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China Announces Extension to Import Restrictions

The Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment has announced that it will ban a further 32 types of solid waste over the next two years.

A statement from the ministry listed a total of 32 grades of materials that will be moved from the ’unrestricted or restricted’ import list to ’banned import solid waste’.

These latest restrictions are expected to be introduced in two waves. The first phase will see 16 materials banned from import from December 2018. These  include compressed car scrap, scrap ships, industrial plastic waste and waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

Sixteen further materials, including stainless steel scrap, titanium scrap and wood wastes, will all be prohibited from 31 December 2019, in the second phase.

The British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) has expressed concern, explaining that UK recyclers sent around 400,000 tonnes of metals worth more than £200m to China in 2017.

Technical Director, Howard Bluck, said: “Since China first announced restrictions on certain solid recyclates that exceed impurity thresholds, we have been concerned about the lack of clarity over the meaning of ‘impurity’ and, in turn whether those thresholds can be met. The most recent extension of these restrictions will concern exporters of recovered metal as it now names specific materials and metals, as well as including a host of non-ferrous metals. If the information is correct, of most concern are the bans on metal and electrical appliance scrap, including cables and wires, and stainless steel.”

He added that the BMRA is seeking further information and clarity on the restrictions, and says the association is sharing concerns with the other members of the Environment Agency’s China waste restrictions liaison group, as well as more widely with Government.

Clarity has been buying and selling packaging recovery notes (PRNs) since our business started in 2002. We are now one of the largest and most experienced open market traders of PRNs. Our team is closely monitoring the impact of the Chinese restrictions on the PRN markets. To talk to our team about procuring any grade of packaging recovery note (PRN), contact us on 0845 129 7177.

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