Tag Archives: vitnam

Vietnam – Top Five Issues Affecting Real Estate Market

According to recent statistics, the property sector was behind the manufacturing and processing industry, which has so far attracted a total of USD12.84 billion, equaling 72.9 per cent of the total foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow to Vietnam.1

Laws governing real estate sector, including the Law on Real Estate Business 2014 (LREB) and the Law on Residential Housing 2014 (LRH) coming into effect on 1 July 2015. There are also other documents, for example, Decree No. 01/2017/ND-C P in effect on 3 March 2017 guiding the Land Law 2013 (Land Law). These new legislations set a legal framework for real estate industry. They have introduced breakthrough improvements by reducing investment barriers and expanding the scope of real estate business. Nevertheless, there are some remaining issues as analyzed below.

  1. Delay in issuing land use right certificate (LURC) for foreigners

Under Decree 99/2015, foreigners are not allowed to own houses in national defense and security areas indicated by the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Public Security. Based on such list of areas, the provincial People’s Committee will direct local Departments of Construction to publish a list of commercial housing projects where foreign entities are not permitted to own houses (Foreign Ownership Prohibited Projects List). To date, such list has not been issued. Therefore, the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment has delayed the issuance of LURCs. This serious issue has caused confusion for buyers. Indeed, while the Government seems to have made a positive move in allowing foreigners to own a house in Vietnam, the lack of important guidance has shed doubts among foreigners who want to get in Vietnam’s real estate market.

  1. Uncertainties in the required approvals for residential developments

It is not clear in what circumstances a transfer of land is covered by allocation and lease by the State. In accordance with Article 32 of the Law on Investment (LOI), the in-principle investment decision (IDD) applies to projects which the State allocates or leases out land without auction, tendering or transfer. In contrast, the Land Law specifies that the only way an investment project receives land be by allocation or lease. It is uncertain under which circumstances a project can receive land by way of transfer. The absence of detailed guidelines continues to affect the normal business operations.

  1. Lengthy investment approval processes

A foreign invested company engaging in residential developments is required to obtain an IID or an in-principle investment approval (IIA) as well as an Investment Registration Certificate (IRC). If an IID is required, the IRC will be issued within 5 working days from the issuance of the IID. As the contents of both the IDD and IRC are related, the IRC requirement, in this case, is not relevant. On the other hand, for projects which require the IIA, the investor shall first obtain the IRC, set up a company and then apply for the IIA. There are circumstances where the investor has already set up the company but still not managed to get the IIA. This makes the investor unable to develop the project. In addition, the application process is complex, onerous in a sense that it takes at least 153 days. In particular, after the IRC is issued, the next step is to obtain an enterprise registration certificate, then a decision on selection of developer, the 1/500 planning approval and finally the IIA. Since the issuance of the IIA and IRC is based on the 1/500 planning approval, the requirement of an IRC it is unnecessary in case an IIA is already required.

  1. Restrictions on sources of capital

Under Article 69 of the LRH, developers of residential housing can only raise capital from sources such as loans granted by credit institutions, or financial institutions running business in Vietnam, capital contribution, investment cooperation, business cooperation, joint business, and association of organizations or individuals. It means that developers are no longer allowed to obtain capital from offshore credit and non-credit institutions. We think that there is no reason to limit the scope of residential investors to raise capital from legitimate sources. This issue, if remains existing, will affect the competitiveness of investors and their investment plan.

  1. The absence of detailed explanation of “foreign invested enterprise (FIE)”

There is inconsistency in the interpretation of an FIE among main laws governing real estate sector. The Land Law stipulates that FIEs are joint venture enterprises, 100% foreign invested enterprises, and domestic enterprises in which the foreign investor has invested via share purchase, merger, or acquisition. This regulation does not provide any ownership percentage. Meanwhile, the LOI states that, an economic organization with a foreign investment capital means an economic organization with a foreign investor being a member or shareholder, and enterprises with a foreign ownership of less than 51% will be treated the same as local ones. Different from the LOI and the Land Law, the LREB does not define a foreign invested enterprise. This inconsistency and lack of guidance result in confusion about which threshold defines a foreign invested enterprise in the LREB and create unnecessary obstacles for foreign projects.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, there are inconsistencies in the laws, which have caused confusion for buyers. In addition, the enforcement of current laws has been challenging due to the lack of specific guidelines. In fact, the restrictions provided in the legislations have limited the rights of investors and created barriers to foreign investment in the sector. Therefore, it is necessary to adopt consistent guidelines to avoid any delays. Vietnam should also continue to take steps to reduce administrative burdens, remove onerous requirements, and simplify complex processes. This is to ensure a bright future for Vietnam’s real estate industry.

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Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Oliver Massmann under omassmann@duanemorris.com if you have any questions or want to know more details on the above. Dr. Oliver Massmann is the General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC.

Thank you!

