On March 24, 2021, Vietnam government issued the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 12/2021/QD-TTg on Oil Spill Responses. This Decision, which took effect on May 10, stipulates rules on organizational preparation for oil spill incidents and the corrective actions to be taken within Vietnamese territory and territorial seas. The Decision replaced the Decision No. 02/2013/QD-TTG promulgating the Regulation on Oil Spill Responses, as amended and supplemented by Decision No. 63/2014/QD-TTg.
The term “oil” as used in this Decision means any of the followings:
- “Crude oil” refers to unprocessed oil that is extracted from wells. Examples include natural liquid hydrocarbons, asphalt, ozokerite, and liquid hydrocarbons obtained from natural gases with condensation or extraction methods.
- “Petroleum products” refers to processed oil. Examples include gasoline, kerosene, diesel, aviation fuel, combustion fuel, various lubrication and anti-corrosive greases, petroleum processing products, etc.
The Decision can be viewed at:
Classification of responses to oil spill incidents:
Organization and implementation of oil spill responses are classified into based on the level of the incident severity: facility level, provincial level and state level. For example, when oil spill occurs at the facility level, the facility manager shall prepare staff, measures, and equipment for the oil spill response. The manager shall also give instructions at the responding site. If the oil spill is beyond the capacity of the facility, the manager of the facility shall notify the People’s Committee of the province or city seeking for help. If the oil spill is further severe or occurs in any nature preservation area, the facility manager shall notify the National Committee for Incident and Disaster Response and Search and Rescue along with the People’s Committee of the province.
Classification of oil spill incidents
Oil spill incidents can be classified into three tiers as follows:
- Small spill: less than 20 m3 of oil spilt
- Medium spill: 20 m3 – 500 m3 of oil spilt
- Large spill: over 500m3 of oil spilt
Based on this classification, oil spill responding plans are developed and staff and equipment are prepared.
Formulation, review and approval of oil spill response contingency plans
Each facility must submit an oil spill response contingency plan to the local People’s Committee for review and approval. When there is any change in the contents of an approved plan, it must be updated annually. In addition, when there is change in the capacity to cope with oil spill incidents described in an approved plan, the plan must be re-formulated and submitted to the competent authority for approval pursuant to the current responding capacity. The formats for the oil spill response contingency plan are specified in Annex I and II of this Decision.
- Annex I: Outline and contents of oil spill response contingency plan (provincial level)
- Annex II: Outline and contents of oil spill response contingency plan (Facility Level)
In addition to the formulation and submission of an oil spill response contingency plan, each facility must organize regular on-site training sessions or have executives who will be directly involved in oil spill incident responses participate in training sessions at least every 6 months. In addition, in order to improve the responding capacity, each facility needs to have an investment plan on equipment and materials for oil spill responses and establish a system capable of responding to oil spill incidents by contracting with an external organization with sufficient capacity.
The term “facility” as used in this Decision means any of organizations, entities or individuals that develop, transport or use oil and gasoline, which involve risks of causing oil spills.