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Technology changes need more appropriate legal framework for electronic transactions

17:38 | 20/07/2022

VCN - When the Law on Electronic Transactions (amended) is adopted, it is expected to develop a unified law that is a complete legal corridor to transform into the digital environment in all industries and sectors.

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Representative of the Ministry of Information and Communications speaks at the conference. Photo: H.Diu
Representative of the Ministry of Information and Communications speaks at the conference. Photo: H.Diu

On July 14, in Hanoi, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Communications, held a workshop to discuss the Law on Electronic Transactions (amended).

The draft Law on Electronic Transactions (amended) is expected to be submitted to the National Assembly at its 4th session in October 2022 and adopted at the meeting session in May 2023.

Speaking at the workshop, Mr. Dau Anh Tuan, Deputy Secretary General, Head of the Legal Department of VCCI, said that the Law on Electronic Transactions was issued in 2005, after more than 15 years of enforcement. It has played an important role, contributing to socio-economic development and putting science – technology application to strong administrative reform. In particular, after two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the strong development of transactions in the network environment, the role of the Law on Electronic Transactions has become clearer.

Moreover, although this law was issued earlier, it is quite compatible with the current context. However, according to Mr. Tuan, the economic and technological context has changed a lot, and more and more transactions are conducted in the electronic environment, so a more appropriate legal framework is needed.

Mr. Nguyen Trong Duong, Deputy Director General in charge of administration, Department of Enterprise Management, Ministry of Information and Communications, said the Draft Law on Electronic Transactions (amended) has eight chapters, 60 articles and is expected to further promote the application of information technology in transactions of state agencies and organizations and individuals, especially in solving problems related to specialized databases and personal data in performing administrative procedures and public services in the network environment.

Most businesses and experts support the amendment of the Law on Electronic Transactions in 2005, but it is necessary to expand the scope of regulation of electronic transactions in commercial civil and economic transactions, creating a stable legal framework for electronic transactions.

Mr. Tran Manh Hung - Executive Lawyer, Director of BMVN International Law Firm, said that most of the Laws on electronic transaction of other countries in the world only focus on managing the legality of method of transaction or electronic elements of transactions such as digital signatures, e-certificates, electronic contracts, etc., without management of digital service or related digital platforms.

At the same time, representatives of businesses such as Honda and Mercedes Bez also suggested that the revised law on electronic transactions should use and recognize foreign electronic signatures, in order to further facilitate businesses in electronic transactions, especially in tax and customs-related fields.

However, responding to this opinion, Mr. Dau Anh Tuan said that from the perspective of management agencies such as tax and customs, this problem is not easy. For example, for the tax refund, the condition for tax refund is that the transactions must be valid and legal, if the use of foreign digital signatures is not correct, there will be risks, affecting the benefits and responsibilities of management agencies

Also on this issue, the representative of the Ministry of Justice said that it is necessary to be cautious in the recognition of foreign digital signatures, as well as the legal value of this type because in civil relations, two businesses sign with each other. If there is a dispute, it will be settled be by the court and the state will not intervene. But if in the relationship between administrative agencies and businesses, it is an administrative relationship, the state must be responsible, so it should be more cautious.

Therefore, he said that the regulations need to be studied carefully and specific regulations and guidelines will be issued in the future.

In addition, some said that the solutions that the competent authorities can take to limit and protect electronic transactions in the latest draft are too strict and may lead to abuse of power or group interests; or regulations on obligations of service providers such as they are to provide services 24/7, publicize algorithms, or notify the Ministry of Information and Communications about the list of compliance staff, etc, may affect business rights, intellectual property rights, security and safety of information systems used by service providers.

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From these issues, the representative of the Ministry of Information and Communications said, the comments will be reviewed by VCCI and sent to relevant agencies. The Ministry of Information and Communications will accept to make appropriate amendments, because this Law, after being passed, will have positive impacts on the development of the digital economy in general as well as electronic transaction activities in particular.

By Huong Diu/ Huyen Trang