The development of e-contracts in Vietnam is crucial to the country’s digital economy, helping businesses to effectively manage and save costs and time while creating a professional working environment.
The comments were made at a conference on developing e-contracts in Vietnam and implementing Decree 85/2021/NĐ-CP amendments to the Government Decree 52/2013/NĐ-CP on e-commerce on June 16 in Hanoi.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Sinh Nhat Tan said that on September 25, 2021, the Government issued Decree 85, detailing and providing e-contract authentication services and conducting a legal framework for the conditions, obligations and registration process for the operation of organisations who provide e-contract certification services known as the CeCA-Certified eContract Authority.
The deputy minister said his ministry had assigned the Vietnam e-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency and other agencies to outline solutions to develop and widely apply e-contracts in the country, making it a key to developing its economy.
As Vietnamese businesses have long been signed with foreign partners in the form of e-contracts involved in cross-border transactions and import-export activities.
A survey conducted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in 2021 showed that at least 33 percent of surveyed businesses had applied e-contracts in their commercial activities.
In addition, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam has experienced four outbreaks leading to the rapid change in habits and behaviours of businesses and people.
One of the changes is that businesses are gradually switching from using ordinary printed contracts and documents to using electronic contracts and documents.
The application of e-contracts not only helps companies and their customers save time and costs but also helps reduce the impact of the pandemic and the gap in commercial transactions.
The Vietnam e-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency has worked with relevant bodies to develop solutions to assist third parties such as commercial banks and tax agencies to check and authenticate the value as it is written in printed contracts.
Le Duc Anh, Director of the Centre for Information and Digital Technology (CID) under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, said the Agency had assisted businesses in integrating Vietnam’s Electronic Contract Development Axis.
Under the axis, 17 businesses have sent their applications for registration of development of e-contracts. Of them, six businesses have conducted surveys and joined the axis to ensure requirements to meet business criteria and technical standards of e-contracts development.
Particularly, each e-contract transaction will be closely attached to regulations on dispute settlement, complaints and handling of problems arising in signing and implementing e-contracts. This will help businesses, organisations, individuals, and third parties have a reliable intermediary agency to solve problems in signing e-contracts.
After the issuance of Circular No. 01/2022/TT-BCT of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, amending and supplementing the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Circular No. 47/2014/TT-BCT on the management of e-commerce websites, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Circular No. 59/2015/TT-BCT, providing the management of e-commerce activities via mobile applications, the Vietnam e-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency has assisted businesses in the process of granting registration in accordance with regulations.
It is expected that the first businesses that ensure all service operation requirements will be granted registration in June and early July.
At the conference, a ceremony was held to announce the development axis of Vietnam e-contracts (www.CeCA.gov.vn).
The Axis System will play a key role in supporting the e-Contract Attestation Organisations and providing services and e-Contract Lookup and Validation Portal (xacthuc.CeCa.gov.vn) to third parties.