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China Will Issue Final Scrap Import Guidelines

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) issued an email Nov. 13, 2017 noting that the Chinese government is expected to release final scrap import guidelines in 2-4 weeks.

The email states: “Industry contacts believe the Chinese government will finalize the contaminants thresholds in its Environmental Protection Control standards for scrap (GB 16487) at 1 percent for ferrous and nonferrous metals, 1 percent for paper and 0.5 percent for plastics. This information has been reported in the media, but it cannot be confirmed until the Chinese government issues the final regulation.”

The association says the timeline for compliance is unknown at this point, adding, “Until then, ISRI members and Chinese customers report that materials are entering China under the current rules.”

China initially notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) on July 18, 2017 of its intent to ban the import of certain scrap materials. Among the items included on the list are most scrap plastics (“including polymers of ethylene, styrene, vinyl chloride and PET…”) and mixed paper. The Chinese Government also released a draft revision of the “Environmental Protection Control Standards for Imported Solid Wastes as Raw Materials”—technical guidelines for scrap content and quality imported into China. Of particular note are proposals to drop the “carried waste” (or allowable prohibitive) thresholds to 0.3% for all scrap materials, thereby affecting all scrap trade with China.

ISRI says questions China’s scrap import guidelines can be directed to Adina Renee Adler, ISRI senior director of international relations, at aadler@isri.org.

Here’s a link to a page on the ISRI site that breaks down the Inbound MRF specs and gives some background on China’s import ban:


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