China may issue new import licenses

China may issue new import licenses

CSPA also says some inspection violations will carry heavier consequences than others.

August 10, 2017
Recycling Today Staff
Legislation & Regulations Nonferrous Paper Plastics

A mid-August market update from the China Scrap Plastic Association (CSPA) says that, according to information obtained by CSPA from various government departments of China, a “12th batch of [scrap] import permits is expected to be issued in mid-August” 2017.


Dr. Steve Wong, who is executive president of the CSPA, chairman of Hong Kong-based plastics recycling firm Fukutomi Co. Ltd. and a member of two Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) committees, also says a decision on the issuance of a 13th batch of import permits “will closely follow the 12th batch.”


Additionally, Wong says the CSPA has learned that China’s recently filed import ban with the World Trade Organization (WTO) states that shipments with bills of lading dated prior to Sept. 1, 2017, will be accepted at ports only until Dec. 31, 2017 (subject to an official announcement).


According to Wong’s sources, existing import permits can be used only by licensed facilities that successfully passed July inspections by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) and that did not receive orders to stop production.


Further, the CSPA says facilities that received penalties during July inspections can apply for new import permits only if they were not in violation of the following rules within the last two years:


  • importing prohibited waste or recyclable items;
  • importing secondary raw materials without permission;
  • issuing applications for import permits with false information;
  • obtaining import permits through deceptive means; and
  • transferring import permits.

Companies who committed any of the following violations within the past one year also will be ineligible to apply for a new import permit, says Wong:


  • emission of pollutants in excess of standards or the permitted controlling total;
  • processing of imported materials not complying with standards or requirements as acceptable raw materials;
  • nontreatment of harmful waste generated from a recycling process or import process;
  • noncompliance with the MEP on environmental monitoring records or operational conditions for waste and recyclable imports; and
  • any other violation of rules “relating to environmental protection, customs and AQSIQ (China’s Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine).”


Wong says, “Although there is no negative indication, it is still unclear if licensed importing [locations] that were not penalized during the July inspection can apply for new import permits.” He says he is hearing that issue will be addressed after the release of the 12th batch of import permits.


Reached by Recycling Today in mid-August, Wong said he was traveling in Japan and customers there remained reluctant to schedule new shipments of plastic scrap into Chinese ports. Companies throughout the region were considering options to process plastic scrap in Hong Kong, Malaysia and other places outside of the People's Republic of China, said Wong.


Details regarding plastic scrap that will be eligible for import into China in 2018 “are still being reviewed and revised,” says Wong, who adds in mid-August, “They will likely be released in the next couple of weeks.”