Vietnam and Sweden have cooperation meeting on chemical management

Regulations on chemicals in products discussed

A conference on bilateral cooperation between Vietnam and Sweden on chemical management in Vietnam was held in Hanoi from June 11-14, 2018. The expert body of the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KEMI) cooperated with the Vietnam Chemical Agency (Vinachemia) to discuss some topics such as management of chemicals in products and evaluation of the Law on Chemicals (No. 06/2007/QH12). As the management of chemicals in products (e.g. lead in paints, hazardous substances in toys and electrical and electronic equipment) is currently poorly managed in Vietnam, the problem has a high potential to adversely affect the environment and human health, especially on sensitive subjects such as infants and children.

According to experts from KEMI, in Sweden, the amount of chemical additives released into the environment at the molecular level from plastic products each year exceeds 500 ton. For this reason, EU has enacted a number of laws and regulations, including provisions on the management of chemical substances in products. The followings are the example:

  • The Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)
  • The Directive on the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical Equipment (RoHS), which regulates content of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)
  • The Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP)

Other EU legislation includes requirements for toy safety, battery management, waste electrical and electronic equipment management, food packaging management, and chemicals management for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. These regulations build on a new approach to control and emphasize the role of organizations and individuals in the product supply chain, from manufacturers, importers, authorized agencies, distributors to end users.

In addition, KEMI experts presented some comments on legal provisions that need to be amended or added to the chemical regulations of Vietnam in order to effectively implement regulations, including definitions of chemical substances in products, confidential business information (CBI), chemical registration and declaration, and cooperation between central and local authorities in chemical management affairs.

As a representative of Vinachemia, Director General (Mr.) Nguyen Van Thanh appreciated the sharing of experience and valuable opinions from KEMI experts. He said Vinachemia would accept and review the comments from KEMI, and consider their recommendations for legal improvements on chemical management in Vietnam. Therefore, it will promote the reform of administrative procedures in line with advanced chemical management practices in other countries. Vinachemia is also welcomed the cooperation proposal from KEMI on organizing a specialized training course on chemical labelling and classification for governmental officials in charge of chemical management, market management and inspection of regulatory authorities in various cities and provinces at the end of 2018.