India – The new foreign trade policy implemented by India’s ministry of commerce on April 1 – involving changes in inspection requirements – will have ‘severe negative impacts’ on metal scrap exporters and traders in the Middle East, it has been claimed.
‘Drastic changes in policies without a notice period have caught everyone off guard and the whole system has come to a sudden pause,’ the Bureau of Middle East Recycling (BMR) has written in a letter to the ministry. Several of the new rules formulated by the Indian government were cited as a ‘hindrance’ and ‘not practical’.
Regarding a requirement to video the loading of shipping containers, BMR points out: ‘Many times there are two to 12 containers in one shipment so making a video is not possible for each container. We still recommend making photos showing the whole loading process.’
Another ‘impossible’ requirement is that now only a certain number of people at certain points will be authorised to inspect material flows for India. ‘There should be flexibility in appointing inspectors by inspection agencies,’ BMR urges. It should be possible to appoint various inspectors depending on their availability and locations, it adds.
Equipment used to aid cargo inspections should not be limited to registered equipment only, stresses BMR. A ‘wider scope’ should be allowed for inspection agencies when verifying the material, while some equipment listed as approved is simply too expensive or not freely allowed in the country of inspection.
Request for delay
‘We request you to delay the implementation of the above relevant clause in the FTP by a period of 90 days,’ BMR states in the letter. It argues that many foreign suppliers in the Middle East and elsewhere have invested heavily in India’s recycling industry and have ‘open obligations’ towards ongoing contracts.
Thus, immediate implementation of the new policy is unwise and unfair. BMR also laments that industry players and related trade associations were not consulted prior to the policy being issued.
Earlier this week, both the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) and the Metal Recycling Association of India (MRAI) have criticised the Indian government for taking such ‘counter-productive steps’, which they urge will ‘severely restrict’ the availability of imported scrap.
The MRAI has already stated it will speak on this development at the upcoming BIR International Trade Council meeting in Dubai on May 19.