Last-minute Chinese waste quotas let importers cut it close to the wire

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17.09.2020 − 

The China Solid Waste and Chemicals Management Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) issued a twelfth batch of import licences for this year on Wednesday. The new tranche of import quotas is substantial, covering over 710,000 tonnes of recovered paper, 136,000 tonnes of copper scrap, 121,000 tonnes of aluminium scrap and 2,600 tonnes of ferrous scrap.

Door closing for waste imports from Europe

Chinese authorities have repeatedly announced that they will end the imports of waste for recycling at the start of 2021. Recyclate arriving after 1 January is to be subject to the hefty fines imposed on illegal waste imports. The year-end deadline doesn't leave importers with European suppliers much time to utilise the newly issued import quotas. Under normal conditions, shipments into October and even November would have reached China before the end of the year, but market insiders have told EUWID that at present, shipping times can run up to twelve weeks, due to longer layovers and routes.

High quality aluminium alloy, brass and copper scrap grades are designated for reclassification as non-waste "recycling materials", although there are details of the reclassification which remain unclear. No similar plans have been made for recovered paper.

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