Doing business in Vietnam in the time of Covid-19

“The novel coronavirus pandemic is significantly impacting the manner in which businesses conduct their operations including business transactions conducted by foreign buyers with Vietnam based companies.”

Therefore, increased difficulties have been reported by foreign buyers when confronted with a product not meeting the required standard, or when the seller based in Vietnam engages in fraudulent practices, or when the buyer has made payment but the seller fails to deliver as agreed. When these problems arise, foreign buyers may experience large impediments in obtaining fulfilment of the buying order or a satisfactory solution.

In order for companies affected by the above issues to request or sue the party failing to fulfil its obligations or compel the seller to deliver in full the requested products, PLF law firm recommends foreign buyer to collect evidences including proforma invoices, purchase orders, sales and purchase contracts, C/O, bill of lading, bank transfer slips, payment statements, communications (emails, texts, etc.).

It is also important that strong representations are conveyed to the seller to deliver the requested products on time or to provide a refund for the amount paid. Contacting the seller is recommended and legal advisory and assistance should be obtained in order to liaise with the seller in Vietnam. As legal representative of the Client, PLF Law Firm may send official letters to sellers underlining their obligations under Vietnamese law.

Before making payments or signing legally binding contracts, foreign companies in Vietnam should carefully conduct due diligence and examine all information they can collect on the seller. It is imperative for any negative information related to the seller to be considered, particularly how it may impact the business transaction. We advise our Clients to evaluate the seller’s reputation and history (e.g. fraud or failure to fulfil past contracts) as they may indicate the seller’s future conduct.

The pandemic has disrupted supply chains and affected businesses’ cashflow so foreign buyers should examine the seller’s capacity to fulfil buying orders. All contracts should be reviewed thoroughly and all stipulations considered carefully, particularly those relating to breach of contract and remedies.

PLF Law Firm