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Legal Document
Title: Decree on activities of foreign media in Laos No. 377/GOV, dated 24 November 2015
Type: Decree
Responsible Agency: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Issuing Date: 2015-11-24
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Contents

Decree On the Press Activities of Foreign Mass Media Agencies, Foreign Diplomatic Missions, and International Organizations in the Lao PDR

Chapter 1: General Provisions

Article 1 Objective

Article 2 Press Activities of Foreign Mass Media, Foreign Diplomatic Missions, and International Organizations in the Lao PDR

Article 3 Scope of Application

Article 4 International Cooperation

Chapter 2: Press Activities of Foreign Mass Media

Article 5 Press Activities

Article 6 Foreign Journalists Accompanying a Foreign Delegation

Article 7 Foreign Journalists Working in Laos

Article 8 Establishing Foreign Mass Media Offices in Laos

Article 9 Application Form for Establishing an Office

Article 10 Office Opening

Article 11 Appointing Personnel to Agency

Article 12 Visa Application

Chapter 3: Rights, Duties, and Obligations of Foreign Mass Media Agencies and Foreign Journalists

Article 13 Rights and Duties of the Foreign Mass Media Agency Office and Foreign Journalists

Article 14 Obligations of Foreign Mass Media Agency Offices and Foreign Journalists

Chapter 4: Status Modification and Dissolution of Foreign Mass Media Agency Offices

 Article 15 Status Modification of a Foreign Mass Media Agency Office

Article 16 Dissolution of Foreign Mass Media Agency Office

Chapter 5: Press Activities of Foreign Diplomatic Missions and International Organizations in the Lao PDR

Article 17 Creating Mass Media Products

Article 18 Disseminating Mass Media Products

Article 19 Foreign Electronic Media

Chapter 6: Responsibilities for Foreign Mass Media

Article 20 Responsibilities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Article 21 Responsibilities of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism

Article 22 Responsibilities of Local Sectoral and Local Administrative Agencies

Chapter 7: Final Provisions

Article 23 Implementation

Article 24 Effectiveness


Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Peace Independence Democracy Unity Prosperity

-------------------------------

The Government     No.: 377/GOV
  Vientiane Capital, 24 November 2015

                                                                                           

Decree

On the Press Activities of Foreign Mass Media Agencies,

Foreign Diplomatic Missions, and International Organizations in the Lao PDR

 

- Pursuant to the Amended Law on Government of the Lao PDR No. 02/NA. dated 06 May 2003;

- Pursuant to the Law on Mass Media No. 01/NA, dated 25 July 2008;

- Pursuant to the Resolution of the Ordinary Cabinet Meeting for July 2015 No. 07/GOV, dated 10 August 2015;

- Pursuant to Proposal Letter No. 1440/MOFA. Dpt. of Press. 3, dated 07 October 2015 Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Government hereby issues a Decree:

Chapter 1

General Provisions

Article 1          Objective

This Decree determines principles, procedures, and measures for the management, monitoring, and inspection of the press activities of foreign mass media, foreign diplomatic missions, and international organizations in the Lao PDR to facilitate their effective operation, to ensure their compliance with laws and procedures of the Lao PDR, to contribute to socio-economic development, and to further promote foreign cooperation .

Article 2          Press Activities of Foreign Mass Media, Foreign Diplomatic Missions, and International Organizations in the Lao PDR

Press activities of foreign mass media, foreign diplomatic missions, and international organizations in the Lao PDR refers to press operations of foreign mass media in the form of print media, electronic media, mass media products (including their dissemination), and mass media activities operations in the Lao PDR.

Article 3          Scope of Application

This Decree applies to foreign mass media, foreign diplomatic missions, and international organizations, including their personnel, which carry out press activities in the Lao PDR.

Article 4          International Cooperation

The Government promotes mass media relations and cooperation with foreign countries, regional and international, on the basis of respect for mutual independence and benefits in compliance with treaties and international agreements to which the Lao PDR is a party

Chapter 2

Press Activities of Foreign Mass Media

Article 5          Press Activities

Foreign mass media may engage in press activities by sending their journalists to cover news and establishing their offices in the Lao PDR.

Article 6          Foreign Journalists Accompanying a Foreign Delegation

Foreign journalists who wish to accompany a particular foreign delegation to work in Laos must inform the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Laos by providing a list of the names of journalists, their equipment, and additional work plans (if any) at least three official days before entering Laos for proper consideration and facilitation.

Article 7          Foreign Journalists Working in Laos

Foreign journalists employed by foreign media agencies that do not reside in Laos and wish to visit Laos for their assignment must request permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR at least15 official days before entering Laos.                    

The following documents are required to request permission:

  1. Application letter;
  2. Profile of journalist;
  3. Copy of journalist card;
  4. Work plan (in detail);
  5. Report, press release, or any press production related to Laos in the past (if any);
  6. Equipment list;
  7. Copy of valid passport;
  8. Two 3cm x 4cm photographs.

