Recycling and reusing scraps removed from production and consumption are inevitable trend to save resources and limit waste treatment costs. In the context of limited domestic scrap leading to production needs of some industries producing billets, cement, paper, and plastic... are not meet, Việt Nam allows import of scrap used for raw production materials. However, in order to minimize negative impact on environment from the use of imported scrap as production materials, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) has developed and submitted legal documents managing importation and use of scrap as production materials.
In Article 76 of the Law on Environmental Protection (LEP) 2014, there are provisions on conditions for imported scrap used for production materials and for facilities who import scraps to use as production materials. Accordingly, imported scrap used for production materials must be on the List of scraps permitted for import issued by the Prime Minister and must meet technical regulations on environment issued by the MONRE. Facilities who import scrap to use as production material must meet regulations on warehouse conditions, handling impurities and other environmental protection conditions to minimize the risk of environmental pollution from the use of imported scrap.
Implementing the LEP 2014, the MONRE has submitted to the Prime Minister for promulgating Decision No. 73/2014/QD-TTg dated December 19, 2014 on the list of scraps that are allowed to be imported to be used for production materials. In which, the List includes 36 types of scrap together with HS code that are allowed to be imported as production materials, divided into groups of scrap: paper scrap; iron and steel scrap; plastic scrap; granulated slag (slag sand) from the manufacture of iron or steel, gypsum scrap, non-ferrous metals...
In order to manage and strictly control the importation of scrap used for production materials, avoid being used by businesses to bring waste into Việt Nam, in 2015, the MONRE submitted to the Government for promulgating Decree No. 38/2015/ND-CP dated April 24th, 2015 on waste and scrap management. Chapter 8 of the Decree has specific provisions on the management of imported scrap used for production material which clearly state who are allowed to import scrap, environmental protection conditions for facilities who import and use scrap, depositing for imported scrap and to ensure responsibilities of relevant agencies and organizations. In order to have specific guidelines to ensure the effective implementation of Decree No. 38/2015/ND-CP, dated 9/9/2015, the MONRE issued Circular No. 41/2015/TT-BTNMT on environmental protection in importing scrap as raw production material. The circular has clearly stated the consideration and issuance of Certificates of eligibility for environmental protection in importing scrap as raw production material; inspection and clearance of imported scrap. With the above provisions, the management of importing scrap as raw production material has basically been managed effectively.
However, in the context that some countries such as China, Malaysia, Korea ... have restricted or even banned the import of some types of scrap, creating a large shift of scraps to be imported into Southeast Asian countries including Việt Nam, which has led to a large backlog of scrap shipments at Vietnamese seaports, requiring Việt Nam to make changes in its policy on managing importation of scrap towards a more rigorous and effective manner. Therefore, on 17th September 2018, the Prime Minister issued Directive No.27/CT-TTg on urgent solutions to manage imported scrap to be used for production materials. In particular, the Ministry of Finance was requested to direct the General Department of Customs to apply measures to early prevent importation of scrap shipments that do not meet legal regulations. After the Prime Minister issued Directive No.27/CT-TTg, imported scrap consignments did not have information about the owner, or the owner was not on the List of organizations and individuals that were granted the Certification of eligibility for environmental protection in import of scrap for use as raw production materials will not be allow to import into the territory of Việt Nam. In case imported scrap shipments of eligible facilities were unloaded at port and then determined not to meet national technical regulations (QCVN), the importer shall be responsible for re-exporting the shipments. With this provision, since 17th September 2018, basically, backlogged shipments without owners have been reduced.
Immediately after the Prime Minister's Directive 27/CT-TTg was issued, the MONRE developed and issued 2 Circular No. 08/2018/TT-BTNMT and Circular No. 09/2018/TT-BTNMT on national standard in the field of environment for 6 groups of imported scraps which are commonly used in the production process and are on the List of scrap allowed to be imported for use as raw production materials (according to Decision No. 73/2014/QD-TTg dated 19/12/2014 of the Prime Minister), including: QCVN 31:2018/ BTNMT - National technical regulation on environment for iron and steel scrap imported for use as production material; QCVN 32:2018/BTNMT - National technical regulation on the environment for plastic scrap imported for use as production materials; QCVN 33: 2018/BTNMT - National technical regulation on environment for paper scrap imported for use as production materials; QCVN 65: 2018/BTNMT - National technical regulation on the environment for glass scrap imported for use as production material; QCVN 66:2018/BTNMT - National technical regulation on environment for non-ferrous metal scrap imported for use as production material; QCVN 67:2018/BTNMT - on environment for imported slag from iron or steel industry for production. The standards are issued to strictly control the quality of imported scraps entering Việt Nam through technical regulations, methods of testing, quality inspection and management to regulate behaviors of relevant organizations and individuals, including: Organizations and individuals importing and using scrap for use as production materials; state management agency on importation and use of scraps; organization who assess quality of imported scraps.
