When are giving and receiving gifts not considered as corruption in Vietnam?

Recently, the National Assembly of Vietnam has issued the Anti-corruption Law 2018, replacing the Anti-corruption Law 2005, amended in 2007 and 2012.

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According to Article 22 of the Anti-corruption Law 2018 of Vietnam, giving and receiving gifts are prescribed as follows:

Article 22. Giving and receiving gifts

1. State organizations and office holders must not use public funds or public assets as gifts, unless they are given for charitable purposes, diplomatic purposes and other cases in which it is necessary as prescribed by law.

2. State organizations and office holders must not directly or indirectly receive gifts in any shape or form from another organization or individual that is relevant to the tasks they are performing or under their management.

Thus, giving and receiving gifts, if contrary to the above provisions, is considered a corrupt act. In case the gift is not refused but must be accepted, the agency, organization or unit must organize the management and handling of the gift according to the provisions of Article 27 of the Decree No. 59/2019/NĐ-CP of the Vietnam’s Government. Specifically:

- If the gifts are cash or financial instruments, the heads of agencies, organizations or units must take over, preserve and turn it in the government budget as per law.

- If the gifts are goods or products, the heads of agencies, organizations or units must take over, preserve and proceed to:

+ Determine the price of the gifts based on the price provided by the giver (if any) or the price of similar products on the market. If the price of the gifts cannot be determined, the competent agencies may be required to evaluate the price;

+ Decide to sell and publicly sell the gifts as per law;

+ After taking into account the cost of disposal, the proceeds minus cost will be transferred to the government budget within 30 days from the day on which the gifts are sold.

- If the gifts are services such as domestic or overseas sightseeing, travel, medical, education and training, internship, practice and other services, the heads of the agencies, organizations or units must inform the corresponding service providers of not using the gifted services.

- If the gifts are animals, plants, raw or fresh food and other products difficult to preserve, the heads of the agencies, organizations or units based on the current situation and comply with regulations and law on handling confiscated material evidence in administrative sanctions to handle the gifts within their competence or report to the competent agencies for further consideration and solutions.

View more details at the Anti-corruption Law 2018 of Vietnam, effective from July 01, 2019.

Phuong Thanh

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