New law to tighten control of technology imports

14:15 | 15/05/2018 Science - Technology

(VEN) - A new Law on Technology Transfer will come into force on July 1, 2018, including a chapter on technology imports for investment projects designed to prevent the import of machinery, equipment and technological lines that waste energy and raw materials, and cause environmental pollution.

new law to tighten control of technology imports

Currently, the import of technologies for foreign-invested projects is controlled by provisions of the Law on Investment, the Law on Technology Transfer, the Commercial Law and the Construction Law. In addition, the import of used equipment and technological lines is controlled through provisions such as Decision 46/2001/QD-TTg on the management of goods import and export, and Decree 12/2006/ND-CP detailing the implementation of the Commercial Law regarding international goods sale and purchase. Circular 23/2015/TT-BKHCN of the Ministry of Science and Technology also addresses the import of used machinery, equipment and technological lines.

According to the Ministry of Science and Technology, since 2011, it has commented on 284 investment projects in accordance with the existing laws and decisions. During the 2010-2017 period, 115 technology transfer contracts valued at an estimated VND447 trillion were signed.

In order to enhance the technology appraisal of investment projects, the new law stipulates that in the stage of investment policy decisions, investment projects using technologies restricted for transfer and technology-using investment projects at risk of adversely affecting the environment require appraisal by competent authorities. In the stage of investment decisions, construction investment projects using technologies restricted for transfer or technology-using construction investment projects at risk of adversely affecting the environment must be appraised technologically in accordance with the law. The technologies of construction investment projects other than those mentioned above must be appraised in accordance with the Construction Law. Investment projects using public investment funds without construction components must be appraised in accordance with the Law on Public Investment. The Ministry of Science and Technology is urgently developing guidelines to implement the Law on Technology Transfer.

The Ministry of Science and Technology made amendments to Circular 23/2015/TT-BKHCN and coordinated with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to develop decrees guiding the Law on Foreign Trade Management. Accordingly, a piece of used equipment may be imported if its age does not exceed 10 years. Two cases of exemption are stipulated in Circular 23 to import used machinery over 10 years of age. The first for equipment belonging to an investment project with a decision of the competent authority on investment policies plus an investment registration certificate issued in accordance with the Law on Investment. The second relates to cases in which an enterprise has to import a piece of machinery older than 10 years in order to sustain its manufacturing or business operation. The cooperation of the Ministry of Science and Technology is then required to consider the firm’s proposal and documents.

The Ministry of Science and Technology will coordinate with relevant ministries and departments to amend legal documents in order to adopt the legal framework to synchronously implement the technology appraisal, and develop policies on the import of technologies suitable to each stage of socioeconomic development.

Quynh Nga