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Chinese “Foreign Waste” Smuggling Crackdown Impacting Trade

Since the announcement of China's campaign to curb "foreign waste" smuggling, ISRI has learned that the order has had an immediate impact on Chinese demand for scrap plastics.

According to the China Plastic Recycling Association (CPRA), Chinese plastic processors and logistics companies are refusing to take new orders as they face long delays at ports as well as associated storage fees and anticipated stockpiling of shipments already at the port or soon to arrive. Furthermore, according to ISRI member Steve Wong, enhanced customs inspections to target “foreign waste,” particularly e-waste and plastic waste fractions, will become what he calls the “new normal” as China works to protect health, safety and the environment.

Traders can expect 100 percent customs inspections, audits of “dummy factories” and inspections of processing facilities. Steve reports there has already been suspended operations and canceled orders. And while the CPRA acknowledges the industry has positively transformed in terms of compliance and safety, which should facilitate compliance with the enhanced port inspections, nevertheless, there has been a precipitous increase in the number of cargo inspections, the time they take at ports, and the associated compliance costs. Additionally, to curb import demand, the Chinese government is determined to increase residential and commercial recycling rates, including plastic packaging and electrical and electronic waste.

For more information or to report unusual delays or challenges to your business, please contact Senior Director for Government Relations & International Affairs Adina Renee Adler.

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