Vietnam Brief report: Public consultation on EPR regulations in Vietnam (2nd round) (1)

Amendments from the previous version of the draft decree

On August 27, 2021, the Legislation Department of Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) held an online public consultation: Webinar: Hearing Opinions on the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulations in the Decree Stipulating Implementation Rules for the Law on Environmental Protection 2020. The webinar was chaired by Mr. Phan Tuan Hung, Director of the Legislation Department of MONRE, and attended by more than 300 experts and representatives from business associations and relevant companies. Since the previous webinar that was held on June 16, 2021, MONRE has received various opinions from governmental agencies, international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and industrial players on the EPR regulations in the draft decree detailing the Law on Environmental Protection 2020 (hereinafter “the draft decree”). Then MONRE has released the second version of the EPR regulations.

Opinions accepted by MONRE

Among various opinions submitted during the multiple rounds of public consultations, MONRE has accepted and reflected the opinions as listed below in the second version of the draft decree:

  • In the list of products and packaging materials subject to the mandatory recycling (Annex 50), the provision on the size of packaging material should be deleted.
  • Manufacturers/importers should be able to choose two or more recycling methods.
  • The composition of the formula for calculating the actual recycling ratio (Ra) should be clearly defined. Specifically, the minimum values for the disposal coefficient (D) and the collection coefficient (T) should be stipulated (Annex 50).

* Actual recycling ratio (Ra) = Disposal coefficient (D) × Collection coefficient (T)

  • If the recycling ratio exceeds the Required recycling ratio (R), the excess amount can be carried forward to the subsequent year. In addition, the provision on the three-year period in which the excess amount can be retained shall be deleted.
  • Though the required recycling ratio (R) will be increased every three years, the rate of the increase should not exceed 5%.
  • Information on the receipt and use of contributions to the fund should be made public.
  • The provision stipulating that a receipt document for fund contribution payment shall be a requirement for customs clearance of the product/packaging material concerned should be deleted.
  • It should be clearly stipulated that companies that choose to make a contribution to the fund, rather than to recycle their products, are not required to get approval on their recycling plans or to report their recycling results.
  • The provision that the PROs shall be non-profit organizations should be deleted.
  • PROs should select and execute contracts with recyclers under the supervision of the manufacturers/importers who have delegated them to do so. Accordingly, the provision regarding bidding for the selection of recyclers should be deleted.

 

EnviX Comments

As can be seen in the Opinions accepted by MONRE above, the MONRE has a flexible attitude towards opinions from industry. The Ministry seems to have an intention to encourage implementation of EPR among businesses by relaxing the regulations so that it does not impose an excessive burden on them. In the draft decree presented at another seminar session held after this one (September 9, 2021), additional comments as listed below have been accepted and reflected:

  • The provision requiring mandatory external audits on recycling results should be deleted.
  • Only internationally recognized recycling marks should be used and the provision on the Vietnam’s own national recycling mark should be deleted.

Furthermore, the latest draft decree, which was released on September 21, 2021, has also announced the postponement of the implementation schedule. In the latest version, for products other than tires, the start of the mandatory recycling scheme is postponed by one or two years. The new starting year for each product is shown in the table below.

Old version of the draft decree New version of the draft decree
Cells and batteries 2023 2024
Electrical and electronic equipment 2023 2025
Oil 2023 2024
Tire 2024 2024
Automobiles and motorbikes 2025 2027
Containers and packaging 2023 2024

 

The latest version of the draft decree can be downloaded at:
http://vea.gov.vn/detail?$id=1537

In the past, EPR regulations had been introduced in Vietnam, but they were not properly implemented. In contrast, the current attitude of the MONRE, as described above, shows the seriousness of the Vietnamese government to ensure the implementation of the EPR regulations.