In the context of the Covid-19 epidemic, although there have been positive improvements, the situation is still complicated in Ho Chi Minh City. Hence, enterprises still face many difficulties in conducting business activities. As social distancing rules are in place in many provinces, the solution to adapt in the current situation is for enterprises to submit public administrative documents through the online portal. For online submission, depending on the regulations of each managing agency, enterprises may not have to submit hard copies at all during the application process or may have to only send the hard copies to receive results after the online applications are approved. The following article shall provide readers with information about public services that can be availed online. Specific emphasis would be on services that enterprises often need to maintain their operations, and limit disruptions caused by the pandemic.
Department of Planning and Investment:
- As for some investment registration procedures such as establishment of a new investment project or adjustment to an investment project that is not subject to approval of investment policies, investors can apply online. In case the investor uses a digital signature, after the application is approved, it is not required to submit the hard copies to the investment registration agency. In case the investor does not use a digital signature, the investor needs to send a hard copy of the online application to the investment registration agency to receive the result after the online application is approved.
- Business registration procedures for branches and representative offices of enterprises such as establishment, adjustment of business registration contents, suspension of operation, etc.
Department of Industry and Trade:
To avail services under the management of the Department of Industry and Trade, dossiers can be submitted online and foreign traders shall send the hard copies to the Department of Industry and Trade to receive the results after the online submissions are approved. Enterprises may refer to some procedures that currently support online filing as below:
- Procedures related to the representative office of foreign traders such as establishment, adjustment of license, extension of license, and termination of operation.
- Procedures for notification of promotional programs.
- Some popular specialized business licenses such as license to produce industrial alcohol with scale of less than 03 million liters/year, license for wholesale of alcohol, and license for wholesale of tobacco products.
Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs:
A procedure that plays an essential role in the operation of many enterprises is the procedure for issuance of work permits for foreign employees. Currently, this procedure can be performed online and then the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs will send the results to the address of the business registered after the online application is approved and the hard copy is sent to the Department through courier services.
Department of Foreign Affairs:
The Department of Foreign Affairs is the authority which processes consular legalization procedure for documents originating from abroad. Foreign papers and documents are considered valid for use in Vietnam only after they have been consular legalized. In the current pandemic situation, this procedure can be done by post from submission of application to receiving results.
Department of Natural Resources and Environment:
Enterprises conducting production activities often have a certain impact on the environment. Therefore, environmental licenses are very important for such enterprises to operate and ensure sustainable development.
Few public services under the management of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment that can be availed by post are as follows:
- Registration of hazardous waste source owners and re-issuance of the hazardous waste source owner registration book.
- Issuance, extension, and adjustment of permits for discharge of wastewater into water sources flowing at 20 m3/day to less than 30,000 m3/day for aquaculture activities, and 20 m3/day to less than 3,000 m3/day for other activities.
Thus, public administrative procedures that are mandatory for enterprises to perform can be availed online to adapt to the Covid-19 epidemic, and ensure safety while maintaining operations.
Time of writing: 22 September 2021
The article is based on the current law at the time of recording as above and may no longer be relevant at the time readers access this article due to changes in applicable law and specific cases that the reader wants to apply. Therefore, the article is for reference only.