Namely, in mid-2017, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Commerce and three other ministries jointly issued the announcement regarding updated Administrative Catalogue of Waste Importation (2017) which has become effective from December 31, 2017. This Catalogue added 24 types of solid waste listed under 4 categories to the import ban list, including 8 types of waste plastic from living sources, 1 type of unsorted waste paper, 11 types of waste raw materials of textile and 4 types of vanadium slag.

The potential consequences for shipowners breaching regulations are:

  • A fine between RMB 100,000 and RMB 1,000,000; and
  • Costs of disposal of the waste; and
  • Depending upon the offence, a criminal prosecution.

As such, if asked to carry waste cargoes, operators are recommended to be duly diligent in verifying whether such cargoes are listed as banned or restricted solid waste before accepting the booking, including (but not limited to) obtaining the customs code and relevant licence.

Credit: Hatai