On September 17, 2020, at the Movenpick Hanoi Hotel, the Vietnam Chemical Agency (Vinachemia) of Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) and the U.S. Export Control and Related Border Security Program (EXBS) jointly organized a seminar on the review and assessment of the implementation of the Law on Chemicals (No. 06/2007/QH12) for chemical-related enterprises. The Law on Chemicals was enacted in 2007 and came into force in 2008, and its implementation over the past 12 years has highlighted various problems. At the seminar, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Singh, one of deputy director of Vinachemia, firstly presented the problems of the implementation of the Act, and the policies and issues for future revision. Then, experts from around the world gave a presentation on one of the issues, focusing on dual-use chemical management in relation to chemical security. Vinachemia then responded to questions from participants.
Policy for amending the Law on Chemicals and its subordinate regulations
The seven major revision under consideration presented in this seminar were as follows:
- Building the National Chemical Inventory (NCI) based on risk assessment
The conventional method of managing chemical substances is based on a list of various chemical substances, but the list has many limitations, such as excess or shortage of chemical substances. On the other hand, as the risk assessment-based chemical management system is becoming more common in other countries, Vietnam is also considering to introduce it. The National Chemical Inventory (NCI) is also being developed in this regard, and a management system based on GHS classification results is also under consideration, instead of the current various lists.
- Chemical substance management based on its life cycle
Provisions for the management of various licenses, requirements and reports on the import, manufacture, trade, use and disposal of chemical substances, as well as provisions on safety areas such as chemical accident response plans/measures and chemical safety training, need to be further institutionalized and strengthened to manage the entire life cycle of chemical substances. For example, currently there is still a lack of provisions on the disposal of chemical substances.
- Securement of chemical safety
- Establish technical standards for ensuring chemical safety.
- Continue to revise and supplement regulations on management and implementation of chemical accident response plans/measures.
- Apply risk assessment to chemical facilities.
- Continue to revise and supplement regulations on the management and implementation of chemical safety training.
- Establish a standard program for chemical safety training.
- Introduction of chemical substance risk assessment
- Evaluate the risks of chemicals to the environment and human health based on their hazards and exposure.
- Forecast hazards at chemical facilities and predict the extent and level of effects in the event of accidents.
- Evaluate the environmental and consumer hazards of chemicals including in various products.
- Control of chemicals in products (not regulated by current legislation)
- Regulate the limit of chemical substances including in products.
- Designate prohibited chemical substances in products.
- Conduct chemical risk assessment for products.
- Development of the chemical industry
- Improve production technology in order to increase value-added products.
- Appropriately distribute production manpower according to industry and area.
- Develop industrial parks, intensive industrial zones and large-scale chemical industrial zones.
- Management of dual-use chemicals
- Clarify the responsibilities of manufacturers and sellers to improve the control of dual-use chemicals relating to chemical weapons.
- Update the list of designated chemicals relating to chemical weapons production in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) (the Annex of Decree No. 38/2014/ND-CP on the control of chemicals under the Convention on the prohibition of the development, manufacture, storage, use and destruction of chemical weapons, in particular the table 3 of chemicals list).
- Strengthen management against strategic trade goods.