THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE
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SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence - Freedom - Happiness
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No: 218/2000/QD-BTC
Hanoi, December 29, 2000
 
DECISION
PROMULGATING THE REGIME OF ARCHIVING ACCOUNTING DOCUMENTS
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Pursuant to the May 20, 1988 Ordinance on Accounting and Statistics;
Pursuant to the November 30, 1982 Ordinance on the Protection of National Archives;
Pursuant to the Government’s Decree No.15/CP of March 2, 1993 defining tasks, powers and State management responsibility of the ministries and ministerial-level agencies;
Pursuant to the Government’s Decree No.178/CP of October 28, 1994 defining functions, tasks and organizational structure of the Finance Ministry;
After reaching agreement with the State Archives Department in Official Dispatch No.521/TTNC-LTNN of November 2, 2000;
At the proposals of the director of the Accounting Regime Department and the director of the Office of the Ministry,
DECIDES:
Article 1.- To issue together with this Decision the Regime of archiving accounting documents applicable to all enterprises of different economic sectors and individual business households; administrative and public-service units, armed force units, political organizations, socio-political organizations, social organizations and socio-professional organizations that use the State’s and/or collectives’ capital and funding.
Article 2.- The Regime of archiving accounting documents issued together with this Decision shall apply uniformly throughout the country as from January 1st, 2001. The earlier regulations on archiving accounting documents contrary to this Regime are all now annulled.
Article 3.- The ministries, the ministerial-level agencies, the agencies attached to the Government, the People’s Committees of the provinces and centrally-run cities and the central bodies of social organizations shall have to deploy the implementation of this Decision in the units under their respective management.
 
 
FOR THE FINANCE MINISTER
VICE MINISTER





Tran Van Ta
 
REGIME
OF ARCHIVING ACCOUNTING DOCUMENTS
(Issued together with the Finance Minister’s Decision No.218/2000/QD-BTC of December 29, 2000)
Chapter I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 1.- Accounting documents which must be preserved and archived according to the provisions of this Regime are the originals of accounting materials recorded on paper with legal validity for accountancy, including:
1. Accounting vouchers, including: Original vouchers and book-entry vouchers;
2. Accounting books, including: Detailed accounting books, detailed accounting cards and general accounting books;
3. Financial reports, including: Monthly financial reports, quarterly financial reports and yearly financial reports;
4. Documents related to accountancy other than those mentioned above, which serve as basis for making accounting vouchers; documents related to economic activities (such as economic contracts, loan contracts, debt agreements, joint-venture contracts...); documents related to capital, funds and interests (such as decisions on the supplement of capital from interests, distribution of funds from interests...); documents related to budget revenues and expenditures, use of capital and funding (such as the settlement of the use of funding, the settlement of the State budget�s funds and investment capital...); documents related to the tax obligation towards the State (such as decisions on tax exemption, reduction, reimbursement, retrospective collection and annual settlement...); documents related to asset inventory and valuation (such as the inventory tables and forms, valuation minutes...); documents related to examination, auditing and inspection (such as inspection and examination conclusions, auditing reports...); documents on computerized accounting programs and documents related to the destruction of accounting documents.
Article 2.- If the accounting documents prescribed in Article 1 are recorded in computers or on information-carrying objects like tapes, discs or payment cards, when being put in archives, they must be printed in paper form and have all legal factors (such as forms and tables, codes, signatures and stamps) under the State’s regulations on accounting documents.
Article 3.- Accounting documents put in archives must be adequate, systematic, classified and arranged into files (files of accounting vouchers, accounting books, financial reports...). Accounting documents in each file must be chronologically arranged according to each accounting year, ensuring the rationality and accessibility when needed.
Article 4.- The archiving of accounting documents must comply with the following stipulations:
1. Accounting documents of the already completed accounting year which are no longer used for accounting book-entry in the subsequent accounting year must be archived within 12 months after the completion of the accounting year;
2. Accounting documents being the reports on the settlement of investment capital of the completed projects must be archived within 12 months after the ratification of the reports on the settlement of investment capital of the completed projects;
3. Accounting documents related to the dissolution, bankruptcy, equitization, or ownership form conversion must be archived within 6 months after the completion of each of the above-mentioned jobs.
Article 5.- Places of archiving accounting documents are stipulated as follows:
1. Accounting documents of a unit shall be archived at its own repository.
2. Accounting documents of joint-venture companies and companies with 100% foreign investment capital during the time of operation in Vietnam under their investment licenses must be archived at their respective companies within the territory of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
3. Accounting documents of dissolved or bankrupt units (including joint-venture companies and companies with 100% foreign investment capital), including accounting documents of different accounting years and accounting documents related to the dissolution or bankruptcy, shall be archived at the establishment-deciding (licensing) bodies or the business registration-issuing bodies or at places decided by the authorities that decide the dissolution or bankruptcy.
