Vietnam Packaging requirements for dangerous goods transportation in Vietnam published

On November 30 of 2021, Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) released the Circular on the List of Dangerous Goods Requiring Packaging During Transport and Transportation of Dangerous Goods on Roads, Railways or Inland Waterways (Circular No. 37/2020/TT-BCT, hereinafter “the Circular”). The Circular was enacted on January 14, 2021 and replaced the previous Circular No. 44/2012/TT-BCT on Mandated Packaging of Dangerous Industrial Goods During Transportation on Roads, Railways or Inland Waterways.

The Circular can be downloaded at:


Scope of regulation

The dangerous goods regulated by the Circular are the Class 2 (gases), Class 3 (flammable or explosive liquids), and Class 6.1 (toxic chemicals) out of the dangerous goods controlled by MOIT pursuant to Article 24, Paragraph 1 of the Decree No. 42/2020/ND-CP on List of Dangerous Goods and Transportation of Dangerous Goods on Roads or Inland Waterways. A total of 1336 dangerous goods as listed in Annex 1 of the Circular are included in this scope of regulation, which has significantly increased from the previous Circular (No. 44/2012/TT-BCT) that regulated 201 substances. Note that chemicals used for agricultural or medical purposes, and domestic pesticides/fungicides are excluded from the scope of the Circular.


Major requirements on transportation of dangerous goods

The below table indicates the major requirements stipulated by the Circular:

Danger sings and warning statement
  • The size, symbol, color, and warning statement of danger signs must be pursuant to Article 7, Annexes I and III of Decree 42/2020/ND-CP.
Packaging of dangerous goods
  • Dangerous goods other than those classified into the Class 2 (gases), namely solid or liquid dangerous goods, must be packed pursuant to the containment levels stipulated in the column 6 of the List of Dangerous Goods as set in Annex 1 (“the List”). The levels of containment are PG I (most dangerous), PG II (moderate danger), and PG III (least dangerous). The details are provided in Annex II of the Circular.
  • The packaging codes for dangerous goods are stipulated in column 9 of the List.
Testing and verification of containers       
  • Containers and pressure vessels for dangerous goods, and containers that are included in the list of equipment subject to strict occupational safety requirements must be tested and verified.
Companions to transporters
  • A companion is required when a transporter transports dangerous goods exceeding the quantity specified in column 7 of the List (Annex 1).
Emergency responding measures
  • When transporting dangerous goods exceeding the quantities specified in column 7 of the List (Annex 1) (unit: kilogram[kg] for solids, Liter [L] for liquids, and Liter [L] for gases, excluding the volume of the container), emergency responding measures must be in place. The details are provided in Annex IV of the Circular.
  • When the above does not apply, a guidance stipulating responding measures against accidents such as leakage, outflow, explosion and fire during transportation must be prepared.
  • When transporting dangerous goods, the transporter must carry documents describing the prescribed emergency response measures.
  • The transporter and the companion must have understood the stipulated emergency measures and be capable of implementing and giving instructions to others on the stipulated measures. In addition, the transporter must check equipment to be used for responding to emergency situations and/or alerts before every transportation.
Content, types, hours and completion certification of mandatory training for transporters
  • Mandated training for transporters must include laws and regulations related to transportation of dangerous goods, hazards and danger associated with transportation of dangerous goods, requirements for danger signs, containers and packaging, loading and unloading methods, emergency responding measures, etc.
  • There are three training types: initial training (at least 16 hours), regular training (every two years, at least 8 hours per session), and retraining (at least 12 hours).
  • Training on transportation of dangerous goods may be implemented individually or together with other safety training activities.
  • Training instructors and the carriers must keep documents related to the involved training sessions including the textbooks, participant lists, information on instructors, contents of training sessions, and examination results. Furthermore, they must allow inspection of such documents upon a request from any competent authority.
  • Within 15 days of the completion of each training session, the training instructor or the carrier must issue (1) Decision on Approval of Training Results on Transportation of Dangerous Goods and (2) Certificate of Completion of the Training on Transportation of Dangerous Goods. This Certificate of Completion shall be valid for 2 years and must be issued using the format stipulated in Annex V.

* The Certificate of Completion of the Training on Transportation of Dangerous Goods shall replace the Certificate of Completion of Training on Safe Transportation of Dangerous Industrial Goods, which was mandatory under the previous Circular 44/2012/TT-BCT. Now transporters do not have to apply for issuance of the certificate under 44/2012/TT-BCT to the competent local office of MOIT. However, any certificate that was issued under the previous Circular 44/2012/TT-BCT before the date of enactment of the Circular (i.e., January 14 of 2021) will continue to be valid until its expiring date.