Online liquor sales to go ahead in Vietnam

By Hoang Thuy   May 23, 2019 | 04:30 am PT
Online liquor sales to go ahead in Vietnam
Vietnam is the biggest alcohol consumer in Southeast Asia. Photo by Shutterstock/Kittibowornphatnon
Vietnam has removed a proposed decree to prohibit online liquor sales, accepting that it goes against international trends.

The bill, proposed by the Ministry of Health last year, would have prohibited online sales of beverages with alcohol content of more than 15 percent.

But legislators got into heated debate over this regulation, with critics saying that it would go against international trends and challenge e-commerce development.

The National Assembly (NA) Committee for Social Affairs on Thursday said it has removed the decree after listening to legislators’ views.

Some new changes have been made in the latest version of the bill. The advertisement of beverages with less than 15 percent alcohol content will now be allowed on TV and radio.

However, these advertisements must not be carried between 7-8 p.m. every day.

The bill is set to be discussed and voted on at the end of the ongoing National Assembly session (May 20 - June 14).

Alcohol, especially beer, is widely consumed in Vietnam. Data collected by the Ministry of Health shows Vietnamese citizens consumed 305 million liters of liquor and 4.1 billion liters of beer in 2017, making it the biggest alcohol consumer in Southeast Asia and third biggest in Asia after Japan and China.

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