Article 8          Establishing Foreign Mass Media Offices in Laos

Foreign mass media agencies who wish to establish offices in Laos must send a proposal letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos for the Government’s consideration and approval.

Establishing a foreign mass media office requires the qualifications listed below:

  1. Be a foreign mass media agency which is legally registered in a particular country;
  2. Have a license issued by foreign mass media agencies;
  3. Have an office and a site utility license from an individual or legal entity recognized by the relevant authorities;
  4. Have equipment and technical knowledge to service the press activities.

Article 9          Application Form for Establishing an Office

Documentation for applying to establish a foreign mass media office comprises:

  1. Establishment proposal from foreign mass media;
  2. Analysis of foreign mass media office establishment proposal in the Lao PDR;
  3. Copy of business license or foreign mass media agency establishment license recognized by the embassy or Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country concerned;
  4. Bank statement from the foreign mass media agency.

Article 10        Office Opening

After receiving permission from the government to establish an office, the foreign mass media agency must send a representative to introduce himself or herself to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos at least two months before opening the office.

A foreign mass media agency whose establishment is permitted in Laos will not be regarded as a legal entity separated from the category of foreign mass media agencies. 

Article 11        Appointing Personnel to Agency

Below are the details for appointing personnel in foreign mass media agencies:

  1. The Office Head is a person appointed by the foreign mass media agency and agreed to by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos;
  2. Auditors, journalists, and all press technical staff are people appointed by the headquarters in the Lao PDR and agreed to by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos.

Article 12        Visa Application

Journalists who wish to visit Laos for a short assignment or work in foreign mass media agencies in the Lao PDR must apply for a journalist visa (M-B2) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR and must have the following documents:

  1. Visa Proposal letter and completed visa application form;
  2. Copy of passport;
  3. Copy of journalist card;
  4. Two 3cm x 4cm photographs.

Chapter 3

Rights, Duties, and Obligations of Foreign Mass Media

Agencies and Foreign Journalists

Article 13        Rights and Duties of the Foreign Mass Media Agency Office and Foreign Journalists

A foreign mass media agency office and foreign journalists have the rights and duties to carry out press activities in the Lao PDR as follows:

  1. To operate press activities outlined in the plan and in approved news formats;
  2. To propose to import equipment and vehicles for press work complying with the laws and procedures of the Lao PDR;  
  3. To apply for multilateral departure and arrival visas complying with the laws and regulations of the Lao PDR;
  4. To employ staff, local or foreign academic staff, in compliance with the agreement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR;
  5. To hold press ID cards issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR during their assignment.  

Article 14        Obligations of Foreign Mass Media Agency Offices and Foreign Journalists

The obligations of foreign mass media agency offices and foreign journalists are as follows:

  1. To respect and comply with the constitution, laws, procedures, traditions, and fine culture of the Lao PDR;
  2. To submit mass media products to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR for consideration; the ministry will coordinate with relevant authorities to check the context before permitting dissemination;
  3. To pay income tax for foreign journalists working in the Lao PDR, including local staff who work for the agencies, in accordance with the law;
  4. To creatively promote bilateral and multilateral cooperation ties;
  5. To return press ID cards and other relevant documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR after the completion of the press assignment in the Lao PDR.

Chapter 4

Status Modification and Dissolution of

Foreign Mass Media Agency Offices

 Article 15       Status Modification of a Foreign Mass Media Agency Office

A foreign mass media agency that wishes to modify its status and operations must submit a proposal letter, analysis of new activity, and other relevant documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR for permission.

Article 16        Dissolution of Foreign Mass Media Agency Office

The office of a foreign mass media agency will be dissolved in the following cases:

  1. For voluntary dissolution, the foreign mass media agency office must submit a proposal letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR in order to request the government’s permission for dissolution;
  2. An office has not yet been opened within three months after permission has been given;
  3. Serious violation of laws and procedures.

Chapter 5

Press Activities of Foreign Diplomatic Missions and

International Organizations in the Lao PDR

Article 17        Creating Mass Media Products

Foreign diplomatic missions and international organizations in the Lao PDR who wish to create mass media products must submit the products’ content to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and comply with the Law on Mass Media and other relevant laws.

Article 18        Disseminating Mass Media Products

Foreign diplomatic missions and international organizations in the Lao PDR who wish to disseminate their mass media products through the Lao mass media must submit a proposal letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for consideration by coordinating with the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism as set forth below:

  1. Thirty days before a film screening;
  2. Ten days before displaying, contributing, or broadcasting material;
  3. Five days before holding a press conference or publishing in a newspaper.

Article 19        Foreign Electronic Media

All electronic media activities of foreign diplomatic missions and international organizations in the Lao PDR must comply with the laws and relevant procedures of the Lao PDR.

