Need-to-know Joint children of spouses

Need-to-know Joint children of spouses

NEED-TO-KNOW

JOINT CHILDREN OF SPOUSES

1. What is the purpose of determining the joint child of the spouses?

The determination of joint children of spouses is intended to record the relationship of father, mother and child, thereby serving as a basis for resolving issues of child custody when divorcing, inheritance, fulfillment of alimony obligations,…

2. When to call a joint child of the spouses?[i]

  • Children born (including assisted reproductive births, surrogacy for humanitarian purposes) during marriage period or because the wife becomes pregnant during the marriage are joint children of the
  • Children born within 300 days from the time of termination of marriage are considered children due to the wife’s pregnancy during the marriage period.
  • Children born before the date of marriage registration and recognized by their parents as joint children of the spouses.

3. What about exceptions?

  • If the father and/or the mother does not admit the child, if there is evidence (e.g. the results of the AND assessment), a petition must be filed and it must be determined by the Court.[ii]
  • In case the natural father and/or mother wants to recognize a child, if there is evidence (such as the results of the AND assessment), the application for registration of adoption shall be submitted to the commune-level People’s Committee.3

[i] Clause 1 of Articles 88, 93 and 94 of the Law on Marriage and Family No. 52/2014/QH13

[ii] Clause 2, Article 88 of the Law on Marriage and Family No. 52/2014/QH13

3 Article 25 of the Law on Civil Status No. 60/2014/QH13

Need-to-know Joint children of spouses

Need-to-know Effective time of the Non-disclosure agreement

NEED-TO-KNOW

EFFECTIVE TIME OF THE NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT

The Non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is usually not the main contract, but it’s effective time may not coincide with the main contract, unlike other accompanying agreements. Basically, the NDA effective time is the period during which the Recipient is obliged to keep confidential information confidential as desired by the Provider.

How should this effective time be prescribed?

  • Benefit to the Provider: This effect should be indefinite, meaning that even if the Master Contract terminates and/or the transaction ends, the Recipient must keep confidential information confidential.

Example: This Non-disclosure agreement is effective from the time the Recipient first acquires the Confidential Information, continuously and forever (including if the Master Contract and/or Transaction is terminated, cancelled or invalidated).

  • Benefit to the Recipient: This effect should be narrow, meaning that when the Main Contract is terminated, the Recipient is no longer required to keep confidential information confidential.

Example: This Non-disclosure agreement is effective from the time it is entered into by the Parties, continues continuously and terminates at the same time as the Master Contract.

  • Cân bằng cho Các Bên: This effect should be deterministic, i.e. after a certain period of time (at which time the disclosed confidential information is not harmful to the Provider) the NDA ceases and the Recipient is no longer required to keep the confidential information confidential.

Example: This Confidentiality Agreement is effective from the time the Recipient first acquires the Confidential Information, is continuous and terminates [36 months] from the time of termination of the Master Contract.

(Where there is special confidential information that needs to be protected forever, an “exception rule” should be added.)

Note: In fact, many NDAs stipulate “… the obligation to keep confidentiality of Confidential Information in effect after the termination of this NDA, which may affect the enforceability, as the question arises: Does the NDA terminate, does the Recipient’s liability provision for breach of confidentiality obligation remain valid?

Need-To-Know Validity Of Digital Signature

Need-To-Know Validity Of Digital Signature

NEED-TO-KNOW

VALIDITY OF DIGITAL SIGNATURE

1. What is a digital signature? A digital signature (DS) is a form of electronic signature of an individual or organization. DS can be provided by an official unit (providing DS certification services in accordance with Vietnamese law, such as VNPT, Viettel, FIS CORP,…) or unofficially (not licensed by the Government of Vietnam).

2. Does DS invalidate a civil transaction?

Transactions signed with DS have the same legal validity as directly signed[i], when DS meets the security conditions prescribed by law (validity, secret key, public key, control of the signers secret key,…). In other words, signing with a legally satisfactory DS will not render the transaction invalid.

Note, according to Vietnamese law[ii], Transactions are considered invalid when the subject establishing the transaction laDS capacity (passive legal, active legal). Simply, we need to verify that the DS really belongs to the partner’s representative and is it legal?

We think that the use of DS provided by an official unit would be advantageous in this verification, as well as when requesting the deed as evidence if a dispute arises in this regard (using unofficial DS, even provided by a world-renowned unit,  but it will be difficult to prove this).