 

 

 

 

Lawyer in Vietnam Oliver Massmann ALERT IMPRISONMENT/JAIL for Labour Law violation – New Penal Code sanctions – Unprecedented !

Lawyer in Vietnam Oliver Massmann ALERT IMPRISONMENT/JAIL for Labour Law violation – New Penal Code sanctions – Unprecedented !

On 27 November 2015, the National Assembly adopted a new Criminal Code No. 100/2015/QH13, which takes effective from 01 July 2016. This new Criminal Code will replace the old Criminal Code in 1999 and its amending / guiding documents.
Notably, the new Criminal Code provides new sanctions for violations in employment sector. Details of these sanctions are set out below:

Illegal dismissal of employees
In particular, if a person for his/ her own sake conducts one of the following behaviours that make dismissed employees or their families fall into difficult situations or go on strike, he/ she will be subject to monetary fine of VND10 million – VND100 million, non-custodial reform of up to 1 year or IMPRISONMENT/JAIL of 3 months to 1 year:
• Illegal dismissal of employees;
• Illegal issuance of decision on dismissing public servants; or
• Forcing, threatening the employees or public servants to quit their jobs.
The violating person will be subject to VND100 million – VND 200 million monetary fine or 1-3 year IMPRISONMENT/JAIL if he / she commits the crimes in either of the following situations:
• Dismissing 2 employees and more;
• Dismissing pregnant employees;
• Dismissing mothers of less than 12-month old baby; or
• Causing the dismissed employees commit suicide.
At the same time, the violating person may also be prohibited from holding certain professional positions within 1- 5 years.

Employment of employees under 16
Anyone who employs a person under 16 to do hard or dangerous work or work that involves contact with harmful substances in any of the following cases will be subject to a fine of VND 30 million – VND 200 million or up to 03-year non-custodial reform or 06 – 36 month imprisonment:
• The offender previously incurred a civil penalty or has a previous conviction for the same offence which has not been expunged;
• The offence results in bodily harm to 01 people who suffers from 31% – 60% physical disability;
• The offence results in bodily harm to 02 people or more who suffer from a total physical disability of 31% – 60%.
A sanction of 03 – 07 year imprisonment applies in the following cases:
• The offence has been committed more than once;
• The offence involves 02 workers or more under 16;
• The offence results in the death of 01 person or bodily harm to 01 person who suffers from over 61% physical disability;
• The offence results in bodily harm to 02 people, each of whom suffers from 31% – 60% physical disability;
• The offence results in bodily harm to 03 people or more who suffer from a total physical disability of over 61%.
A sanction of 05 – 10 year imprisonment applies in the following cases:
a) The offence results in the death of 02 people or more;
b) The offence results in bodily harm to 02 people or more, each of whom suffers from over 61% physical disability;
c) The offence results in bodily harm to 03 people or more who suffer from a total physical disability of over 122%.
The offender might also be subject to a monetary fine of VND 10 million to VND 50 million.

Evading payment of social insurance, health insurance, unemployment insurance for employees
A corporate legal entity who commits the following crimes is subject to monetary fine of VND 200 million to VND 500 million:
• The amount of insurance contribution evaded is VND 50 million to under VND 300 million;
• The offender fails to pay insurance for 10 – 49 employees.
A corporate legal entity who commits the following crimes is subject to monetary fine of VND 500 million to VND 1 billion:
• The offence has been committed more than once;
• The amount of insurance contribution evaded is VND 300 million to under VND 1 billion;
• The offender fails to pay insurance for 50 – 199 employees;
• The offender collects or deducts insurance contribution from the employees at the amount of VND 50 million to under VND 300 million or from 10 -49 employees but fails to pay insurance [to the authority].
A corporate legal entity who commits the following crimes is subject to monetary fine of VND 1 billion to VND 3 billion:
• The amount of insurance contribution evaded is VND 1 billion or more;
• The offender fails to pay insurance for 200 employees or more;
• The offender collects or deducts insurance contribution from the employees at the amount of VND 300 million to under VND 1 billion or from 50 – 199 employees but fails to pay insurance [to the authority].

Coercive labour
Any person that uses violence or threat of violence or other methods to force a person to work against his/her will, depending on each case, be subject to monetary fine of VND30 million – VND200 million, 06-month to 12-year imprisonment, or prohibited from holding certain positions or doing certain jobs within 01 – 05 years.

Action plan
What we recommend to you now:
• You should update your Internal Labour Rules
• You should inform your managing team about these new rules !
We are fully qualified to assist you with this work. Kindly let us know if you require our assistance.

—o0o—

Please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Oliver Massmann under omassmann@duanemorris.com if you have any questions on the above or should you request our assistance. Mr. Oliver Massmann is the General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC.

