Friday, February 20, 2009

New rules on imported publications, foreign publishers

Tighter government control over imported publications and the operations of foreign publishers in Vietnam has been imposed under new regulations, reports Thanh Nien newspaper.

Foreign publishers, as well as importers of foreign publications, will have to apply for new licenses if theirs was issued before Jan. 1 this year, with their licenses to last five years. Importers must also submit a list of items to be imported for "approval from the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC). The approval will be effective only until December 31 of the year in which the application has been made... the ministry has the power to issue or revoke licenses for foreign publishing agencies’ offices in Vietnam and the importation of non-commercial publications."

However, the ministry's permission "will not be required for importing private documents and those used at international seminars or conferences organized with permission from Vietnamese authorities."

The new regulations also prohibit printing the names of authors, translators or publishing partners on the covers of books that are copies of government or party regulations, or holy books of officially recognized religions.

The new regulations also seek greater control over publishing on the internet:

"Those who want to publish an item on the Internet have to register with the ministry’s Directorate of Publishing their publication plans, including the website address and publication date.

"They also need written approval from the directorate that should be granted within a maximum of 10 days after application..."

Source: Thanh Nien [Thuy Vi, author] Feb. 14.


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