Along with the development of the market economy, the standards form contracts are becoming prominent because of its convenience and economy. Accordingly, the standard form contracts help businesses reduce time and cost to negotiate terms when conducting a transaction. However, to ensure the consumer’s rights, the State controls standard form contracts and requires goods and services on the List of essential goods and services promulgated by the Prime Minister must be registered with the State Administrative body for consumer protection1. In this article, the author will focus on analyzing and providing information on dossiers, orders, and procedures for registering standard form contracts under the law on consumer rights protection.
1. Definition of standard form contracts and general requirements for standard form contracts
A standard form contract means a contract drafted by a trader for transactions with consumers2. The registration of a standard form contract with the State administrative body is mandatory for organizations, individuals who conduct business including
(i) electricity supply;
(ii) water supply;
(iii) pay television;
(iv) fixed telephone subscribers;
(v) postpaid mobile phone;
(vi) internet connection;
(vii) air passenger transportation;
(viii) rail passenger transportation;
(ix) apartment sale and purchase, daily services provided by the building management;
(x) issuance of domestic debit cards, opening and using of payment account services (applicable to individual customers), personal loans (for consumption purposes);
and (xi) life insurance.
Standard form contracts under the list of goods and services that must be registered may only be applied to consumers when completion of registration at the competent authority3.
To register, the terms of the standard form contract must not fall into the invalidation situations under Article 16 of the Law on Protection of Consumer’s Rights 2010 and must meet the general conditions4, including:
- Formulated in writing;
- The language used in contracts shall be Vietnamese, the content is clear and easy to understand; font size at least 12; and
- The paper background and ink color represent the content of the standard form contracts and the general trading conditions must be contrasted.
2. Dossiers, orders, and procedures for registration standards form contracts for transactions
Organizations and individuals registering standard form contracts shall prepare one set of registration dossiers comprising: (i) an Application Form under Circular 10/2013/TT-BCT issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and (ii) a draft of the standard form contract5; and submit it directly, by post or online to the following agencies:
- For standard form contracts are applied nationwide or in two or more provinces: The Ministry of Industry and Trade;
- For standard form contracts are applied within a province or municipalities: Provincial-level Industry and Trade.
After receiving the valid dossier, the competent registry shall consider and request for dossier supplementation after receiving the incomplete registration dossiers within 05 working days6. Organizations and individuals required to supplement the dossier shall conduct the supplementation under the guidance of the competent authority within 03 working days of receiving the supplement notice7. No later than 20 days from the receipt of a valid application, the competent authority will issue a notice of approval/disapproval of the application8. The standard form contract shall be published and archived on the website of the Department of Competition and Consumer Rights Protection under the Ministry of Industry and Trade. (http://hdm.vcca.gov.vn/?page=hdm)9
The standard form contracts need to be re-registered with the same procedure as the first registration and notify the consumer of the change of the standard form contract after completing the re-registration in the following cases10:
(i) There is a change in law which results in a change in the contents of the standard form contract or general transaction conditions;
(ii) Traders change the contents of the standard form contract or general transactions conditions.
1 Clause 1 Article 19 Law on Protection of Consumer’s Rights 2010
2 Clause 5 Article 3 Law on Protection of Consumer’s Rights 2010
3 Clause 2 Article 8 Decree No. 99/2011/ND-CP
4 Article 7 Decree No. 99/2011/ND-CP
5 Clause 1 Article 10 Decree No. 99/2011/ND-CP
6 Clause 1 Article 11 Decree No. 99/2011/ND-CP
7 Clause 2 Article 11 Decree No. 99/2011/ND-CP
8 Clause 1 Article 14 Decree No. 99/2011/ND-CP
9 Clause 2 Article 14 Decree No. 99/2011/ND-CP
10 Article 15 Decree No. 99/2011/ND-CP
This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide any legal advice for any particular case. The legal provisions referenced in the content are in effect at the time of publication but may have expired at the time you read the content. We therefore advise that you always consult a professional consultant before applying any content.
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