Two dozen types of scrap imports banned by China in 2018

Two dozen types of scrap imports banned by China in 2018

Mid-August document prohibits postconsumer plastic and one type of unsorted paper; industrially generated plastic scrap remains permissible.

August 18, 2017

Some 24 types of materials will be prohibited from entering China starting in 2018, including several types of postconsumer plastic scrap, one grade of unsorted paper, several types of used textiles and metal slags containing vanadium.


Dr. Steve Wong, who is the executive president of the China Scrap Plastic Association (CSPA), a member of two Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) committees and the chairman of Hong Kong-based plastics recycling firm Fukutomi Co. Ltd., is citing an announcement issued jointly by five Chinese government agencies as the source for the information.


Plastic scrap materials within the categories of production scrap, offcuts and regrind will still be allowed to enter China in 2018, according to the latest market update from Wong.


The Aug. 16, 2017, announcement issued by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), the Ministry of Commerce, the Development and Reform Commission, the General Administration of Customs and the AQSIQ (General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine) is known as Announcement No. 39 of 2017. It spells out 24 scrap items that will move from being restricted to outright prohibited but leaves other types of scrap off that list.


The five agencies say that in efforts to comply with the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, China’s Environmental Pollution Prevention and Control Law for Solid Waste and other Chinese government measures, they have targeted 24 items that will move from restricted to outright, prohibited, including:


eight types of postconsumer plastic scrap;

one type of unsorted scrap paper;

11 types of used or scrap textile materials; and

four types of metal slag that contain vanadium.


Omitted from that list, says Wong, are four types of plastic production scrap, offcuts and regrind with the designated HS (Harmonized System) codes of 3915100000, 3915200000, 3915300000, 3915901000 and 3915909000.


The prohibitions will go into effect beginning Dec. 31, 2017, and the new directive supersedes Announcement No. 80 of 2014 and Announcement No. 3 of 2017 from the five departments, says Wong.