Under new legislation, liquor producers and traders in Vietnam are subject to more stringent regulations on business licensing and the circulation of liquor products.
Government Decree No. 94/2012/ND-CP on Liquor Production and Trading (Decree 94) took effect on January 1, 2013, replacing Government Decree No. 40/2008/ND-CP dated April 7, 2008 (Decree 40). Decree 94 provides detailed conditions for obtaining the licenses required to produce, import, and/or distribute liquor in Vietnam, and specifically stipulates that liquor producers of any scale may only sell their product (wholesale) to licensed trading entities. If any liquor producer wishes to sell to end users, such retail sale must be conducted through affiliated shops.
- Though Decree 40 explicitly permitted small-scale manual production of liquor for the producer’s own consumption, Decree 94 is silent on this topic. As such, it preserves no room for liquor production without state management.
- The number of available licenses for distribution, wholesale, and retail sale will be tied to the population of the relevant geographic area.
- Starting January 1, 2014, both imported and domestically produced liquor products circulated in Vietnam must be affixed with government-issued stamps, except where the liquor is sold to licensed liquor production companies for further processing. The stamps were previously required for imported liquor only. Under the new regulations, any products circulating in the market which are not properly labeled and stamped will be considered illicit liquor.