Regulations of Radio and Television Services in Vietnam
What Changes in Decree 71/2022/ND-CP on Regulations of Radio and Television Services in Vietnam?
Along with the strong development of the Internet is an increase in people’s demand for using television services on the Internet instead of the traditional methods. Television services on the Internet providing domestic and foreign programs, movies, etc. have brought a significant source of revenue for domestic and foreign enterprises providing radio and television services. However, to ensure legal fairness for domestic enterprises as well as foreign enterprises doing business in providing this service to users, on October 1st, 2022, the Government issued Decree 71/2022/ND-CP amending and supplementing some articles of Decree No. 06/2016/ND-CP dated January 18th, 2016 on management, provision and use of radio and television services. The promulgated Decree has added new regulations on the management of domestic and foreign enterprises providing radio and television services, or in other words, changes in broadcast law in Vietnam. Specific details should be advised by media and entertainment lawyers in Vietnam however this write-up expects to provide some update on the development of regulations in this area.
As for management policies, the Decree stipulates the management of the provision and use of radio and television services in Vietnam, including radio and television services on the Internet, or across borders to users in the territory of Vietnam. Accordingly, foreign enterprises providing across borders radio and television services in Vietnam must be managed and comply with the provisions of Vietnam law.
For internet radio and television services (OTT TV), enterprises can choose from two service delivery models: (i) OTT TV provides both online channels and on-demand content (VOD) and (ii) OTT TV only provides VOD (OTT TV VOD). For OTT TV VOD service, enterprises are not required to provide program channels like traditional services and only needed to make a declaration according to the form of the Ministry of Information and Communications, instead of having to make a scheme as previously required to apply for a license to provide paid radio and television services. This regulation creates favorable conditions for domestic enterprises with the same technical conditions as foreign enterprises to participate in providing radio and television services on demand on the internet. Foreign enterprises wishing to participate in the market must also carry out the procedures for applying for a license like domestic enterprises.
The next highlight of Decree No. 71/2022/ND-CP is the addition of regulations on editing, classifying and translating radio and television content on demand (VOD). Enterprises are allowed to actively edit and classify VOD content as movies, sports and entertainment programs when meeting the conditions and criteria as prescribed by competent agencies which previously, according to the provisions of Decree No. 06/2016/ND-CP, all VOD content must be edited by a press agency with a radio and television license before being provided on the service. Accordingly, this content is divided into 03 groups to perform as follows:
(i) For news and current affairs programs; programs on politics, national defense, security, economy, and society must be produced and edited by a press agency that has licensed to operate radio and television before being provided on the service;
(ii) For films: Before providing services, enterprises must ensure conditions for the classification of films according to the Government’s regulations and take responsibility to the law for the content and results of film classification according to the classification criteria prescribed by the Vietnam Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; In case enterprises have not yet met conditions for classification of films, it is requesting the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism or an agency authorized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to classify films that have not been granted a Film Classification License or a Broadcast Decision;
(iii) For sports and entertainment programs: Enterprises must edit and classify before providing them on the service and display warnings while providing services, ensuring that they do not commit violations against regulations of Vietnam law. Enterprises shall work on the principles of editing, classifying, and warning content in accordance with regulations of the Ministry of Information and Communications and relevant laws to carry out editing and classification activities.
Regarding regulations on translation management, enterprises are allowed to take the initiative in translation activities. The translation of foreign programs and channels, enterprises must respect and preserve the purity of the Vietnam language, and ensure that they do not violate the prohibitions according to the provisions of Vietnam law.
In addition to supplementing regulations on management policies, Decree 71/2022/ND-CP has added regulations to reduce administrative procedures, and orient online application components to reduce costs for enterprises providing radio and television services. Accordingly, enterprises that wish to apply for a license i.e. a license to provide paid radio and television services, amend or supplement the content of the license, or re-issue the license, only need to prepare set of 01 (a) dossier (previously two sets, 01 sets of originals, 01 sets of copies) and can submit online on the online public service portal of the Ministry of Information and Communications for cases which electronic authentication certification is available. In addition, the processing time for the above procedures and documents are also significantly shortened, creating favorable conditions for enterprises when carrying out administrative procedures quickly, ensuring that the business operations are not affected.
Decree No. 71/2022/ND-CP officially took effect on January 1st, 2023.
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