Vietnam to introduce 80% quota for imported recycled materials

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Vietnamese National Assembly deputies
Deputies at the Vietnamese National Assembly vote to pass the new Law on Environmental Protection

Vietnam is to introduce an 80% quota on imported recycled materials, with the remaining 20% having to come from domestic sources.

However, the measure is not expected to be implemented until 1 January 2025, according to a draft decree published by the Vietnamese Government.

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The quota will work in a way that facilities using imported material may only use 80% of their designed capacity from imports at this point.

Only secondary materials that are to be used for production can be imported, and it will not be permissible to import materials for secondary processing or resale.

Scrap paper will only be permitted for production of paper products and goods, although commercial pulp will be excluded from this measure.

For scrap plastic, those operating production facilities to produce commercial recycled beads, are permitted to do so until 31 December 2024.

Those importing secondary raw materials will need to pay a deposit at credit institutions in Vietnam to cover any potential costs involved in returning or destroying materials that are not allowed for import.

This needs to be paid in Vietnamese Dong. For paper and plastic waste, the deposit will work like this:

  • For volumes less than 100 tonnes, importers must make a deposit of 15% of the total value of the waste shipment
  • For volumes of 100 to 500 tonnes, importers must make a deposit of 18% of the total value of the waste shipment
  • For volumes of more than 500 tonnes, importers must make a deposit of 20% of the total value of the waste shipment.

If this deposit does not cover the costs of returning or destroying the illegal materials, then additional fees will be charged to the importer.

The decree also sets out that Vietnamese Customs authorities must be notified of both the deposit and an inspection of the material carried out by inspection agencies approved by the Customs department. Details of when and where this inspection should take place are not clear, but a further inspection will take place by Customs officials.

However, importers can apply for an exemption from quality inspections if the material has the same name, type, technical characteristics and origin of the same supplier from an exporting country, or is certified by an assessment organisation.

After five consecutive imports, if the material complies with Vietnam’s environmental technical regulations, then the Ministry of Finance may issue a certificate of exemption from quality inspections.

Vietnam has not yet revealed when these measures will be implemented.

The country passed its Law on Environmental Protection in November 2020, and these new rules are part of that law.

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