Decree No. 99/2011/ND-CP of October 27, 2011, detailing and guiding a number of articles of the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights
Pursuant to the December 25, 2001 Law on Organization of the Government; Pursuant to November 17, 2010 Law No. 59/2010/QH12 on Protection of Consumer Rights;
At the proposal of the Minister of Industry and Trade,
Article 1. Scope of regulation
This Decree provides the protection of consumers in transactions with persons engaged in independent and regular commercial activities not subject to business registration; contracts with consumers and general transaction conditions; settlement of consumer right protection requests; social organizations engaged in consumer right protection; mediation of disputes between consumers and institutional or individual traders and state management of consumer right protection.
Article 2. Subjects of application
This Decree applies to consumers; goods and service traders; and agencies, organizations and persons involved in consumer right protection in the territory of Vietnam.
Article 3. Interpretation of terms
In this Decree, the terms below are construed as follows:
1. Distance contract means a contract concluded between a consumer and a goods or service trader via an electronic device or by telephone. 2. Continuous service contract means a contract on service provision with an indefinite term or a term of three (3) months or more.
3. Door-to-door sale means the sale by a trader to a consumer at the latter’s home or office.
PROTECTION OF CONSUMERS IN TRANSACTIONS WITH PERSONS ENGAGED IN INDEPENDENT AND REGULAR COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES NOT SUBJECT TO BUSINESS REGISTRATION
Article 4. Responsibilities of a person engaged in independent and regular commercial activities not subject to business registration
1. To guarantee the quality, quantity, use and food safety of his/her goods or services provided to consumers under the law on consumer protection, the commercial law and other related laws.
2. Not to supply consumers with the goods and services provided in Clause 1, Article 5 of the Government’s Decree No. 39/2007/ND-CP of March 16, 2007, on persons engaged in independent and regular commercial activities not subject to business registration.
3. To truthfully and fully provide information on his/her goods or services provided to consumers under the law on consumer protection, the commercial law and other related laws.
4. To change goods for or take back goods from and refund a consumer when his/her goods fail to meet requirements on quality, quantity or use as earlier informed to the consumer.
5. To comply with decisions on goods recall when his/her goods are subject to recall and bear expenses for goods destruction when his/her goods are subject to destruction under decisions of competent agencies.
6. In addition to Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of this Article, a person engaged in independent and regular commercial activities not subject to business registration operating in a market or trade center shall fully comply with rules on consumer protection set by the market management unit or the market or trade center operator and approved by a competent agency.
Article 5. Responsibilities of a market management unit or market or trade center operator
1. To issue rules under law which must cover basic contents on consumer right protection, including:
a/ Rights and responsibilities of consumers; b/ Rights and responsibilities of sellers;
c/ Persons responsible for receiving and settling requests and feedback of consumers;
d/ Measures to handle violations.
2. To mediate disputes between consumers and sellers within the market or trade center when so requested.
3. To place, and maintain operation of, scales or measuring devices in the market or trade center for consumers to check the quantity and quality of goods. 4. To regularly supervise the quality and quantity of goods in the market or trade center.
5. To set up, and publicly post up the number of, a telephone hotline for receiving and settling consumer requests suitable to the grade of the market or trade center as classified under law.
6. To biannually report on, and coordinate with functional agencies in charge of trade, market control, food safety, and standards, measurement and quality in, the control of quality, quantity, origin and food safety of goods and services within its market or trade center.
7. To report to competent agencies when detecting violations of the law on consumer right protection and other related laws.
8. To handle violations under its approved rules.
Article 6. Responsibilities of commune-level People’s Committees 1. To examine and supervise market management units and operators of markets and trade centers in their localities in implementing approved rules. When there is no market management unit or market or trade center operator, to take measures to protect consumer rights within markets or trade centers. 2. To manage and inspect activities of persons engaged in independent and regular commercial activities not subject to business registration in their communes who operate outside markets and trade centers in order to protect consumer rights.
3. To coordinate with district- and provincial-level functional agencies in charge of trade, market control, food safety, and standards, measurement and quality in managing and inspecting activities of individual traders in their communes.
4. To handle violations of regulations on consumer protection according to their competence and law.
5. To mobilize and encourage individuals to carry out commercial activities in markets and trade centers; to create conditions for individuals to carry out business activities within markets and trade centers.
CONTRACTS WITH CONSUMERS AND GENERAL TRANSACTION CONDITIONS
Article 7. General requirements on model contracts and general transaction conditions
Model contracts and general transaction conditions shall be made in writing and must fully meet the following conditions:
1. The language is Vietnamese. The contents are clear and understandable. The font size of the text is at least 12.
2. The paper background and ink color used in model contracts and general transaction conditions must contrast.
1. Before applying a model contract or general transaction conditions for a goods or service which must be registered under the Prime Minister’s regulations, a trader shall register such contract or conditions under this Decree. 2. A model contract or general transaction conditions may only be applied to consumers when its/their registration is completed under Article 14 of this Decree.
Article 9. Authority to receive registration dossiers
1. The Ministry of Industry and Trade shall receive registration dossiers of model contracts and general transaction conditions which are applied nationwide or in two or more provinces.
2. Provincial-level Industry and Trade Departments shall receive registration dossiers of model contracts and general transaction conditions which are applied within a province or centrally run city.
