Shift to a circular economy
Vietnam has introduced a new extended producer responsibility (EPR) regime that places responsibility on producers and importers to manage waste associated with the full life-cycle of their products. EPR in Vietnam is implemented via Decree No. 08/2022/ND-CP implementing some Articles in the Law on Environmental Protection (“Decree No. 08“), and Circular No. 02/2022/TT-BTNMT on the Detailed Implementation of some Articles in the Law on Environmental Protection (“Circular No. 02“), both effective 10 January 2022.
EPR in Vietnam is introduced in the form of the following mandatory frameworks:
- Recycling framework for packaging waste management (“Packaging Recycling Obligations“)
- Recycling framework for products (“Product Recycling Obligations“)
- Waste management framework for products that are difficult to recycle or that cannot be recycled (“Waste Treatment Obligations“)
Producers of products or packaging subject to Packaging Recycling Obligations and Product Recycling Obligation (“Recycling Obligations“) will be entitled to select among the following:1
- Independently recycling their product packaging
- Hire a recycling service to carry out the recycling
- Authorizing a qualified third-party organization to organize the recycling
- Contributing to the Vietnam Environmental Protection Fund (“VEP Fund“)
All producers and importers subject to Recycling Obligations will be required to register and report on their recycling activities or declare their contribution to the VEP Fund every year before 31 March.2 If producers or importers authorize a third party to recycle on their behalf, the third party is responsible for registering and reporting on recycling activities.3
Each type of packaging and products that needs to be recycled will be subject to a mandatory recycling rate on the basis of the life cycle, disposal rate and collection rate of the product or packaging, national recycling targets, environmental protection requirements and socio-economic conditions.4 This required recycling rate will be measured and adjusted every three years.5
The financial contribution, in lieu of recycling, under option iv. will be determined according to the product or packaging specific recycling rate, the volume of products and packaging produced and put on the market or imported, and the per unit recycling cost (including sorting, collection, transportation, recycling, management, and administrative costs).6
Packaging Recycling Obligations
|Packaging for:||Scale||Obligation||Time frame for enforcement of recycling obligations|
|Food products||Producers with a total annual turnover of VND 30 billion or more in the previous year; or importers with a total import value of VND 20 billion or more in the previous year||Must meet package-specific recycling requirements. All treatment solutions employed must meet the requirements of environmental protection for the collection, storage and treatment of the specified waste.||1 January 2024|
|Cosmetics and pharmaceuticals|
|Fertilizers, animal feeds and veterinary drugs|
|Detergents, preparations for household use, agricultural use and medical use|
Product Recycling Obligations
|Products||Scale||Obligation||Time frame for enforcement of recycling obligations|
|Electronics – including light bulbs, computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, cameras, video recorders, televisions, household appliances and solar panels||Applies to all producers and importers||Must meet product-specific recycling requirements. All treatment solutions employed must meet the requirements of environmental protection for the collection, storage and treatment of the specified waste.||1 January 2025|
|Batteries||1 January 2024|
|Lubricating oils||1 January 2024|
|Inner tubes and tires||1 January 2024|
|Vehicles, motorbikes and heavy equipment||1 January 2027|
Waste Treatment Obligations
Producers and importers of products subject to Waste Treatment Obligations will be required to make financial contribution to the VEP Fund to support waste treatment activities. All producers and importers subject to Waste Treatment Obligations will be required to declare their contribution to the VEP Fund every year before 31 March, and make a payment prior to 20 April.7
The level of financial contribution to the VEP Fund shall be adjusted every five years and gradually increased according to environmental protection requirements.8
|Containers of crop protection agents||Producers with a total annual revenue of VND 30 billion or more in revenue; or Importers with a total annual import volume of VND 20 billion or more||Financial contribution to support waste treatment activities based upon the number of items, weight of items or percentage of sales|
|Diapers, sanitary napkins, single-use wet towels|
|Products and packaging using synthetic resin as an ingredient (cutlery, food packaging, straws; some disposable hygiene products, balloons, duct tape, garments, leather footwear and accessories, children’s toy, furniture, construction materials, and some non-biodegradable plastic bags)|
1 Decree No. 08, Art. 79.
2 Ibid, Art. 80.
4 Ibid, Art. 78.
5 Ibid, Art. 78(3).
6 Ibid, Art. 81.
7 Ibid, Art. 84. Note that payment may be made annually or biannually.
8 Ibid, Art. 83.