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Legal Update

Circular Guiding the Regime of Reporting on Prices of Essential Goods

22 June 2011
Mayer Brown JSM Legal Update

On 29 April 2011, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) issued Circular No. 55/2011/TT-BTC (Circular 55) guiding the regime of reporting on market prices of domestic goods and services and prices of imported goods.

Circular 55 was released as part of an effort made by the Vietnamese government to manage market prices and control inflation.

Circular 55 guides the implementation of Decree No. 75/2008/ND-CP dated 9 June 2008 (Decree 75) which amends and supplements a number of articles of Decree No. 170/2003/ND-CP dated 25 December 2003 detailing the implementation of a number of articles of the Ordinance on Prices.

Decree 75 provides for a list of goods and services subject to price stabilisation, a list of assets, goods and services priced by the State, price registration and declaration, publicity of information on prices and State management of prices, amongst other things.

Pursuant to Circular 55, the market prices of domestic goods and services and the prices of imported goods are collected under the following principles:

  • market prices of domestic goods and services to be collected must be actual selling and purchasing prices on the domestic market at a given point in time; collected prices must be wholesale or retail prices at or from plants, business places, supermarkets, trading centres, wholesale markets, general agents, retail markets, retail agents. The market price reporting bodies, including provincial or municipal departments of finance, must collect these market prices and report to the MOF in an objective and timely manner; and
  • prices of imported goods to be surveyed must be prices in import contracts (CIF prices) actually payable by importers. Where the import prices provided by the importer are found to be incorrect, then the prices determined by customs offices will be used.

Market prices which must be collected include the following:

  • agricultural product purchasing prices;
  • wholesale prices at production or processing plants, wholesale centres, wholesale markets, wholesale agents;
  • retail prices at trading centres, supermarkets, retail agents, markets at central or rural areas of provinces and cities; and
  • wholesale and retail prices at systems of goods sale and distribution agents.

Municipal and provincial Departments of Finance must make weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual reports on the prices of domestic markets and must take the initiative in making extraordinary reports upon any abnormal fluctuation in local market prices subject to price stabilisation or in the prices of other essential goods and services.

The General Department of Customs must make half-monthly and monthly reports on the prices of imported goods and must take the initiative in making extraordinary reports upon any abnormal fluctuation of prices of imported goods in the list subject to reporting.

Where the bodies in charge of reporting market prices cannot directly survey and collect market prices, such bodies may purchase information from other surveying individuals or organisations only in the following cases:

  • prices of goods and services are unknown because such goods and services are not freely traded or transacted on the market;
  • prices of goods and services are not displayed as stipulated by law;
  • prices of various goods at supermarkets and trading centres; and
  • other cases as may be decided by the head of the body reporting on market prices.

Circular 55 will take effect from 1 July 2011 and replaces Decision No. 1712/QD-BTC dated 25 May 2005 issuing regulations for reporting market prices.

For inquiries related to this Legal Update, please contact:

Dao Nguyen ( )

Jim Dao ( )

Thinh Dan ( )

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