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Plastic scrap imports: China begins two-month crackdown

Asia – China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection has begun a two-month action (running from November 1 to December 31) aimed at assisting the country’€™s Customs Anti-Smuggling Bureau in the reinforcement of plastic scrap import regulations, the BIR world recycling organisation has announced.

All provincial offices of China’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) have been charged with the responsibility of undertaking spot inspections of scrap plastic users. This also includes checking of their records and the current status of their pollution prevention facilities, pollutant emission standards and solid waste/hazardous waste disposal – to assess for any illegal behaviour.

The main points of focus should be:

* On the reselling of imported waste plastics, either in part or in whole, to ensure compliance with the conditions of the solid waste import licence.

* On the illegal importing of scrap plastics, ie importing solid waste in a prohibited category, or imported scrap plastics failing to meet environmental control standards or related technical standards of arbitration.

* On the processing of imported scrap plastics in an illegal way. For example: -failing to meet the standards and requirements set by the EPA; -failing to dispose of or use the impurities or other content mixed in the scrap plastic in a hazardous-free manner; -exceeding the requirements or volumes allowed by the standards in terms of pollutant emissions or release.

Generally in China, it is assumed for legal purposes that everyone imports for their own use and not for selling to a third party. Any importer of goods who resells to another person in China is considered to be reselling the commodity and is not complying with the solid waste import licence.

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