Vietnam’s Central Party Steering Committee recently issued a strong directive ordering strict policies emphasizing improved consumer protection. Specifically, Directive No. 30/CT/TW on Strengthening Party Leadership and State Management Responsibility in Consumer Protection (Directive 30) was issued on 22 January 2019.

Directive 30 instructs party and statement management officers at all levels to place increased emphasis on consumer protection to protect the health and safety of citizens, and to keep in proper step with the country’s overall international economic integration. Some highlights of Directive 30 include directives related to the following:

  1. Assigning specific duties to each state agency in regard to consumer protection activities;
  2. Improving the legal regime for consumer protection, including updating the Law on Consumer Protection of 2010;
  3. Consolidating the various state agencies with responsibility for consumer protection to fill any gaps, and increasing training of officials on consumer protection matters;
  4. Increasing public awareness programs on consumer protection, including those in relation to product quality and good business ethics;
  5. Increasing inspections and sanctions for consumer protection law violations;
  6. Simplifying mechanisms for consumers to lodge complaints, and encouraging mediation between businesses and consumers;
  7. Creating favorable conditions for social organizations to help in consumer protection;
  8. Promoting a healthy business climate where product quality is emphasized in competition; and
  9. Increasing Vietnam’s participation in international and regional consumer protection organizations.

Consumer protection law has been making strides over the years in Vietnam, but due to various objective and subjective factors, it still has room for improvement. Directive 30 is a clear signal that the leaders of Vietnam feel that improving consumer protection is definitely the right move to help improve the business climate in Vietnam, and also will help protect the health and safety of citizens.