The National Assembly passed the Viet Nam Maritime Code (revised) on May 23 to replace the 1990 version. The code, comprising 18 chapters and 261 articles, will come into force on January 1, 2006.
Before the draft code was approved, it had been amended on the basis of opinions given by NA deputies on 29 articles to make them conform with Viet Nam's present situation and international practices.
On maritime transport development policy, the revised code stipulates that the State encourages all Vietnamese and foreign organisations and individuals to invest in developing Viet Nam's fleet and port facilities.
The law allows foreign ships, which are chartered or bought on hire-purchase by Vietnamese individuals, to register to carry the Vietnamese flag; and ships owned by Vietnamese organisations and individuals to register to carry the flag of a foreign country.
The law does not allow foreign ships, which have been registered abroad, to register to carry Viet Nam's flag, unless the previous registration has been suspended or abolished.
On the same day, the National Assembly also passed the Law on Signing, joining, and Implementing International Treaties, with nine chapters and 107 articles. The law will take effect on January 1, 2006.