On October 20, 2023, the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) published the Draft Decree Amending and Supplementing Decree No. 08/2022/ND-CP Detailing a Number of Articles of the Law on Environmental Protection (hereinafter “the Draft”), seeking comments from the general public. The Draft proposes amendments to 47 articles and 16 annexes out of total of 169 articles and 34 annexes of Decree No. 08/2022/ND-CP. Main revised items include: the target of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) scheme, the new obligation to renew Environmental Licenses, the scope of exemption from Environmental Registration, the import of scrap for production raw materials, the target of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme, and the preferential taxation for import/export.
The key revisions in terms of EPR regulations are explained below.
Clarifying the scope of the EPR regulation
The Draft clarifies the definitions of “manufacturer” and “importer” in the EPR regulation as follows:
- “Manufacturer” refers to an organization or individual that directly manufactures, or the consignor if the processing is consigned in accordance with the provisions of the Trade Law.
- “Importer” refers to an organization or individual that directly imports, or the consignor if the import is consigned in accordance with the provisions of the Trade Law.
In addition, the following exemptions are proposed for some packaging materials among the products and packaging materials subject to Recycling Responsibility.
- Among food packaging materials, chewing gum packaging materials are exempted.
- Among packaging materials for detergents, household products, agricultural products, and medical products, packaging materials for agricultural chemicals are exempted.
For Annex XXII of Decree No. 08/2022/ND-CP, which specifies the products and packaging materials subject to the Recycling Responsibility, some amendments are proposed: specifying target mixed paper packaging (only multi-layer types are covered by the recycling responsibility), the deletion of multi-layer soft plastic packaging, the reorganization of the list of electrical and electronic equipment, and altering the compulsory recycling rate. In addition, as for the standards for compulsory recycling of products and containers/packaging, which are currently listed in column 5 of the same Annex, the requirement to “collect at least 40% of the product weight based on the compulsory recycling rate” is also deleted.
*Note that for products and packaging materials covered by Decree No. 08/2022/ND-CP, manufacturers and importers will be required to implement recycling in a way as described either 1. or 2. below:
- Implementing recycling
(a) Perform in-house recycling
(b) Outsource recycling to external recyclers
(c) Outsource recycling to a third-party intermediary, or
(d) Combine methods (a), (b) and/or (c) above
- Making contribution to the Vietnam Environmental Protection Fund (Producers and importers who choose to make contributions to the Fund will be exempted from the obligation to implement recycling.)
On the other hand, it is proposed to relax the exemption conditions for importers of packaging materials subject to Treatment Responsibility by increasing the previous year’s import value based on customs value from “less than VND 20 billion (approx. USD 0.825 million)” to “less than VND 30 billion (approx. USD 1.238 million),” which is the same value range as the manufacturer’s sales value.
The Draft also adds a provision that allows manufacturers and importers to deduct (1) the cost of fulfilling the obligation to recycle products and packaging materials or (2) the contribution paid to the Vietnam Environmental Protection Fund to support recycling activities, when determining income subject to corporate income tax.
The Draft can be downloaded at: