ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS CHANGES

THAY ĐỔI LUẬT MÔI TRƯỜNG ĐỐI VỚI DOANH NGHIỆP

ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS CHANGES

The Law on Environmental Protection 2020 takes effect from January 1, 2022 and contains many special changes for enterprises, in order to ensure good environmental protection implementation while also assisting businesses in improving their competitiveness,. entering international markets, and ensuring sustainable development. The analysis below will highlight several significant developments that businesses should be aware of. ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS CHANGES

1. The investment project classification is based on new specific criteria

The previous versions of the Law on Environmental Protection.are mainly based on the criteria of the level of adverse environmental impacts and land use area to classify investment projects. At article 28 of the Law on Environmental Protection 2020 provides more clarity about the scale,.capacity and type of production, business and service and environmentally sensitive factors. Accordingly,.the investment project is divided into 04 groups: I is at high danger, whereas II is at risk, III (lower risk); IV (no risk). In particular, only subjects at risk of high environmental impacts.(Group I) must make a preliminary environmental impact assessment.

The purpose of this rule.is to identify the implementing enterprise’s environmental protection.responsibilities. Non-Group I investment project owners will save time and.costs if a preliminary environmental impact study is not required. ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS CHANGES

2. Supplementing regulations on preliminary environmental impact assessment

The Law on Environmental Protection 2020 provides for a preliminary environmental impact assessment.applicable to Group I projects and shall be conducted during.the period of a pre-feasibility study on investment in construction,.proposal decisions on investment guidelines or approval of investment guidelines. Pursuant to Clause 3,.Article 28 of the Law on Environmental Protection 2020, Group I investment projects include: ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS CHANGES

“a) Projects involved in types of production,.business and services that are likely to cause environmental pollution; projects providing hazardous waste treatment service; projects involving import of scrap from foreign countries as production materials;

b) Medium-scale and capacity projects involved in types of production, business and services with environmentally sensitive factors that are likely to cause; large-scale and capacity projects not involved in types of production, business and services with environmentally sensitive factors that are likely to cause environmental pollution;

c) Projects using land, land with water surface and marine area with environmentally sensitive factors;

d) Large- or medium-scale and capacity projects on extraction of minerals and water resources with environmentally sensitive factors;

đ) Projects require repurposing of land on at least medium scale with environmentally sensitive factors;

e) Projects requiring migration and relocation.

Thus, from February 1, 2021,.investors must conduct the preliminary assessment.the environmental impact for their expected investment projects as required during the period of.pre feasibility study as prescribed by law.

3. Revised the environmental impact assessment (EIA)

Compared to the previous regulations, the time for making.and submitting an EIA report for appraisal of the Law on Environmental Protection 2020 is clearer. Specifically, Clause 6,.Article 34 provides for the time limit for EIA reports appraisal begins on the date of receiving.a satisfactory application as follows:

  • Not exceeding 45 days with respect to the Group I investment project (with a high risk of adverse environmental impacts)

  • With respect to the Group II investment project, no more than 30 days are allowed (with the risk of adverse impacts on the environment). Specifically, Large-or medium-scale projects using land, land with the water surface and marine area with environmentally sensitive factors; Small-scale and capacity projects on extraction of minerals and water resources with environmentally sensitive factors; Small-scale projects requiring repurposing of land with environmentally sensitive factors; Medium-scale projects requiring migration and relocation.

  • Within the time limit specified, the appraising authority shall notify the investment project owner in writing of the appraisal result. The time when the investment project owner revises the EIA reports at the request of the appraising authority and the time when the approval decision is considered to be issued as prescribed shall not be included in the time limit for appraisal;

  • The time limit mentioned above may be extended under the Prime Minister’s decision.

In particular, investors need an environmental impact assessment together with preparing the feasibility study report or comparable document. ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS CHANGES

At the same time,.The approval of EIA reports was also replaced by The decision on approval of EIA reports appraisal result under the Law on Environmental Protection 2020. Thus, after having this approval decision, the investor shall adjust.and supplement the contents of the investment project and report EIA.to suit the contents and requirements on environmental protection stated in the decision on approval of EIA reports appraisal result.

