International Update on China and Indonesia

China's Latest Tariff Announcement Includes Recovered Paper

In apparent retaliation for the U.S. Administration's announcement of tariffs on Chinese products to begin in September and December, the Chinese government announced today its intent to levy additional tariffs on $75 billion worth of goods from the United States. These tariffs add on to those already in place from announcements in 2018.


Included on the list are the following scrap commodities to be assessed an additional 5 percent tariff beginning on December 15, bringing the total import tariff to 30 percent:


4707.10.00 ...

                Unbleached kraft paper or paperboard or corrugated paper or paperboard 

    (e.g., paper grades 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21).


4707.30.10 ...

                Paper or paperboard made mainly of mechanical pulp (for example, newspapers, journals and similar printed matter); newspaper and other. (e.g., paper grades 9, 10, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 44, 56, 58).


4707.90.00 ...

                Other, including unsorted waste and scrap (e.g., paper grades 52, 54)

Note: It is our understanding that unsorted mixed paper is banned for import into China, but in instances where materials under this Harmonized Tariff Code are still obtaining clearance, the tariff would apply.


The U.S. Administration has reacted negatively to this announcement. However, the pledged December implementation date provides some flexibility if the U.S. and Chinese Governments resume negotiations on a trade deal.


Indonesia Again Revises Recovered Paper Import Standard

ISRI has learned that the Indonesian Government has directed pre-shipment inspection companies to inspect materials for a 0.5 percent prohibitives tolerance. Although we have not yet seen the government's official policy, pre-shipment inspection companies are informing their customers of this requirement.


Indonesia is a major consumer of imported recovered paper, which provides about 50 percent of the needs of Indonesia's 8 paper mills and more than 60 paper companies. However, in relation to the global attention on plastics, the government implemented tighter pre-shipment inspection requirements in June with little notice, resulting in shipments arriving to ports the government deemed as non-compliant although they had been inspected according to the former regime. Because of this, the Ministry of Environment & Forests instituted an import ban on mixed paper and has been working to finalize import requirements for other paper grades.


ISRI has been working closely with the government and inspection companies to enhance their understanding of the ISRI Specifications, which has led to the government approving imports that meet the ISRI Specifications for outthrows. When ISRI visited Indonesia in early July, we were told the government was concerned about the ISRI Specifications for prohibitives given the country's poor waste management infrastructure. ISRI continues to be in frequent contact with authorities in Indonesia to encourage a final import policy that is based on the ISRI Specifications, which are based on the market.


ISRI and The Recycling Association in the United Kingdom are currently in Indonesia to continue technical discussions with the government. Look for more details after they return from the trip.


For further questions or comments, please contact Adina R. Adler 

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