Endlich – Ausländer können in Vietnam Häuser und Eigentumswohnung erwerben

Vietnam – Sie sind Ausländer und wollen ein Haus oder eine Eigentumswohnung erwerben?
Kommen sie zu uns! Wir helfen Ihnen damit auch alles richtig funktioniert

Seit dem 1. Juli 2015 gelten die neuen Gesetze zum Wohnungsbau und Immobilienhandel. Diese beiden Gesetze erlauben es nun auch Ausländern Grund und Boden sowie Häuser und Eigentumswohnungen zu erwerben. Am 10. September 2015 wurde die Implementierungsrichtlinie zum Gesetz zum Immobilienhandel erlassen und wirft endlich Licht auf das Gesetz. Die Richtlinie wird ab dem 01. November in Kraft treten. Für die anderen Gesetze für die es noch keine Umsetzungsrichtlinien gibt har das Bauministerium die zuständigen Stellen angewiesen, sich an die neuen Gesetze zu halten und bis es Umsetzungsrichtlinien gibt, sollen die Behörden die Gesetze mit Hilfe der Richtlinien zu den alten Gesetzen auslegen solange es dadurch nicht zu einer Verletzung des neuen Rechtes kommt. Details werden nun im Folgenden erklärt.

1. Eigentumserwerb

Das Gesetz zum Wohnungsbau besagt, dass es Privatpersonen, denen die Einreise gestattet ist und die nicht mit speziellen Rechten ausgestattet sind oder diplomatische oder konsularische Immunität genießen, nun erlaubt ist, Wohneigentum in Vietnam zu haben. Die Regierung wird detaillierte Richtlinien erlassen, die es ausländische Privatpersonen erleichtern soll, den Eigentumserwerb auf rechtlich sicheren Boden zu stellen. Diese Richtlinien sind jedoch leider noch nicht erlassen worden.
Investoren und juristische Personen können Wohneigentum zu Investmentzwecken erwerben. Es muss jedoch ein Investment-Zertifikat vorgelegt werden, welches im Falle einer erstmaligen unternehmerischen Tätigkeit zunächst beantragt werden muss.
Ganz grundsätzlich müssen die Projekte im Einklang mit dem neuen Gesetz zum Wohnungsbau sowie anderen relevanten Gesetzen sein.

Es gibt zwei verschiedene Möglichkeiten für ausländische Privatpersonen und Organisationen Eigentum zu erwerben. Zum einen kann es sich um ein Investitionsprojekt handeln, bei dem in den Bau von Wohneigentum investiert wird, zum anderen ist es auch möglich, dass das Wohnhaus oder die Eigentumswohnung nach Fertigstellung erworben wird.
Für ausländische Privatpersonen, die mit einem vietnamesischen Staatsbürger verheiratet sind, geht das Gesetz sogar noch weiter und stellt sie auf eine Stufe mit vietnamesischen Staatsbürgern und gibt ihnen dieselben Rechte wie vietnamesischen Staatsbürgern, die Möglichkeit auch langfristig Eigentum zu erwerben.

2. Beschränkungen

Es muss jedoch beachtet werden, dass man in Vietnam als Ausländer Eigentum nur auf 50 Jahre erwerben kann. Die vietnamesische Regierung kann diese Zeitspanne jedoch auch auf Antrag verlängern. Nach dem neuen Gesetz ist es sogar erlaubt, das Wohngebäude zu vererben, solange es in der vorgesehen Zeitspanne geschieht.

Es gibt jedoch Beschränkungen, eine davon betrifft vor allem den Umfang an möglichem Wohneigentum. Der Erwerb ist beschränkt auf 30% der Wohnungseinheiten in einem Gebäude oder 250 Häuser in einem Gebiet. Artikel 68.4 des vierten Entwurfs Dekret zu LRH limitiert jedoch noch weiter, dass ausländische juristische oder natürliche Personen von max. 10% des gesamten Wohnraums in einem Gebiet Eigentümer sein dürfen. Das vierte Entwurf Dekret führt eine weitere Einschränkung ein, während Artikel 159.2 (b) des Gesetzes zum Wohnungsbau ausländischen natürlichen oder juristischen Personen es nur verbietet sich Häuser innerhalb der nationalen Sicherheits- und Verteidigungsbereiche zu kaufen. Das Entwurf Dekret erweitert dieses Verbot und verbietet es, dass ausländische natürliche oder juristische Personen Eigentum in Gebieten erwerben, in denen Ausländern schon nach dem Gesetz für Aufenthalt und Reise der Aufenthalt beschränkt oder verboten wird.

Die Entwicklung dieser Regelung bleibt also abzuwarten.

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Bitte zögern Sie nicht und kontaktieren Herrn Massmann unter omassmann@duanemorris.com; falls Sie die Chance ergreifen möchten und Eigentum erwerben wollen oder falls Sie Fragen zu dem oben gelesenen haben sollten. Oliver Massmann ist Generaldirektor und Partner der US Kanzlei Duane Morris in Vietnam.