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Procedures for applying for a license to retail tobacco products


Legal basis

Law No. 09/2012/QH13 on Tobacco Harm Prevention and Control, promulgated on June 18, 2012;

Decree 67/2013/ND-CP detailing a number of measures to implement the law on prevention and control of tobacco harms on tobacco business, issued on June 27, 2013;

Circular 57/2018/TT-BCT detailing a number of articles of decrees related to tobacco business issued on December 26, 2018.

Tobacco retail conditions

Tobacco retail business is a conditional business. Therefore, in order to meet the conditions for being allowed to do tobacco retail business, any trader must carry out the procedures for applying for a license to retail tobacco products (the license is valid for 5 years)

Conditions for granting a tobacco retail license under Decree No. 67/2013/ND-CP specified in Clause 3, Article 26 are as follows:

First, Traders must be established in accordance with the law.

Second, the business location does not violate the regulations on places not to sell cigarettes as prescribed in Clause 2, Article 25 of the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms 2012.

In particular, Clause 2, Article 25 of the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms 2012 provides as follows:

“2. Agencies, organizations and individuals may not organize, permit or sell tobacco at the locations specified in Article 11, Article 12, except for Point a, Clause 1, Article 12 of this Law; Smoking is not allowed outside the gates of kindergartens, kindergartens, primary schools, junior high schools, high schools, medical research institutes, hospitals, maternity homes, preventive health centers, stations commune, ward or township health care within 100 meters (m) from the boundary of the nearest campus of that facility.”

Referring to Article 11, Article 12 of this Law, we can see the following places where the sale of cigarettes is prohibited:

“Article 11. Places where smoking is completely prohibited

Entirely non-smoking locations indoors and within the premises include:

a) Medical facilities;

b) Educational institutions, except those specified at Point b, Clause 2 of this Article;

c) Care, nurturing, amusement and entertainment establishments exclusively for children;

d) Establishments or areas with high risk of fire and explosion.

Entirely non-smoking indoor locations include:

a) Place of work;

b) Colleges, universities, academies;

c) Public places, except for the cases specified in Clause 1 of this Article and Clause 1, Article 12 of this Law.

Public transports that are completely banned from smoking include cars, airplanes, and trains.

Article 12. Places where smoking is prohibited in the house but allowed to have a place reserved for smokers

Places where smoking is prohibited in the home, but where smoking is allowed, includes:

a) The isolation area of ​​the airport;

b) Bars, karaoke, discos, hotels and tourist accommodation establishments;

c) The means of public transport are ships and trains.

A place reserved for smokers must ensure the following conditions:

a) Having rooms and ventilation systems separate from non-smoking areas

b) Having tools to store cigarette butts and pieces; have signs at suitable and easy-to-observe positions;

c) Having fire prevention and fighting equipment.

The head of the place specified in Clause 1 of this Article is encouraged to organize the practice of completely smoking-free indoors.

The Government shall stipulate the change of the location specified in Clause 1 of this Article into a place where indoor smoking is completely banned in accordance with each period.

Finally, there is a written introduction of the distributor or a principle contract with the trader, clearly stating the proposed business area.

Competence, order and procedures for granting licenses to retail tobacco products

According to Decree No. 67/2013/ND-CP stipulating the competence and procedures for applying for a tobacco retail license as follows:

Authority: Chamber of Industry and Trade or Department of Economy (a specialized agency under the People’s Committee of a district, town or provincial city – hereinafter referred to as the Chamber of Industry and Trade) to issue, re-issue, amend, supplement License to retail tobacco products.

How to submit: In person or through the Post Office


Compose a complete dossier and make 02 copies, 01 copy is sent to the Chamber of Industry and Trade or Department of Economics, the trader keeps 01 set.

Within 15 working days from the date of receipt of complete and valid dossiers, the licensing authority shall consider, examine, appraise and issue a license to distribute, wholesale and retail products. tobacco for traders. In case of refusal, a written reply must be given clearly stating the reason;”

In case there are not enough valid dossiers, within 07 working days from the date of receiving the trader’s dossier, the licensing agency shall request the trader in writing to supplement the dossier.

Dossier to prepare

Documents to be prepared to apply for a tobacco retail license are also very simple, traders need to prepare a full set of documents including the following documents

+ An application form for a license to retail tobacco products according to Appendix 23 issued under Circular No. 57/2018/TT-BCT.

+ A copy of the Certificate of Business Registration or Certificate of Business Registration and Certificate of Tax Identification Number;

+ A copy of the letter of introduction or the principle contract with the trader clearly stating the intended business location.

+ Business location lease contract (If any).

The term of a tobacco retail business license is 5 years. Before expiration, traders need to carry out procedures for renewing their tobacco retail business license 30 days before expiration. Renewal procedures are carried out like new ones.

Business Lawyer Services:

The scope of business registration services is a service package led by our team of Corporate Lawyers, with highly specialized legal knowledge on corporate, investment, and commercial law.

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Or email address: hello@voconsultants.vn

Office address: 8th floor, Callary Building, 123 Ly Chinh Thang, Vo Thi Sau Ward, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City.

Best regards./.



Lawyer Vo Thi Man

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