Danny Nguyen from VB Law, Vietnam has provided this update.
On 4 September 2012 the Government issued Decree No. 64/2012/ND-CP Providing Regulations on Issuance of Construction Permits. Effective as of 20 October 2012, Decree 64 regulates (i) the conditions, sequence, procedures and authority for issuing construction permits, (ii) supervision of actual building of works in accordance with construction permits (iii) and rights and responsibilities of organizations and individuals involved in the work of issuing construction permits and in the work of managing construction pursuant to such permits.
This Decree applies to (i) both domestic and foreign organizations and individuals who are investors of construction works and (ii) to organizations and individuals involved in the work of issuing construction permits and supervising actual building of works pursuant to such permits within the territory of Vietnam.
1. Cases Where Construction Permits Are Exempted
An investor must have a construction permit before commencing building of works, except to build or construct the following works:
- State secret works; works to be constructed pursuant to an emergency order; temporary works to service construction of the main works; and other works exempt from a construction permit pursuant to Government regulations;
- Works built along a route not passing through urban areas but consistent with the construction master plan approved by the competent State authority;
- Works belonging to a construction investment project for which the Prime Minister of the Government or a minister, head of a ministerial body or chairman of a provincial people’s committee issued the investment decision;
- Works being interior repairs, renovation or equipment installation which does not alter the external architecture, load-bearing structure, use function and safety of the works; and
- Technical infrastructure works only requiring formulation of an eco-technical report, and separate houses in remote and distant regions for which there is no rural residential master plan (master plan on construction of new rural communes) approved by the competent State authority.
2. Types of Construction Permits
Construction permits comprise the following types: (i) new construction, (ii) repairs or renovation and (iii) relocation of works.
Applicable to Grade I works and special works, if the investor so wishes it may request issuance of a phased construction permit. With respect to works not built along a route, a construction permit shall be issued for a maximum two phases comprising the phase of construction of the foundation and underground section basement (if any) and the phase of construction of the body of the works. With respect to a project comprising many works, the investor may request issuance of a construction permit for one, more or all of the works belonging to the project.
3. General Conditions for Issuing Construction Permits
All types of construction works and separate houses shall be issued with a construction permit when they satisfy the following conditions:
- Compliance with the construction master plan, land use purpose and investment objective;
- Depending on the construction scale, nature and location, works must, in order to be eligible for issuance of a construction permit, comply with regulations on red line boundaries and construction boundaries; ensure safety of the works and neighbouring works and also the requirements on: height clearance limit, waterway clearance, environmental protection, fire fighting and protection, infrastructure (transport, power, water and telecom), safety corridor in the case of irrigation works, dyke works, energy works and traffic works, requirements on cultural heritage sites, and ensure a safe distance from works which are inflammable, explosive, toxic, or important works related to national security and defence; and
- The construction design file must be prepared by an organization or individual qualified in accordance with regulations, and it must also be evaluated and approved in accordance with regulations. Applicable to a separate house with a total floor area of less than 250m2, less than three floors and not within a cultural heritage or historical site, the investor is permitted to itself arrange construction design and shall be liable for the safety of the building and of neighbouring works.
4. Term of Construction Permits
An investor shall only have a time limit of 12 months to commence construction from the date of issue of the construction permits. If building has not commenced 30 days prior to expiry of the construction permit, then the investor must apply for an extended construction permit. Each construction permit may only be extended on one occasion and for a maximum 6 months. An investor who has still not commenced building on expiry of the extended period must apply for a new construction permit.
The information contained in this legal column is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. The information on the column is provided with the understanding that such advice is not herein engaged in rendering legal, tax, or other professional advice and services. As such, before making any decision or taking any action, you should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue.