OFFICIAL GUIDE TO SHIP & YACHT REGISTRIES

Vietnam

Shipowner Eligibility 

To register a vessel in Vietnam, a shipowner must reside or have a registered head office in Vietnam and satisfy a number of conditions for the use and management of seagoing vessels as stipulated by the law. Vessels belonging to joint ventures with foreign partners or 100% foreign owned companies in Vietnam may be registered in Vietnam. However, they are only permitted to operate in domestic routes and the permission of the Prime Minister is required.

Foreign owned vessels may be registered in Vietnam provided that they satisfy all the necessary requirements provided by law and their owners are eligible in accordance with the law of the relevant foreign country and they do not attempt to operate in domestic routes or to transport imported or exported goods of Vietnam.

About the Flag

Vietnam is located in Southeastern Asia bordering the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin and South China Sea between China and Cambodia. It is a socialist state with its capital in Hanoi. The President is the Chief of State, and the Prime Minister is the Head of Government. There is a unicameral National Assembly. The legal system is based on communist legal theory and French civil law. Vietnamese is the official language. Vietnam is a member of the UN and ASEAN.

Vietnam has made significant progress in recent years moving away from the planned economic model toward a more market-based economic system. Petroleum, rice, agricultural and marine products are the chief exports, and major trading partners are Japan, Singapore, France, and South Korea. The currency is the new dong.

Ship registration in Vietnam is governed by the Maritime Code of Vietnam of 2005 and supervised by the Vietnam Maritime Administration.

Company Formation

In 1990, the National Assembly of Vietnam promulgated the Law on Companies which regulates the formation of companies in Vietnam. All Vietnamese citizens who are at least 18 years of age, Vietnamese economic organizations which have the status of legal entities belonging to the various economic sectors, and all social organizations may contribute capital by way of investment in, or join in the establishment of limited liability companies and shareholding companies. Government bodies and units of the defense forces are prohibited from using State assets and public funds as capital contributions to a company or from participating in the establishment of a company for the purpose of making private profits for themselves. Public servants and serving officers in the defense forces are prohibited from establishing or managing a company.

Companies must register their operations with the municipal or provincial planning committee. Each company must have at least one director and if a shareholding company, at least seven shareholders. Shares may be registered or bearer. Shares of the founding shareholders and all directors must be registered. All of the founding shareholders must subscribe for a minimum of 20% of the total issued shares. Where the founding shareholders do not subscribe for all of the issued shares of the company, they may make a public call for capital from others. Approval of the Prime Minister is required for the establishment of companies involved in ocean shipping activities.

Taxation

Shipowners are subject to payment of turnover tax and profits tax. The applicable turnover and profit tax rates are 2% and 30% respectively. Additional profit tax is imposed where the profit is higher than the level stipulated by the Government and is 25% in the case of non-state owned companies with taxable profits per shareholder exceeding 10 million VND and 30% for state-owned enterprises which enjoy considerable advantages. The turnover and profits tax rates applicable for foreign shipowners leasing transportation means to Vietnamese organizations or individuals are 4% and 3% of the taxable turnover respectively. Excise tax of 2% of the value of the vessel calculated at the time of registration or a fixed feee, whichever is less, must be paid to the tax office prior to ship registration.

Vietnam has entered into double taxation treaties with the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Laos, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

Registration and Documentation

The shipowner must prepare an application for registration of the vessel and undertake that the vessel will not be used for any purpose that is contrary to the law or detrimental to the interests of Vietnam.

In cases where a trial run is required for newly built vessels or where a vessel is received and transported to the location of official registration on the basis of shipbuilding contracts or contracts for vessel ownership assignment and where a shipowner wishes to register a vessel which is being built in a shipyard, the shipowner may visit the seagoing vessel and crew registration body in the nearest location or the diplomatic representative body or the Vietnamese Consulate to apply for provisional registry.

In order to carry out provisional registration, the following documents must be submitted to the vessel and crew registration body or the diplomatic representative body or the Vietnamese Consulate:

• Application in prescribed form
• Proof of ownership (building contact or contact for transfer of the ownership of the vessel), notarized
• Certificate of Cancellation of ship registration (in respect of used vessels) or permit for delivery of the vessel (in respect of newly built vessels), notarized
• Report on technical safety prepared by the Vietnam Shipping Registry or by an authorized foreign shipping registry (in respect of used ships)

Provisional registration shall be valid for no more than 60 days from the date of issuance of the Certificate of Provisional Registration. Shipowners are responsible for carrying out procedures for permanent registration of vessels at a relevant local vessel and crew registration body within 30 days from the date of receipt of the vessel (where the vessel is received in Vietnam) or from the date of arrival of such vessel at the first Vietnamese port (if the vessel has been received overseas). In order to carry out permanent registration the following documents must be submitted to the local vessel and crew registration body:

