SOURCE / COMPANIES
China still faces challenges in keeping out waste imports
Published: Mar 31, 2022 12:33 AM
Chinese customs officers check illegal trash imports they seized during a crackdown on waste smuggling in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province, on Tuesday. Photo: IC

Chinese customs officers check illegal trash imports they seized during a crackdown on waste smuggling in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province, on Tuesday. Photo: IC


 
China has completely banned waste imports, but efforts are still needed as there have been cases of waste smuggling in recent years, and authorities have called for a more complete monitoring system.

Some companies or individuals have been smuggling waste from foreign countries into China through concealed methods, which increases the difficulty of law enforcement, Ren Yong, director at the Department of Solid Waste and Chemicals under the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), said at a press conference on Wednesday.

For instance, the smugglers cover the waste and report it to customs as goods of similar shape or size, Ren said. In addition, with the rapid development of new business such as the import of renewable raw materials or remanufacturing industries, there is a certain risk of waste entering China in disguised forms.

In 2021, the General Administration of Customs of China filed and investigated 110 criminal cases related to waste smuggling, involving 42,000 tons of solid waste, Ren said.

China started to ban imported waste from 2017 and reached the goal of zero imports of solid waste at the end of 2020.

To resolve these remaining problems, Ren said the MEE will work with other governmental departments to improve the supervision system for prohibiting imports of solid waste.

At the same time, China will also strengthen the supervision over exporting solid waste.
 
China will fulfill the responsibilities and obligations in the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste and their Disposal, and prevent the export of solid waste from the country to other countries, Ren said.