Firms Can Be Inspected Without Warning: Foreign representative offices can be inspected without warning under a new Vietnamese government statute, according to a report Friday in the Vietnam News. Vietnam’s Ministry of Trade said representative offices, which are not allowed to conduct direct business activities, could face fines of up to $500,000 if they are found violating their terms of reference. Offices operating without a license will be fined $50,000, the newspaper reported. Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City, the business center of southern Vietnam, are reportedly alarmed by a rise in illegal activities conducted by representative offices and are revoking some office licenses. These activities include importing and exporting goods without a permit.