Import ban: Chinese confirmed new contaminants thresholds for solid waste

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Source: Bureau of International Recycling

Brussels — China has officially notified the World Trade Organization of its intent to adopt the GB 16487 Environmental Protection Control standards for a certain number of wastes, the Bureau of International Recycling has been informed. Percentages were communicated as applicable thresholds for impurities.

The percentages for applicable thresholds for impurities include: Smelt slag 0.5 percent, wood 0.5 percent, paper 0.5 percent, ferrous 0.5 percent, non-ferrous 1 percent, waste electric motors 0.5 percent, wires and cables 0.5 percent, metal and appliance scrap 0.5 percent, vessels 0.05 percent, plastic 0.5 percent and autos 0.3 percent.

The Chinese standards state a proposed adoption date of 31 December 2017 and a proposed date for entry into force of 1 March 2018.

While in most cases (paper, ferrous, non-ferrous, plastics) the thresholds are not as low as initially feared (0.3 percent), the proposed percentages are still far from the figures that the industry considers feasible and acceptable. BIR is nevertheless pleased that the Chinese government has taken into account some of the industry’s concerns and therefore its lobbying efforts, coordinated with its National Associations Members, including ISRI, EuRIC, CMRA, CSPA and CAMU, were fruitful to a certain extent.

“China’s proposed ‘carried waste’ thresholds that, like their earlier proposals, are not in line with standards followed globally by the recycling community and our industrial consumers,” commented Robin Wiener, president of Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI). “Although ISRI is heartened that the new proposal moves away from the 0.3 percent threshold, the new levels are still of great concern. ISRI is reviewing the documents carefully and will submit comments through the WTO and directly to the Chinese Government.”

BIR, together with its member associations, will submit official comments on behalf of the industry to WTO before 15 December to ensure that the industry’s concerns are heard and understood.

Source: Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) / Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI)