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India Issues Shipping Directive

Legislation & Regulations, Plastics, Paper

Pre-inspection mandated for scrap paper shipped on or after April 25, 2009.

May 7, 2009

India’s Ministry of Commerce has issued a policy circular mandating a certificate from an “independent pre-shipment inspection agency” for scrap paper loads shipped on or after April 25, 2009.


A circular from India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade, part of that nation’s Ministry of Commerce, has been distributed by the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) to its members.


In it, the government indicates that imports of what it calls “waste paper” that are registered with the Ministry of Environment & Forests “are to be accompanied by the certificate of an independent pre-shipment inspection agency.”


The circular also states, “To ensure that no unwanted material is imported under the garb of waste paper during this interim period (till the consignments are received along with pre-shipment inspection certificate), Customs [will] carry out a higher percentage [of] physical examination[s] of imported cargo than normally prescribed by them under the rules. The consignments shipped on or after 25.4.2009, which do not have the requisite pre-shipment inspection certificate, shall not be allowed to be unloaded at the Indian ports.”


The BIR reports that, “Following representation by members and affiliates to the Indian authorities a 20-day delay was obtained in implementation of certain pre-shipment inspection requirements. The 20-day delay has helped a little in enabling more stakeholders to learn of the new rules, but the delay does not address the underlying problems of the certification system that remain.”


The Brussels-based recycling organization adds, “Problems are that the number of inspection certification bodies approved by the Indian Government are too little in number and geographical coverage; that the certification bodies are not all experts in all types of waste and scrap; and that there is no standard certificate though certain wording [that] is necessary to fulfill the regulatory requirements.”


In its memo to member companies, the BIR “advises exporters to liaise with their consignee to ensure their shipment is properly documented, as the Indian Government is particularly concerned that shipments ‘do not contain any municipal solid waste, post-consumer domestic waste or medical waste or any other type of hazardous contaminant.’”


The BIR notes that exporters seeking more information can go to the Indian Directorate General of Foreign Trade Web site at http://dgft.delhi.nic.in/ to check for any potential updates or clarifications.


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