Bill to fully amend Law on Environmental Protection of 2014 in Vietnam

Major changes expected in waste affairs

On December 13, 2019, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Vietnam published a new bill to fully amend the Environmental Protection Law of 2014 and opened the call for public comments. Consisting of 17 chapters and 176 articles and four annexes, this bill aims to improve on previous challenges and prevent environmental pollution more than ever before, based on the current situation in Vietnam.

The original text of this bill is available at the following URL.
http://www.monre.gov.vn/VanBan/Lists/VBDuThao/Attachments/157/Du%20thao%20Luat%20Bao%20ve%20moi%20truong%20-%20lay%20y%20kien.doc

In addition, a document that summarizes the background of drafting of this bill, which was released at the same time, can be downloaded from:
http://www.monre.gov.vn/VanBan/Lists/VBDuThao/Attachments/157/Du%20thao%20To%20trinh%20Chinh%20phu%20-%20lay%20y%20kien.doc

This bill will be the prime law for environment protection in Vietnam and have a wide range of scope.

 

Collection and disposal of waste products

The so-called Vietnamese version of WEEE is also mentioned in this bill, but it differs from the current system in two aspects. The first point is that “packaging materials” is added as a regulated product. Under the Expanded Producer Responsibility (EPR), the draft stipulates three new categories of packaging materials that will be required to be collected and processed: packaging materials of plastic, metal and glass. The second is the introduction of an “environmental protection fund” system to ensure the collection and treatment of discarded products. Manufacturers or importers of regulated products will be required to calculate the cost of collecting and processing their products and pay the Environmental Protection Fund based on these cost. The funds raised will be then distributed to waste disposer who actually collect and treat those discarded products.

 

Waste Audits

A new provision on waste management stipulated in this bill is the system of “waste audits”. It will require all kinds of production and service facilities to audit their own wastes or outsource it to a third party. Specifically, the waste audit will examine the following items.

  1. Information and data on the raw materials used
  2. Type and source of waste and the amount of waste generated
  3. Calculation of the substance balance
  4. Measures to reduce waste generation

The detailed procedures and methods for the audit will be developed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment later.