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X-ray regime reinforces China's National Sword campaign

2000 china shanghai port shipping

Chinese customs are using x-ray machines to check every container entering the country, according to reports.

As part of the National Sword programme to tackle illegal imports, officials have been told to focus on the quality of waste paper and plastics being brought through Chinese ports.

The Recycling Association (RA) has warned that high-quality standards must be met during the campaign, which kicked off on 1 March and is expected to last until 30 November.

Reports from China indicate that where x-ray equipment is not available, all containers are being opened for inspection and weighed to verify their declared weights. Examinations also check the level of non-fibre impurities and excessive moisture in bales of paper.

Cycle Link UK managing director Craig Robinson said: “We are warning our suppliers of these heightened inspections and letting them know that their containers will undergo an x-ray or visual inspection.

“But this should be a warning to the UK that the Chinese are not prepared to accept substandard material. It isn’t just about them receiving material they don’t want, but it is also a public health issue when it comes to moisture.”

RA chief executive Simon Ellin said: “The UK competes with other countries around the world to provide China with fibre and plastics, and we have to ensure that the material is not only legally compliant but is the best available, so that we will still have a market for material we cannot use in the UK.

“The National Sword programme shows the importance of our ’Quality First’ campaign, and we will be pushing the quality message strongly at our conference.” 

The association’s campaign calls for the adoption of standard EN643, which allows for only 1.5% out-throw.

  • The Quality First Conference is on 5 April at BPP University Law School, London

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