In recent years, Vietnam is prospering and attracts more and more international attention. The manufacturing sector is growing steadily in Vietnam, however the development of the chemical industry is still not enough to satisfy domestic demand. While importing large quantities and various kinds of chemical substances, more and more chemical companies are setting up facilities in Vietnam, which brings great challenges to Vietnam’s chemical management systems.

Since the Law on Chemicals was issued in 2007, Vietnam has been developing a modern chemical regulatory system, but there is not a completed national chemical inventory yet. Speaking at CRAC 2020, Mr. Dinh Thanh Nghia from E&H Consulting Co., Ltd. brought the latest updates on chemical regulations and the National Chemical Inventory in Vietnam to the attendees.

National Chemical Inventory

The Vietnam National Chemical Inventory (NCI) is the overall list of existing chemical substances in Vietnam. It is still in its draft status, but it can be queried on the Vietnam National Chemical Database website. The first draft of NCI was published in 2016, which included 4,927 substances. In 2020, the nomination window of NCI was opened twice, the latest and the last nomination period will conclude on April 15th, 2021. Before that day, Vietnamese enterprises could propose substance supplementation to NCI by submitting the chemical name, CAS number, SDS, and approved documents that the chemicals are being used in Vietnam (i.e. purchase contract, invoices, etc.)

By October of 2020, there have been 41,307 substances in the draft NCI, but the majority of them have not been approved. There are 3 statuses for substances in NCI, lack of evidence, under examination, and approval. According to the data shown in Mr. Dinh Thanh Nghia’s speech, there are only 8889 substances that have been approved, which is about one-fifth of all. The rest of the substances are in lack evidence status. For this, Mr. Dinh Thanh Nghia gave 3 main reasons, namely, that these chemicals are:

  • Without attachment of evidence (import invoices, etc.);
  • Lack of information in SDS; or,
  • With an unappropriated chemical name.

Stakeholders shall start their nomination work as early as possible and keep concerning the status of the substances to ensure their substances will be successfully included in NCI before the nomination window is closed.