Thailand vows to block e-scrap imports

Thailand vows to block e-scrap imports

Comprehensiveness of “no import license renewals” policy is unclear.

June 25, 2018
Edited by Brian Taylor

The national government of Thailand is preparing to ban imports of electronic scrap and other types of what it calls “waste,” according to media reports from that nation.

A Saturday, June 23, online report posted on the website of The Nation, based in Bangkok, quotes an official from Thailand’s Department of Industrial Works as saying it would ban incoming shipments of “electronic and other wastes” by the end of June and that companies holding permits for such shipments would not see their licenses renewed for 2019.

A task force formed by the Thai government reportedly found that some 90,000 metric tons of “imported electronic and other hazardous wastes” are handled improperly in the nation.

The same article in The Nation also mentions that the Thai government “may also consider withdrawing from the 1997 Basel Convention on transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal due to challenges in enforcing strict regulations on the import of electronic and other dangerous wastes into the country under the international agreement.”

The article further states the government looked into the practices of licensed importing companies and found their handling of “electronic, plastic, used electrical appliances and other wastes for recycling and disposal” as having posted public health and environmental risks. The article does not elaborate on which types of plastic and other materials might be targeted for further scrutiny.

“Some companies licensed by the Thai government are reportedly controlled by firms from China,” according to The Nation, which adds, “The shift of these wastes from China to Thailand has resulted in a growing number of complaints from provinces where recycling factories and dumping sites are situated.”