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Will China's ban on solid waste import affect steel scrap import?
Dec 9,2020 10:38CST
Source:SMM
On November 24, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), the Ministry of  Commerce, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the General Administration of Customs issued an announcement to fully prohibit import of solid waste.

SHANGHAI, Dec 9 (SMM)— On November 24, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), the Ministry of  Commerce, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the General Administration of Customs issued an announcement to fully prohibit import of solid waste. MEE stopped accepting and approving applications for import permits for solid waste that can be used as raw materials. The announcement will take effect on January 1, 2021. As steel scrap is also included in the list of solid waste, will the implementation of the new policy affect future steel scrap import? 

SMM insight: Items not listed in the Administrative Measures for the Import of Solid Waste will not be prohibited from importing. The reason why China banned solid waste import was because in the past garbage was also imported along with solid waste due to lack of standards for solid waste, and this severely polluted the environment.  However, China is now formulating a national standard of Secondary Steel Raw Materials, and when the standard to be officially released at the end of the year, steel scrap and secondary steel raw materials will be two different concepts. Steel scrap will be prohibited from importing from January 1, 2021, while secondary steel raw materials that meet the new standard can be imported freely without permission of formal consignees or licenses.

The national standard review meeting for Secondary Steel Raw Materials was held in Beijing on November 29, 2020. 58 representatives from 35 national ministries and commissions such as China Iron and Steel Association, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, General Administration of Customs of China, National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and Steel Scrap Association, and steel makers including Ouyeel, Shagang, Sangang Minguang attended the meeting.

The representatives discussed background, compilation process and significance of the national standard of Secondary Steel Raw Materials in detail. Participating leaders and experts discussed classification, terms and definitions, technical indicators, inspection methods and acceptance rules in the. After review, experts agreed to revise and improve the national standard of Secondary Steel Raw Materials in accordance with the requirements of the meeting, forming a draft of the standard for approval. This is expected to help to realize full utilization of high-quality secondary steel, improve quality and imports of secondary steel raw materials.

The progress of Secondary Steel Raw Materials review is in line with expectations. Steel scrap is likely to be imported freely in Q1 2021 if the standard progresses well.

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