OneStepVietnam presents
Monthly Newsletter of January 2022

COVID-19 and ECONOMIC NEWS

As of January 27, 2022 Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed a total of 2,220,356 cases of infection (2,196,351 domestic and 4,005 imported cases) in in the country hit by the fourth COVID-19 wave (from April 27, 2021). The most severely hit areas are Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) with 513,259 infections, Binh Duong Province with 292,752 infections, Ha Noi Capital with 120,175 inflection (45,838 infections in last month) and Dong Nai Province with 99,811 infections. The first cases of Omicron variant have been report in 14 out of 63 provinces.

There were 37,291 deaths announced due to the pandemic as of January 27, 2021. On the other side, around 956,263 patients were given the all-clear during December 2021 and January 2022, raising the number of recoveries to 1,945,611 during this wave.

Around 179,593,670 doses of vaccine have been provided as of January 26, 2021. In detail, approximately 81.9% of the population were partially vaccinated and around 76.7% of the population were fully vaccinated. Around 50 provinces are taking the third doses for their people. Approximately 26.8% of the population got the third doses. The country has begun vaccination against COVID-19 for adolescences aged 12-17 as well as prepared for vaccinating children aged 5-11 against COVID-19 in line with science-based recommendations to ensure safety and effectiveness.

According to the General Statistics Office, Vietnamese GDP slowed to 2.58% growth in 2021 (4.72% in first quarter, 6.73% in second quarter, -6.02% in third quarter and 5.22% in fourth quarter). In the last quarter, the economy prospered thanks to the Government’s decision to switch away from “Zero COVID-19” policy to safe and flexible adaptation to the pandemic.

The added value of the whole industry in 2021 is estimated to increase by 4.82% over the previous year (in the first quarter, by 6.44%; in the second quarter by 11.18%; in the third quarter by 4.4%; in the fourth quarter by 6.52%).

The index of industrial production (IIP) was estimated to increase greatly over the same period. Of which, metal production increased by 22.1%; motor vehicle production rose 10.2%; production of electronic products, computers and optical products went up by 9.6%; textile production increased by 8.3%; production of coke, refined petroleum products by 8.1%; apparel production increased by 7.6%.

Source: Ministry of Health, General Statistics Office of Vietnam and Online Newspaper of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

NEW LEGAL REQUIREMENTS

1. Law on Environmental Protection (Law No. 72/2020/QH14)

New Environmental Protection Law was issued on November 17, 2020 and took effect from January 01, 2022.

A. ENVIRONMENTAL CRITERIA FOR INVESTMENT PROJECT CLASSIFICATION, PRELIMINARY ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

1. Environmental criteria for investment project classification

1.1. Environmental criteria for investment project classification include:

a) Scale, capacity and type of production, business and service;

b) Area of land, land with water surface, and sea used; scale of extraction of natural resources;

c) Sensitive environmental factors including high density residential areas; water source used for supply of domestic water; wildlife sanctuaries prescribed by the law on biodiversity and fisheries; types of forests prescribed by the law on forestry; other tangible cultural heritage and natural heritage sites; land meant for growing wet rice during 02 or more cropping seasons; important wetlands; migration and relocation requirements and other environmental sensitive factors.

1.2. According to the environmental criteria set out in Clause 1 of this Article, investment projects shall be classified into Group I, II, III and IV.

– Group I investment projects are those that pose a high risk of adverse environmental impacts

– Group II investment projects are those that pose a risk of adverse environmental impacts.

– Group III investment projects are those that pose a risk of adverse environmental impacts

– Group IV investment projects are those that do not pose a risk of adverse environmental impacts.

2. Preliminary environmental impact assessment (PEIA)

Projects subject to PEIA are group I investment projects specified in Clause 3 Article 28 of this Law.

2.1. The PEIA shall be conducted during the period of pre-feasibility study on investment in construction, proposal for investment guidelines and request for approval of investment guidelines for investment projects subject to investment guideline decision or approval in accordance with the Law on Investment, Law on Public Investment, Law on Public-Private Partnership and Law on Construction.

2.2. The PEIA shall focus on:

a) Assessing the conformity of the investment project location with the national environmental protection strategy, national environmental protection planning and environmental protection contents in regional planning, provincial planning and other relevant planning;

b) Identifying and predicting major environmental impacts of the investment project on the basis of scale, production technology and location of the project;

c) Identifying sensitive environmental factors present in the investment project location according to the location selection methods (if any);

d) Analyzing, assessing and selecting a scheme regarding scale, production technology, technology for waste treatment and location of the investment project, and solutions for reducing environmental impacts;

dd) Determining notable major environmental issues and environmental impacts during the EIA.

