On July 16, 2021, the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) released the Draft Circular Detailing a Number of Articles of the Law on Environmental Protection 2020 (hereinafter the “draft circular”). Public comments on this draft circular will be invited by September 20, 2021. This draft circular gives details of the following topics under the Law on Environmental Protection 2020.
- Protection of soil, water and ambient environments and natural heritage
- Plans for local environmental protection
- Strategic environmental assessment
- Environmental impact assessment
- Environmental improvement and restoration measures in mining development
- Management of various wastes
- Environmental database system and environmental reporting
- Environmental recovery after environmental accidents
- Environmental statistics and environmental databases
- Various resources on environmental protection
The draft circular can be downloaded at:
The key provisions of the draft circular are as follows.
Strengthened regulation on environmental impact assessment (EIA)
- Review committees for EIA reports shall be responsible for conclusions of the reports that they reviewed.
- EIA reports and the review committees thereof will be publicized on the authorities’ official websites.
- In addition to raw materials and chemicals to be used, if imported scrap is to be used in manufacturing processes, EIA reports must include an explanation of the amount of scrap required, processing capacity, the percentages of imported and domestically supplied scrap, and the amount planned to be used.
- For mining development projects, the EIA report must include proposed environmental improvement and restoration.
- In the part of construction works and measures for waste treatment must include an explanation on environmental accident prevention and response measures.
Detailed regulations for environmental licensing and registration
This draft circular provides detailed provisions on application documents, procedures, reapplication, renewal, replacement, etc. for environmental licenses as stipulated in Chapter 4 of the Draft Decree Stipulating Implementation Rules for a Number of Articles of the Law on Environmental Protection 2020. It should be noted that projects that are not subject to environmental licensing are subject to mandated environmental registration pursuant to Article 49 of the Law on Environmental Protection.
Integration of different regulations controlling hazardous, industrial and other wastes
Under the current regulations for hazardous waste, industrial waste, medical waste, and domestic waste are set out in separate circulars. They are integrated in the draft circular. The key provisions for hazardous, industrial, and household wastes of this draft circular are as follows:
- List and codes of hazardous wastes (Annex III Form 1 of this draft circular)
- Technical requirements for means of transport of hazardous wastes
- Technical requirements and forms for reporting, classification, collection and storage of hazardous wastes
- Technical requirements for storage containers for hazardous wastes and for accident prevention and response during transport and treatment
- Application procedures for transboundary transport and disposal of hazardous wastes regulated by the Basel Convention
- Technical requirements for hazardous waste treatment
- Environmental management plans for hazardous waste treatment facilities
- Industrial wastes management list (Annex III Form 1 of this draft circular)
- Technical requirements for storage of industrial wastes
- Requirements for on-site treatment of industrial wastewater
- Equipment for collection and storage of wastes at small-scale manufacturing and trading facilities
- Technical requirements for collection and transfer sites for household wastes
- Technical requirements for treatment of household wastes
- Methods for charging fees for collection, transport, and treatment of domestic wastes according to the volume and weight of the wastes; and methods for determining costs at collection, transport, and treatment facilities
- Provisions for deactivation and resumption of activities at household waste landfills
Changes to the Hazardous Waste Code
The hazardous waste codes 01 04 07, 02 05 01, 03 01 08, 03 02 08, 03 03 03 08, 03 04 08, 03 05 08, 03 06 08, 03 07 08, 04 02 04, 10 02 03, 12 06 06, 12 06 07, 12 06 08, 12 07 05 as set out in the current Circular 36/2015/TT-BTNMT on Hazardous Waste Management will be replaced by code 12 06 05 (sludge containing hazardous components produced by biological treatment of industrial wastewater) as set out in Annex III Form 1 of this draft circular.
Annual Report on Environmental Protection Activities
Manufacturing, trading and service facilities shall make an annual report on their environmental protection activities using Annex V Form 8 of this draft circular. As in the current regulations, a report on such activities from January 1 to December 31 of each year shall be submitted to the responsible authority by January 31 of the following year.