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Chinese import ban concerns aired at WTO meeting

Global – Five members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have called on China to issue more information on which materials will be affected by its proposed import ban on certain types of solid waste by the end of 2017.

At a meeting of the WTO’s import licensing committee, the USA, the EU, Australia, Canada and South Korea underlined the importance of receiving such clarification as this was an issue ‘of great interest to their business sectors’, according to a statement released by the WTO.

The USA voiced its concerns about the changes to import licensing surrounding China’s implementation of an existing import ban on plastic and paper scrap. China was asked by the USA whether it was planning to extend the measure to ferrous and non-ferrous scrap and, if so, when this would be implemented and under what procedures. ‘The US requested China to adhere to notification obligations, particularly for ferrous and non-ferrous scrap, noting that this constituted a multi-billion market for US stakeholders,’ the WTO notes.

Canada said recently-announced restrictions ‘were already creating issues for its traders’ and reiterated the need for clarification of the specific products China intended to ban.

The Chinese delegation confirmed that it would forward these concerns to Beijing for consideration.

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