by Christine Lepisto
As of July 31, 2018, the Vietnam National Chemical Database System is operating at http://chemicaldata.gov.vn/cms.xc. Thanks to the investigative work of UL’s Regulatory Specialists Thuy Dang and Mitch Yamaguchi, we are able to offer you some insights into the scope and content of the Vietnamese database.
The project started in 2012, with the publication of the Decision approving the Scheme on Establishing the National Chemical Substances List and the National Chemical Substance Database under the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 768 / QĐ-TTg. The Department of Chemicals under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) implemented the system for the following purposes:
- Support the administrative procedures for the management of chemicals in accordance with the law;
- Share information between various departments in the field of chemicals;
- Evaluate statistical data on chemical risk assessment;
- Share information on chemical hazards and classification with businesses and the public; and
- Support provision of information in response to chemical incidents.
What chemical information does Vietnam’s National Database System contain?
The system contains over 170,000 chemicals, most of which consist only of the chemical names with no associated hazardous property or classification information. These were compiled from lists in Japan, the United States, Europe, and from foreign companies operating in Vietnam.
The presence of these substances in the database does not constitute a list of “existing chemicals”, or any legal status for the chemicals, in Vietnam. Activity continues for establishing a list of existing chemicals and administrative procedures to comply with registration requirements in accordance with article 44 of the Law on Chemicals. If a chemical is on the draft Vietnamese national chemical inventory, it is indicated by a checkbox.
The database also offers an interactive link to any Vietnamese regulations relevant for each chemical substance from the chemical search view. Alternatively, users can navigate directly to a library of links to Vietnam’s chemical legislation under a dedicated menu tab. Tabs for references and chemical safety information are available for future development in the database but currently are not populated.
It is not known how many of the substances in the database have chemical classification information or hazard properties. A review of a small sampling of cases indicates that the data primarily follows the classifications offered as guidance by the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE) in Japan, and available at the NITE Chemical Risk Information Platform (NITE CHRIP). Where NITE classification is not available, the European harmonized classification from Annex VI of Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 (CLP Regulation) may be given.
The database and all linked information are in Vietnamese. Only the chemical names are available in English, with the option for the chemical name to also appear in Vietnamese although most of these are also in English at this time.
The Vietnam Chemicals Agency (VINACHEMIA) has said that this database is for reference only. The responsibility for a correct classification of chemicals remains with the supplier of the safety data sheet.
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VINACHEMIA’s website: http://vinachemia.gov.vn/default.aspx?page=home
VINACHEMIA’s news release about the National Chemical Database System (NCDB): http://vinachemia.gov.vn/default.aspx?page=news&do=detail&category_id=43&id=4381
NCDBS site: http://chemicaldata.gov.vn/cms.xc