4. Accounting documents of the equitized or ownership-transformed units, including accounting documents of different accounting years and accounting documents related to the equitization or ownership transformation must be archived at the new owners’ units or at places decided by the authorities that decide the equitization or ownership transformation.
5. Regarding accounting documents of the completed accounting years of the units that are divided or split into two or more new units: If such accounting documents are divisible, they shall be archived at the new units; if they are indivisible, they shall be archived at places decided by the authorities that decide the division or splitting of such units. Accounting documents related to the division or splitting shall be archived at the newly divided or split units.
6. Accounting documents of the completed accounting years and accounting documents related to the merger of the merged units shall be archived at the merging units.
Where units do not organize archiving sections or archives, they may hire archiving organization(s) to archive their accounting documents on the basis of contracts signed between the parties. Such a contract must clearly state each party’s responsibility for the accounting documents under hired archives, the hiring charge and the mode of payment of the hiring charge.
Article 6.- At each unit, the chief accountant or the person in charge of accountancy shall have to assist the director (or the head) of the unit to organize, classify and arrange accounting documents as well as to fill in the procedures for archiving them.
Article 7.- The archived accounting documents must be preserved according to the State’s current laws on the protection of archived documents as well as the provisions of this Regime. The archived accounting documents must be preserved in the units’ archives. The archives must be adequately equipped with preservation facilities and conditions to ensure safety for the archived accounting documents, such as shelves, wardrobes, devices for fire prevention and fight as well as for the fight against humidity, mould, floods, termites and rats...
Heads of the units shall take responsibility before law for the safety, adequacy and legality of accounting documents being archived at their own units.
Article 8.- Units shall have to open "books for monitoring the archived accounting documents" in order to record, monitor and manage them. Books for monitoring the archived accounting documents must contain the following major details: types of the archived documents, their numbers, dates of being put in archives, the status of documents when being put in archives and archiving duration.
Article 9.- The persons tasked to manage and preserve the archived accounting documents shall be answerable before the heads of the units and before law for the loss or damage of or any incident to the being archived accounting documents due to subjective causes.
The persons managing and preserving the archived accounting documents must not allow any organization or individual to have a look at or use the archived accounting documents without written consents of the heads of the units or the persons authorized by the unit heads. Where appears a danger or a detection that the archived accounting documents are lost, destroyed by termites or damaged, the persons managing and preserving them must report such immediately to the head of the unit so that the latter may take timely measures for handling and overcoming the situation.
Article 10.- Accounting documents in an archiving duration shall have the legal validity in any cases where they are lawfully exploited and used. The exploitation and use of the archived accounting documents must be approved in writing by the heads of the units or the persons authorized by them and shall be effected at the archives.
Where the competent State agency prescribed by law has a written request for the supply and bringing of the archived accounting documents out of a unit, such unit and the person performing task of the agency requesting the document supply shall have to make a "record on the hand-over and receipt of accounting documents". In addition to the contents prescribed for a document, the "record on the hand-over and receipt of accounting documents" must clearly state types of the documents, their quantity, their accounting years and current status, the use duration and deadline for return of such documents to the archives.
Units shall have to supply accounting documents to the investigation agencies, tax agencies and competent State agencies, that exercise the examination and inspection functions. These agencies shall have to maintain and preserve the accounting documents in the use duration and return them in full and on time.
In the law-prescribed cases where the legal proceeding bodies issue decisions to seize the originals of accounting documents for use as proofs or material evidences, the concerned units shall have to archive copies of the seized accounting documents. When seizing accounting documents, the legal proceeding bodies and concerned units shall have to make records thereon.
Article 11.- All accounting documents being used in an accounting year and accounting documents prepared for being put in archives according to the provisions of Article 4 of this Regime must be managed, preserved and used according to the current accounting regime.
Chapter II
TIME LIMITS FOR ARCHIVING ACCOUNTING DOCUMENTS
Article 12.- All accounting documents stipulated in Article 1 of this Regime shall be classified, preserved and archived according to the following time limits:
1. At least 5 years;
2. 20 years;
3. Over 20 years.
Article 13.- Accounting documents used for regular management and administration, which are not directly used for accounting book-entry and elaboration of financial reports (such as warehousing and ex-warehousing bills, revenue and expenditure notes outside the file of accounting vouchers of the accountancy section; daily, monthly, quarterly, 6-month and 9-month accounting reports...) shall be archived for at least 5 years after the completion of the accounting year.
