Generally speaking, the giving or receiving of gifts and hospitality will be deemed a bribe under Vietnamese law if it satisfies all elements of a bribe as described in paragraph 2 of Features of bribery offences Section above.
Decision 64 provides regulations on the receiving and giving of gifts by organisations, units, and ‘staff, public officials and officials’. Under this Decision, a gift includes, among other things, cash, ‘valuable papers’ (such as shares, bonds, certificate of deposits or promissory notes), goods, properties, tourism benefits, medical services, education and training. Decision 64 also prohibits ‘staff, public officials and officials’ from directly or indirectly receiving gifts when the public official has responsibilities and/or power over the gift giver’s activity and the gift giving is not justified by a clear and legitimate purpose.
Subject to prohibited cases mentioned above, Decision 64 allows a public official to receive gifts if: (a) he or she is sick or on certain occasions such as a wedding, funeral, traditional ceremonies or Lunar New Year holiday; and (b) if the value of such gift is less than VND 500,000 (approximately US$22). Government officials who receive any gift in excess of VND500,000 must report this to his or her direct manager.
Decision 64 also provides that staff, public officials and officials may receive gifts that do not relate to their public duties without having to report them to the relevant authority. However, they must sign for the receipt of the gifts. It is not clear what document must be signed by the person receiving the gift.