“With the increasing awareness of environmental protection in China, the Chinese government issued more and more strict regulations to prevent and control pollution, including enhancing solid waste importation control,” London P&I said in a circular to members.
It noted that the updated list of banned solid waste imports was released by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Commerce and three other ministries in August last year and came into effect at the end of the year.
This list added 24 types of solid waste listed under four categories to the import ban list, including eight types of waste plastic from living sources, one type of unsorted waste paper, 11 types of waste raw materials of textile and 4 types of vanadium slag.
London club added that according to the regulations, in the event of dumping, storing and disposing of the foreign solid waste in China, importing the banned solid waste or restricted solid waste without a licence, customs can order the waste to be returned to its origin and impose a fine of between RMB100,000 ($15,864) to RMB1m. Criminal charges may also be made and if the importer is unknown the carrier will be liable for the costs of repatriation and proper disposal of the waste.
London P&I recommended that vessel owners take relevant measures to verify whether potential shipments are on the banned list or restricted waste list before accepting bookings. They also suggested that owners secure accurate information, customs code and relevant licence before accepting booking for the shipment.