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PM okays petrol tax changes

HA NOI — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved calculation of petroleum import tax based on weighted average of the tariffs, taking into account Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status and Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Previous calculation was based on only MFN tariff.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the new calculation would also cover the quarterly proportion of petroleum imports from countries which had signed for the FTA tariff. The data used to calculate the above-mentioned component would be collected through electronic customs systems by the General Department of Customs.

Customers buy petrol in Ha Noi. The Prime Minister has approved changes to petrol import tax.—VNA/VNS Photo The Duyet

Customers buy petrol in Ha Noi. The Prime Minister has approved changes to petrol import tax.—VNA/VNS Photo The Duyet

The new calculation would help keep a close watch on domestic businesses’ import of petroleum products from different sources while ensuring national energy security as also safeguarding the interests of businesses, consumers and the State as well, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The ministry agreed that there was a difference between current petrol tariff and that of several ASEAN nations and South Korea.

Last week, local newspapers reported that consumers were made to pay around VND400 billion (US$17.7 million) a month on account of 5 per cent to 10 per cent tax difference in petroleum imports.

Petroleum products imported by Viet Nam from ASEAN and South Korea were taxed at a rate of between 5 per cent and 10 per cent, or even zero, since the beginning of this year.

However, under the joint Circular No 78 promulgated by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Finance Ministry, the retail petrol prices have been calculated based on import tax of 20 per cent for petrol products and 10 per cent for diesel and mazut.

The calculation led to a tax difference of 5 to 10 per cent for diesel and 10 per cent for petroleum between imported petrol and retail prices.

Local petrol traders have been enjoying the benefit of this tax difference since May 2015 after the issuance of Circular No 78 for diesel imported from ASEAN and petrol from South Korea.

Diesel and mazut import taxes from ASEAN countries were cut from 20 per cent to 10 per cent since the beginning of this year in accordance with the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement.

In addition, under the Free Trade Agreement with South Korea, signed in May 2015, Viet Nam reduced the import tariff on gasoline from South Korea to 10 per cent from the earlier 20 per cent.

Economist Nguyen Minh Phong told giaoducvietnam newspaper that the wrong calculation of imported taxes could result in wrong calculations of VAT, corporate income tax and transport costs.

This had given rise to another problem. The wrong tax calculations raised petrol prices, special consumption tax and other fees, Phong said.

The finance ministry on Friday decided to revise the MFN import duty for several petroleum products from previous 10-13 per cent to 7 per cent.

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Campaign ramps up cybersecurity

Intellectual protection enforcement agencies nationwide have handled 26,004 cases, with imposed fines totalling VND68 billion (US$3 million), according to Tran Minh Dung, chief inspector of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Dung announced the figures yesterday at the launch of the one-month campaign commemorating World Intellectual Property Day.

Vice Minister of Science and Technology (MOST) Tran Viet Thanh speaks at the event. — Photo VNA

Vice Minister of Science and Technology (MOST) Tran Viet Thanh speaks at the event. — Photo VNA

Dung said that according to rough statistics from Task Forces (Program 168) in the term 2012-15, enforcement agencies confiscated and destroyed or removed about 70 tonnes of food; tens of thousands of imported bottles of liquor; nearly 27,000 medicine products; 80,900 fertilisers, and millions of electronic goods, handbags, footwear and clothing, all of which faked trademarks and infringed the rights of genuine industrial property owners. They also confiscated tens of thousands of stampless and illegally-imported CDs and DVDs.

In computer software ownership enforcement alone, Chief Inspector of the Ministry of Culture-Sports-Tourism (MOCST) Vu Xuan Thanh said, “In 2015, MOCST inspectors spot-checked 89 companies for compliance with existing computer software ownership laws in various places nationwide. Inspecting teams examined 3,942 computers and issued fines for civil offenses worth VND2.5 billion.”

As chairman of the one-month campaign’s launch, Vice Minister of Science and Technology (MOST) Tran Viet Thanh said the purpose of the initiative is “press ahead the establishment, application, development and enforcement of IP rights; ensure that IP rights become a useful tool to promote science and technology development, and socioeconomic development as a whole; and create society-wide awareness on the need to observe international agreements related to IP.”

