Decree 70 to Impact Cross-Border Advertising Services in Vietnam
On July 21, 2021, Vietnam’s government issued Decree No. 70/2021/ND-CP (Decree 70), which stipulates that advertising service providers engaging in cross-border advertising services must abide by regulations on cybersecurity, and regulations on management, provision, and use of internet services, as well as pay tax.
Decree 70 amends and supplements several articles from Decree No. 181/2013/ND-CP dated November 11, 2013, on the Law on Advertising. Taking effect from September 15, 2021, Decree 70 was created to tighten the activities of the advertising units of multinationals, such as YouTube, Google, and Facebook.
Definition of cross-border advertising services
The most significant revision issued by Decree 70 is to Article 13, which provides the definition and other obligations on cross-border advertising services providers (CASP).Article 13 redefines cross-border advertisement services as the utilization of electronic information sites by foreign organizations and individuals to provide advertising services from websites hosted outside of Vietnam, for Vietnamese consumers, and having revenues generated in Vietnam.
Such websites are defined as ‘single or multi-website systems’ providing users with functions enabling live chat, forum creation, exchange of information, sound, or image sharing – to supply advertising services.
What are the responsibilities and obligations of cross-border advertising services providers?
Under Article 13, CASP entities must comply with Vietnam’s intellectual property and cybersecurity laws. These entities must inform the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) of their contact information at least 15 days before starting their operations.
Previously, cross-border advertising services were under the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism supervision. Under Decree 70, the MIC now has the consolidated supervisory authority.
This includes details on the location of the organization, their trading names, head offices, as well as the location of the primary server or any servers/systems located in Vietnam (if any). CASP entities must also submit an annual report to the MIC and submit ad-hoc reports to MIC at the ministry’s request.
It is the responsibility of the CASP entity to ensure their advertisements follow the Law on Advertising, and the entity must apply measures to control and remove ads that violate Vietnamese laws. Advertisement services providers must also not cooperate with websites that have been publicly announced to have violated these laws.
Moreover, CASP entities are obligated to take down content upon a request of the MIC in addition to providing information on any organizations or individuals involved in illegal cross-border advertising as determined by the MIC. The MIC will conduct the necessary investigation of violations within a five-day window period and notify services providers of the illegal advertisement content or activities.
The service providers are then given a 24-hour period to address the issue, after which the MIC will take any legal measure to have the advertisement blocked. This authority can be extended to other government agencies if the offense is deemed a threat to national security. CASP entities are also required to assist and provide solutions to Vietnamese advertisement providers on ensuring their advertisements comply with the relevant laws.
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