4. New regulations on environmental licenses

This is a new concept under the Law on Environmental Protection 2020. An environmental license is a document issued by a competent authority to an organization or individual (hereinafter referred to as “entity”) involved in business activities, permitting such organization or individual to discharge waste into the environment and manage waste and scrap imported from foreign countries as production materials in accordance with environmental protection requirements as prescribed by law. Accordingly, this license is mandatory for the discharge project, more or less carries the risk of environmental impact, only exempted non-risk projects (Group IV) and emergency public investment projects (disaster response, disasters … ).  ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS CHANGES

Thus, the environmental licenses will replace all types of environmental papers in many fields (importing scrap, treating hazardous waste, discharging industrial emissions, discharging wastewater into water sources, irrigation works) that are currently distributed and complicated in many legal documents, help investors in reducing administrative procedures.

Specifically, the Environmental License will clearly state the scope of environmental permits and environmental protection requirements. The environmental license will have a term of 7 to 10 years depending on the type of project or maybe shorter as proposed by the investor or facility. ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS CHANGES

Regarding the time of submitting the application for issuance of an environmental license, Decree 08/2022/ND-CP stipulates 4 times according to 4 different projects types, specifically:

  • must conduct the EIA to submit the application for issuance of an environmental license after the completion of the waste treatment works for the whole project or for each investment divergence of the project (if the project has an investment divergence in each stage) or for the item of independent waste treatment works of the project.
  • The owner who is not subject to the EIA shall decide for himself the time of submitting the application for issuance of environmental license after having the full dossier as prescribed.
  • operating before the effective date of the Law on Environmental Protection (1-1-2022) has environmental criteria such as group I, II, III projects that are operating the testing of waste treatment works in accordance with the provisions of the law to decide the time of submitting the application for issuance of an environmental license.to ensure the time when an environmental license must be obtained after the end of the test operation but no later than 45 days in case the environmental license is issued by the Ministry level, before 30 days in case of being issued by the Provincial or District level People’s Committee, up to the time of having an environmental license.
  • shall decide for themselves the time of submission of application for issuance.of environmental license to ensure the time of obtaining environmental license in accordance with the Law on Environmental Protection and this Decree but no later than 45 days.in case the environmental license is issued by the Ministry level, before 30 days in case of being issued by the Provincial or District level People’s Committee, up to the time of having an environmental license.

enviromental laws changes

5. New regulations on Environmental Registration

This is also a new concept under the Law on Environmental Protection 2020. It is a business investment project owner or business owner.registering with a regulatory body waste discharge-related contents and environmental protection measures of such business investment project owner or business owner (hereinafter referred to as.“the investment project/business”).

Pursuant to Clause 6, Article 49 of this Law, the time for environmental registration shall be prescribed as follows:

  1. Waste-generating investment projects, production, business.and service establishments are not required to obtain an environmental license (except for other exemptions) and subject to EIA and environmental registration before being put into official operation

  2. For new investment projects after.the effective date of the Law on Environmental Protection 2020, depending on the type of project, the environmental registration must be carried out.before granting construction permits, discharging into the environment or going into official operation.

  3. For production, business and service establishments operating.before the effective date of the Law on Environmental Protection 2020,.environmental registration must be carried out within 24 months from the effective date of this Law.

  4. Communal People’s Committees is the place where the environmental registration is received; at the same time, it is responsible for carrying out inspections and imposing penalties for violations against the law on environmental protection committed by entities carrying out environmental registration; providing guidance and handling propositions about environmental protection regarding the contents registered by the entities carrying out environmental registration; update data on environmental protection to the national environmental information system and database.

  5. More specific regulations on environmental auditing

This concept is in the Law on Environmental Protection 2014,.however, it is not until the Law on Environmental Protection 2020 that environmental auditing is detail in the law. Specifically,.this new law has added the content of environmental auditing to regulate.auditing activities within organizations, production, business and service establishments conducted.by the unit itself or through auditing services. The purpose of this activity is to strengthen.the environmental management capacity of enterprises,. help enterprises recognize gaps in environmental management and have solutions to more effectively modify environmental management operations.

