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India’s metal recyclers ‘shocked’ by tightened rules

India – Both the Metal Recycling Association of India (MRAI) and the BIR world recycling organisation fear major negative repercussions from a new regulation affecting scrap exports to India. Under these new rules, agencies that carry out pre-shipment inspections are required, among other things, to provide a video record of the loading process.

The MRAI has described itself as ‘shocked and disappointed’ by the changes proposed to pre-shipment inspection procedures. ‘This will bring the scrap metal industry to a halt; it will have severe negative impacts on importers and consumers,’ laments the organisation in a press release.

The new procedures are a result of India’s new foreign trade policy. The amendment requires all metal scrap imports to not only be inspected by approved surveyors but also to have the entire process of loading into containers put on video, showing the inspector’s face, the exporter’s face, all carriage details and inspection equipment.

Furthermore, agencies that carry out pre-shipment inspections are required to contact the Indian authorities before inspecting shipments in countries where the agencies do not have a full-time office. According to the MRAI, the concept of making video recordings is not feasible for many foreign suppliers’ yards owing to various restrictions and local laws.

Cancelled contracts

‘Many foreign suppliers have already started cancelling earlier contracts and have stopped all scrap shipments to India on force majeure grounds,’ it is pointed out. India is heavily dependent on scrap metal imports, with some 6 million tonnes of ferrous and non-ferrous scrap brought in each year to meet its requirements.

‘The Indian government should be promoting the usage and trade of metal scrap instead of putting hindrances and impediments in place that will negatively impact the domestic industry from having access to such valuable raw materials,’ says the MRAI. The organisation believes the new rules stand in stark contrast to the recently-launched ‘Make in India’ campaign designed to promote and facilitate doing business in India.

‘Such counter-productive steps will severely restrict the availability of imported metal scrap and directly hurt the domestic industry,’ complains the MRAI. The BIR world recycling organisation has also expressed its concern over the new requirements.

The MRAI will speak on this subject at the BIR International Trade Council meeting in Dubai on May 19.

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