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Chinese Restrictions on Waste Imports Could Affect Manufacturers

Friday, February 23, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

China has tightened restrictions on imported wastes in recent years and could further expand those restrictions in the near future. The government’s aim is to significantly reduce the variety and amount of waste imports and to refine waste recycling procedures. These measures could have a disruptive impact on companies that use such materials as inputs for production.

Effective Dec. 31, 2017, China moved 24 types of solid wastes from the list of those that may be imported for use as raw materials to the list of those banned from importation (see full list below). This change affected four categories of wastes, including plastic waste from living sources, unsorted scrap paper, waste textile materials, and vanadium slag. 

China also tightened the requirements for importing solid wastes that can be used as raw materials as of Dec. 15, 2017. Affected products include metal-bearing waste arising from the melting, smelting, and refining of metals; waste, parings, and scrap of plastics from industrial sources; recovered (waste and scrap) paper and paperboard; metal and metal-alloy wastes (in metallic, non-dispersible form, not including powder, sludge, dust, or solid waste containing hazardous liquid); and mixed waste metals, compressed pieces of scrap automobile, and waste vessels.

Under the new rules, importers of such wastes must be legally approved for and engaged in the processing and utilizing of such wastes. They must also operate from appropriate premises with pollution control facilities, comply with environmental protection standards, obtain and comply with a pollutant discharge permit, and have the ability to prevent pollution caused by the imported waste (e.g., establishing a monitoring system and daily environmental monitoring procedures).

Importers of waste paper must comply with additional standards as well. Among other things, the recycling or processing capacity of the facility must be at least 50,000 tons per year, and equipment for waste paper processing must be in place.

Additional measures could be imposed as China continues to expand its environmental protection efforts. For example, more goods and waste items could be banned from importation into China, and the number of ports that accept waste imports could be reduced, by the end of 2018. Companies should therefore plan ahead and seek alternatives, particularly for imported waste used as raw materials in manufacturing operations, to avoid potential disruptions.

For more information on imports of solid wastes or other goods into China, please contact Colbert Lam at +852 9196 6546 or Harry Zhang at +86 138 2626 5357.

Wastes Now Banned from Import into China

 

Category

Customs Commodity Code Number

Description

Plastic waste from living sources

3915.10.0000

Wastes, parings and scrap, of plastics of polymers of ethylene, excluding al compound packing film

Al compound packing film

3915.20.0000

Wastes, parings and scrap, of plastics of polymers of styrene

3915.30.0000

Wastes, parings and scrap, of plastics of polymers of vinyl chloride

3915.90.1000

Wastes, parings and scrap, of plastics of ethylene glycol terephthalate, excluding waste PET beverage bottles (brick)

Waste PET beverage bottles (brick)

3915.90.9000

Wastes, parings and scrap, of plastics of others, not including waste and scrap of compact discs

Waste and scrap of compact discs

Vanadium slag

2619.00.0021

The scum and slag with vanadium, containing more than 20% of vanadium pentoxide, from the manufacture of iron or steel (other than granulated slag)

2619.00.0029

Other scum and slag with vanadium from the manufacture of iron or steel (other than granulated slag)

2620.99.9011

Slag, ash and residue with other metal and its compound, containing more than 20% of vanadium pentoxide (other than from the manufacture of iron or steel and disuse catalyzer containing vanadium)

2620.99.9019

Slag, ash and residue with other metal and its compound, containing 10% but not exceeding 20% of vanadium pentoxide (other than from the manufacture of iron or steel and disuse catalyzer containing vanadium)

Unsorted scrap paper

4707.90.0090

Other recovered paper or paperboard (including unsorted waste and scrap)

Waste textile materials

5103.10.9090

Noils of fine hair of other animal

5103.20.9090

Waste of fine hair of other animal (including yarn waste but excluding garnetted stock)

5103.30.0090

Waste of coarse hair of other animal (including yarn waste but excluding garnetted stock)

5104.00.9090

Garnetted stock of fine or coarse hair of other animal

5202.10.0000

Yarn waste (including thread waste)

5202.91.0000

Cotton garnetted stock

5202.99.0000

Other cotton waste

5505.10.0000

Waste (including noils, yarn waste and garnetted stock) of man-made fibers of synthetic fibers

5505.20.0000

Waste (including noils, yarn waste and garnetted stock) of man-made fibers of artificial fibers

6310.10.0010

Sorted new or unused rags, including scrap twine, cordage, rope and cables and worn out articles of twine, of textile materials

6310.90.0010

Other new or unused rags, including scrap twine, cordage, rope and cables and worn out articles of twine, of textile materials

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