Law No. 20/2023/QH15 on e-transactions

On 23 June 2023, the National Assembly passed the Law on e-Transactions (amended) ("New ET Law"), replacing the current Law on e-Transactions No. 51/2005/QH11 ("ET Law 2005"). The New ET Law includes seven chapters and 54 articles addressing various issues that will directly impact both onshore and offshore businesses that transact with consumers in Vietnam. The New ET Law will come into force on 1 July 2024 and supersede the ET Law 2005.

1. Scope

According to Article 1, the new ET Law focuses on using electronic means in transactions whose substances, conditions, and forms will be governed by other specific laws.

2. The recognition of foreign e-signatures and foreign e-signature certificates

According to Article 26.1 of the new ET Law, Foreign e-signatures and foreign e-signature certificates will be recognized in Vietnam if they meet the conditions:

- Are provided by a foreign e-signature certification service provider (among other requirements);
- Such service providers, in order to be recognized, must themselves meet multiple other criteria of Vietnam;
+ A foreign e-signature certificate provided by a foreign e-signature certification service provider is formed based on fully authenticated identification information of a foreign organization or individual.
+ Foreign e-signatures and foreign e-signature certificates provided by foreign e-signature certification service providers must conform to standards and technical regulations on electronic signatures and e-signature certificates as prescribed by Vietnamese law or recognized international standards or treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a party;
+ Organizations providing foreign e-signature certification services must update the status of foreign e-signature certificates in the trusted service certification system of Vietnamese competent authorities.
- Having a representative office in Vietnam.

3. E-contracts:

According to Article 36.3 of the New ET Law about the rules, the execution and performance of E-Contracts must comply with the new ET Law and other relevant regulations. The parties in the E-Contracts can agree on the technical requirements, verification, and conditions to ensure the integrity and confidentiality related to such E-contracts.

4. Digital platforms and information system administrator

Information system administrator serving e-transaction is stimulated on the Article 45 of the New ET Law:

- Information system serving e-transactions includes hardware, software, and databases set up with key functions and features to serve electronic transactions, ensuring authenticity and reliability in electronic transactions.
- Digital platform serving e-transaction: The information system specified in Article 45.1 of the new ET Law creates an electronic environment that allows parties to conduct transactions or provide and use products or services or use them to develop products or services.
- The intermediary digital platform serving e-transaction: digital platform specified in Article 45.2 of the new ET Law where the owner of the digital platform is independent of the parties performing the transaction.