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China Suspends All U.S. Scrap Imports for One Month

The suspension of China Certification and Inspection Group North America is effective May 4 through June 4.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) announced that the U.S. operations of China Certification and Inspection Group North America (CCIC NA) has been suspended for one month (May 4 through June 4). This move comes on the heels of the country’s recently enacted waste import ban and contamination standard, which impacts a number of U.S. states, companies and individuals.

ISRI shared in a statement that it was told the Chinese Government will accept shipments that were sent prior to May 3 with CCIC certificates, although they will be subject to 100 percent inspections and are not guaranteed entry.

Beginning May 4, CCIC NA will not conduct pre-shipment inspections on importation of wastes as raw materials. The information management system for pre-shipment inspections on importation of wastes as raw materials (PSI) will be temporarily shut down, according to a notice given by the General Administration of Custom of PRC. In addition, CCIC NA port inspectors are being directed to carefully verify the pre-shipment certifications, shipping documents and other related papers for U.S. imported wastes as raw materials for their authentication, entirety and consistency.

ISRI, along with the National Waste & Recycling Association and the Solid Waste Association of North America, are working closely with governments, stakeholders and the public and private sectors to address these recent moves and identify how they will impact the waste and recycling industry both now and in the future.

ISRI is working aggressively to gain more information and to find a way to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and in a way that minimizes the impact on its members.

SWANA CEO and Executive Director David Biderman also responded to the recent action, telling Waste360, “While this latest action by China clearly demonstrates it isn’t retreating on the waste import restrictions, the direct impact should be rather limited, as very little recyclables are currently being shipped from the U.S. to China. Announced while a high-level U.S. delegation was in Beijing for important trade discussions on other issues, it may have been a negotiating tactic. With Chinese box production ramping up seasonally in the next few months, it will be interesting to see how Chinese mills source feedstock in the absence of high-quality imported fiber from the United States.”

NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith also weighed in, telling Waste360, “The latest suspension of CCIC NA inspections is certainly of concern to our members and is the latest of several pieces of negative news from the China market. We continue to encourage China to work with U.S. recyclers to keep this valuable relationship intact and to give our companies time to respond to their new standards. However, I remain optimistic that the waste handlers in the United States will find solutions to this bump in the road as they investigate new markets, develop new technological innovations, encourage new uses domestically for recyclables and use this as an opportunity to educate the American people about the importance of getting the trash out of the recyclables stream. The American people love to recycle, and the market will find a way.”

Waste360 will continue to follow this development and other moves from China. If you have any updates or insights regarding China’s crackdown on the scrap trade, please email Waste360 Editorial Director Mallory Szczepanski at Mallory.Szczepanski@informa.com.

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