On 3rd April 2017, the Government promulgated Decree No.33/2017/ND (“Decree 33”) in the replacement of Decree No.142/2013/ND-CP (“Decree 142”) on sanctions for administrative violations in water and mineral resources sector.

Administrative violations in water and mineral resources sector

To administrative violations in water resources sector, apart from several violations as stated in Decree 142, which comprises: (i) violations of regulations on investigation, planning, exploration, abstraction, and the use of water resources; (ii) violations of regulations on water resources preservation; (iii) violations of regulations on prevention, opposing, and mitigation from water adverse impacts, Decree 33 supplements two more violations as follows: (iv) violations of regulations on reservoirs and the operation of reservoirs; and (v) violations of regulations on a plebiscite.

To administrative violations in mineral resources sector, apart from several violations as stated in Decree 142, which comprises: (i) violations of regulations on mineral exploration and extraction; (ii) violations of auction regulations on the license for mineral extraction; (iii) violations of regulations on local interests at a being minerals mining region; (iv) violations of regulations on  mineral safeguarding, Decree 33 supplements two more violations as follows: (v) violations of regulations on the use of figures and results in geological surveys on mineral and mineral exploration; and (vi) violations of regulations on mining safety techniques.

Administrative penalties policy in water and mineral resources sector

To each administrative violation, organizations and individuals who engage in administrative violations shall incur: (i) administrative penalties, (ii) surcharges, (iii) remedial measures as the case may be.

Administrative penalties are: (i) to warn; (ii) to fine; (iii) to disqualify licenses of mineral exploration and extraction for the period of 01 to 12 months.

Levy scheme under Decree 33 remains unchanged to Decree 142’s as:

  • A maximum levy for an administrative violation in water resource sector of (i) VND 250 million for each individual; and (ii) VND 500 million for each organization;
  • A maximum levy for an administrative violation in mineral resources sector of (i) VND 01 billion for each individual; and (ii) VND 02 billion for each organization.

Decree 33 also supplements two new forms of supplementary penalties, which are: (i) to disqualify  licenses for a period of 01 to 24 months (such licenses are exploration, abstraction, and the use of water resources and sewage discharges; licenses for groundwater abstraction; licenses of mineral exploration and extraction); (ii) to suspend formulating and operating projects on natural resources of water for a period of 01 to 12 months; and (iii) to suspend water exploration and abstraction, and mineral exploration and extraction from 01 to 12 months.

Decree 33 took effect from 20th May 2017.