In order to institutionalize the Prime Minister's requirements in the management of imported scraps, the MONRE has submitted to the Government for promulgation of Decree No. 40/2019/ND-CP dated May 13th, 2019 on amendments and supplements a number of articles of decrees detailing and guiding the implementation of the LEP, in which, the content on management of imported scraps has been regulated more closely. Specifically, regarding the conditions of environmental protection for facilities who import scraps for production materials, Decree No. 40/2019/ND-CP clearly specifies authority to approve environmental impact assessment (EIA) reports for the project using imported scraps as production materials and the authority to grant Certification of eligibility for environmental protection in using imported scraps used for production materials is assigned to the MONRE, not decentralized to local environmental management agencies. At the same time, the Decree also provides for order and procedures for evaluating and granting certification; order and procedures for inspection and customs clearance of imported scraps and specific responsibilities of relevant agencies, including: Organizations and individuals who import scraps to use as production material, relevant state management agencies (MONRE, Ministry of Finance, General Department of Customs, people's committees of provinces, cities...). The Decree stipulates specific conditions on environmental protection for organizations and individuals who import scraps to use as production materials such as warehouses, storage yards for imported scraps; technology, equipment for recycling and reuse of scrap must meet technical requirements and management processes as prescribed; have written commitment on re-export, or disposal of scrap in case of the scrap does not meet environmental protection requirements...
In particular, Decree No. 40/2019/ND-CP clearly stipulates that organizations and individuals are only allowed to import scraps for their production in accordance with the designed capacity to produce products and goods; are not allowed to import scraps for the purpose of preliminary processing and resale of scraps. From 1/1/2025, facilities using imported scraps as production materials can only import scraps at maximum 80% of design capacity; the remaining scrap must be purchased domestically to be used as production materials... Along with that, the Decree has specified specific provisions related to post a bond on imported scrap, method, amount, process, the management and use of the bond posted on imported scrap.
For more specific instructions, in 2019, the MONRE issued Circular No. 25/2019/TT-BTNMT detailing forms and monitoring of waste during the appraisal and issuance of Certification of eligibility for environmental protection in using imported scraps as production materials. Basically, the regulations on the management of imported scraps for production materials have been fully issued, strictly ensuring and minimizing negative impacts on the environment, but also creating conditions for businesses on using scrap for production materials operate effectively.
In order to ensure that management requirements of imported scraps are met, the MONRE is submitting to the Prime Minister for consideration and issuance of a Decision to replace Decision No. 73/2014/QD-TTg on the list of scraps permitted to be imported to be used as production materials. At the same time, in 2020, the MONRE has a plan to amend the national technical regulations on environment for the imported scraps to ensure efficient management of imported scraps and compliance with Decree No. 40/2019/ND-CP. In particular, in the Draft LEP (amended), which was submitted by the MONRE to the 9th session of the 14th National Assembly for review and comments, the content of management of imported scraps is developed to strictly and early management of imported scraps’ quality and minimize import scraps that does not meet the requirements of environmental protection. Specifically: imported scraps must meet technical regulations on the environment and be on the list of scrap allowed to be imported for use as raw materials; Organizations and individuals are only allowed to import scraps for use as production materials for their own facilities and must meet the requirements of environmental protection such as: having production facilities with recycling and reused technology and equipment, warehouses and storage yards specifically for scrap gathering that meet environmental protection requirements; a plan to treat impurities accompanying scrap in suitable to imported scraps; Decision of the MONRE approving the appraisal result of environmental impact assessment (EIA) report, or having the EIA report approved by the MONRE, having environmental permits in accordance with the law; post a bond on imported scraps before unloading scraps at the port in case of import via seaport, or import into Vietnamese territory for other cases, in which, organizations and individuals who import scraps must deposit an amount of money, or precious metals, gems, and valuable papers in regulated financial and credit institutions to ensure the mitigation and recovery of environmental risks caused by imported scraps. At the same time, organizations and individuals must submit a written commitment on re-export, or disposal of scrap in case imported scraps does not meet environmental protection requirements.
Obviously, with a series of legal documents on environmental protection on imported scraps for use as production materials issued by the MONRE in recent years, it has created a complete legal corridor, in order to minimize importation of scraps does not meet the conditions and requirements on environmental protection, so that Việt Nam does not become a waste storage place of other countries.
Nguyễn Phạm Hà - Deputy Director
Nguyễn Thị Hồng Hà
Waste Management Department (VEA)
(Nguồn: Bài đăng trên Tạp chí Môi trường số Chuyên đề Tiếng Anh III/2020)