Article 14.- All accounting documents directly related to the accounting book-entry and elaboration of financial reports must be archived for 20 years. Concretely as follows:
1. Accounting documents of an accounting year: to be archived for 20 years after the completion of that accounting year;
2. Accounting documents of the investing units, including accounting documents of different accounting years, accounting documents on reports on the settlement of investment capital of the completed projects: to be archived for 20 years after the ratification of reports on the settlement of investment capital of the completed projects;
3. Accounting documents on fixed assets, including accounting documents related to the liquidation and sale of fixed assets: to be archived for 20 years after the completion of the fixed assets liquidation or sale;
4. Accounting documents related to the dissolution, bankruptcy, equitization or ownership transformation: to be archived for 20 years after the completion of each of the a
5. Records on the destruction of the archived accounting documents and documents related thereto: to be archived for 20 years after making the records.
Article 15.- Accounting documents to be archived for over 20 years are those of historic character, of economic, political and social significance for the concerned units, branches or localities, such as:
1. General accounting books;
2. Annual financial reports;
3. Dossiers of reports on the settlement of investment capital of the completed projects;
4. Other accounting vouchers and documents.
The competent units, branches or authorities shall determine the accounting documents to be archived for more than 20 years on the basis of the historic characters and long-term significance of the documents and information in each specific case, and shall assign the accountancy section or other sections to archive them in form of originals or other forms.
Article 16.- Accounting documents having been archived for 5 years or 20 years already, which are related to litigation, disputes or cases that have been, are being or have not been tried, shall not be subject to the archiving time limits prescribed in Articles 13, 14 and 15 herein but to the time limits prescribed by the relevant current laws instead or comply with the decisions of the competent persons.
Article 17.- In the force majeure circumstances like natural calamities or fires, where accounting documents are damaged or lost, the concerned unit shall have to set up a council to restore and handle such accounting documents, which shall be composed of the head of the unit as its chairman, the chief accountant or the person in charge of accountancy of the unit and the representatives of the relevant sections. The council shall have to perform the following tasks:
- To take all necessary measures to restore and maintain the restorable documents;
- To inventory and determine the number of documents which still exist, the number of documents lost or unrestorably damaged;
- To make records determining the number of documents, which still exist or have been lost according to their types. Such records must be archived according to the archiving time limits prescribed for the damaged and lost documents.
Chapter III
DESTRUCTION OF ACCOUNTING DOCUMENTS UPON THE EXPIRY OF THEIR ARCHIVING TIME LIMITS
Article 18.- Upon the expiry of their archiving time limits prescribed in this Regime, if there’s not any specific decision from the competent person or State body, accounting documents shall be destroyed under decisions of the heads of the concerned units. The destruction of accounting documents upon the expiry of their archiving time limits must fully and strictly comply with the procedures stipulated herein.
Article 19.- Procedures for destruction of expired accounting documents:
1. Archived accounting documents of a unit shall be destroyed by such unit;
2. The head of the unit shall decide the setting up of the "council for destruction of expired accounting documents". The council is composed of the unit’s leader, the chief accountant or the person in charge of accountancy and representative(s) of the archival section;
3. The council for destruction of accounting documents must conduct the inventory, evaluation and classification of each type of accounting documents, make a "list of to be- destroyed accounting documents" and a "list of accounting documents to be archived for more than 20 years";
4. To make a "record on the destruction of expired accounting documents" and destroy such accounting documents. The record on the destruction of expired accounting documents must, in addition to the contents prescribed for a document, clearly state the following contents: type of the destroyed accounting documents, archiving time limit of each type (from year to year), form of destruction, conclusion and signatures of the council’s members.
The record on the destruction of expired accounting documents together with the list of destroyed accounting documents and list of accounting documents to be archived for more than 20 years shall be used as basis for making entries into the "book for monitoring archived accounting documents" and shall be archived for 20 years at the unit’s archives.
Article 20.- The destruction of expired accounting documents must be effected at the time of making the record thereon. Depending on the specific conditions of each unit, accounting documents may be destroyed in such forms as being fired, cut or torn by machines or manually, ensuring that the information and data on the destroyed accounting documents cannot be reused. Where the waste paper is made full use of as raw material, the council for destruction of accounting documents must effect the above-mentioned destruction forms before the waste paper is brought out of the unit.
Chapter IV
IMPLEMENTATION PROVISIONS
Article 21.- The Regime on archiving accounting documents takes effect as from January 1, 2001. The previous regulations contrary to this Regime are all now annulled.
Article 22.- All acts of destroying, damaging or losing the accounting archives shall, depending on their nature and seriousness, be administratively sanctioned or handled according to the provisions of law.
Article 23.- Branches and domains (such as banking, securities...) with particular accounting documents shall, basing themselves on this Regime, coordinate with the Finance Ministry and the State Archives Department in working out regimes of archiving accounting documents for their respective branches and domains.