3. Does the Company’s individual DS have a legal risk for transactions?

If the transaction is signed using the Companys legitimate DS, then it is essentially valid, the likelihood of invalidity will be very low.

If the transaction is signed with a personal DS (whether a individual of the Company, a legal representative, even with the Companys seal), then it can still be disputed as to the validity of the transaction resulting in the transaction being invalid. Because then, the conclusion will depend on the evidence proving the legitimacy of DS as mentioned above.

 

[i] Article 8 and 9 of Decree No. 130/2018/ND-CP

[ii] Articles 122 and 117 of the Civil Code No. 91/2015/QH13

Need-to-know Joint children of spouses

Need-to-know Definition of Confidential Information in the Non-Disclosure Agreement

NEED-TO-KNOW

DEFINITION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION IN THE NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT

Is the definition of Confidential Information (CI) important? Definition of CI as the first thing to know in the Non-Disclosure Agreement. It helps you determine the object of rights and obligations – helps to answer the question of what information must be kept confidential, which does not.

How should CI be defined?

  • Benefit to the Provider: CI should be understood in an expansive sense, meaning any information received and acquired by the Recipient arising out of and/or in connection with the transaction between the Parties.
  • Example: CI means any and all information that the Recipient (i) receives from the Provider or a Third Party; and/or (ii) obtained in the course of the Transaction arising out of and/or in connection with the Transaction between the Parties at any time (before, during and after the termination of the Transaction) in oral, written, digital data or any other form of communication (tangible or intangible).
  • Benefit to the Recipient: CI should be understood in a narrow sense, i.e. only trade secrets or information that have been jointly confirmed by the Parties to be confidential.
  • Example: TTM means the trade secret(s) and information in the possession of the Supplier which has been jointly confirmed by the Parties as confidential, which the Provider delivers to the Recipient during the execution and validity of the Transaction.
  • Balancing the Parties: CI should be construed in such a way that it is identified by the Provider at its sole discretion and notified to the Receiving Party as confidential.

Example: CI means any and all information received by the Recipient (i) from the Provider and/or obtained during the Transaction; and (ii) has been identified and notified by the Provider as confidential, arising out of and/or in connection with a Transaction between the Parties in oral, written, digital data or any other form of communication communication (tangible or intangible).

Covid-19 and Legal Perspective on Force Majeure

Covid-19 and Legal Perspective on Force Majeure

Covid 19 and Force Majeure

On 1st Feb 2020 in Vietnam, the Prime Minister issued Decision No. 173/QD-TTg about the Declaration of Covid-19 epidemic – novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease[1] (“Covid-19”). On that basis, recently the State authorities have issued a number of documents to prevent and control this Covid-19, which may have affected company’s production, business and human resources activities, as well as the ability to perform contractual obligations previously concluded.

Therefore, QNT Law Firm would like to send this Legal Update to you in order to help you get a basic view on some of legal issues related to Covid-19, namely: Force Majeure and Basic Change of Circumstances under laws of Vietnam. Hopefully this document will be useful to you in the meantime.

1.       Force Majeure

Under the provisions of laws of Vietnam, where an obligor is not able to perform a civil obligation due to an event of force majeure, it shall not have civil liability[2], commercial liability[3] unless otherwise agreed or otherwise provided by law.

In particular, a force majeure event (“Force Majeure”) is understood to be an event which occurs in an objective manner which is not able to be foreseen and which is not able to be remedied by all possible necessary and admissible measures being taken[4]. Accordingly, to an event is called Force Majeure when:

  • An event occurs in an objective manner which is not able to be foreseen; and
  • (Consequences of the event/Liability) which is not able to be remedied (by the exempt Party) by all possible necessary and admissible measures being taken.

In connection with the Covid-19, we understand that:

  • Firstly, emphasize that, the Prime Minister’s Decision on the declaration of Covid-19 above is not a sufficient legal basis so that you do not have to bear civil and commercial liability due to the Force Majeure.
  • Secondly, the Prime Minister’s Decision on the declaration of Covid-19 above is the legal basis for determining that the Covid-19 is an objective manner occurrence[5] – only one of the conditions for obtaining the Covid-19 could be considered a Force Majeure to waive liability for the exempt Party.
  • Thirdly, when the Covid-19 may referred to as an force majeure event to waive liability for its failed obligations, the obligor must prove[6] that it failed to remedy the consequences of the event (cause of failure to comply with the obligations), although he/his has taken all necessary measures in its permissible capacity to remedy them.

