Under clause 8 Article 3 Law on Environmental Protection, an environmental license means a document issued by a competent authority to an organization or individual (hereinafter referred to as “entity”) involved in business activities, permitting such organization or individual to discharge waste into the environment and manage waste and scrap imported from foreign countries as production materials by environmental protection requirements as prescribed by prevailing law.

Which entities need to have the environmental license? -

II. Entities shall apply for an environmental license

Under Article 39 Law on Environmental Protection, two entities shall apply for an environmental license:

– Entities 1: Investment projects of Group I, Group II, and Group III generate and discharge wastewater, dust, and exhaust gas into the environment which must be treated or generate hazardous waste, which must be managed by regulations on environmental protection before officially operating.

The above subjects that fall into the case of urgent public investment projects by the law on public investment are exempt from environmental permits.

– Entities 2: Investment projects, establishments, concentrated production, business and service zones, and industrial clusters operated before January 1, 2022, with the same environmental criteria as object 1.

III. Time limit of environmental license

Under clause 4 of Article 40 of Law on Environmental 2020, the time limit of environmental license relies on the entities. Specifically:

– 07 years, regarding group I investment projects;

– 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;

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

– 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, and investors in the 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”).

IV. Dossiers, and procedures for granting an environmental license

Under the provisions of Article 43 of the Law on Environmental Protection 2020 and Article 29 of Decree 08/2022/ND-CP govern in detail several articles of the Law on Environmental Protection:

a) An application file for an environmental license includes:

– A written request for an environmental permit.

– Report on the proposal for an environmental license.

– Other legal and technical documents of investment projects, facilities, production, business, service centers, and industrial clusters.

b) Orders and procedures for an environmental license

– Owners of investment projects and establishments shall send dossiers of applications for environmental licenses to competent agencies specified in Article 41 of this Law. Dossiers are sent in person or by post or electronically through the online public service system;

– The competent agency issuing an environmental license is responsible for organizing the receipt and checking the validity of the dossier; publicizing the contents of the report on the proposal for the grant of an environmental permit, except for information classified as state secret or enterprise secret as prescribed by law; consult with relevant agencies, organizations, and individuals; actual inspection of information on investment projects, establishments, concentrated production, business and service zones, and industrial clusters; organize the assessment and grant of environmental permits.

The procedure of handling administrative dossiers and announcing results is carried out in person, by post, or sent electronically through the online public service system at the request of the investment project owner;

– In case an investment project, establishment, concentrated production, business and service zone, or industrial cluster discharges wastewater into irrigation works, the environmental permit-granting agency must obtain opinions by documents and obtain the consent of the state agency managing the irrigation works before granting the environmental permit;

– In case of investment projects, establishments located in concentrated production, business and service zones, or industrial clusters, the environmental licensing agency must obtain written opinions from the construction and business investors trading in the infrastructure of such concentrated production, business, and service zones or industrial clusters before the issuance of environmental license.

       To save time learning about the law, filling out forms, and submitting documents, you can contact HTLaw for consultation and legal services related to the Environmental license

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