Chinese scrap import licence process to be delayed

  • 30-Apr-2019
  • Chinese scrap import licence process to be delayed

Provincial environmental departments in China will start accepting applications from scrap metal importing companies in the country from late May. Following that, the ministry of ecology and environment (MEE) will only accept and approve these applications from 1 July, the MEE said at a presentation during the China Metal Recycling Association annual convention in Ningbo, southern China on 19 April.

The MEE statement suggests that the application and approval process is likely to be completed after 1 July, the initial deadline set by the Chinese government.

Chinese scrap importers were initially required to obtain the licences by 1 July in order to continue with ferrous and non-ferrous deliveries to the country.

Importers will need to submit their application electronically to the MEE through the national solid waste management information system and also submit a paper-based application.

The firms will also need to meet the state's environmental standard to process and dispose of industrial waste from the metal recycling process.

Since the announcement in January regarding the new requirement there has been no official instruction or guidance from China's central authority regarding the registration and licence application. This has led to confusion in the market over the process and policy.

Many buyers and sellers have been wary of a potential delay to the application process since March owing to the lack of any update from the Chinese government. As a result of the uncertainty some buyers have increased their import volumes ahead of the 1 July deadline.

Chinese scrap metal imports have been steadily falling in the face of sustained government restrictions.

Copper scrap deliveries to China fell by 54.4pc year on year to 100,000t in March, while imports in the first quarter of 2019 dropped by 40pc to 330,000t, customs data showed.

Aluminium scrap imports decreased by 29pc on the year to 130,000t in March and deliveries in January-March fell by 32pc on the year to 330,000t.

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