In addition, from 18 December 2015, Vietnam officially ratified the accession to the Vienna Convention on the Contract of International Sales of Goods of the United Nations (CISG). In particular, Clause 1, Article 79 of the CISG also provides for exemption of liability, specifically: “A party is not liable for a failure to perform any of his obligations if he proves that the failure was due to an impediment beyond his control and that he could not reasonably be expected to have taken the impediment into account at the time of the conclusion of the contract or to have avoided or overcome it or its consequences.”.

The exemption of liability due to a Force Majeure shall be determined on a case-by-case basis, on the basis of consideration of the Parties’ lawful terms of agreement on definitions, conditions of application and legal consequences, etc. of the Force Majeure stipulated in the signed Contract.

2.       Basic Change of Circumstances

Under the provisions of laws of Vietnam, in the case of basic circumstances change, the affected party may request the other party to the re-negotiate the contract in a reasonable period of time[7].

In particular, the basic change of circumstances (“BCC”) is construed as having fully met the following conditions:

  • The circumstances change due to objective reasons occurred after the conclusion of the contract;
  • At the time of concluding the contract, the parties could not foresee a change in circumstances;
  • The circumstances change such greatly that if the parties know in advance, the contract has not been concluded or are concluded, but with completely different content;
  • The continuation of the contract without the change in the contract would cause serious damage to one party;
  • The party having interests adversely affected has adopted all the necessary measures in its ability, in accordance with the nature of the contract, cannot prevent or minimize the extent of effect. [8]

The BBC and Force Majeure are mainly different in the following:

CriteriaForce MajeureBasic Change of Circumstances
DesireThe obligor wishes to be exempt from liability.The affected party wishes to renegotiate the Contract.
ConditionsRequests cannot overcome the consequences of an event even though all necessary measures have been taken in its ability (they cannot fulfill their obligations).Requests has taken all necessary measures in its ability, in accordance with the nature of the contract, cannot prevent or minimize the extent of effect (they cannot prevent, minimize damage).

In connection with the Covid-19, we understand that:

  • Firstly, the Prime Minister’s Decision on the declaration of Covid-19 above is the legal basis for determining the condition of “objective reasons occurred”.
  • Secondly, the affected Party must basically demonstrate the following issues:
  • There is a great change in the circumstances of Contract performance compared to the signed time.
  • Serious damage to them if the content of the Contract is not changed.
  • It has taken all necessary measures in its ability, consistent with the nature of the Contract but could not prevent, minimize the extent of effect.

Therefore, if the consequences of the Covid-19 cause serious damage when performing the Contract, you can consider applying this BCC provision. If the Parties cannot reach an agreement on amending the Contract within a reasonable period of time, any of the Parties may request a Court to handle. Note that, in the process of negotiating amendments and termination of the Contract and the Court handling the case, the Parties must continue to perform its obligations under the Contract, unless otherwise agreed.


[1] Replaced by the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 447/QD-TTg dated April 1, 2020

[2] Clause 2 Article 351 Civil Code No. 91/2015/QH13

[3] Point (b) Clause 1 Article 294 Law on Commercial No. 36/2005/QH11

[4] Clause 1 Article 156 Civil Code No. 91/2015/QH13

[5] This issue is based on information officially published in Vietnam.

[6] Clause 2 Article 294 of Law on Commercial stipulates: “The contract-breaching party shall bear the burden of proof of cases of liability exemption

[7] Clause 2 Article 420 Civil Code No. 91/2015/QH13

[8] Clause 1 Article 420 Civil Code No. 91/2015/QH13

New substances of Circular No.39/2016/TT-NHNN

NEW SUBSTANCES OF CIRCULAR NO.39/2016/TT-NHNN

    On 30 December 2016, the Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN (“Circular 39”) was promulgated by the State Bank of Vietnam and replaced Decision No. 1627/2001/QD-NHNN (hereinafter referred to as “Replaced Documents”) is effective from 15 March 2017 on the Regulation on lending activities of credit institutions and foreign bank branches to customers.

