Vietnam Vietnam: New governmental decree on preliminary EIA

On May 21, 2021, Vietnamese government issued the Decree No. 54/2021/ND-CP on Regulations on Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment (hereinafter “the Decree”). This Decree stipulates the scope and contents of the mandatory preliminary environmental impact assessment, which is stipulated by the Law on Environmental Protection 2020. The Decree entered into force at the time of its establishment. Accordingly, the previous rules on the mandatory preliminary environmental impact assessment, which were conducted for the purpose of determining investment according to Article 12 of the Decree No.40/2020/ND-CP on the Implementation of Some Articles of the Law on Public Investment, were invalidated.

The Decree can be downloaded at:
https://monre.gov.vn/VanBan/Lists/VanBanHanhChinh/Attachments/252/54.signed.pdf

 

Scope of projects subject to the preliminary environmental impact assessment requirements

Preliminary environmental impact assessments must be conducted for investment projects for which an environmental impact assessment report must be prepared as stipulated in Annex II, Part I of Decree 40/2019/ND-CP on Amending and Supplementing a number of Articles of Decrees Guiding the Implementation of the Law on Environment Protection, namely:

  • Public investment projects (excluding urgent public investment projects, projects performed pursuant to the National Target Program, and subordinate projects of projects with approved investment claims)
  • Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects
  • Investment projects that require approval under the Law on Investment
  • Investment projects that require to obtain an Investment Registration Certificate (IRC) (excluding investment projects for which an IRC has been issued upon a request by the relevant investor)

 

Contents of preliminary environmental impact assessment

  • Assessment of the conformity of the investment project with the national strategy/plan on environment protection and contents of regional/provincial plans related to environmental protection and/or other relevant plans at the investment project site
  • Assessment of major environmental impacts brought by the investment project, based on the project size, production technology and the location
  • Analysis and assessment of the project size, production technology, waste treatment techniques to be used, implementation site and measures to reduce environmental impacts.
  • Determination of existing environmental issues that should be noted in the implementation of environmental impact assessment and the scopes thereof.

 

Rules for transition to the Decree

  • No preliminary environmental impact assessment is required for 1) investment projects whose environmental impact assessment report has been reviewed before the effective date of the Decree and does not need any amendment or supplement, and 2) investment projects whose environmental impact assessment report has been approved by the competent authority.
  • Investment projects for which environmental impact assessment has been conducted and investment projects that have been approved by the competent authority do not need preliminary environmental impact assessment when applying for IRC.
  • For PPP investment projects, if the investment application documents have been received by the competent authority on and before January 1, 2021 and the environmental impact assessment has been completed, the project may be continued in accordance with the relevant regulations as of the time of receipt of the application documents. On the other hand, investment projects that have not conducted environmental impact assessment must follow the Law on Public-Private Partnership Investment and Public Investment.