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China tightens grip on imports of recycled plastics

Chinese customs authorities are tightening the enforcement of existing regulations regarding the importof recycled plastics pellets. They are said to be imposing penalties of between EUR 65 000 and EUR 650 000 for violations of ‘the three uniformities’: colour, size, and packaging.

In parallel, Chinese authorities are drafting an update of the China Standard (GB/T) for recycled plastic pellets which will come into force on 1 January 2021 and are likely to make compliance with the three uniformities and other requirements even harder.

Most recyclers have chosen to refrain from importing for the time being until the situation is clearer. Some had goods that arrived after 1 September and the Bureau of International Recycling has learned that they were inspected and passed the laboratory test.

BIR says that the Chinese authorities are giving this matter ‘a lot of exposure’ in public media to draw recyclers’ attention to this latest strict enforcement of the rules. 

The global recycling industry is concerned about the new developments and is expecting new trade barriers for those shipping recycled materials to the Far East.

BIR strongly advises all exporters and importers ‘to comply with all applicable laws’.

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