6. Supplement regulations on responsibility of producers and importers for recycling, waste collection and treatment

The Law on Environmental Protection 2020 stipulates.that producers and importers have two responsibilities:.recycling products and packaging, applying to products and packaging of recyclable value.and the responsibility to collect waste, waste treatment,.applicable to products and packages containing hazardous substances.that is difficult to recycle, causing difficulties for waste collection.and treatment. ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS CHANGES

a. Recycling responsibilities of producers and importers

Regarding the responsibility to recycle products,.packaging, producers and importers of 06 groups,.packaging including tires, batteries and batteries, lubricants, products with packaging.(for example food, cosmetics, medicines, fertilizers …),.electricity and electronics, means of transport must be responsible for recycling products,.packaging according to a mandatory recycling rate and.in a mandatory recycling manner.

Producers and importers.may organize themselves for recycling or may make financial contributions.to the Vietnam Environmental Protection Fund to support recycling activities.

Producers and importers of 04 groups including tires,.batteries and batteries, lubricants and.products with packaging must fulfill their recycling responsibilities.from January 1, 2024. For electrical and electronic products, it must be implemented from January 1,.2025 and for vehicles (cars and motorcycles).must fulfill the responsibility for recycling from January 1, 2027.

b. Responsibilities for waste collection and treatment of producers and importers

Regarding the responsibility for waste collection and treatment,.the producer and importer of 06 groups of products and.packaging shall contribute financially to support waste collection and treatment,.including pesticides, disposable batteries, diapers, tampons,. disposable wet wipes, chewing gum, cigarettes,.some products, goods containing synthetic plastic ingredients. Producers and importers must make financial contributions to the Vietnam Environmental Protection Fund to support waste collection and treatment from January 1, 2022. ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS CHANGES

The contributions of producers and importers are used only to directly support the recycling activities of products, packaging or waste collection and treatment activities.(not used for other purposes), different from taxes or environmental protection fees.

The money for supporting waste collection and treatment is expected to support only projects,.non-profit waste collection and treatment activities.and serve the public interest,.in which priority is given to supporting the resolution of waste collection and.treatment problems in areas with difficult social-economic conditions,.it’s especially difficult.

7. Amending and supplementing the list of strategies and plannings to carry out the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

Decree 08/2022/ND-CP detailing a number of articles of.the Law on Environmental Protection 2020 has amended and supplemented the list of strategies for development of sectors,.sectors of national and regional scales must conduct the SEA such as transport development strategy; livestock; construction materials … For the national sector planning,.there are additional plans on infrastructure for reserve and supply of petroleum and gas. For planning of a technical and specialized nature,.it has added the Nuclear Power Development Plan,.and at the same time abolished some plannings that must carry out the SEA.

8. Supplement policies on green credit and green bonds

The Law on Environmental Protection 2020.has added a chapter on economic tools,.policies and resources to protect the environment. In particular,.it has added policies on the development of environmental industry, environmental services, environmentally friendly products and services;.prioritize the implementation of green procurement for projects and tasks using the State budget;.promoting the exploitation, use and development of natural capital. Especially supplement policies on green credit, green bonds.

In Decree 08/2022/ND-CP,.the Government has stipulated mechanisms to encourage the issuance of green credit.and preferential policies for green bond issuers and green bond investors.to encourage actors to mobilize a variety of social resources to protect the environment. Specifically,.credit institutions and foreign bank branches in Vietnam granting green credit are entitled to the following incentive mechanisms: ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS CHANGES

  • Prioritize access to concessional loans from the Government, international organizations and development partners;

  • Supporting by competent state agencies in training and training for green credit.

Green bond issuers and green bond investors entitle to the following preferential policies:

  • Enjoying service price incentives in accordance.with the law on service prices in the field of securities and.other supporting policies and incentives as prescribed by law;

  • Public investment projects using capital.from green bond issuance issued by the Government and local authorities is given priority to allocate enough capital according.to the project implementation schedule in the medium-term and.the annual public investment plan.

As a result,.this article is meant to enable your company to have a more.thorough and comprehensive view.when updating the Law on Environmental Protection, consequently,.providing a proactive way of issue management and reoslution, and, there are measures to prevent and control projects.with high risk of environmental pollution. For detailed advice,.please contact us at hotline +84 2862 779 399, +84 3939 30 522 or email info@lawplus.vn.

 

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