The campaign, lasting from March 31 to April 30, will sponsor educational and training activities, followed by enhanced enforcement activities in the following months, Thanh said.

“Going forward, to stick to Viet Nam’s TPP commitments, we will scan, revise and update our legal framework related to intellectual property, especially in association with patents, trademarks, geographical indications, know-how, copyrights and enforcement of intellectual property rights,” Thanh said.

“Keeping this in mind, the Vietnamese Government and the country’s entire intellectual property right registration and enforcement system are making steps to improve and take to new heights the efficacy of intellectual property right protection and enforcement in Viet Nam.”

Building on the many years of co-operation with Vietnamese governmental bodies, Roland Chan, a senior director of BSA-The Software Alliance, said that over the years, BSA has initiated many awareness campaigns aimed at educating and assisting companies to address their software licensing and management issues.

Roland said the programmes have been successful, but they are now seeing a rise in cybercrime, which transcends borders. Organisations and business owners must be vigilant to protect themselves and their businesses from the growing threats of malware and data theft through the adoption of an effective and efficient software license management practice, Roland said.

The good news is that with effective management of software assets, the risk of a cybersecurity breach is greatly diminished. Part of BSA’s goal in this new campaign is to draw greater awareness of cybersecurity risks that come with the use of unlicensed software.

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Kaspersky Lab, WISeKey launch mobile app to secure users’ data

Kaspersky Lab and Swiss cyber security company WISeKey have launched a special edition of the cyber-resilience app WISeID Kaspersky Lab Security that integrates the best technologies from both companies to offer safety for mobile users’ data.

WISeID Kaspersky Lab Security protects mobile users' personal information from cyber criminals. — VNS Photo

WISeID Kaspersky Lab Security protects mobile users’ personal information from cyber criminals. — VNS Photo

The new app locks personal data such as account usernames and passwords, credit card numbers and access PINs into a secure personal data organiser, creating accountable identities for online activity while the data itself remains protected in a secure cloud vault.

It includes Kaspersky Mobile Security SDK, a robust and proven solution for protecting mobile phones against security threats. Its inclusion delivers advanced security features like web and network protection, device protection and risk detection.

WISeID keeps passwords in an encrypted vault, generates hard-to-crack passwords, and safely synchronises data between computers and devices on multiple platforms using secure cloud storage.

Mobile security threats are increasing in number and sophistication. Though mobile operating systems provide app developers with significant security features, hackers are still able to use many different infection vectors to place malware.

WISeID is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac OSX, Windows, and Kindle.

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VN network security at high risk: experts

Viet Nam is a main target for hackers in the network environment, said Nguyen Van Thinh, deputy head of the Department of Cyber Security under the Ministry of Public Security, at the Security World 2016 conference on Tuesday.

Up to 600 hacker groups attacked Vietnamese e-portals last year, and most of the attacks came from abroad. — Photo genk.vn

Up to 600 hacker groups attacked Vietnamese e-portals last year, and most of the attacks came from abroad. — Photo genk.vn

The event aims to set up security measures, ensure information security for e-Government, propose measures to protect enterprises’ databases and curb data leaks.

Thinh attributed the increasing number of attacks to serious security loopholes that have not been repaired on most electronic websites and information portals.

Up to 600 hacker groups attacked Vietnamese e-portals last year, and most of the attacks came from abroad. Foreign hacker groups continuously attack specific targets with upgraded malware, experts said.

According to Truong Thi Le Thuy, director general of Cisco Viet Nam, hackers are continually developing their technology and strategies, which are becoming more sophisticated in order to steal information, data and money without being detected.

“Network security in Viet Nam is facing an alarming situation, which requires organisations and businesses to urgently find technological solutions to protect themselves from unforeseen security invasions,” Thuy said.

To protect information security in Viet Nam, Thinh suggested solutions including strengthening communications and education to raise awareness on insecurity, as well as writing and enacting provisions and laws to address the problem.

In addition, he also proposed the early promulgation of instructions for the law of cyber information security and international co-operation in the field of information security.

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