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Government Issues Procedure for Control and Use of Seals - International Law Office

International Law Office

Company & Commercial - Vietnam

Government Issues Procedure for Control and Use of Seals

October 22 2001

On August 24 2001 the government issued Decree 58/2001/ND-CP on the Control and Use of Seals. Decree 58 applies to all Vietnamese and foreign organizations that are permitted to use seals in Vietnam (including foreign invested enterprises (FIEs) and foreign branches).

Each organization is entitled to one seal, although approval from the competent state body may be obtained if an organization wishes to have an additional seal with the same contents of that of the first. A separate mark must be made in order to distinguish the seals.

Specimens of seals must be registered with the Public Security Authority and the seal user must pay a fee as stipulated by the Ministry of Finance. Companies must announce the introduction of their seal upon commencement of its use. Announcements are required each time a new seal is introduced.

The following regulations are imposed concerning control of the seal:

  • The head of the organization is responsible for the control and use of the seal.
  • The seal must be kept at the organization's office.
  • The Public Security Authority must be notified immediately if the seal is lost.
  • A new seal must be made if one is broken or the company changes its name.

Although Decree 58 does not address the issue, it is likely that a company undergoing restructuring (eg, by way of merger or consolidation) must apply for a new seal.

Decree 58 governs the granting of licences to use seals. According to Article 9 the General Department of Police is empowered to:

  • grant licences to make seals;
  • register specimens of seals;
  • grant certificates for the registration of specimen seals to state bodies, political organizations and socio-political organizations under central authority;
  • grant licences to make seals for diplomatic representative agencies (including those of international multi-governmental organizations); and
  • grant licences to bring seals into Vietnam for use by foreign organizations.

The provincial Department of Public Security grants licences to make and use seals, and registers specimens to companies, agencies and non-diplomatic foreign organizations. Thus, FIEs, foreign branches, foreign representative offices and foreign contractors are under the department's authority.

Economic organizations that wish to make seals must submit their business registration certificates to the competent state authority.

Diplomatic organizations must notify and register their specimens with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before use.

Foreign organizations that wish to bring seals into Vietnam for use must register the specimen with the Ministry of Public Security.

Decree 58 became valid 15 days after its signing and replaced Decree 62/CP of September 22 1993. The Ministry of Public Security is expected to issue guidelines soon on the implementation of Decree 62 to replace Inter-ministerial Circular 32-TT-LB of December 30 1993.

For further information on this topic please contact Dao Nguyen at Johnson Stokes & Master by telephone (+848 822 8860) or by fax (+848 822 8864) or by email (sdn@jsm.com.hk or jsmsgn@hcm.vnn.vn).

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