Unregistered e-commerce websites will be fined between 20-30 million VND (952-1,428 USD).

This follows the issuing of Decree 185/2013/ND-CP on consumer protection and trading in fake or banned goods. It came into effect in January.

Under the decree, trading in fake products on e-commerce sites is subject to fines of 40-50 million VND (1,904-2,380 USD).

Fake goods will be confiscated and the website will be forced to suspend operations from six months to a year. The domain name may also be revoked.

According to online.gov.vn from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, about 1,889 online retail services are in their process of providing information.

Another 175 e-commerce providers are undertaking registration with the Vietnam E-Commerce and Information Technology Agency (Vecita) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

This number is quite small compared to the thousands of sites in operation.

Recently, Vecita and the Hanoi Market Watch Department fined namvietvn.vn 30 million VND (1,410 USD). Managed by Nam Viet Industrial Production Company in Hoang Mai district, the site had not been registered.

Hoa Nam Import-Export JSC was also fined 30 million VND for the same offence. Other companies such as TechLand and Ho Guom Development & Investment Ltd Co and watch shop 88 also face administrative fines.

Tran Vinh Nhung, Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade said, the city had more than 144,000 e-commerce sites of which 85,996 sites were operational. However, only 2 percent were registered.

Nguyen Van Minh, Deputy Director of Long An province's Department of Industry and Trade said the management of e-commerce websites needed close coordination between authorised bodies.

Director of Vecita, Tran Huu Linh, said there was a need to raise awareness of the need for businesses to comply.

Nguyen Ngoc Dung from the Vietnam E-commerce Association said market-watch and inspection teams would work together to make sure all companies complied with the law.

He added that registration was simple. Businesses only needed to access www.online.gov.vn to get the necessary information.-VNA