The Ministry of Science and Technology has the primary responsibility for coordinating with specialized management ministries in amending and supplementing compulsory contents of goods labels.
On September 30, 2006, the Vietnamese Government issued Decree 89/2006/ND-CP, which became effective on March 13, 2007(Decree 89).
Decree 89 and accompanying regulations provide the requirements for the labeling of goods produced in Vietnam for domestic circulation and for export, and of goods produced in foreign countries that are imported for sale in the Vietnamese market. These regulations do not apply to goods temporarily imported for re-export; goods temporarily imported for re-export after participation in fairs or exhibitions; transited goods, goods transported from border gate to border gate; gifts; presents; personal effects of persons on entry and exit; or moving property.
According to these regulations, subject goods must bear a label containing:
1. A principal display panel in which the following compulsory contents must be shown so that consumers can easily and clearly see them in a normal goods’ display condition: - Name of goods; - Name and address of the organization or individual responsible for the goods; - Origin of goods; - Quantity; - Date of manufacture; - Expiry date; - Ingredients or ingredient quantities; - Hygiene and safety information, warnings; - Instructions on use and preservation.
2. An information section on the right-hand side of the principal display panel in which non- compulsory contents goods may be presented (as well as any compulsory contents which could not fit in the principal display panel) provided that the non-compulsory contents do not conceal or lead to the misunderstanding of the compulsory contents of labels. The basic requirement of Decree 89 and accompanying regulations is that all letters, numbers, drawings, pictures, signs, and codes on labels of goods must be clear and must determine the substance of the goods - any ambiguous labeling that causes confusion with other labels of goods is strictly prohibited.
Labels of domestically circulated goods must be presented in Vietnamese. If necessary, foreign language text may be included provided that it is in smaller print than the Vietnamese text. Labels of exported goods may be written in the language of the country or region into which such goods are imported, if so agreed in the contract for sale of the goods. In the case of imported goods, the compulsory contents in Vietnamese may be either printed on the original label or presented in a supplementary label attached to the original foreign language label prior to sale or circulation in the Vietnamese market.
The following acts constitute violations of the law regarding the labeling of goods: - Circulation of goods without the required labels; - Labeling goods with pictures, figures, or writing that do not correspond to the nature of the goods; - Labeling goods unclearly, or with labels so faint that normal eyes cannot read their contents; - Labeling goods without including all required compulsory contents; - Failing to meet guidelines for the correct size, position, method of presentation, or languages on labels; - Erasing or amending the contents of labels of goods; - Replacing labels of goods for the purpose of deceiving consumers; -Using trademarks of goods already protected by law without the approval of their owners; - Labeling goods in the same manner as those of other business entities, which have been protected by law.