On June 16, 2021, the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) released a draft decree that stipulates implementation rules for the Law on Environmental Protection 2020 (72/2020/QH14) (hereinafter the “draft decree”). Detailed rules regarding the requirements on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and raw materials, fuels, materials, products, goods and equipment containing POPs (hereinafter “products containing POPs”), which have been newly established in Article 69 of the Law, are provided in Part 3, Chapter V of the draft decree. Specifically, the draft decree stipulates the procedures for the application for the specific exemption given under the Stockholm Convention, requirements on labeling and information disclosure for POPs and products containing POPs, and the responsibilities of involved business entities.
The draft decree can be downloaded at:
Application for the specific exemptions on POPs given under the Stockholm Convention
Business entities that intend to manufacture POPs designated in Annex 41 of the draft decree (listed in the table below) or use any of them as raw materials for manufacturing must apply for the MONRE along with a statement on the necessity of such production or use of POPs. The result of the authority’s assessment on the necessity of POPs production or use must be presented at the time of customs clearance of the concerned POPs. The POPs subject to the specific exemption must be managed, stored, and disposed of in accordance with the regulations on hazardous waste after the expiration date specified for each substance.
|No.||Name of substance||Corresponding Annex of Stockholm Convention||Sector|
|1||Hexabromodiphenyl ether, Heptabromodiphenyl ether (HBDE)||A||Industry|
|2||Tetrabromodiphenyl ether, pentabromodiphenyl ether (PBDE)||A||Industry|
|3||Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride (PFOSF)||B||Industry
|5||Polychlorinated naphthalene (PCN)||A C||Agriculture|
|6||Decabromodiphenyl ether (DBDE)||A||Industry|
|7||Short-chain chlorinated paraffin (SCCP)||A||Industry|
|8||Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts and PFOA-related compounds||A||Industry|
Responsibilities of business entities (requirements on labeling, information disclosure, environmental protection, etc.)
Products containing POPs must be properly labelled and the label position, size, figure, symbol and language must be pursuant to the Decree No. 43/2017/ND-CP on Goods Labeling. In addition, the label must include the names and contents of POPs as stipulated in the Environmental Standards on the Maximum Permissible Level of POPs Contained in Raw Materials, Fuels, Materials, Products, Goods and Equipment, in addition to other information mandated by the Decree on Goods Labeling. When importing, manufacturing, or trading raw materials, fuels, materials, products, goods or equipment containing POPs that do not have packaging materials, the concerned business entities must notify it to the MONRE and disclose information on such products on their official websites. Once the mandated product labeling and information disclosure are performed, an inspection by authorities will be conducted on environmental protection requirements. In addition, manufacturers of products containing POPs will be required to disclose information on the contained POPs after conducting a conformity assessment pursuant to Article 51 of the draft decree. Importers of products containing POPs are also required to notify the products to the MONRE along with a conformity assessment result between the completion of customs clearance and the start of distribution of the products.
In addition to the above stated, business entities that handle POPs or products containing POPs must bear the following responsibilities:
- Such business entities must ensure that amounts of POPs contained in their products do not exceed the maximum permissible levels stipulated by regulations. If any POPs content exceeds the maximum permissible level, the business entity must safely dispose of and treat the products. The costs of the disposal and treatment must be borne by the business entities involved.
- Business entities must not export products containing POPs that exceed the maximum permissible levels. However, they may export such products for the purpose of safe treatment and disposal.
- When importing POPs that are listed in Annex 41 of the draft decree, business entities must notify the MONRE and General Administration of Customs of the quantity and name of POPs in each lot.
- Business entities must notify the MONRE of the quantities and types of POPs as stipulated in the Environmental Standards on the Maximum Permissible Level of POPs Contained in Raw Materials, Fuels, Materials, Products, Goods and Equipment. The information notified will be compiled into the Annual Report on Environmental Protection.
- Business entities must prepare a plan to stop use of POPs and products containing POPs that exceed the maximum permissible levels.
- Business entities must implement measures on collection, storage, treatment, and safe management of POPs and products containing POPs in accordance with regulations.
- Waste containing POPs must be handed over to proper treatment suppliers in accordance with regulations.
- Business entities must perform measurement, risk assessment, and environmental remediation against soil contamination by POPs pursuant to Part 3, Chapter 2 “Soil Environmental Protection” of the draft decree.