This article articulates a few more updates on the draft decree amending Decree No. 06/2016/ND-CP on the management, provision and use of radio and television services (“Draft Decree 06“) in Vietnam.

Specifically, following the approval of Vietnam’s New Cinema Law and to keep consistency with provisions on the dissemination of films in cyberspace herein, the Ministry of Information and Communications is now working on Draft Decree 06. 

Below are noteworthy summaries reflecting the latest development of Draft Decree 06 for your reference: 

1. Local entity establishment requirement for offshore on-demand service providers

There remain obligations for an offshore radio and television service provider to establish a local entity in Vietnam to render its services.

Specifically, Draft Decree 06 keeps providing a broad definition of radio-television services, which can be interpreted to include on-demand services.

As a result, providers of on-demand services, which are considered a kind of radio-television services, must be enterprises established according to Vietnamese law.

In other words, offshore on-demand service providers are not permitted to directly render the services on a cross-border basis but instead have to incorporate in Vietnam (i.e., having an entity established under Vietnamese law) before providing such services into the country. 

2. Licensing requirements for subscription radio and television services

The licensing requirement still applies to subscription radio-television services, including on-demand services, whether or not the service providers only provide films in their offering.

This can be broadly interpreted that only licensed providers can provide subscription radio-television services to users in Vietnam, indicating that all on-demand service providers, without exception, shall be licensed by competent state authorities before providing the services in Vietnam. 

3. New requirements on content editing for on-demand services

Upon the newly approved post-examination approach for online disseminated films under the Cinema Law, Draft Decree 06 appears to provide some adjustments concerning requirements for on-demand content editing.

Accordingly, on-demand service providers are entitled to self-classify films and sports and entertainment programs. This approach, however, does not apply to news and affair programs and programs on politics, national defense, security, economy, and society.

In particular:

  • News and affair programs and programs on politics, national defence, security, economy, and society must have their contents edited by the press agency having license on radio and television operation before being provided.
  • Before providing their services, film providers must meet all pre-conditions that permit them to self-classify films in accordance with the Government’s regulations. In case these pre-conditions have not been met, film providers can request the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism or its authorized agency to perform the classification of films that have not yet been granted a Permit for film classification or a Broadcasting Decision. This is consistent with the provision under the new Cinema Law.
  • Providers of sports and entertainment programs must: (i) proactively edit and classify content before providing such programs on the services; and (ii) display warnings when providing the services.
  • The translation of foreign on-demand radio and television content shall be performed in accordance with market demand and in a manner that the Vietnamese language and its purity can be respected and preserved.
  • The failure to comply with the content edition and classification requirement can result in the content dissemination being prevented by the MIC and other competent agencies.

For the sake of clarity, while the new Cinema Law has officially been issued and will come into effect from 01 January 2023, Draft Decree 06 is still in the draft form, and its effective date and the deadline for compliance have not yet been decided. That said, with the issuance of the Cinema Law, we believe that Draft Decree 06 will soon be finalized and promulgated.