Vietnam Vietnam amends penalty rules over environmental violations

New decree issued to amend and supplement the Decree No. 155/2016/ND-CP on administrative penalties in the field of environmental protection

On May 21, 2021, the Vietnamese government promulgated the Decree No. 55/2021/ND-CP on the Amendments and Supplements to the Decree No. 155/2016/ND-CP on Administrative Penalties for Violations in the Field of Environmental Protection (hereinafter “the Amended Decree”). The Amended Decree clarifies and revises some requirements of the Decree No. 155/2016/ND-CP that stipulates penalties for violations against various environmental regulations. The Amended Decree will enter into force on July 1, 2021.

 

The major amendments/supplements are summarized as follows:

Prevalence of local technical regulations to national regulations Regarding Article 6 of the Decree No. 155/2016/ND-CP on the application of environmental technical regulations and use of environmental parameters: When a local government has established environmental technical regulations and/or parameters, such local regulations/parameters shall prevail to the national technological regulations/parameters in terms of determination of penalties against environmental violations.
Punishment for violation on regulations on discharging locations Regarding Article 6 of the Decree No. 155/2016/ND-CP on the application of environmental technical regulations and parameters: When there are multiple discharging points within a certain factory site, penalties shall be imposed for each violation at each violent point.
New penalty established for violations by environmental monitoring facilities Insertion of Article 13a before Article 13 of the Decree No. 155/2016/ND-CP: A fine ranging from VND 40,000,000 to VND 50,000,000 shall be imposed for the act of outsourcing environmental monitoring to any service supplier that does not have the Certificate of eligibility for provision of environmental monitoring services.
New penalty established for illegal disposal of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Regarding Articles 22 and 23 of the Decree No. 155/2016/ND-CP on the transportation and processing of hazardous wastes: A penalty has been newly established for the act of disposing POPs that need to be eliminated under Appendix A to the Stockholm Convention in violation of regulations on environmental protection.
Revised hazardous environmental parameters For exhaust gases and ambient air, the term “hazardous environmental parameters” shall now refers to the parameters on hazardous substances specified in the national technical regulations on 1) hazardous substances in ambient air and 2) wastes. For details, refer to Section II of the Annex I to the Amended Decree.

 

In addition, amendments/supplements made under the Amended Decree include:

  • The penalties for violations of regulations on direct import of scraps as production raw materials have been detailed.
  • New penalties have established for violations of regulations on the environmental rehabilitation report.
  • New penalties have established for violations of regulations on soil environmental protection.

 

For a violation that is committed before the effective date of the Amended Decree and for which the decision of penalty is issued after the effective date of the Amended Decree, the penalty shall be determined in accordance with the Amended Decree. In addition, when a decision of penalty is issued for a violation committed before the effective date of the Amended Decree but the business entity that receives the decision asks for explanation on the decision, the explanation may be given in accordance with the Law on Administrative Violation Handling.

 

The Amended Decree can be downloaded at:
http://vanban.chinhphu.vn/portal/page/portal/chinhphu/hethongvanban?class_id=1&_page=1&mode=detail&document_id=203273