Chinese government prepares path for nonferrous scrap imports

Chinese government prepares path for nonferrous scrap imports

Nation’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment says license applications to be accepted by late May.

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The Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) of the People’s Republic of China, which has played a prominent role in restricting scrap commodity imports in that nation, says second-half 2019 import license applications for eight types of scrap materials, including aluminum and copper scrap, could start being accepted in late May.

According to the Brussels-based Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), the announcement was during a speech by an MEE staff member at a conference in Ningbo, China, on April 19. That event was hosted by the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association Recycling Metal Branch (CMRA).

The MEE staff member indicated “import licenses will be strictly examined and approved in accordance with the relevant requirements” in MEE’s regulatory code. The agency’s focus seems to have shifted away from scrutiny of overseas firms to an examination of the ability of importing firms in China to properly handle materials.

The MEE presentation pointed to the agency requiring proof that an importing company “shall be actually engaged in the processing and utilization” of scrap and that the importing company is legally entitled to do so.

The importing company will have to prove it “has the site, facilities, equipment and supporting pollution prevention facilities and measures for processing and applying the imported [scrap], and [can] meet the requirements of national or local environmental protection standards.”

Importing companies seeking licenses “shall submit an application electronically to the MEE through the National Solid Waste Management Information System and, at the same time, shall submit the same information in a paper-based application,” according to the agency.

According to the BIR’s press release, provincial environmental protection bureaus in China can start accepting scrap import applications starting in late May, while the central government MEE will “officially accept and approve import applications from July 1, 2019.”