- Download Country profile for Vietnam (142 kB)
Spill Notification Point
Spills should be notified to the local maritime administration, including:
Maritime Administration in Ho Chi Minh
Tel: +84 28 39404151
Maritime Administration in Vung Tau
Tel: +84 254 3856270, +84 254 3512811
Maritime Administration in Nha Trang
Tel: +84 258 3590053
Competent National Authority
National Committee for Search and Rescue (VINASARCOM)
Number 26 Hoang Dieu Str,
National Environment Agency
Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment (MoNRE)
39 Tran Hung Dao
Tel: +84 261 517 or +84 228 750
The National Committee for Search and Rescue (VINASARCOM) is the lead agency for oil spill response and is responsible for the implementation of the national contingency plan. A national plan (“National Plan on Coping with Oil Spill Incidents”) was ratified by government in 2001. Various regulations regarding oil spill response have been promulgated in the intervening years, including designating the responsibilities of relevant agencies. In 2019, Vietnam further developed its national oil spill preparedness and response framework, with support from the IMO-IPIECA Global Initiative for South-East Asia (GISEA). In 2020, governmental approval was given to VINASARCOM to implement a new national plan, in collaboration with relevant ministries, localities and other agencies (https://vietnamnews.vn/environment/571446/deputy-pm-okays-national-plan-to-respond-to-oil-spills.html).
Under VINASARCOM, there are three regional oil spill response centres in Vietnam: the National Northern Oil Spill Response Centre based in Hai Phong; the National Central Oil Spill response Centre, based in Da Nang and Khanh Hoa; and the National Southern Oil Spill Response Centre based in Vung Tau. The centres are responsible for responding to oil spills in their respective regions and provide training and instructions to the local provinces on their own oil spill response plans, under guidance from VINASARCOM (Information from Vietnam Maritime Administration, provided to GISEA 2019).
The Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment (MoNRE) is responsible for assessing environmental damage and would work closely with VINASARCOM during an incident. It is also responsible for providing guidance on the use of dispersants. In 2019, MoNRE issued a circular to regulate marine oil spill clean-up and recovery efforts. Under this circular, an initial and preliminary assessment on the level of pollution must be made within the first 10 days after an oil spill is reported. If the investigation shows the level of oil in the water is higher than national standards, a more detailed assessment of environmental damage must be completed within 20 days after preliminary investigation results (https://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/environment/215955/ministry-guides-oil-spill-response.html).
Other ministerial departments may also be involved in a spill response at the request of VINASARCOM, including the Ministry of Defence which may be called upon to organise the deployment of military forces and assets; the Ministry of Transport which may assist with operations at sea; and the Ministry of Industry and Trade which may organise assistance from state oil and gas company PetroVietnam.
At the regional level, the local People’s Committee of the relevant province organises the response. Local facilities are required to have their own contingency plans and equipment to respond to Tier 1 spills.
In cases where response efforts exceed the capabilities of domestic forces and provisions, VINASARCOM would seek overseas support, with assistance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Both manual and mechanical clean-up methods would be used. The use of dispersants would be considered alongside other methods of response. Dispersants must be granted permits by MoNRE before being used in Vietnam. They are are not permitted in estuaries, lagoons and enclosed bays and shallow waters along the coast. The draft of a circular outlining the process of using oil spill dispersants in Vietnam is provided on GISEA’s website.
Government & Private
The three regional response centres have a variety of specialist equipment, including recovery vessels. Manpower for any shoreline clean-up would be provided by the army, police, fire brigade and other local forces.
Oil companies with offshore activities, refineries, ports and some other entities are legally required to procure adequate equipment with well-trained operatives or to sign a contract with a spill response service provider. Some companies, such as Petrolimex and Vietsovpetro, maintain stockpiles of equipment, but these are mainly used to support their own activities. There are several private service providers within Vietnam, including PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services Corporation.
Previous Spill Experience
Vietnam has experienced a number of small spills. Of the larger spills, the NEPTUNE ARIES (1994) released 1500 tonnes of gas oil after impacting a jetty. Little clean-up was undertaken although the oil damaged rice paddies. In 2001 the tanker FORMOSA ONE collided with tanker PETROLIMEX 1 in Ganh Rai Bay, Vung Tau City, spilling 615 tonnes of gas oil cargo.
Hazardous & Noxious Substances
ITOPF is not aware of any specific arrangements in place for dealing with spills of HNS.
Prevention & Safety
* not yet in force
Regional & Bilateral Agreements
- Regional Programme for the Prevention and Management of Marine Pollution in the East Asian Seas with the ASEAN countries, Cambodia, China, PDR of Korea and Republic of Korea.
- Joint statement on oil spill response between Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand in the Gulf of Thailand signed in 2006.
Date of Issue: May 2020
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