    According to our understanding, the Circular 39 has some new important points about the legal status of borrowers, purposes of borrowing, loan interest rate, loan term, sample credit contract, publication of conditions, overdue debt transfer and debt collection order.

    Specifically, the Circular 39 has some important changes to be considered as follows:

    1. Legal status of Borrowers

    The Circular 39 stipulated that “Customer performing a borrowing transaction with a credit institution (hereinafter referred to as borrowing customer) refers to any legal entity or individual, including: a) Legal entities established and operated within the territory of Vietnam and/or those established abroad and legally operated within the territory of Vietnam; b) Vietnamese and/or foreign nationals.”[1]

    We realize that the difference in this new substance is the customer performing a borrowing transaction with a credit institution only includes legal entities and individuals. It means that organizations being non-legal entity (e.g. households, cooperative groups, private enterprises, other non-legal entities) are not entitled to borrow capital from credit institutions. This is also consistent with the provisions in the Civil Code 2015[2].

    Previously, the Replaced Documents stipulated that customers borrowing from credit institutions shall be Vietnamese and foreign organizations, individuals that are capable of repayment and have demand for funds borrowing…, means that the replaced law allows the borrowers to include households, cooperative groups, private businesses or partnerships company.

    2. Purposes of Borrowing

    In Circular 39, there are two (2) groups of loan purposes, including: Consumer loan and Business loan, namely:

    • Consumer loan means “a credit institution’s granting a loan to an individual customer’s demands for borrowed funds to pay consumption or living expenses for his/her personal or family purposes[3]; and

    • Business loan means “a credit institution’s granting a loan to a legal entity or individual to meet the demands for borrowed funds other than those referred to in Clause 4 of this Article (Consumer loan), including the demands for borrowed funds by that legal entity or individual, and the demands for borrowed funds by a business household or private company of which that individual is the legal owner[4].

    We realize that the difference in this new substance is the fact that the Circular 39 does not limit the purposes of borrowing as the Substitute Documents, which divides the demand for loans into the two groups mentioned above. Previously, the Replaced Documents have limited the loan purposes of customers in the implementation of investment projects, plan of production, business and service activity or investment projects, plan of domestic and overseas living standard improvement.

    It should be noted that, according to the Circular 39, although the organizations being non-legal entity will be not entitled to borrow capital from credit institutions, but the Circular 39 allows the credit institutions grant a loan to individual customer who is the head of household business or owner of private enterprise to meet the capital needs of business households and private enterprises.

    3. Loan Re-Structuring

    For the loan re-structuring, the Circular 39 stipulated that Credit institutions shall not be allowed to approve the following loan demands:

    • Loans used for repaying loan debts owed to lending credit institutions, except for those used for paying loan interest arising during the construction process of which cost is accounted for in the construction cost estimate approved by a regulatory authority in accordance with laws.

    • Loans used for repaying loan debts owed to other credit institutions and foreign loan debts, except for loans used for repaying debts prior to the payment due date that fully meet the following requirements:

    a) Be a loan used for business activities;

    b) Have the loan term that does not exceed the residual loan term of an older loan;

    c) Be a loan under which the debt rescheduling has not been carried out[5].

     We realize that Circular 39 has a change in the loan re-structuring regulations compared with the Replaced Documents with a view to tighten controlling over lending to repayment.

    4. Loan interest rate

    The Circular 39 stipulated that,

    • Maximum interest rate: “A credit institution and its customer shall agree on the interest rate depending on capital demands and supplies on the market, loan demands and creditworthiness of customers[6], unless otherwise the interest rate on short-term loan denominated in Vietnamese dong “shall not allow it to exceed the maximum interest rate decided by the State Bank’s Governor over periods of time in order to meet certain demands for borrowed fund[7];

    • Late payment interest: If a customer fails to make due payment of interest, “the customer must pay late payment interest charged at the interest rate agreed upon between the credit institution and customer which is not allowed to exceed 10%/year interest rate on the outstanding balance of late payment interest in proportion to the period of late payment[8];

    • Interest on the overdue principal: Where a debt has become delinquent, “the customer owing a delinquent debt must pay interest on the outstanding amount of principal which is overdue in proportion to the period of late payment for which the interest rate charged is not allowed to exceed 150% of the interest rate charged on due repayment that is determined upon the date of such debt becoming delinquent[9]

    • Variable interest rate: Where the variable interest rate is applied, “a credit institution and customer must enter into an agreement on principles and factors for determination of the variable interest rate, and on the date of adjustment to the loan interest rate. In cases where referring to factors for determination of the variable interest rate results in different loan interest rates, the credit institution shall apply the lowest loan interest rate[10].

