Vietnam: Extended producer responsibility ̶ latest legislative development

In brief

In the period between 2020 and 2022, the new Law on Environmental Protection (LEP) and its guiding Decree No. 08/2022/ND-CP (“Decree 08“) were promulgated, providing a fundamental legal framework for extended producer responsibility (EPR). EPR-related regulations impose a number of obligations on manufacturers and importers of certain types of products and packaging in Vietnam. Nonetheless, the EPR legal framework is yet complete.

Summarized below are the latest developments of the EPR regime in Vietnam.

In depth

  • EPR, an extension of the responsibility of the producer and importer of a product to the disposal stage in the product’s life cycle, comprises two primary responsibilities: (i) responsibility for recycling products and packaging; and (ii) responsibility for waste collection and treatment. While the obligations in (ii) took effect on 10 January 2022, the recycling obligations in (i) will be effective soon (see effective dates of relevant products in the table below).
  • Subjects of EPR must comply with various recycling requirements and obligations once such requirements become effective.

Extended producer responsibility

Effective date of compliance

(i) Waste treatment and collection responsibility

From 10 January 2022

(ii) Recycling responsibility

Packaging and batteries; lubricating oil; tires

From 1 January 2024
Electrical and electronic products

From 1 January 2025

Transport

From 1 January 2027

  • On a side note, the following two major draft legislations are on their way to be issued so that the EPR regime can be fully implemented:
No. Draft EPR regulation Tentative date of issuance

Status

1

Draft Circular on the promulgation of rules on the management and use of the financial contribution of producers and importers into the Vietnam Environment Protection Fund (VEPF) for supporting recycling and waste treatment

Q1 2023 Pending at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE).
2 Draft Decision of the Prime Minister on the promulgation of the norms of recycling costs for products and packaging Q4 2023

Currently being drafted by the MONRE and yet to be available for public comment.

  • Notwithstanding the forthcoming deadlines, there remain a number of major concerns around the draft regulations above, including but not limited to their justification, reasonableness, and enforceability (e.g., the reasonableness of the norm proposed for each type of packaging and product, or the narrow scope of entities eligible to receive financial support from the VEPF).
  • Close attention should be paid to the two draft EPR regulations that are expected to be promulgated in 2023, given that they are prerequisites for the implementation of EPR in practice.

BMVN has been closely following up with MONRE and relevant authorities with regard to the development of the EPR legal framework in Vietnam, and we will keep you posted accordingly. Please let us know if you have any inquiries regarding EPR or the draft regulations. Meanwhile, keep an eye out for our upcoming article, which will provide a detailed analysis of major issues in the EPR regime and their effect on businesses.

 

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