Construction Operation License Instead of Contractor’s Permits for Foreign Contractor in Vietnam

The foreign contractors are only permitted to carry out construction activities in Vietnam so long as being granted construction operation license by Ministry of Construction as per the Construction Law.

EPC Contractors have increasingly been interested to learn the requirements of licenses and permits to operate in Vietnam. It is advised that the construction law firm in Vietnam with lawyers specializing in construction area to assist the foreign contractors to understand the legal frameworks, and requirements of foreign contractors before and after taking on construction projects in Vietnam after bidding result.

The regulations and procedures are promulgated in Decree No. 59/2015/NĐ-CP on management of construction investment projects and Circular No.14/2016/TT-BXD guiding on licensing construction activities and management of foreign construction contractors in Vietnam.

Investment in construction activities has been growingly rapidly. In order to meet the tender conditions and take part in construction activities in Vietnam, foreign contractors shall follow the regulations in Vietnam and obtain proper license during the preparation and the execution of the construction of the project.

Prior to construction operation license, foreign constructors have experienced another form of permit named contractor’s permits for foreign contractors in Vietnam. These are two concepts however the process of registration and document requirements are not so different.

There has been an effort to harmonize and reduce differences and conflicts arisen in many fields of laws regulating the mentioned subject and the new provisions of the Law on Bidding, Construction Law and the Investment Law to be issued in 2014 which establish a stable legal framework for the implementation of foreign contractor’s bidding and construction activities in Vietnam.  This changes does not differentiate which position the foreign contractors are appointed from the lead contractor, the main contractor, contractor to subcontractor consortium. Unlike domestic contractors, foreign contractors must be granted construction operation license for each awarded contract.  The amendment from the contractor’s permits for foreign contractor contribute to the unity of the same concept in different legal instruments regulating the license procedure of foreign contractors operating within the territory of Vietnam, and limit the unnecessary overlaps, difficulties to law interpretation and application of legal entities.

We shouldn’t forget to mention that the amendment of the foreign contractor’s construction operation license is to increase the relevance between the name and nature of the licensed activities of foreign contractors in construction operation. One of the initial conditions to a foreign contractor to be licensed is when the contractor has won a bid or been selected to be sub-contractor of an investment project. Therefore, the terms construction operation license shall demonstrate the role of the contractor in the construction projects they have been participated in.

The new construction operation license for foreign contractor is expected to be easier to relate to when foreign contractor take part in construction project in Vietnam.  This would attract more foreign contractors to undertake construction projects in Vietnam to bring in the technology equipment, as well as the management skills to Vietnam.

In Vietnam, like other countries companies seeking to build an office building or industrial facility work with the contractor through a construction contract

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Construction Operation License vs Contractor's License
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Construction Operation License vs Contractor's License
EPC Contractors have increasingly been interested to learn the requirements of licenses and permits to operate in Vietnam.

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