Plastic waste is entering Malaysia via shipping containers with false reports of another type of import that does not need permit, according to the country’s Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin. A two-week investigation concluded that plastic waste is being smuggled in from countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, United States and Germany.
Namely, containers were found with plastics declared as (HS Code) 3920 plastics, which do not need a permit and can enter the country. On the other hand, code 3915 regards plastic waste, parings and scrap, with the 3920 code referring to other plates, sheets, film and foil strips.
In order to stop the imports of the illegal plastics, Malaysia will focus on stopping it at the ports. It specifically believes that there are syndicates who are profiting from importing such waste.
For this reason, sources report the country will use all its forces to stop these illegal plastic waste imports over the next month.
What is more, Yeo Bee Yin warned forwarding agencies to be vigilant of clients who are importing plastics, saying that the government can revoke their licences if their clients make false declarations. What is more, she added that exporters of such plastic waste would be told to return their waste in about three months time, as the Basel Convention specifies. This Convention aims to reduce the movement of hazardous waste between countries.
Specifically, the waste will be returned, but not under the Malaysian government’s expense.