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Fresh Chinese crackdown on waste imports

Bakour illegal WEEE shipping

China is set to tighten its enforcement of anti-smuggling laws by clamping down on illegal waste shipments.

MRW understands the country’s customs and excise department will launch a one-year joint campaign called National Sword 2017 focusing on ’foreign waste’, agricultural products, resource products, tax-related goods, drugs and guns and other illegal smuggling activities.

The ’foreign waste’ of concern to the Chinese authorities includes the smuggling of industrial and household waste, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and plastics.

It pledges to strengthen its co-operation with all localities, the relevant departments and industry associations to promote the implementation of strict laws against smuggling.

Recycling Association chief executive Simon Ellin told MRW the fresh clampdown was not a new Operation Green Fence, which was imposed by the country in 2013 and had a damaging effect on UK paper exports to the country at that time.

He said this initiative was more aimed at deliberate smuggling attempts. On a visit to a Chinese port in November, Ellin said, three Range-Rovers had been found in separate illegal waste containers.

He said: “They are targeting specific materials that have become a problem in illegal shipments, WEEE being a prime example. There are a lot of guys clamping down on that.

“We at the RA, particularly with our ‘Quality First’ campaign, are absolutely behind efforts to stamp out illegal exporting. If you are compliant, then you should never have anything to worry about exporting into China.”

Meanwhile the Bureau of International Recycling said in a statement it presented the activities of its member companies and national associations to the Chinese authorities at the end of last year to support the “even-handed implementation and enforcement of laws”.

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