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ADMINISTRATIVE IPR ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES OF VIETNAM

If you’re thinking of enforcing against an infringement of your intellectual property rights in Vietnam under administrative proceedings, a thorough understanding of functions, tasks, and capacities of a law enforcement authority in Vietnam will enable you to choose an authority that is competent to handle IPR infringement, to avoid unexpected delays and to maximise the authority’s strength in subsequent enforcement actions.

 

1. The Inspectorate of Science and Technology

The Inspectorate of Science and Technology include:

 The Inspectorate of Ministry of Science and Technology, and

The Inspectorate of Department of Science and Technology at the provincial level.

1.1 The Inspectorate of Ministry of Science & Technology (The Ministry Inspectorate)

Address:         113 Tran Duy Hung Str. – Cau Giay district- Ha Noi

Tel:                  84-4-35553906

Fax:                 84-4-39446602

Email:             thanhtra@most.gov.vn

Website:        http://thanhtra.most.gov.vn

The Inspectorate of Ministry of Science and Technology (The Ministry Inspectorate) is an agency under the Ministry of Science and Technology, which assists the Minister to fulfil State management functions of science and technology (S&T) inspection; handle complaints, denunciations, prevent and combat against corruptions; carry out tasks and power of administrative and professional inspections within the State management scope of Ministry of Science and Technology as stipulated by laws.

For more information on the Ministry Inspectorate, please click: Regulation on Organization and Operation Of the Inspectorate of Ministry of Science and Technology 

1.2 The Inspectorate of Department of Science and Technology at the provincial level

Each province or city of Vietnam will have their own Deparment of Science and Technology. The Inspectorate of Department of Science and Technology (The Department Inspectorate) is an organization under the provincial/municipal Department of Science and Technology, performing the function of advising and assisting the Director of the Department of Science and Technology to conduct administrative inspection, specialized inspection of science and technology, and settle complaints and denunciations. anti-corruption in accordance with the laws.

FYI ! The Ministry Inspectorate and the Department Inspectorate are entitled to enforce against all types of industrial property rights infringement. In complicated IPR infringement cases (e.g. a trade name infringes a trademark or a trademark-based domain name dispute), it is advisable to submit the case to the Inspectorate of the Ministry of Science & Technology, as this authority has demonstrated considerable efficiency in resolving academic or legal complications. It is worth noting, however, that due to limited human resources, a raid may take an extended period of time to conduct.

2. The Inspectorate of Information and Communications

The Inspectorate of Information and Communications include:

 The Inspectorate of Ministry of Information and Communications, and

 The Inspectorate of Department of Information and Communications at the provincial level.

2.1. The Inspectorate of Ministry of Information and Communications

Address:         18 Nguyen Du St., Hanoi, Vietnam

Tel:                  84.24.35563851 – 84.24.35563852

Fax:                 84.4.35563855

Email:            vanthuthanhtra@mic.gov.vn

Website:       https://mic.gov.vn/

The Inspectorate of Ministry of Information and Communications is a ministerial unit which performs the advisory and regulatory functions over the inspection and complaint and denunciation settlement and prevention and anti- corruption; carrying out administrative inspection to agencies, organizations and individuals under the management of the Ministry of Information and Communications; conducting sectoral specialized inspection in the agencies, organizations and individuals operating in the field of information and communications; complaint and denunciation settlement and prevention and anti-corruption according to the provisions of law.

Inspectorate of Ministry of Information and Communications has its tasks and powers under Decision 1765/QD-BTTTT dated 25 November 2014 of the Minister of Information and Communications prescribing the functions, duties, powers and organizational structure of the Inspectorate of Ministry of Information and Communications.

2.2. The Inspectorate of Department of Information and Communications at the provincial level

The Inspectorate of Department of Information and Communications at the provincial level is an agency under the organizational structure of the Department of Information and Communications. The Inspectorate of Department of Information and Communications has the function of advising and assisting the Director of the Department in performing the duties and powers of administrative inspection and specialized inspection in the field of information and communication (press, printing, publishing, postal, telecommunications, etc.) telecommunications; transmission and broadcasting; radio frequency; information technology, electronics; radio and television; external information; news bulletins; information infrastructure; information and communication infrastructure; advertising reports in the press, on the network environment, on publications and integrated advertising on postal, telecommunications, and information technology products and services) in the province. To settle complaints and denunciations in accordance with law; law dissemination and education; monitor the situation of law enforcement and inspect the implementation of the law; Legal support for businesses within the management industry and other tasks as prescribed by law.