• Application in prescribed form
• Certificate of Cancellation of old registration (in respect of used vessels) or certificate of ship delivery (in respect of new vessels)
• Certificate of Provisional Registration, if any
• Proof of ownership (building contract or contract for assignment of ownership or other valid evidence)
• Certificate of Vessel Classification, Certificate of Seaworthiness and Certificate of Tonnage Measurement, all of which must be issued by the Vietnam Shipping Registry or its authorized foreign shipping registry.
• Declaration of names, addresses and shareholdings of each shipowner, if the vessel is owned by more than one owner
• Certificate of payment of excise tax

The following documents are to be presented for review in support of the application for registration:
• Report on the satisfactory completion of a safety inspection by the Vietnam Shipping Registry or its authorized foreign shipping registry
• Ship Radio Station Permit (if the vessel is equipped with a radio station on board)
• Adequate evidence of the ownership of the vessel (the nature of such ownership, whether such vessel is seized, pledged or mortgaged)
• Certificate of Maritime Business Registration, Certificate of Fishing Business (if the vessel specializes in exploring and processing sea products), or other permits issued by an authorized Vietnamese State body

Faxed documents are not accepted.

Bareboat Charter Registration

Foreign vessels may be bareboat charter registered in Vietnam if the bareboat charterer is an enterprise which is duly established in Vietnam possessing all business licenses as required by law. Application documents for bareboat charter registration into the Vietnamese flag are to be submitted to the Vietnamese Registry and shall include:

• Application
• Certificate issued by the original (foreign) registry of the vessel certifying the temporary suspension of original registration during the bareboat charter period
• Adequate evidence of ownership of the vessel, including records of encumbrances, if any
• Bareboat charter agreement
• Certificate of Seaworthiness and Certificate of Tonnage Measurement

Application documents for bareboat charter registration to be presented for review by the Vietnamese Registry shall include:

• Report on the satisfactory completion of a safety inspection by the Vietnam Shipping Registry or its authorized foreign shipping registry
• Ship Radio Station Permit (if the vessel is equipped with a radio station on board)
• Certificate of maritime business registration or other certificates of the right to use or operate the vessel issued by an authorized Vietnamese State body
• Civil liability insurance policy of the shipowner

Bareboat charter registration outside the Vietnam Registry is also permitted for Vietnamese vessels if the law of the foreign country concerned so permits, provided that the vessel remains under the ownership of the Vietnamese shipowner and that the shipowner undertakes to perform fully all the obligations provided by the law of Vietnam. If the vessel is registered in Vietnam, the shipowner is required to lodge an application to temporarily suspend flying the Vietnamese flag in which case a Certificate of Temporary Suspension of Registration will be issued by the Central Shipping Registry of Vietnam.

Vietnamese law will be applied to questions relating to the ownership right of the bareboat charter registration vessel, and the law of the country in which the vessel is bareboat charter registered will be applied to questions relating to the operation and management of the vessel on the basis of the bareboat charter contract. The duration of bareboat charter registration into and out of the flag is not specifically provided by law and is normally based on the duration of bareboat charter contract.

Vessel and Yacht Eligibility & Survey Requirements

Vessels over 15 years of age are not permitted to register in Vietnam. In order to be registered in Vietnam, the vessel must be inspected or surveyed by the Vietnam Register or its authorized foreign registry and classified. It is also required to obtain all necessary permits in accordance with its class, type, and usage purposes.

Crewing

Vietnamese citizens and foreign citizens possessing satisfactory certificates of health and those qualifications stipulated by the laws of Vietnam are permitted to crew Vietnamese vessels. Foreign citizens are permitted to crew vessels which belong to a joint venture company between Vietnamese and foreign parties or companies with 100% foreign owned capital in Vietnam, provided that the number of foreign crew members does not exceed one third of the total crew members and that the shipmaster or the first mate is a Vietnamese citizen.

All Certificates of Competency issued by foreign authorities in this regard will only be accepted if they clearly state that those certificates have been issued in accordance with the provisions of a relevant international treaty to which Vietnam is a signatory or participant.

Mortgages

Shipowners should pay (send) dossiers to one of the following agencies: the Vietnam Maritime Department in Hai Phong City, Dist. Ho Chi Minh City or Danang Port Authorities.

Fees

Please contact:

VIETNAM MARITIME ADMINISTRATION
Address: No. 8 Pham Hung, Cau Giay, Hanoi
Phone: 84.024.37683065 (Fax: 84.024.37683058)
Email: cuchhvn@vinamarine.gov.vn

VICE MINISTER: NGUYEN XUAN SANG
Phone: (+84)024.37683061
Email: Sangnx@vinamarine.gov.vn

DEPUTY DIRECTOR: HOANG HONG GIANG
Phone: (+84)024.37683060
Email: Gianghh@vinamarine.gov.vn

DEPUTY DIRECTOR : NGUYEN HOANG NGO
Phone: (+84)024.37956054
Email: Nguyenhoang@vinamarine.gov.vn

DEPUTY DIRECTOR : NGUYEN DINH VIET
Phone: (+84)028.38273101
Email: Vietnd@vinamarine.gov.vn

