China continues scrap scrutiny in 2018

China continues scrap scrutiny in 2018

Customs and environmental agencies continue to implement policies to curb the import of certain scrap shipments.


According to several news reports, China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC) has launched a “Blue Sky 2018” campaign scheduled to run through the rest of 2018. The goal of the program is to continue enforcing the country’s plan to prevent the import of materials shipped into the country that do not meet the government’s definition of being recyclable.

According to an article in the China Daily, the campaign will seek to prevent recyclable materials from other countries from entering China by sea or land transportation. A total of 24 types of imported scrap materials, including several types of plastic and mixed paper, have been identified as targets in the campaign. (That list was announced in August 2017.)

In the article, Zhang Guangzhi, a spokesperson for the General Administration of Customs, says robust efforts will be made to stop trading rings and eradicate smuggling channels, while cooperation with local environmental and quality control authorities will also help strengthen the supervision of what the GAC calls “imported solid waste.”

According to the article, on Feb. 2, 2018, the administration's anti-smuggling bureau launched its first raid against such smuggling in four cities -- Shenzhen, Tianjin, Harbin and Qingdao. By Feb. 27, the administration verified 50,000 tons of smuggled unwanted materials in 69 cases.

China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), in a February 2018 report on its previous Working Conference, identified “activating in full scale the plan for winning the war in defense of blue skies” as the first of 10 priorities for 2018.

States the MEP in its recap of the congress, “We will update the list of solid wastes prohibited from import, strengthen the regulation over the importation of solid wastes, and ban inbound foreign wastes” in 2018.

In their English language write-ups pertaining to scrap import restrictions, Chinese government agencies seldom make a distinction between secondary commodities with value and what they call “waste” or “garbage.”