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Legal Update

New Decree on the Production and Trading of Alcohol

14 October 2008
Mayer Brown JSM Legal Update
The government has carried a new Decree 40/2008/ND-CP dated 7 April 2008. Decree 40 regulates the investment, production, import, export, sale and purchase and other related activities in the production and trading of alcohol in Vietnam. Below are some highlights of this decree.

Full Update 
Conditions for grant of a licence
Alcohol is a type of product the production and trading of which are restricted. Organisations and individuals producing and trading alcohol must obtain a licence from the state authorities except where they produce alcohol manually for their own consumption. Investment in alcohol production must be in line with the approved 10-year master-plan of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce for production of alcohol; otherwise, there must be written approval for those projects which are not yet included in such master-plan.
In particular, to obtain a licence for the production of alcohol, the applicant must meet the following conditions: (i) have a business registration for production of alcohol; (ii) have specialised machinery, equipment and technological processes for alcohol production; (iii) have the right to lawfully own or use the alcohol trademark (which is registered in Vietnam); (iv) have appropriate human resources with specialised skills in alcohol production; (v) those who participate in production must be free from infectious diseases; and (vi) meet other requirements as to hygiene conditions, fire and explosion prevention as well as environmental protection.
To obtain a licence for the wholesale of alcohol or as a wholesale agency, the applicant must meet the following conditions: (i) have business registration for the sale and purchase of alcohol; (ii) have a fixed place of business with an address; (iii) have a warehouse system satisfying requirements on alcohol quality preservation, fire and explosion prevention, hygiene and environmental protection; and (iv) have an established distribution network.

Sale of products
Only alcohol products with registered trademarks are permitted to be consumed in Vietnam. Alcohol products must be labeled in accordance with provisions of relevant laws. In addition, alcohol must satisfy quality control standards and producers must clearly disclose information on the standard of their products. Quality control standards can be developed in accordance with regulations of the competent authorities.

Decree 40 takes effect from 1 May 2008.

For further information, please contact:
Hoang Anh Nguyen ( )
Learn more about our Vietnam office and Corporate practice.

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