Frequent inspections tire Vietnamese business owners


Updated : 04/11/2017 15:35 GMT + 7

A traffic inspector examines fire extinguishers installed on a long-haul bus in Hanoi.

Despite a government order dictating that authorities only inspect businesses once a year, enterprises in Vietnam are facing repeated inspections that do more harm than good to their business.

A paper manufacturing company based in Ho Chi Minh City said it has been the subject of approximately 30 inspections by authorities since 2015.

In 2015, it was inspected 13 times by various administrative bodies, including three environmental units and four firefighting departments.

Last year, it was checked by eight firefighting delegations of varying levels, two environmental units, a food hygiene agency, a nuclear radiation safety body, and the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

The firm was subjected to inspection four times in January-April this year.

The government said in December 2016 that companies could only be inspected one time a year.

The company’s owner, who asked to remain anonymous, said that there had been times when his company had been forced to ‘welcome’ two delegations of inspectors on the same day, both inspecting compliance on environmental protection measures.

“My company has had to establish a new division dedicated to the reception of inspectors,” the owner said. “Isn’t there communication between the authorities so that they won’t have to inspect things that have already been inspected?”

Moreover, he said, the authorities seemed to be ‘determined’ to find fault with the company and would rarely conclude their inspections without some kind of ‘violation.’

“It takes up a lot of our time to receive one inspection after another; it’s almost unbearable,” the owner said, drawing a sigh.

According to Van Duc Muoi, the former CEO of local food producer Vissan, the mindset of inspectors is to ‘dig up dirt’ on businesses, instead of facilitating compliance.

“There needs to be comprehensive changes in our regulatory environment if we are to encourage the growth of business,” Muoi said.

N., director of a local auditing firm, said not only have tax authorities carried out too many inspections, but the duration of each one has also been unnecessarily long.

The maximum allowable duration of a tax inspection is “five actual working days,” an ambiguous term that has been taken advantage of by tax authorities in order to lengthen their checks over weeks, N. said.

Rather than commencing their inspection on Monday and concluding it on Friday, the authorities inspect his company once a week, prolonging the course of their work to over a month.

“We have no choice but to grin and bear it, for it only takes up more time to pursue a legal angle,” N. explained. “Bringing the case to court might hurt our business in the future.”

This entry was posted in Economics - Kinh tế and tagged , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development ( I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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