Vietnam Brief Report: Law on Environmental Protection 2020 of Vietnam (4)

Hazardous waste management and environmental audit

On November 17, 2020, the National Assembly of Vietnam enacted the Law on Environmental Protection 2020 (72/2020/QH14). This law thoroughly amends the Law on Environmental Protection 2014 and sets out requirements for a wide range of environmental issues. Articles 81 to 85 of the law stipulate collection, classification, storage, transportation, treatment, etc. of industrial solid waste including hazardous waste for companies (organizations/individuals) in detail. In addition, requirements for “environmental audit” were also set for the first time.

The original text of this law can be downloaded from the following URL. This law will come into effect on January 1, 2022 (with exceptions for some articles).


Requirements for classification, storage and transportation of general industrial solid waste (Article 81)

General industrial solid waste must be classified as follows. However, if hazardous waste is mixed into general industrial solid waste and cannot be further divided, it must be classified as “hazardous waste”.

  • General industrial solid waste that can be reused and recycled as raw materials for production
  • General industrial solid waste used for construction and landfill that meets technical standards
  • General industrial solid waste that must be treated


Requirements for declaration, classification, collection, storage and transportation of hazardous waste (Article 83)

Hazardous waste generators take the following responsibilities.

    • Report the weight and type of hazardous waste by the application for issuance of “environmental permission*” or “environmental application*”.
    • Classify and collect hazardous waste.
    • Conduct reuse, recycling, disposal, communal disposal and energy recovery in-house, or hand over to a facility with an appropriate environmental permission.

* “Environmental permission” is a permission promulgated by the national management agency to organizations/individuals who carry out manufacturing, transactions and services in order to permit waste discharge into the environment, waste management and import of scraps for production that satisfy environmental protection requirements.

* “Environmental application” means that the project owner of manufacturing, transactions and services applies to the national management agency for waste discharge and environmental protection measures.

The following requirements must be followed when storing hazardous waste.

    • Store separately by classified types.
    • Store with care to prevent mixing with general waste.
    • Do not let waste dust dissipate or leak to the environment.
    • Do not keep after the storage period stipulated by law.

Hazardous waste must be transported by appropriate equipment and means. In addition, the means of transporting hazardous waste must be equipped with GPS devices in accordance with the technical requirements, processes and timetables set by the local government.


Environmental audit (Article 74)

The Law on Environmental Protection 2020 newly recommends (not obligatory) business operators to conduct environmental audit. The main contents are as follows, but specific technical guidance will be promulgated separately by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

    • Use of energy, chemicals, raw materials, imported scraps for production
    • Contamination control and waste management


Please see more about the details of the Law on Environmental Protection 2020 (72/2020/QH14):

Author / Responsibility

AOKI Kenji

Senior Consultant, EnviX Ltd.
General Director, E&H Consulting Co., Ltd.

Business Performance

Expertise in EHS (environment, health and safety) consulting in ASEAN region.
- Environmental regulations updating
- Chemical regulations consulting


MSc in Earth Science, The University of Tokyo

AOKI Kenji