Latest China Developments

In conjunction with ISRI2019, leadership of ISRI’s Nonferrous Division, Trade Committee, and Specifications Working Group met with representatives of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association Recycling Metal Branch (CMRA) to discuss China’s current and impending scrap import regulations and the role of ISRI Specifications and China’s quality standards.


CMRA confirmed that importers were requested to hold off on applying for import licenses for material, but they were unable to clarify our questions about whether or not this was tied to the new regulations expected to be implemented on July 1. CMRA subsequently held a public meeting in China late last week confirming that the application delay is for Category 7 material already restricted by the regulations that went into place at the beginning of the year. However, CMRA did not know the reason for the delay.


Furthermore, CMRA was asked about the July 1 regulations: what will be the requirements for importers to apply for licenses and when would those requirements be made public. CMRA appeared to be uncertain about the process, even claiming that the contours of the new regulations would not be published until July 1. The timing creates concerns across the global industry that the absence of advance notice will result in a temporary stoppage of trade this summer in Category 6 nonferrous metals.


CMRA also had a number of questions about ISRI Specifications as the organization works with the Chinese government on standards for “raw material” imports. Their questions ranged from gaining technical clarity on certain Specs to understanding compliance and enforcement of the Specifications. We do not believe these questions were geared towards a desire to adopt the Specifications; rather to inform how their own Standards would be implemented.


 Also, CMRA informed ISRI they are working with the Government on raw material import standards because of the acknowledgement that China is in short supply of these important materials. This acknowledgement will not drive the government to change course on “solid waste” (i.e., scrap) imports but to create a separate regulatory system for the imports of materials after they have been recycled in source countries.


CMRA is a quasi-government trade association, but its leaders are not official spokesmen for the government. We continue to await official information and guidance from the Chinese Government.


For more information, please contact Adina Renee Adler

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