Chapter 6

Responsibilities for Foreign Mass Media

Article 20        Responsibilities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs have the following responsibilities for foreign mass media:

  1. To study and propose to government for consideration the granting of permission to foreign mass media agencies to establish an office;
  2. To study, consider, and permit press activities of foreign mass media agencies, foreign diplomatic missions, and international organizations in the Lao PDR;
  3. To check the content of foreign mass media products;
  4. To provide advice and consultation to foreign mass media agencies, foreign diplomatic missions, and international organizations in the Lao PDR on principles and procedures relating to press activities;
  5. To coordinate with the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, relevant ministries, and relevant local administrative agencies to check and facilitate the press activities of foreign mass media agencies, foreign diplomatic missions, and international organizations in the Lao PDR;
  6. To regularly summarize and report to government on the activities of foreign mass media agencies.

Article 21        Responsibilities of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism

The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism is responsible for studying and considering the activities of foreign mass media agencies as proposed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in compliance with its mandate as regulated in the Mass Media Law and other relevant laws and regulations. 

Article 22        Responsibilities of Local Sectoral and Local Administrative Agencies

Local sectoral and local administrative agencies are responsible for coordination and cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism to manage and check the press activities of foreign mass media agencies, foreign diplomatic missions, and international organizations in compliance with their mandate.

Chapter 7

Final Provisions

Article 23        Implementation

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is assigned for coordinating with the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism and relevant sectors to strictly and effectively implement this Decree.

Ministries, equivalent ministerial agencies, local administrative agencies, legal entities, and individuals shall be aware of and strictly implement the Decree.

Article 24        Effectiveness

This Decree is effective from the date of signature by the Prime Minister and fifteen days after posting on the Lao Official Gazette.

Any regulations or provisions that contradict to this Decree shall be canceled.   

 

 

                                                                                               

The Government of the Lao PDR

The Prime Minister

 

     [Signature and seal]

Thongsing THAMMAVONG



Download English:Decree on activities of foreign media in Laos No. 377/GOV, dated 24 November 2015

Download Lao:Decree on activities of foreign media in Laos No. 377/GOV, dated 24 November 2015


List Measures Related to Legal Documents
NameDescriptionStatus
Additional restrictions on foreign mass media organizationsAfter obtaining an establishment authorization from the Government, a foreign mass media organization must dispatch its representative to make presentation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR within two months and prior to opening an office.Active
Appointment of Office Personnel by foreign mass media organizationsA team of editors, reporters and all press technical staff shall be appointed by the head of the office subject to approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDRActive
Appointment of Office Personnel by foreign mass media organizationsThe head of the office shall be appointed by the foreign mass media organizations subject to approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR.Active
Censorship of foreign mass media organizationsForeign reporters are obligated to pay income tax in according to the law for foreign reporters working in the Lao PDR, including local staff working for press agency.Active
Censorship of foreign mass media organizationsForeign reporters are obligated to promote bilateral and multi-lateral relation and cooperation in a constructive manner.Active
Censorship of foreign mass media organizationsForeign reporters are obligated to respect and comply with the Constitution, laws, regulations, fine tradition and culture of the Lao PDR.Active
Censorship of foreign mass media organizationsForeign reporters are obligated to return all documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR after the press mission term in the Lao PDR comes to an end.Active
Censorship of foreign mass media organizationsForeign reporters are obligated to send mass media products to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for consideration in collaboration with relevant sectors to inspect the content before dissemination.Active
Requirements to establish a foreign mass media organizationA foreign mass media organization that wishes to establish its office in the Lao PDR shall be a foreign mass media organization duly registered in certain countries.Active
Requirements to establish a foreign mass media organizationA foreign mass media organization that wishes to establish its office in the Lao PDR shall financial statement of foreign mass media organization.Active
Requirements to establish a foreign mass media organizationA foreign mass media organization that wishes to establish its office in the Lao PDR shall have an duly authorized office, acknowledged by the relevant administrative authority.Active
Requirements to establish a foreign mass media organizationA foreign mass media organization that wishes to establish its office in the Lao PDR shall include:
1. An application letter from foreign mass media organization;
2. A feasibility study regarding the application for establishment of foreign mass media organization in the Lao PDR;
3. A copy of Enterprise Registration Certificate or foreign mass media organization establishment license certified from embassy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of relevant country;
4. Financial statement of foreign mass media organization.
Active
Requirements to establish a foreign mass media organizationA foreign mass media organization that wishes to establish its office in the Lao PDR shall obtain a license from foreign mass media organizations.Active
Restrictions on foreign reporters without an office in the Lao PDRForeign reporters working for international mass media organizations that have no offices in the Lao PDR who wish to come to the Lao PDR for press activities shall seek authorization from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR fifteen business days in advance.
Application documents of foreign reporters to seek permission to perform press activities are comprised of:
1. Letter of Proposal;
2. CV of reporter;
3. Copy of reporter card;
4. Detail activity plan;
5. Text, news or press products done with the Lao PDR during the past period (if any);
6. List of equipment;
7. Copy of a valid Passport; and
8. 2 photos size 3x4;
Active