
    • Certified copies of the university or higher decree, judicial report and civil status book of the head of the representative office or papers proving that he/she is permitted to permanently reside in Vietnam, issued by a competent Vietnamese agency.

    Language: in Vietnamese, enclosed with the notarized English translation

    Place of application: Ministry of Information and Communications

    Time limit for grant of license:

    • Within 20 days from the date of receipt of a complete and valid dossier, the Ministry of Information and Communications will grant or not grant a license to establish a representative office of a foreign publisher.
    • In case of refusal, there will be a written explanation clearly explaining the reason.
    • In case the application is submitted via the Internet or via the postal service, but the form is not correct or the required ingredients are not sufficient, within 3 working days from the date of receipt of the application, the Ministry of Information and Communications (Department of Publication and Printing) and Distribution) must notify and provide detailed instructions to foreign publishers and organizations issuing foreign publications via one of the following forms: phone, email or fax.

    Term of the License: A representative office establishment license is valid for 5 years from the date of grant and may be extended with each extension not exceeding 5 years.

    Responsibilities of representative offices of foreign publishers:

    • To operate in accordance with the contents stated in the representative office establishment license issued by the Ministry of Information and Communications;
    • Not acting as a representative for a foreign publisher or other foreign publication issuer;
    • Failing to establish, contribute capital to establish an enterprise or perform jobs directly generating profits in Vietnam;
    • Termination of operation when a foreign publishing house, foreign publication issuer terminates its operation, dissolves or goes bankrupt in a foreign country;
    • Publicly post up at the head office of the representative office on the termination of operation, and at the same time send a written notice of the termination of operation to the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Department of Information and Communications of the locality and other relevant agencies. relevant agencies, organizations and individuals at least 15 days before the date of termination of operation;
    • Comply with Vietnamese law in general and publishing law in particular.

    Customers wishing to learn the legal provisions and procedures related to enterprises, domestic investment, foreign investment and related fields, please contact Viet An Law Firm for detailed advisory!

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