Article 10. Dossiers and form of registration
1. A registration dossier of a model contract or general transaction conditions comprises:
a/ An application, made according to the form provided by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, specifying the address and business line of the goods or service trader;
b/ The draft model contract or general transaction conditions. 2. One (1) set of a registration dossier may be submitted directly, by post or electronically to a competent agency provided in Article 9 of this Decree. 3. For a dossier submitted directly, the recipient of the dossier shall make a receipt record the date of which is the date of dossier receipt. For a dossier submitted by post, the date of dossier receipt is based on the postmark. For a dossier submitted electronically, the date of dossier receipt is counted from the time a competent registry’s electronic receipt acknowledgement message is sent. Article 11. Request for dossier supplementation
. Within five (5) working days after receiving an incomplete registration dossier under Clause 1, Article 10 of this Decree, a competent registry shall request the applicant to supplement such dossier.
2. An applicant shall supplement the dossier within three (3) working days after receiving a competent agency’s request.
Article 12. Consideration of registration dossiers
1. A competent registry shall consider a registration dossier after receiving it under Articles 10 and 11 of this Decree.
2. When considering a registration dossier, a competent registry may request the applicant to explain issues related to the model contract or general transaction conditions.
3. When considering a registration dossier of a model contract or general transaction conditions, a competent registry may consult involved agencies, organizations and persons.
Article 13. Scope of consideration of model contracts and general transaction conditions
A competent agency provided in Article 9 of this Decree shall consider a model contract or general transaction conditions regarding:
1. Invalid contents under Article 16 of the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights.
2. Requirements under Article 7 of this Decree.
3. Compliance with the law on consumer right protection and general principles for contract conclusion.
Article 14. Completion of registration
1. Within twenty (20) working days after receiving a valid dossier, a competent registry shall send the trader a notice of acceptance of registration of a model contract or general transaction conditions. In case of refusing such registration, it shall send the trader a written reply clearly stating the reason. 2. After completing registration procedures, model contracts and general transaction conditions shall be published and stored on the websites of competent registries.
. Competent registries shall regularly inspect and monitor the circulation of registered model contracts and general transaction conditions. Article 15. Re-registration of model contracts and general transaction conditions
1. A trader shall re-register its model contract or general transaction conditions when:
a/ There is a change in law which results in a change in the contents of the model contract or general transaction conditions;
b/ It changes the contents of the model contract or general transaction conditions.
2. Procedures for re-registration of model contracts and general transaction conditions are the same as the registration procedures under this Decree. 3. A trader shall notify consumers of changes in its model contract or general transaction conditions after completing the re-registration.
Article 16. Control of model contracts and general transaction conditions not subject to registration
1. When the contents of a model contract or general transaction conditions violate the law on consumer right protection or are contrary to general principles for contract conclusion, a competent agency provided in Article 9 of this Decree may request the trader to modify or cancel those contents. 2. When the contents of a model contract or general transaction conditions are unclear or may be understood in different ways, a competent agency may request the trader to explain and clarify those contents.
3. Within ten (10) working days after receiving a competent agency’s request, a trader shall modify or cancel violating contents of the contract and notify such to consumers having signed that contract. In case the modification or cancellation of violating contents results in the invalidity of contracts signed
with consumers or general transaction conditions, causing damage to consumers, the trader shall pay damages to those consumers under the civil law. Section 2: SPECIFIC CONTRACTS WITH CONSUMERS
Article 17. Distance contracts
1. When concluding a distance contract, a trader shall provide a consumer with the following information:
a/ Name of the trader, telephone number, address, head office and address of the establishment responsible for the contract conclusion offer (if any); b/ Quality of the goods or service;
c/ Goods delivery cost (if any);
d/ Modes of payment and goods delivery or service provision; e/ The validity time of the offer and offered price;
f/ Costs for use of communication devices for contract conclusion, if these costs are not included in the goods or service price;
g/ Details on specifications, use and use method of the goods or service provided under the contract.
2. When a contract conclusion offer is made by telephone, a trader should clearly state its name and address and purpose of the call right from the beginning.
3. Unless otherwise agreed by involved parties, when a trader fails to properly or fully provide the information stated in Clause 1 of this Article, within ten (10) days after concluding the contract, a consumer may unilaterally terminate the contract and notify such to the trader. The consumer is not obliged to pay any costs related to that termination and shall only pay for the goods or service he/she has used.
4. In case a consumer unilaterally terminates a contract under Clause 3 of this Article, a trader shall refund the paid money to the consumer within thirty (30) days after the consumer announces to unilaterally terminate the contract. Past this time limit, the trader shall pay interests for the delayed payment corresponding to the lime of delayed payment at the prime interest rate announced by the State Bank at the time of payment. The refund shall be made by the mode of payment used by the consumer, unless the consumer agrees to the refund by another mode.
In case the contract termination causes damage to a consumer, a trader shall pay damages under the civil law.
Article 18. Continuous service contracts 1. A continuous service contract must contain: a/ Name and contact address of the service provider; b/ Description of the service to be provided; c/ Service quality;
d/ Time and duration of service provision; e/ Method of calculation of service charge and price; f/ Modes of service provision and payment.
2. A continuous service contract shall be made in writing and one (1) copy shall be given to the consumer.
3. Unless otherwise agreed by involved parties, a consumer may unilaterally terminate a continuous service contract at any time and notify such in writing to the service provider. When a consumer unilaterally terminates a contract, he/she shall only pay the charge or price for the service he/she has used. 4. A service provider has the following obligations:
a/ Unless otherwise agreed by involved parties, not to request a consumer to make any payments before the service is provided to the consumer; b/ Not to unilaterally terminate a contract and stop providing a service without a plausible reason. When repair or maintenance is required or there is another reason forcing it to stop the service, to notify consumers at least three (3) working days in advance before stopping the service;
c/ To regularly examine the quality of its service and ensure the quality as committed with consumers;
d/ Upon a consumer’s notification of an incident or complaint about service quality, to promptly examine and settle such incident or complaint. Article 19. Door-to-door sale contracts
1. A door-to-door salesperson is the staff of a trader and has the following obligations when selling door-to-door:
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