OTHER CONTACT INFORMATION
Registration of ships and crew members: Registration of ships and crew members
Head of Department: Vu Khang Cuong
Email: cuongvk@vinamarine.gov.vn
Tel: 84.024.37683192
Fax: 84.024.37683058

Website: https://vinamarine.gov.vn/en

Contact

VIETNAM MARITIME ADMINISTRATION
Address: No. 8 Pham Hung, Cau Giay, Hanoi
Phone: 84.024.37683065 (Fax: 84.024.37683058)
Email: cuchhvn@vinamarine.gov.vn

VICE MINISTER: NGUYEN XUAN SANG
Phone: (+84)024.37683061
Email: Sangnx@vinamarine.gov.vn

DEPUTY DIRECTOR: HOANG HONG GIANG
Phone: (+84)024.37683060
Email: Gianghh@vinamarine.gov.vn

DEPUTY DIRECTOR : NGUYEN HOANG NGO
Phone: (+84)024.37956054
Email: Nguyenhoang@vinamarine.gov.vn

DEPUTY DIRECTOR : NGUYEN DINH VIET
Phone: (+84)028.38273101
Email: Vietnd@vinamarine.gov.vn

OTHER CONTACT INFORMATION
Registration of ships and crew members:
Registration of ships and crew members
Head of Department:
Vu Khang Cuong
Email: cuongvk@vinamarine.gov.vn
Tel: 84.024.37683192
Fax: 84.024.37683058

Stockholm Agreement 96
IMO Convention 48
* IMO amendments 91 
* IMO amendments 93
SOLAS Convention 74
SOLAS Protocol 78
SOLAS Protocol 88
LOAD LINES Convention 66
LOAD LINES Protocol 88
TONNAGE Convention 69
COLREG  Convention 72
CSC Convention 72
CSC amendments 93
SFV Protocol 93
STCW  Convention 78
STCW-F Convention 95
SAR  Convention 79
STP Agreement 71
STP Protocol 73
IMSO Convention 76
INMARSAT OA 76
INMARSAT amendments 94
INMARSAT amendments 98
IMSO amendments 2006
IMSO amendments 2008
FACILITATION Convention 65
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex I/II)
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex IV)
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex V)
MARPOL Protocol 97 (Annex VI)
London Convention 72
London Convention Protocol 96
INTERVENTION Convention 69
INTERVENTION Protocol 73
CLC Convention 69
CLC Protocol 76
CLC Protocol 92
FUND Convention 71
FUND Protocol 92
FUND Protocol 2003
NUCLEAR Convention 71
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex III)
PAL Protocol 76
PAL Protocol 90
PAL Protocol 02
LLMC Convention 76
LLMC Protocol 96
SUA Convention 2005
SUA Protocol 2005
SALVAGE Convention 89
OPRC  Convention 90
HNS Convention 96
OPRC/HNS 2000
BUNKERS CONVENTION 01
ANTI FOULING 01
BALLASTWATER 2004
NAIROBI WRC 2007
HONG KONG CONVENTION
HNS PROT 2010
Cape Town Agreement 2012
SUA Convention 88
SUA Protocol 88

IMO Conventions

Status of Conventions Vietnam

IMO Convention 48 x
SOLAS Convention 74 x
SOLAS Protocol 78 x
SOLAS Protocol 88 x
SOLAS Agreement 96
LOAD LINES Convention 66 x
LOAD LINES Protocol 88 x
TONNAGE Convention 69 x
COLREG Convention 72 x
CSC Convention 72 x
CSC amendments 93
SFV Protocol 93
Cape Town Agreement 2012
STCW Convention 78 x
STCW-F Convention 95
SAR Convention 79 x
STP Agreement 71
Space STP Protocol 73
IMSO Convention 76 x
INMARSAT OA 76 x
IMSO amendments 2006
IMSO amendments 2008
FACILITATION Convention 65 x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex I/II) x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex III) x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex IV) x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex V) x
MARPOL Protocol 97 (Annex VI) x
London Convention 72
London Convention Protocol 96
INTERVENTION Convention 69
INTERVENTION Protocol 73
CLC Convention 69
CLC Protocol 76
CLC Protocol 92 x
FUND Protocol 76
FUND Protocol 92
FUND Protocol 2003
NUCLEAR Convention 71
PAL Convention 74
PAL Protocol 76
PAL Protocol 90
PAL Protocol 02
LLMC Convention 76
LLMC Protocol 96
SUA Convention 88 x
SUA Protocol 88 x
SUA Convention 2005
SUA Protocol 2005
SALVAGE Convention 89
OPRC Convention 90
HNS Convention 96
HNS PROT 2010
OPRC/HNS 2000
BUNKERS CONVENTION 01 x
ANTI FOULING 2001 x
BALLASTWATER 2004
NAIROBI WRC 2007
HONG KONG CONVENTION

x= ratification
d=denunciation

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