Exporters of recycled plastics will face more challenges finding markets after more bans on imports have been announced from Vietnam and Thailand.
Shipping company APL has written to customers informing them that all Vietnamese ports it operates in will not accept any plastic scrap.
The letter said: “This is in response to the escalating number of idle containers of recycled plastics in Vietnam resulting in port congestion.
“It has also come to APL’s attention that there are shipments of plastic scrap from various origins, being declared as other commodities such as resin, general cargo, mixed commodity. Please take note that shippers with wrong declarations will not be allowed to make new bookings with APL until pending lots are cleared.”
Vietnamese ports have increasingly sought to restrict imports of plastics as a result of abandoned containers. Indeed, two terminals had already announced they would no longer accept the material and had put in place restrictions on paper.
Shipping lines are increasingly nervous about sending recycled materials to Asian ports over fears that containers might be abandoned or new bans and regulations will be introduced. The Loadstar shipping publication recently reported that some view trade into Vietnam as a way of illegally smuggling material into China with the associated risk that brings.
APL also warned its customers that as of 15 June, terminals in Vietnam will only discharge containers of waste paper from vessels if accompanied by valid import permits and written date commitments for cargo pick-up.
In a separate letter, APL also told its customers that three Thai ports were also banning imports of plastic scrap temporarily.
The ports of Laemchabang, Bangkok and Songhkia will no longer allow plastic scrap shipments until further notice. As with Vietnam, this is in response to the “escalating number of idle containers of plastic scrap in the afore-mentioned ports”.
Although the ban is from immediate effect, any bookings in APL possession will still be received by the ports.