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Living in HCM CityThursday, 04/28/2005, 04:07

Consular Relations

Consular Relations

Consular Relations
 

Prosecution and judgment of cases involving foreigners

Legal basis

- The 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
- Ordinance on Privileges and Immunity for Foreign Diplomatic Agencies, Consular Agencies and Representative Agencies of International Organizations in Vietnam dated March 28, 1993.
- The civil code, the criminal code and the criminal proceedings code of Vietnam.

Procedures

1. After a prosecution decision is issued, the investigation authority must notify in writing the HCM City Department of Foreign Affairs, stating details about the foreigner to be prosecuted, the time of and reason for prosecution, the custody (if any) and the place of custody.

2. Upon receiving the notification from the investigation authority, the Department of Foreign Affairs will send an official note to the consular agency representative of the foreigner to be prosecuted.

3. When the Department of Foreign Affairs receives a note from the consular agency requesting a visit to the foreigner to be prosecuted, the department will forward the note to the authorities concerned.

- If the case is under investigation, the permission for the visit will be decided by the investigation authority.
- If the case has been transferred to the Prosecution Bureau or the Court, the permission for the visit will be decided by the Prosecution Bureau at the same level. The Department of Foreign Affairs will contact the place of custody to arrange the time for the visit.
- If the case is in a province, the note will be sent to the office of the provinxccial people�s committee or the provincial department of foreign affairs.
- The time for the visit will be arranged by the authorities in accordance with the law.

4. When the case is put to trial, the Department of Foreign Affairs will notify the Court�s announcement to the representative consular agency for attendance. In special cases, officers from the department will attend the trial with the consular representative.

5. When the prison sentence takes effect, the defendant will be sent to the detainment center to serve it.

6. After the defendant completes the sentence, the department will work with the representative consular agency to send him/her back home.

Loss of foreign passports

Legal basis

- Ordinance on Foreigners� Entry Into, Exit and Residence in Vietnam dated May 12, 2000.
- Decree 21/CP dated May 28, 2001 by the Government guiding the implementation of the ordinance.
- Inter-ministerial Circular No.04/2002/TTLT/BCA-BNG dated January 29, 2002, by the Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of Foreign Affairs guiding the implementation of Decree 21 and the ordinance.

Procedures

- The foreigner losing his/her passport will send a claim for loss of passport to the local police in the area where he/she has lost the passport or to the place where he/she has registered for temporary residence. The application must state the name, nationality, passport number, date and place of issue, and the issuing agency. The local police will certify the claim.
- The passport loser will contact the consulate-general to obtain a pass, a travel permit or a new passport.
- The consulate-general will send a note announcing the cancellation of the lost passport and requesting Vietnamese authorities to issue an exit visa for the loser.
- The HCM City Department of Foreign Affairs will forward the note to the Ministry of Public Security�s Immigration Control Department announcing the cancellation of the lost passport, and request the issue of an exit visa for the loser.
- The loser will submit an application (including the note of the consulate-general, the request of the Department of Foreign Affairs, the claim of loss of passport certified by the local police and the travel permit) to the Immigration Control Department, attached with a declaration as per form stipulated by the Ministry of Public Security.
- The Immigration Control Department will consider the application.
- In case there is no representative consular agency in HCM City, the loser must apply for a pass or a passport at the embassy in Hanoi. If there is no diplomatic agency of his/her country in Vietnam, the loser must contact the diplomatic agency of his/her country in a third country to apply for the above papers.

Traffic accidents involving foreigners

Legal basis

- The 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
- The Ordinance on Privileges and Immunity for Foreign Diplomatic Agencies, Consular Agencies and Representative Agencies of International Organizations in Vietnam dated March 28, 1993.
- Inter-ministerial Circular 01/TTLN dated September 8, 1998, by the Supreme Prosecution Bureau, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Handling Traffic Accidents Involving Foreigners.
- The civil code, the criminal code and the criminal proceedings code of Vietnam.

General principles

- Foreigners under the management of the HCM City Department of Foreign Affairs (holding consular identity paper) will enjoy immunity if they cause traffic accidents during the execution of official duty. Except for this case, they cannot enjoy privileges and immunity. According to Inter-ministerial Circular 01, persons with diplomatic status and consular identity papers causing traffic accidents during the execution of an official duty will not be subject to administrative penalty. However, if they violate traffic regulations intentionally, they will be subject to the penalty under the law of Vietnam.
- If the accident is caused by the Vietnamese driver of a car bearing a diplomatic number plate, the driver must be liable under the law. The car owner must jointly bear civil liability.
-Other cases will be handled in accordance with the Vietnamese law.

Procedures

1. Traffic police will make a report of the accident, draw a figure of the scene, and seize the papers of the related parties, such as the identify card, passport, driving license, car circulation permit and car technical inspection certificate.

2. Traffic police will tell the related parties of their faults. The party causing the accident must make compensation. Persons enjoying diplomatic privileges and immunity are not exempt from the civil liability for compensation. Traffic police cannot interfere in the parties� agreement on compensation. If the parties have reached an agreement on compensation, the victim has received compensation and the case is not serious, traffic police must make a report and close the case, with the signatures of both parties. If the case is serious (serious injuries or death), traffic police must transfer the file to the investigation authority to investigate further, take appropriate measures or prosecute the case. Foreigners enjoying diplomatic immunity will not be prosecuted and their cars will not be put under custody but they must bear civil liability.

3. If the parties concerned cannot reach a civil agreement, the case must be brought to the municipal people�s court for settlement. When a verdict is delivered, the foreign party must be notified of it and can make an appeal.

Death involving foreigners

Legal basis

- Civil Code promulgated on October 18, 1995 (Articles 54, 60-64).
- Decree 83/1998/ND-CP on birth and death registration (Articles 1, 5, 9, 30 and 71).

Competent authorities

The police, the municipal or provincial health authority and the forensic medicine council must cooperate to determine the cause of the death for the municipal or provincial people�s committee or the department of justice in the locality of residence of the dead person to proceed with death declaration.

Coordination agencies

- Customs must complete the exit procedure.
- The international quarantine agency.
- The embassy, consulate-general, diplomatic representative or consular agency must send a letter requesting completion of the death declaration procedure.

Death declaration

The person who makes the death declaration must submit an application for death declaration, the note of the diplomatic representative or consular agency and the notification of death. He/she must show the following papers at the Department of Justice:

- The certificate for permanent or temporary residence in Vietnam of the dead person.
- The declarant�s passport, identity card or other legal papers.

Procedures

- Upon receiving notification of the death, the Department of Foreign Affairs will inform the diplomatic representative or consular agency.
- The diplomatic representative or consular agency will send a note requesting completion of the procedures to determine the cause of the death, the burial or cremation of the dead person in Vietnam or repatriation of his/her corpse or ashes, and death declaration.
- Based on this note, the Department of Foreign Affairs will send letters to relevant agencies (the police, health and quarantine) asking for assistance.
- In case of repatriation of the corpse, the department will issue a pass for the corpse and send letters to customs and quarantine agencies for completion of necessary formalities.

The death declaration procedure for overseas Vietnamese who die in Vietnam is the same.
 

 


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