FYI ! In IPR enforcement in Vietnam, the Inspectorate of Information and Communications are entitled to enforce against squatting domain names and are responsible for cooperating with the Inspectorate of Science & Technology and other relevant agencies in the process of handling domain names that infringe IP rights.

3. The Inspectorate of Culture, Sport and Tourism

The Inspectorate of Information and Communications include:

  The Inspectorate of Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, and

  The Inspectorate of Department of Culture, Sport & Tourism at the provincial level.

3.1. The Inspectorate of Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism

Address:        18 Nguyen Du St., Hanoi, Vietnam

Tel:                  84.24.35563851 – 84.24.35563852

Fax:                 84.4.35563855

Email:           vanthuthanhtra@mic.gov.vn

Website:        https://mic.gov.vn/

The Inspectorate of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is an organization within the Ministry charged with assisting the Minister in state inspection management, conducting administrative inspections of agencies, organizations, and individuals under the Ministry’s management, and conducting specialized inspections of agencies, organizations, and individuals.The Inspectorate of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is under the management and direction of the Minister and under the direction of the Government Inspectorate in terms of work and guidance on organization and professional activities. Duties and powers of the Inspectorate of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism are specified in Decision No. 3849/QD-BVHTTDL dated October 17, 2017.

3.2. The Inspectorate of Department of Culture, Sport & Tourism at the provincial level

The Inspectorate of Department of Culture, Sport & Tourism at the provincial level is an agency of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism assisting the Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to conduct the inspection, administrative, specialized inspection; resolve the complaint report; citizen reception, legal work and anti-corruption in accordance with the law.

FYI ! In IPR enforcement in Vietnam, the Inspectorate of Culture, Sport & Tourism are entitled to enforce against infringement over copyright and related rights.

 

4. The Market Management Bureau (MMB)

The Market Management Bureau includes:

  Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance, and

  Market Management Departments at the provincial level.

4.1. The Inspectorate of General Department of Market Surveillance

Address:        91 Dinh Tien Hoang, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

Tel:                  84-24-38255868

Fax:                 84-24-39342726

Website:        https://dms.gov.vn/

Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance is an organization directly under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, performing the function of advising and assisting the Minister of Industry and Trade in state management and organizing law enforcement on prevention, combat and handling acts of trading in smuggled goods; production and trading of counterfeit goods, banned goods, goods of unknown origin; acts of infringing upon intellectual property rights; acts of violating the law on quality, measurement, price and food safety; acts of violating the law on protection of consumer rights and acts of commercial fraud in accordance with the law.

4.2. The Market Management Departments at the provincial level

The Market Management Departments at the provincial level have the function of assisting the General Director of the General Department of Market Management in the state management and organization of law enforcement on the prevention, combat and handling of acts of trading in smuggled goods; production and trading of counterfeit goods, banned goods, goods of unknown origin; acts of infringing upon intellectual property rights; acts of violating the law on quality, measurement, price and food safety; acts of violating the law on protection of consumers’ interests and acts of commercial fraud in accordance with the law in the province; perform the function of specialized inspection according to the provisions of law.

FYI ! In IPR enforcement in Vietnam, the Market Management forces are entitled to enforce against infringement over copyright, related rights, industrial property rights (except patent rights) relating to acts of trading and transporting the infringing goods in the marketplace. The Market Management forces can take enforcement actions against acts of manufacturing the infringing goods if they track down such (manufacturing) acts in the course of handling acts of trading and transporting the infringing goods in the marketplace. Right holders often opt for Market Management forces for quick action against small infringers.

 

5. Police Agencies

  The Ministry of Public Security, and

  The Police Department for Investigation of Economic Crime and Corruption

5.1. The Ministry of Public Security

Address:        44 Yet Kieu Street – Hoan Kiem – Ha Noi

Tel:                  84 069.2343647 – 069.2341165.

Fax:                 84-24-39342726

Website:       http://en.bocongan.gov.vn/

The Ministry of Public Security is entitled to, inter alia, collect information, analyze and evaluate the situation and predict its developments, and recommend the Party and the State to issue appropriate policies, laws and strategies on the protection of national security and maintenance of social order and safety, the fight against crime and law violation as well as to direct the implementation of these documents; participate in fully evaluating impacts of socio-economic plans and projects on matters relating to national security and social order and safety, and suggest coupling strategies on protection of national security and social order with strategies and policies on socio-economic development, national defense and foreign affairs in a safe and efficient manner.

