New draft law on importing recyclate submitted to Vietnam National Assembly

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Vietnam Environment Minister Tran Hong Ha
Vietnam Environment Minister Tran Hong Ha delivering a speech at the conference where the new draft Environment Law was discussed

Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has submitted a new draft of the Law on Environmental Protection (Amended) to the country’s 14th National Assembly.

Following a conference hosted by the Ministry to agree the text, the law will now be debated and amended by the 14th National Assembly before becoming law.

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This new law amends the previous Environmental Protection legislation from 2014 and contains a number of articles on recycling and waste, most of which has a domestic focus.

However, Article 74 outlines the rules on importing recyclate.

This article is largely similar to Article 142 in the previous draft that was published in January of this year.

It states:

Article 74. Environmental protection in scrap import           

1. Scrap imported from abroad into Vietnam must meet environmental technical regulations and on the list of scraps permitted to be imported from abroad for use as raw production materials.

2. Organizations and individuals may import discarded materials only as raw production materials for their production establishments and must meet the following environmental protection requirements :

a) Having production facilities with technologies, recycling equipment, reuse, warehouses and yards reserved for gathering scrap to meet environmental protection requirements; have a plan to handle impurities accompanying scrap in accordance with imported scrap;

b) Having an environmental impact assessment report appraised by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment;

c) Having an environmental license as prescribed by law ;

d) Deposit security of imported scrap before the time of scrap unloading at the port in case of import via sea border checkpoint or import into Vietnamese territory in other cases;

d) There is a written commitment on re-export or handling of scrap in case the imported scrap does not meet the requirements of environmental protection.

3. collateral imported scrap is the organization and individuals importing scraps send a sum of money or precious metals, precious stones or valuable papers treated to financial institutions, credit provisions to ensure the reduction and overcoming of environmental risks caused by scrap import activities.

4. The Government shall detail this Article.

A key change in this draft is that companies importing scrap will need to provide collateral to provide credit against any risks caused by scrap import activities. This did not appear in the previous version.

Vietnam introduced new standards for import of recycled materials in 2018, and these appear unchanged by this legislation for the time being.

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