We have heard from several sources that China has already signaled the next phase of banning scrap imports that may include “Category 7” metals by the end of 2018.
It is our understanding that “Category 7” (HTS 7404.00.00.10 and 7602.00.00.10) includes insulated copper wire and motors and can be interpreted to include lower grade mixed metals that require additional processing/separation before entering the recycling stream. It does not include cleaner metals that require less processing, such as zorba and fines considered as “Category 6,” but there is an acknowledgment that there is no consistency in how these materials are categorized on bills of lading and customs documents, thus adding to confusion.
While we anticipate there eventually will be announcements of additional materials to be banned, we have not seen an official government document that specifically identifies “Category 7” as prohibited. We have heard that throughout 2018, the Chinese government will assess the environmental risk of imported scrap metals and make the final decision based on that assessment, putting the timing of such an announcement likely in the second half of 2018. Until we have that confirmation, ISRI will work under the assumption that China is considering it by gaining as much information and data as we can while acknowledging it is, at this point, just a rumor. Members are welcome to continue to send us any information you are hearing about this and other trade-impacting news and intelligence, and we will keep members informed on developments in Chinese policy and what can be done to address it. Please reach out to Adina Renee Adler to exchange information.