According to a Chinese customs official, among the goals being met by China’s Operation Green Fence has been more truthful documentation that has helped collect more appropriate levels of tax revenue.
In a presentation at the 2013 China National Resources Recycling Association (CRRA) International Recycling Conference & Exhibition in early September, Chen Zejun of the China Customs office in Guangzhou said the scrutiny provided by Green Fence has cut down on “false reports” that had been used by importers as a tax evasion method.
Chen said collecting appropriate taxes and import duties was one of four goals that China Customs, the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) had as it developed and introduced Operation Green Fence.
Chen told attendees, “There is a lot to be recycled, but it has to exceed certain standards. You cannot dump non-recyclable or non-treated waste on other countries.” She said Green Fence has been designed to address four problems:
- The importation of low-value waste;
- The selling or lending of import certificates;
- False reports on import documents pertaining to the product enclosed or the value of the scrap product in the container; and
- The reselling of imported scrap to non-import certificate holders.
In her role with the Commodity Price Information Office of China Customs, Chen said she has been particularly involved in ensuring descriptions and values on shipment paperwork matches what is enclosed. She said after several months of enforcement there is now less evasion because of material “re-categorization” or because of low stated values.
Among the techniques China Customs has used is to look at export statistics maintained by other nations compared to China’s statistics for what is being imported and to look for “deviance” between two figures. Chen said China's customs agency saw discrepancies of up to 30 percent for copper scrap—“the problem is really serious.”
Importers caught violating these four points of emphasis risk being put on a “black list” that will make reapplying for certified import status difficult, said Chen. “Do not take a risk,” she warned attendees. “The short-term benefit is not the worth the long-term risk [of being on the black list]. Compliance is important.”
The CRRA 2013 China International Recycling Conference & Exhibition was Sept. 3-5 at the San Li New Century Grand Hotel in Hangzhou, China.