5.2. The Police Department for Investigation of Economic Crime and Corruption (Police Department for Economic Crimes) – C03

The Police Department for Economic Crimes (C03) is an authority under the Ministry of Public Security (Vietnam) which has the function of advising and assisting the Head of the Investigative Police Agency of the Ministry of Public Security to direct and guide the police force to investigate economic crimes and corruption in the whole country. It takes measures to prevent, detect, investigate and handle various types of economic crimes and corruption, and directly investigates economic and corruption cases in accordance with the law and at the request of the Minister of Public Security.

FYI ! In IPR enforcement in Vietnam, Police agencies are competent to detect, verify, collect information and evidence of acts infringing industrial property rights and provide them to other Vietnamese enforcement agencies, coordinating with other Vietnamese enforcement agencies to handle IPR infringement and and competent to handle counterfeiting acts.

When to use Police agencies for IPR enforcement in Vietnam?

Police officers are well-trained in conducting investigations and collecting evidence of infringement. They receive specialized training on intellectual property enforcement. They could search the houses of persons deemed to hide instruments involved in or evidence of infringement cases. IPR holders may consider coordinating with a Vietnamese Police agency in the following cases:

 ∗ Complicated counterfeit cases which require in-depth investigation skills and/or high efforts in monitoring and uncovering the source of counterfeits and/or counterfeit warehouses, and/or big counterfeiters;

 ∗ Fact-finding to assess the extent of counterfeiting and piracy

 ∗  IPR holders need to gather evidence of infringement for bringing a criminal case against the infringer or need to tackle serious organised crime.

However, as a matter of practice, it may take a long time for the economic police to conduct an in-depth investigation white the final outcome is uncertain.

 

6. Customs Authorities

  Vietnam General Department of Customs (VGDC)

  Customs Control and Supervision Department (CCSD)

  Customs Departments at the provincial level

6.1. Vietnam General Department of Customs

Address:         No. 9 – Duong Dinh Nghe street, Yen Hoa, Cau Giay, Hanoi, Vietnam  

Tel:                  84 24 39440833 (ext: 8621)  

Email:             tongcuchaiquan@customs.gov.vn  or bophanhotrotchq@customs.gov.vn

Website:        https://www.customs.gov.vn/

Vietnam General Department of Customs has the mission of, inter alia, enforcing the effective management over imports & exports activities and international trade, providing favourable conditions to the trade and production development; fighting against smuggling, combat commercial fraud, protecting the interests of consumers, etc.

6.2. Customs Control and Supervision Department (CCSD)

CCSD is an agency directly under VGDC, with the function of advising and assisting the VGDC’s General Director in managing, directing and guiding agencies in the customs sector to carry out customs procedures, customs inspection and supervision for exported, imported, and transited goods, means of transport on exit, entry or in transit; inspect and determine the origin of goods; guiding the implementation of the protection of intellectual property rights in accordance with the laws.

6.3. Customs Departments at the provincial level

Provincial, inter-provincial, city Customs Departments (Customs Department) are units under General Department of Customs of Vietnam, have functions of implementing State law on customs and other provisions of related laws in the location of such Customs Departments.

FYI ! Customs recordal in Vietnam provides a powerful weapon to IPR holders to stop counterfeiters from flooding the market with IPR infringing goods. Thus, customs recordal should be prioritized if it is suspected that the infringing goods were imported into Vietnam from other countries. The customs authority in Vietnam serves as a “gatekeeper” with full competence to monitor, block and seize the suspicious goods at the borders. After receipt of the customs recordal request and once accepting the customs recordal request, the CCSD shall disseminate such request and other supporting documents to all the provincial and city Customs Authorities throughout Vietnam for the purpose of monitoring imports.

What about exports? Another significant development in the protection of IPR across borders in Vietnam is that, pursuant to a draft decree amending provisions on sanctioning administrative violations in the field of industrial property in Decree No. 99/2013/ND-CP, Vietnamese customs now have authority to cease the export of infringing goods out of Vietnam and impose sanctions on the exporter. It is thus useful to record your IP such as trademark, copyrights and design rights with the Vietnamese customs to benefit from the customs protection.

Related Articles: 

•  Administrative procedure for IPR enforcement in Vietnam

•   Criminal procedure for IPR enforcement in Vietnam

•   Civil procedure for IPR enforcement in Vietnam