Draft decree would limit labour subcontracting
While the subcontracting of labour was authorised in the 2012 revision of the Labour Code, the new code does not specify further conditions or procedures. A draft decree setting forth conditions for subcontracting labour is currently be circulated for public comment.
Under the draft decree, a labour contractor would be required to place a deposit of at least VND1 billion (US$47,800) in escrow at a licensed commercial bank in Viet Nam that would be used to compensate the subcontracted employees if the contractor breaches any agreement with them.
Labour contractors would be required to be licensed by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and (i) maintain legal capital of at least VND2 billion ($95,700); (ii) maintain a registered office in the same location for at least one year; and (iii) have an executive with civil capacity, a complete curriculum vitae and at least a bachelor's degree or higher.
If the draft decree is promulgated in its current form, labour subcontracting would be limited only to certain business sectors as specified in the schedule accompanying the decree and subject to various other restrictions. For instance, labour subcontracting would only be allowed (i) to meet sharply increased human resources demand; (ii) replace an employee taking maternity leave, leave related to a workplace accident, or performing a citizen's obligations; or (iii) to place highly-skilled workers.
Government regulates trade of alcoholic beverages
Government Decree No 94/2012/ND-CP, regulating the production and trade in alcoholic beverages, classifies production of these beverages into three types: mass production, small-scale production; and small-scale production for sale to enterprises licensed to conduct further processing. Trade is also classified into three types: distribution, wholesale and retail.
The decree also requires that the quantity of an alcohol trading license be set according to population density. An alcohol distribution license will be allocated based on a region with a population of 400,000. An alcohol wholesale license will be allocated for each 100,000 people in a province and an alcohol retail license for each 1,000 people in a district.
Only enterprises with alcohol distribution licences will be eligible to directly import alcohol, a change from the prior regulation allowing only alcohol wholesale enterprises to import alcohol. The new decree will take effect on January 1, 2013, replacing Decree No 40/2008/ND-CP.
New rules applied for food additive labelling
The Ministry of Health issued Circular No 19/2012/TT-BYT on November 9, on labelling products in conformity with food safety regulations. The circular applies to processed and/or packaged food, food additives, food enhancers, packaging materials, and instruments in direct contact with food. For additives and enhancers not on the official list of those permitted for use either in Viet Nam or the product's country of origin, as well as products containing these additives and enhancers, the Food Safety Bureau will determine whether and how the product will be labelled. The circular takes effect on December 25 this year. — BIZCONSULT