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Business on Website, E-commerce Application and Notes

Today, when the digital revolution is growing stronger than ever, business forms of enterprises also develop to keep up with that trend. E-commerce platforms are becoming fertile land for investment enterprises, and many e-commerce websites have been established. In addition, commercial fraud activities on the E-commerce platform have become more popular, sophisticated and complex

To keep up with that trend, Decree 98/2020/ND-CP has been issued by the Government with practical and necessary changes so that relevant authorities have a clear and effective sanctioning mechanism for handling violations in the management process. This Decree has replaced the Decree No. 185/2013/ND-CP expired from October 15, 2020, which is no longer meeting the practical needs of administrative sanctions in commercial activities, production, trading in counterfeit, or banned goods, and protecting the interests of people.

This article provides changes in Decree 98/2020/ND-CP that enterprises need to pay attention to, especially foreign enterprises that want to invest in Vietnam, or have been operating business activities on E-Commerce platforms.

  1. Notable changes of Decree 98/2020/ND-CP

With the need for legal support to take timely and effective handling measures, protecting consumers and brands from being infringed upon when commercial frauds become sophisticated and More complicated, Decree 98/2020/ND-CP has been issued and there are notable changes as follows:

  • The legal basis for determining the origin of goods is clarified;
  • Penalties for violating alcohol trading regulations include beer and alcohol instead of alcohol alone;
  • Adding provisions on violations due to non-disclosure or inaccurate publication of information about the owner, shipping information, information on prices, etc. on websites or sales applications;
  • Recording penalties applied to violations arising in online auctions;
  • Other violations have also been fined as: Unilaterally terminate the contract or stop providing e-commerce services without notification mechanism to customers; Failure to publish the website regulations or the published content is different from the content recorded in the website registration dossier or e-commerce application; Acts of unauthorized disclosure, alteration, copying, or use of payment information, etc.
  • Privacy policy of payment information for customers is compulsory, so enterprises that own e-commerce websites with payment function are required to publish this policy on their websites.
  1. A few notes for foreign businesses

In order to facilitate investment activities in Vietnam on the E-commerce platform, foreign enterprises should note the following points:

  • Ensuring that the products and services provided by the enterprise are allowed to be recorded on e-commerce websites and applications;
  • Conduct periodic review of information about products and services that enterprises are providing on websites to ensure that the enterprises are still complying with the law;
  • Fully updated content of Terms of Use; Payment information privacy policy; Privacy policy for personal information; Complaint settlement policy; Mode of transportation; Return policy; etc.

Note that all of these will help the website, e-commerce application to operate continuously and stably, avoid the interruption from the sanctions imposed by the authorities on the e-commerce websites, applications which have violations, causing great losses for the enterprises themselves. Especially in the context that Covid-19 pandemic is complicated, and social distancing is a necessary condition to control the pandemic, online sales have become an effective business method, attracting many enterprises. Therefore, foreign enterprises, especially those just starting to expand on E-Commerce platforms, should pay close attention to the process of posting information to comply with the provisions of the Decree 98/2020/ND-CP to avoid unnecessary penalties.