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  • Press Release

ISRI Applauds China’s Updated “Recycled Raw Materials” Import Guidance, Which Reinforces Scrap Is Not Waste

(Washington, DC) – The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) today applauds China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment for reinforcing ISRI’s long-standing position that Scrap is Not Waste with the publishing of updated guidelines for the implementation of Brass, Copper and Aluminum “Recycled Raw Materials” standards, which had been delayed from July.  The new standards will be implemented starting on November 1, 2020.

"ISRI has been advocating to the Chinese Government for nearly 20 years that scrap should be pulled out of the "solid waste" import regime and recognized as a valuable raw material,” said ISRI President Robin Wiener. “China is doing just that with selected grades of nonferrous scrap, and we are expecting China to establish additional standards for ferrous metals and plastic pellets in 2021.  ISRI applauds the Chinese Government for setting an example, and we call on other governments around the world to follow their lead in recognizing scrap is not waste but a necessary ingredient for achieving a green economy."

In addition to the implementation date, the updated guidelines published today specifically state the following:

  • The Harmonized Tariff Codes to identify imported material under these standards are:

Brass:                  7404.00.00.20
Copper:               7404.00.00.30
Aluminum:           7602.00.00.20

  • Import quotas already issued in 2020 for material under the existing “solid waste” regime will be honored.
  • Material that does not comply with the standards will not be permitted for import.

The material will enter under harmonized tariff codes for scrap. However, the last two digits of each code are the key identifier between scrap entering under the “recycled raw materials” regime and the outgoing “solid waste” regime.

This is an important step taken by the Chinese government, recognizing that recyclable materials used in manufacturing are not waste and need to be allowed to move in the global marketplace.

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The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the "Voice of the Recycling Industry™." ISRI represents 1,300 companies in 20 chapters in the U.S. and more than 40 countries that process, broker, and consume scrap commodities, including metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics, and textiles. With headquarters in Washington, DC, the Institute provides education, advocacy, safety and compliance training, and promotes public awareness of the vital role recycling plays in the U.S. economy, global trade, the environment and sustainable development. Generating nearly $110 billion annually in U.S. economic activity, the scrap recycling industry provides more than 500,000 Americans with good jobs.

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