    We realize that the importance in this new substance is the fact that the regulation of maximum interest rate applies only to case of the short-term loan denominated in Vietnamese dong in the priority areas stipulated in Circular 39. Furthermore, in addition to the interest on the principal, there was a clear regulation of the maximum and the calculation of the late payment interest, the interest on the overdue principal and the variable interest rate in order to avoid conflict in the understanding of the parties.

    5. Loan term

    The Circular 39 stipulated that,

    • Loan term refers to “a period of time starting on the day following the day when a credit institution begins to disburse the borrowed fund to a customer and ending on the day when that customer has to repay principal and interest amounts in full as agreed upon between the credit institution and customer[11];

    • Credit institutions will grant a decision into the following categories:

    • Short-term loan, defined as loans having the maximum loan term of 01 (one) year.

    • Medium-term loan, defined as loans having the loan term between above 01 (one) year and 05 (five) years at the maximum.

    • Long-term loan, defined as loans having the loan term of more than 05 (five) years[12].

    We realize that the difference in this new substance is (i) the loan term is not calculated from the received time of the loan by clients; and (ii) the loan term is determined by year rather than month.

    6. Some other substances

    • Currency of repaying debts: Besides the regulations on currency of lending in the same previously, the Circular 39 has a substance specifically on currency of repaying debts – “Currency unit used for debt repayment is the one used in a loan[13].

    • Fee paid for a commitment to borrowed fund: The Circular 39 has a substance on Fee paid for a commitment to borrowed fund, specifically the credit institution and customers can agree on the payment of “Fee paid for a commitment to borrowed fund withdrawal during the period from the date of entry into force of the loan agreement to the date of initial disbursement of borrowed fund[14].

    • Penalty and compensation: Circular 39 stipulated that credit institutions and customers have the right to agree on penalties and compensation in case of defaulting on a loan, unless otherwise the loan principal and/or interest. Also, we note that, if there is not an agreement on both of penalty and compensation, the defaulting party shall only be subject to the penalty for violation (without compensation)[15].

    • Delinquent debt: The Circular 39 stipulated that “The credit institution shall perform delinquency procedures for the principal amount of which repayment is not made by the agreed due date and rescheduling is not accepted by the credit institution”[16]. The difference in this new substance is a replacement of “the whole outstanding amount of debt” with “the outstanding amount of principal of customers cannot repay on time” – This is a rule to avoid conflict in the understanding of the parties in past.

    • Post the contract templates, general conditions of lending: The Circular 39 stipulated that the credit institution shall be obliged to

    • Make a public notice of such contract templates and general contractual terms and conditions regarding lending activities at its office, and make posts on its website;

    • Provide a full amount of information about these contract templates and general terms and conditions of which a customer should be informed prior to conclusion of a loan agreement, and obtain customer’s confirmation that the credit institution has already provided all necessary information[17].

    • Notify early debt recovery: Upon delinquency, debt termination and debt recovery prior to the agreed due date, the credit institution shall notify the customer of such delinquency, loan termination and early debt recovery[18].

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    [1] Clause 3 Article 2 of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN

    [2] Civil Code No. 91/2015/QH13 dated 24 month 11 year 2015 by the National Assembly XIII of Viet Nam

    [3] Clause 4 Article 2 of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN

    [4] Clause 5 Article 2 of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN

    [5] Clause 5 and 6 Article 8 of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN

    [6] Clause 1 Article 13 of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN

    [7] Clause 2 Article 13 of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN

    [8] Clause 4(b) Article 13 of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN

    [9] Clause 4(b) Article 13 of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN

    [10] Clause 5 Article 13 of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN

    [11] Clause 8 Article 2 of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN

    [12] Article 10 of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN

    [13] Clause 2 Article 11 of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN

    [14] Clause 4 Article 14 of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN

    [15] Article 25 of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN

    [16] Article 20 of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN

    [17] Clause 4 Article 23 of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN

    [18] Article 20 and Clause 1 Article 21 of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN

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    @ Copyright 2017 – QNT Law Firm – The article was written within and complies with the relevant legislation at the published time