Starting and operating an INGO

The VUFO-NGO Resource Centre provides information and informal advice to new international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) wanting to set up an office or work in Vietnam. For international NGOs without offices in Vietnam, and for those based outside Hanoi, a visit to the Resource Centre is often on their agenda when they first arrive in Hanoi. The Resource Centre responds informally to queries regarding operational and programme issues for INGOs in Vietnam, including the issuing and renewal of INGO Certificates of Registration, project approvals, personal income tax and value added tax. For more information please contact the NGO Resource Centre.


From the 1st of November 2022, foreign NGOs in Vietnam are administered under Decree 58/2022/ND-CP (original in Vietnamese), which replaced previous Decree 12/2012/ND-CP (original in Vietnamese) from 2012. The Government of Vietnam issues certificates of registration for two types of an INGO's status: 1) Registration of Operation Certificate and 2) Establishment of Representative Office Certificate. The Certificate of Registration of Operation maintains validity for not more than three (3) years from the date of issuance. The Certificate of Registration of Establishment of Representative Office maintains validity for less than five (5) years from the date of issuance. INGOs may set up one representative office in one of three locations: Ha Noi city, Da Nang city, and Ho Chi Minh city. Applications for registration are to be sent to the Committee for Foreign NGO Affairs (COMINGO), which brings together key Vietnamese government ministries and other bodies to assist the Prime Minister in guiding and addressing issues relating to foreign NGOs. Upon receipt of valid and complete application documents COMINGO will respond within 30 working days to INGOs' applications for registration.


Responsibilities: The rights and obligations of INGOs, Vietnamese ministries, provincial authorities, partner agencies and COMINGO (and its members) are clearly stated in Decree 58. The main point of contact for INGOs' applications will remain COMINGO. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be responsible for granting, extension, supplement, amendment and withdrawal of INGOs' Certificates of Registration. INGOs will not be required to register their operations with provincial authorities. However, some activities -- such as extension of INGOs' project areas -- will require local authorities' agreements and close involvement. The People's Aid Coordinating Committee (PACCOM) is responsible for relations with INGOs and for mobilizing aid. PACCOM, the specialized and functional body of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO), works closely with INGOs both at the central level and in all 63 provinces and centrally administered cities to facilitate foreign NGOs' activities in Vietnam. PACCOM includes the Director-General, Deputy Directors and Programme Coordinators, working in four desks (Administration, Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific). PACCOM's headquarters are at 105A Quan Thanh, Hanoi (Tel.: 84 24 38436 936/7; fax: 84 24 38452 007). Its Southern Representative Office is at 9 Le Duan, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City (Tel.: 84 28 8250 372; fax.: 84 28 8333 436). PACCOM has contacts in every province/city and will continue to facilitate fruitful long-term collaboration between INGOs and provinces/cities.

Reporting: INGOs are responsible for preparing written annual reports and six-month reports on their operations in Vietnam and submitting them to COMINGO, with a copy to the relevant People's Committee where they conduct activities. 

Fundraising: INGOs may not raise funds from local sources in Vietnam.


Additional documents regulating the work of INGOs in Vietnam:

  • UN-EU Guidelines for Financing of Local Costs in Development Cooperation with Vietnam 2022
  • Decree 80/2020/ND-CP: Management and Use of non-ODA grant aid provided by foreign agencies, organisations and individuals EnglishVietnamese
  • Decision 06/2020/QD-TTg: Organising and Management of international conferences, workshops and seminars in Vietnam English — Vietnamese
  • Decree 152/2020/ND-CP: Recruitment and Management of Vietnamese workers employed by foreign entities in Vietnam Vietnamese