On May 13, 2019, the Vietnamese Government issued Decree 40/2019/ND-CP that provides modifications and supplements previous decrees on guidelines and implementation of the Law on Environment Protection 2014. This decree (“Decree 40”) came into effect on  July 1, 2019.

Any evaluation reports on environmental impact (“EIA”) submitted to the authorities before the effective date of Decree 40 will be processed in accordance with the decrees in force at the receipt date, unless the organizations or individuals require compliance with this Decree 40.

Decree 40 updates a list of types of industrial production and manufacturing that are conducive to environmental pollution. They are categorized into three groups based on  their pollution level with Group I being the most polluted industries. Specifically, Group I includes types of toxic chemical industries, namely ore exploitation, oil refinery, thermoelectricity, chemical productions etc.; Group II includes various types of metal manufacturing, scrap treatments etc.; and Group III includes various types of electric component manufacturing, processing industries such as rubbers, foods, aquatic products etc.

Pursuant to Decree 40, an investment project needs only one evaluation report on EIA. A mining investor is required to submit the report to relevant authorities before requesting or modifying a mining license. For oil exploration and extraction projects, an EIA report shall be submitted to relevant authorities for approval before project implementation.

Decree 40 also defines the scope of the authority of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (“MoNRE”) in verifying and approving EIA reports of investment projects, except national secret projects. Ministries and ministry-level bodies with an environment agency have the authority to approve projects relevant to their fields, except for projects under Appendix III of Decree 40. For ministries and ministry-level bodies without an environment agency, they must send a written report to MoNRE or the province-level People’s Committee where the project is going to be located for consultation before approval. The Ministries of Defense and Public Security shall approve relevant projects and those categorized as defense and security secrets except those projects under Appendix III. For projects that are not under the jurisdiction of any of the aforementioned bodies, the province-level People’s Committee shall make the final decision in approving the report.


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