Question: We are FDI company and are building our factory in Vietnam. Relating to Environment impacts inspection from Police of local authorization, they send us 2 kind of docs 

  1. Decision to inspect our factory
  2. After inspecting they issue MOM and request us to follow commitment

The situation like this, they went to our company without notice twice in advance and they know we are in under construction, not yet finished building factory. But they still give this kind of document and inspected

Question for you

  1. This action is from Police of local authorization Correct or not?
  2. They also not give exactly that our factory affects to Environment or not, what’s kind of parameter they base on, what’s kind of law article mentioned about parameter affecting to environment?
  3. Is there any regulation stated that if the company is under implementing method to protect the environment then the company is allow to have a period of time to complete it ie: 1 month or 10 days?

    In case we did not complete the solution to protect the environment do the Authority has the right to stop the company from operation immediately?

Please give us consultancy for us to work with them in correct way of law.

Regarding to your questions, please find our comments as follows:

1. Procedure for carrying out an inspection on violation of environment protection law does not require the Environment Police to notify the company which will be subject to the inspection in advance (Article 6, Circular No. 80/2019/TT-BCA dated 27 December 2019).
2According to Sub-clause 1, Article 7, Decree No. 105/2015/ND-CP of the Government dated 20 October 2015, the environmental police forces are entitled to inspect the any entity’s adherence to regulations of law on environmental protection, natural resources, and food safety in the following cases:

a) Acts suspected as crimes and administrative violations pertaining to environmental protection, natural resources, and food safety are discovered;

b) Denunciation or information about crimes and administrative violations pertaining to environmental protection, natural resources, and food safety is received;

c) The inspection is necessary for settlement of complaints and denunciations in the process of prevention and fight against crimes and administrative violations pertaining to environmental protection, natural resources, and food safety.

However, having studied the Decision on inspecting compliance with the law on environment, natural resources and food safety dated 12 April 2021 of Hoai Nhon Police, we did not find legal basis for their Decision as mentioned above. Their Decision recited the Sub-clause 5 Article 7 Decree No. 105/2015/ND-CP of the Government dated 20 October 2015. However, Sub-clause 5 Article 7 Decree No. 105/2015/ND-CP of the Government dated 20 October 2015 does not exist. Then, we are of the opinion that that Decision was not issued properly.

3. According to Point b, Sub-Clause 2, Article No. 6, the Circular No. 80/2019/TT-BCA dated 27 December 2019, an authorized representative of the Company subjected to the Inspection must present during the inspection. 

4. The minutes of inspection neither recite legal basis for their conclusion on your violation of environment protection regulation nor describe in detail how your company discharges into the environment, we are not in a proper position to conclude on this. You have a full right to ask the Police for a detailed explanation on these. However, if they issue any Decision on applying administrative sanction on violation of environment protection regulation, we can study to confirm whether we have any chance to claim against their Decision. During this time, you can consider preparing a detailed explanation on your plan regarding compliance with environment protection law.

Vietnam Law does not stipulate any time period to complete methods for environment protection. It shall very much depend on each specific case. In case the competent authorities find that current operation of the company causes improper discharges into the environment, the competent authorities can require the company to stop such harmful activities and it can only resume the operation upon after the environment protection methods are completed.

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