On 14 January 2021, Vinachemia, a Vietnamese chemical agency under Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) held a meeting to report its regulatory performance in 2020 and the targets and regulatory action plan for 2021. MOIT Deputy Minister Cao Quoc Hung, Vinachemia Director General Nguyen Van Thanh and Dupity Director General Nguyen Kim Lien, and senior officers from relevant agencies attended the meeting.
Regulatory performance in 2020
In 2020, Vinachemia issued a number of laws, regulations and legal documents including: one Prime Minister’s decision (on responding measures against incidents involving toxic chemicals), eight circulars (seven of which promulgated National Technical Standards (QCVN)) and 1159 documents and decisions (including documents approved by MOIT). Regarding the improvement of administration, in 2020, Vinachemia put major efforts on enactment of required laws and regulations, simplification of administrative procedures, and capacity building among executive officers in charge. In particular, along with the administrative simplification, Vinachemia has started to clearly indicate chemicals-related procedures newly established, revised, supplemented, and excluded on its official website. Other notable examples of its efforts in 2020 include: actively supported companies’ annual reporting on chemicals-related activities using the National Chemicals Database, which successfully save companies time and expenses. MOIT has indeed recognized Vinachemia as a leading agency in public online services including of the National Single Window (NSW). To date, eight sets of administrative procedures (two of which are ones newly established in 2020) have become available on NSW.
Other Vinachemia’s outcomes in 2020 are as below:
- In collaboration with the National Institute for Trade and Industry Strategy and Policy Studies, Vinachemia made a proposal on the establishment of the Vietnam Chemical Industry Development Strategy to 2030 (with a Vision to 2040). In addition, it continued to manage projects on investment in the chemicals sector.
- In collaboration with the Ministry of Public Security and the General Department of Custom, Vinachemia conducted inspections at facilities that carried out import/export, trade or use of industrial precursors as well as provided them with guidance on regulatory compliance on industrial precursors. In addition, the chemical agency appropriately operated the import/export licensing scheme for industrial explosives and explosive precursors using NSW and the official website providing public online services.
- Vinachemia answered to questions from industry about tax incentive policies and provided guidance on how to import/export, manufacture and trade chemicals in conformity to the current Law on Chemicals and its subordinate regulations.
- Conducted audits and inspections on more than 30 companies (12 of them were then excluded due to the spread of Covid-19). In the 4th quarter of 2020, pursuant to Deputy Prime Minister’s document No. 3602/VPCP-KGVX (dated May 7, 2020) on the strengthened management, inspection and monitoring of facilities that import, manufacture, trade or use nitrous oxide (N2O), ad hoc inspections were performed at nine companies engaged in trading of nitrous oxide (N2O) gas.
Targets and plan for 2021
At the meeting, MOIT Deputy Minister Cao Quoc Hung proposed the Vinachemia’s targets for 2021 as follows:
- To strengthen outreach activities to improve understanding and awareness of the public on the field of chemical substance management.
- To integrate the Vietnam Chemical Industry Development Strategy to 2030 (with a Vision to 2040) to the amendment of the Law on Chemicals.
- To introduce cutting-edge technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution to chemical management in the country for better performance of chemical substance management, inspection, accident response, etc. through better chemical administration and effective use of national chemical database system
- To continuously strengthen the acquisition of experience and knowledge on chemical management in other countries around the world.
According to Nguyen Bang Tan, in 2021 Vinachemia is going to further strengthen its management on chemical substances with four long-term goals: (1) to establish technical standards comprehensively and achieve better management of toxic chemicals, (2) to propose amendment of the Law on Chemicals and to examine possible amendments and/or supplements to Decree No. 113/2017/ND-CP, (3) to strengthen chemical-related inspections and audits, (4) to complete the development of Vietnam Chemical Industry Development Strategy to 2030 (with a Vision by 2040).
In addition, the following targets were also mentioned.
- To develop a map showing investment areas as well as a strategy for survey and public relation related to chemicals.
- To encourage, invest in and enhance the chemical production complex models.
- To investigate areas where surplus products may occur in the short or medium term, and accordingly examine future development policies and associated risks in those areas.
- To complete the NSW and public online services according to the plan developed by MOIT. In addition, in partnership with the e-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency under MOIT, to efficiently improve administrative procedures by improving the rating of the public online services from level 3 to 4.