2.3. Entities proposing the investment projects in Clause 1 of this Article shall conduct PEIA. PEIA contents shall be considered by a competent authority together with the application for investment guideline decision or approval.

B. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (EIA)

1. Projects subject to EIA

Projects subject to EIA include:

– Group I investment projects mentioned in Clause 3 Article 28 of this Law;

– Group II investment projects mentioned in Points c, d, dd and e Clause 4 Article 28 of this Law.

If the projects specified in Clause 1 of this Article are urgent public investment projects as prescribed by the Law on Public Investment, they shall not be subject to EIA.

2. Contents of environmental impact assessment report

2.1. Main contents of an environmental impact assessment report (hereinafter referred to as “EIAR”) include:

– Origin of the investment project, project owner, authority approving the project; legal and technical bases; EIA methods and other methods adopted (if any);

– Conformity of the investment project with the national environmental protection planning, regional planning, provincial planning, regulations of law on environmental protection and other relevant regulations of law;

– Assessing selected technologies and work items and activities that may result in adverse environmental impacts;

– Natural, socio-economic and biodiversity conditions; assessment of state of the environment; identifying affected subjects and sensitive environmental factor at the project location; demonstration of the suitability of the project location;

– Identifying, assessing and predicting major environmental impacts and waste generated in the phases of the investment project quantity and nature of waste; impacts on biodiversity, natural heritage sites, historical-cultural sites/monuments and other sensitive factors; impacts caused by land clearance, migration and relocation (if any); identifying and assessing environmental emergencies that are likely to occur;

– Works and methods for collecting, storing and treating waste;

– Methods for reducing other adverse environmental impacts of the investment project; environmental improvement and remediation scheme (if any); biodiversity offsets scheme (if any); environmental emergency prevention and response plan;

– Environmental management and supervision program;

– Consultation result;

– Conclusions, propositions and commitments made by the investment project owner.

3. Responsibility of investment project owner after obtaining decision on approval of EIAR appraisal result

3.1. Revise contents of the investment project and EIAR in conformity with environmental protection contents and requirements set out in the decision on approval of EIAR appraisal result.

3.2. Fully comply with the decision on approval of EIAR appraisal result.

3.3. Send a notification of completion of environmental protection work to the authority approving EIAR appraisal result before officially putting the project into official operation in the case where the project is not required to obtain the environmental license.

3.4. During the preparation and execution of the investment project before being put into operation, in case of deviation from the decision on approval of EIAR appraisal result, the investment project owner shall:

a) conduct EIA of the investment project if there is any change to scale, capacity or production technology or another change resulting in an increase in environmental adverse impacts;

b) notify the competent authority for approval during the issuance of the environmental license to the investment project required to obtain the environmental license in the case of change of a production technology, waste treatment technology or location into which treated wastewater is directly discharged other than the case specified in Point a of this Clause; addition of an industry or business line in which investment is encouraged to the dedicated area for production, business operation and service provision or industrial cluster;

c) conduct environmental impact self-assessment, consider, decide and take legal responsibility for other changes other than those specified in Points a and b of this Clause; incorporate the environmental impact self-assessment in the report on proposal for issuance of the environmental license (if any).

3.5. Perform other tasks as prescribed by the law on environmental protection.

C. ENVIRONMENTAL LICENSE

1. Obliged applicants for environmental license

– Group I, II and III projects that generate wastewater, dusts and exhaust gases that must be treated into the environment or generate hazardous waste that must be managed in accordance with regulations on waste management before officially being put into operation.

– Investment projects, dedicated areas for production, business operation and service provision and industrial clusters operating before the effective date of this Law and applying environmental criteria as the projects mentioned in above Clause.

– If the projects are urgent public investment projects as prescribed by the Law on Public Investment, they are exempt from the environmental license.

2. Contents of environmental license

2.1. Contents of an environmental license include general information about the investment project, business, dedicated area for production, business operation and service provision or industrial cluster; items to be licensed; environmental protection requirements; validity period; other contents (if any).

