The processes listed in the ministry’s Circular No 20/2011/TT-BTC, which took effect on June 26, 2011, are believed to have discouraged many car importers.
Under the MoIT’s revised circular issued on March 9, auto importers will be allowed to import cars with nine seats or less without having to authorise car manufacturers or dealers as their distributors in Vietnam.
Importers will also not have to obtain certificates from the transport ministry proving that they are adequately qualified to do car guarantees and maintenance.
The revision is seen as a positive move by the MoIT as the old regulations were said to give preferential treatment to large-scale companies.
Earlier, when Circular No 20 was in effect, there were disagreements about its efficacy between the MoIT and other ministries and sectors, including the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association and Vietnam Association of Mechanical Industry.
Many experts argued that the circular was leading to business inequality, which is against the country’s larger efforts to create a better business environment. However, the MoIT had said that the circular was aimed at dealing with global carmakers who were frequently recalling vehicles because of manufacturing defects from around the world, but not from Vietnam.
The circular also forced domestic distributors and representative car manufacturers to take responsibility for imported vehicles, the MoIT said. This was necessary to protect consumer interest and ensure road safety.