1. General introduction of Consumer Protection
Protecting the interests of consumers is a common responsibility of the whole society. Compared with other countries in the region, Viet Nam is one of the first countries to issue legal documents to regulate consumer protection issues. Specifically, the Ordinance on Protection of Consumer Rights was issued in 1999 (Ordinance No. 13/1999/PL-UBTVQH10 dated April 27, 1999).
However, besides the achieved results, the actual implementation of consumer rights protection activities has shown that there are still many difficulties and challenges, in which there is insufficient attention and direction of a number of agencies and organizations in the implementation of this work.
In addition, the responsibilities of management levels for the protection of consumers' interests have not been clearly and specifically defined, so the results achieved are still low compared to the requirements set forth. Relevant actors in society have not really fully realized the important role of consumer protection for the stable and sustainable development of the country, especially in the context that our country is increasingly integrating deeply into the international economy and globalization trend.
On the other hand, the provisions of the Ordinance on the Protection of Consumer Rights 1999 and many related regulations have not been effectively implemented; there is no strong enough sanctions to prevent, punish and adequately compensate consumers.
Therefore, the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights (Law No. 59/2010/QH12) was approved by the 12th National Assembly on November 17, 2010 and took effect from July 1, 2011. Over the years, the enforcement of consumer rights protection laws has always been concerned and directed by the Party and State. As a result, consumer protection activities in Vietnam have achieved remarkable initial results; step by step bring the law to protect the interests of consumers into life, contributing to ensuring the legitimate interests of consumers as well as genuine businesses.
After the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights 2010 officially took effect, a series of relevant legal documents were quickly developed and promulgated, such as:
1. Decree No. 99/2011/ND-CP dated October 27, 2011 of the Government detailing and guiding the implementation of a number of articles of the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights;
2. Decision No. 02/2012/QD-TTg dated January 13, 2012 of the Prime Minister promulgating the List of essential goods and services subject to registration of standardized contracts and general transaction conditions;
3. Decision No. 35/2015/QD-TTg dated August 20, 2015 of the Prime Minister on amending and supplementing Decision No. 02/2012/QD-TTg;
4. Decision No. 38/2018/QD-TTg dated September 5, 2018 of the Prime Minister on amending Decision No. 35/2015/QD-TTg;
5. Decree No. 185/2013/ND-CP dated November 15, 2013 of the Government providing for penalties for administrative violations in commercial activities, production, and trading in counterfeit and banned goods; and protect the interests of consumers;
6. Decree No. 124/2015/ND-CP dated November 19, 2015 of the Government amending and supplementing a number of articles of Decree No. 185/2013/ND-CP;
7. Decision No. 1997/QD-TTg dated October 18, 2016 of the Prime Minister approving the Program to develop activities to protect consumer interests in the period of 2016-2020;
8. Decision No. 4122/QD-BCT dated October 31, 2017 of the Minister of Industry and Trade approving the list of projects participating in the Program to develop consumer protection activities in the period of 2016-2020;
9. Directive No. 30-CT/TW of the Party Central Committee on strengthening the Party's leadership and the State's management responsibility for the protection of consumers' interests.
Besides, the protection of consumers' interests is also regulated in many other legal documents such as: Civil Code (2015); Penal Code (2015); Commercial Law (2005); Competition Law (2018); Law on Standards and Technical Regulations (2006); Law on Environmental Protection (2014); Law on quality, products and goods (2007); Law on Food Safety (2010); Law on Advertising (2012); …