2.2.  Items to be licensed include:

a) Source of wastewater; maximum wastewater flow rate; wastewater flow; pollutants and permissible limits of pollutants in the wastewater flow; location and method of wastewater discharge and wastewater receiving bodies;

b) Source of emissions; maximum exhaust gas flow rate; wastewater flow; pollutants and permissible limits of pollutants in the emissions flow; location and method of exhaust gas discharge;

c) Source and permissible limits of noise and vibration;

d) Works and system for hazardous waste treatment; hazardous waste code and quantity of waste permitted for treatment, quantity of hazardous waste transfer stations, operating area with regard to the investment project, hazardous waste treatment service providers;

dd) Type and quantity of scrap permitted for import with regard to the investment project, establishments importing scrap as production materials

2.3. Environmental protection requirements are as follows:

a) There should be appropriate works and measures for collecting and treating waste and emissions and reducing noise and vibration; in the case of discharge of wastewater into hydraulic structures, environmental protection requirements should be in place to be applied to the source of water discharged into hydraulic structures;

b) Regarding investment projects and hazardous waste treatment providers, there should be measures, systems, works and equipment serving storage, transport, transfer, preliminary processing and treatment which satisfy technical and managerial requirements,;

c) Regarding investment projects and establishments importing scrap as production materials, there should be appropriate warehouses and yards for scrap storage; recycling equipment; impurity treatment scheme; re-export scheme;

d) There should be environmental management and supervision plans, environmental emergency prevention and response plans; equipment and works serving environmental emergency prevention and response and environmental monitoring;

dd) It is required to manage domestic solid waste, normal industrial solid waste and hazardous waste; improve and remediate environmental; carry out biodiversity offsets according to regulations of law;

e) Other environmental protection requirements (if any).

2.4. The environmental license shall be valid for:

a) 07 years, regarding group I investment projects;

b) 07 years, regarding businesses, dedicated areas for production, business operation and service provision and industrial clusters operating before the effective date of this Law and applying environmental criteria as Group I investment projects;

c) 10 years, regarding the license holders not mentioned in Points a and b of this Clause;

d) The validity period may be shorter than that specified in Points a, b and c of this Clause at the request of the investment project owners, businesses, investors in construction and commercial operation of infrastructure in dedicated areas for production, business operation and service provision and industrial clusters (hereinafter collectively referred to as “investment project/business owners”).

3. Renewal, adjustment, re-issuance, suspension and revocation of environmental license

3.1. An environmental license shall be renewed in the case specified in Clause 5 Article 42 of this Law but other information in the license remains unchanged.

3.2. An environmental license may be adjusted within its validity period in one of the following cases:

a) Any of the items specified in Clause 2 Article 40 hereof is changed at the request of the investment project/business owner as prescribed by law, except for the case specified in Point b Clause 3 of this Article;

b) The investment project or business provides hazardous waste services or imports scrap as production materials after the trial operation is done to suit its operating capacity.

3.3. An environmental license may be re-issued in the following cases:

a) The license expires;

b) The investment project, business, dedicated area for production, business operation and service provision or industrial cluster makes any of the changes in the total scale, capacity or technology production or another change resulting in adverse impacts on the environment, except for the case where the investment project making the change is not subject to EIA.

3.4. The environmental license shall be suspended if the investment project/business owner commits an administrative violation against regulations on environmental protection which is so serious that the environmental license is suspended in accordance with regulations of law on penalties for administrative violations.

3.5. An environmental license shall be revoked in one of the following cases:

a) The license is issued ultra vires;

b) Its contents are against the law.

4. Environmental registration

4.1. Obliged registrants:

a) Waste-generating investment projects not required to obtain an environmental license;

b) Waste-generating businesses operating before the effective date of this Law not required to obtain an environmental license.

4.2. The registrants specified in Clause 1 of this Article shall be exempt from environmental registration, including:

a) Investment projects and businesses classified as state secrets in the field of national defense and security;

b) Investment projects when put into operation and businesses that do not generate waste or only generate a small quantity of waste which is treated using in situ waste treatment works or managed in accordance with regulations of the local government;

c) Other registrants.

4.3. Environmental registration shall cover:

a) General information about the investment project/business;

b) Type of production, business and service; technologies, capacity, products; raw materials, fuels and chemicals used (if any);

c) Type and quantity of waste generated;

d) A scheme to collect, manage and treat waste as prescribed;

dd) Commitments to environmental protection.

Besides, this Law also regulated requirements on waste management and control of other pollutants.

In addition, elaboration of some articles of this Law was regulated in Decree No. 08/2022/ND-CP (issued by Government) and Circular No. 02/2022/TT-BTNMT (issued by Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment), which came into force from January 10, 2022.

2. Decree No. 12/2022/ND-CP Provisions on Penalty for Administrative Violations in the Region of Labor, Social Insurance, Vietnamese Employees Working Abroad under Contract.

The Decree No. 12/2022/ND-CP was issued by The Government on January 17, 2022 and came into force on the same day.

This Decree would be applied for employers, employees and other individuals and organizations that commit administrative violations in the field of labor, social insurance, and Vietnamese workers working abroad under contracts are specified in this Decree.

