Global sanctions guide

  1. Does Vietnam have a sanctions regime in place?


  1. Does Vietnam implement UN sanctions?

Yes. As a member of the UN, Vietnam is obliged to implement UN sanctions. However, Vietnam has only fairly recently taken steps to implement all UN Security Council resolutions into domestic legislation.

  1. Does Vietnam implement an autonomous sanctions regime?

Yes. Vietnam has legislation in place that seeks to address the risk of terrorism and terrorist financing. Financial institutions have an obligation to monitor and report any suspicion of terrorist financing and the Ministry of Public Security (“MoPS”) (part of the State Bank of Vietnam (“SBV”)) has the power to apply temporary measures in order to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

  1. What is the nature of the sanctions regime in Vietnam?

International Treaties and conventions are implemented in Vietnam in accordance with articles 71-73 of the Law on the Conclusion, Accession to and Implementation of Treaties (No. 41/2005/QH11). When Vietnam becomes a party to an International Treaty, it is the responsibility of a recommending agency to submit to the Government a plan for the implementation of the Treaty. The Prime Minister then decides whether to approve the implementation.

Furthermore, in accordance with the Anti-Terrorism Law and Decree No. 122/2013/ND-CP (“Decree 122”), all financial institutions and non-financial individuals and entities must report any suspicion of terrorist financing to the MoPS.

Decree 122 and Decree no. 116/2013/ND-CP (detailing the implementation of Law on the Prevention and Combat of Money Laundering (“Decree 116”) list a number of grounds which relevant institutions in Vietnam can take into account when determining whether a transaction relates to terrorist financing. One of the grounds to be taken into account is whether the transaction being carried out relates to organisations or individuals listed in UN Security Council resolutions.

Organisations are also required to have in place measures to identify and monitor customer information and activity to ensure that they identify and report to the MoPS any individuals/entities who are subject to sanctions or subject to the MoPS ‘black list’.

Sanctions imposed in Vietnam include asset freezes, restrictions on the direct or indirect provision of financial or economic resources or other specified services to designated individuals or entities, and trade restrictions.

  1. Does Vietnam maintain a list of sanctioned individuals and entities?

Vietnam typically relies upon the lists of designated individuals and entities specified by the UN. Article 3.1 of Decree 122 confirms that organisations and individuals involved in terrorism and terrorist financing are those falling within the corresponding list as specified in UN Security Council resolutions.

  1. Are there any other lists related to sanctions?

Yes. When it is identified that organisations and individuals are involved in terrorism or terrorism financing (in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions) but are not yet included in the list designated by the UN Security Council, the MoPS in co-ordination with other relevant Ministries and agencies creates a blacklist and reports thereon to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minster will determine whether such details should be submitted to the UN for consideration.

In addition, where it is identified that organisations and individuals, who are designated by the UN may not meet the criteria for designation, the MoPS, in co-ordination with other relevant Ministries will report to the Prime Minister who will decide whether such information should be submitted to the UN.

  1. Does Vietnam have a licensing or authorisation system in place?

Article 7 of Decree 122 states that the Minister of MoPS has jurisdiction for making decisions in respect of:

  • the confiscation of assets for state funds or destruction of money and property related to terrorism or terrorism financing
  • the return of money and property related to terrorism or terrorism financing in cases where such money and property are owned and managed by other agencies, organisations and individuals and illegally possessed and used in terrorist activities or terrorism financing

In addition, specified directors of departments falling within the MoPS have the right to issue or cancel a decision in respect of the freezing of assets relating to terrorism or terrorism financing in certain cases.

It is also possible for individuals subject to sanctions to seek authorisation to use frozen funds to pay for legal services, services of keeping and preserving money and property sealed off or blockaded, or costs of accommodation, food, medical care and other essential expenses. Such authorisation and use must comply with Vietnamese laws and international treaties to which Vietnam is a member.

  1. What are the consequences for a breach of sanctions in Vietnam?

Article 44 of Decree No. 96/2014/ND-CP sets out the penalties for administrative violations of currency and banking regulations.  Article 44 states that the following penalties can be imposed:

  • a fine between VND 80,000,000 and VND 100,000,000 for failing to report money laundering acts relating to terrorism financing (as required in Article 30 of the Law on Prevention and Combat of Money Laundering)
  • a fine between VND 150,000,000 and VND 200,000,000 shall be applied to the failure of placing special supervision over irregularly high-valued transactions, complicated transactions, or transactions involving organisations and/or individuals located in the countries or territories named in the anti-money-laundering or warning lists informed by the Financial Action Task Force as prescribed in Article 16 of the Law on Prevention and Combat of Money Laundering
  1. Who are the relevant regulators in Vietnam and what are their contact details?

There are a variety of agencies responsible for implementing legislation related to UN Treaties. These include:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

No.1 Ton That Dam Street,
Ba Dinh District, Hanoi,

T: (+84) 4 3799 2000
F: (+84) 4 3799 2682

Ministry of National Defence

7 Nguyen Tri Phuong Street,
Ba Dinh District, Hanoi,

T: (+84) 4 6953 4223
F: (+84) 4 6953 2090

State Bank of Vietnam

No. 47-49 Ly Thai To Street,
Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi,

T: (+84) 4 3825 4845 / 3826 8779
F: (+84) 4 3934 9569

Ministry of Public Security

No. 44 Yet Kieu Street,
Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi,

T: (+84)  4 3822 6602 / 6942 545
F:(+84) 4 694 1038 / 3942 0223

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Contributor law firm

Dang Trong Hieu, Vision & Associates Legal, Unit 308-310, 3rd Floor Hanoi Towers, 49 Hai Ba Trung Street, Hanoi, Vietnam

T: (+84) 4 3934 0629
F: (+84) 4 3934 0631