Depending on the nature and seriousness of their violations, organizations and individuals committing administrative violations may also be subject to one or more additional sanctioning forms:

– Deprivation of the right to use the labor outsourcing license for a term from 06 to12 months

– Confiscation of material evidences and means of administrative violations, including: Forged licenses, certificates, and certificates

– Suspend related activities (e.g. training, inspection, recruitment, etc.)

– Suspend the operation of sending Vietnamese workers to work as domestic workers abroad for between 06 and 12 months;

– Expulsion of foreign workers working in Vietnam.

Besides of that, employer shall also pay back payment for effect employees.

3. Decision No. 3226/QD-TLD on issuance of provisions on supplements for Trade Union Officers.

Decision No. 3226/QD-TLD takes effect from January 1, 2022, replacing Decision No. 1439/QD-TLD dated December 14, 2011 of the Presidium of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor on allowances for Trade Union officers.

1. Implementation principles:

1.1. To ensure the right subjects, standards and norms, within the scope of financial resources used by trade unions of the same level in accordance with the provisions of the General Confederation of Vietnam and must be estimated and finalized publicly and transparently every year, complete procedures and documents as prescribed.

1.2. Trade union officials who join the executive committee of trade unions at all levels are entitled to only one level of responsibility allowance for the highest-level executive committee. In a trade union level, cadres holding more than one position with a responsibility allowance regime are only entitled to one level of responsibility allowance of the highest title.

1.3. Liability allowances and part-time allowances for trade union officials in this Regulation are not used to calculate social insurance and health insurance premiums.

1.4. Trade union cadres, when resigning from their positions, shall cease to receive part-time allowances and responsibility allowances from the following month.

1.5. The grassroots trade union may use up to 45% of the trade union dues left at the grassroots trade union to pay salaries (if there are full-time trade union officers) and to pay responsibility allowances and allowances concurrently serving as a grassroots trade union official; expenditure levels are decided by the grassroots trade union executive committee on the basis of revenue balance; consistent with the level of allowances paid by professional agencies of the same level (if any); the maximum expenditure does not exceed the level of expenditure specified in this regulation and must be specified in the internal spending regulations of the grassroots trade union.

2. Responsibility allowance for grassroots trade union officers:

a) President of grassroots trade union;

b) The grassroots trade union vice president, grassroots trade union accountant;

c) Member of the grassroots trade union executive committee; the chairman of the grassroots trade union inspection committee, the chairman of the grassroots trade union members (if any), the head of the mass women’s committee (if any), the grassroots trade union treasurer;

d) The leader of the trade union group, member of the grassroots trade union inspection committee, the divisional trade union president (if any), member of the grassroots trade union executive committee (if any);

dd) Vice-leader of the trade union group, member of the mass women’s committee; member of the executive committee of the trade union division (if any).

Monthly level of payment of responsibility allowance for grassroots trade union officials = (Responsibility coefficient) x (Base salary as prescribed by the State).

Number of Union members

Allowance level coefficient

(for the subjects specified in Clause 1, Article 3)

Subject a

Subject b

Subject c

Subject d

Subject dd

< 150

0.15

0.12

0.1

0.08

0.05

150 ~ < 500

0.25

0.2

0.13

0.11

0.07

500 ~ < 1,500

0.4

0.3

0.16

0.14

0.09

1,500 ~ < 3,000

0.6

0.45

0.19

0.17

0.11

3,000 ~ < 6,000

0.8

0.6

0.22

0.2

0.13

6,000 and over

1.0

0.7

0.25

0.23

0.15

Source: Thuvienphapluat

ONESTEPVIETNAM NEWS

OneStepVietnam conducted online training on Labor Law 2019 in December 2021

OneStepVietnam team conducted online training on Labor Law 2019 Updates – Changes and Solutions on-site for 18 trainees from factories and brands on December 01 – 02, 2021.

OneStepVietnam team’s auditors have fully vaccinated and now allowed to travel in all areas in Vietnam. In December 2021 and January 2022, OneStepVietnam team has conducted 8 on-site services as conducting audit to the customers. From January 2022, OneStepVietnam team conducted 3 on-site assessment in North of Vietnam in which provinces has stop applying quarantine in public areas or quarantine at home or where the guest locates. Our team will keep customers updated when we are able to provide our on-site services for the factories in the Central and the North of Vietnam. Besides that, OneStepVietnam still provides our remote services, including consultation and virtual audit (internal audit and audit for customers) in Vietnam. From July 9, 2021 to December 31, 2021, OneStepVietnam team has conducted 45 virtual audits to our customers and has been providing this service to the customers in the next time as well as on-site services.

OneStepVietnam team will take Lunar New Year Holiday from January 27 to February 08, 2022. During this period, we still check and response all requests from customers as earliest time.

OneStepVietnam team – January 2022