China set to launch Blue Sky 2020 waste import crackdown and reveals import fall

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China Blue Sky 2020
The launch of China's Blue Sky 2020 and announcement of third round of Blue Sky 2019 results

China’s General Administration of Customs has revealed its plans to shortly launch its Blue Sky 2020 plan to prevent illegal waste imports.

There will be three elements to its plan for next year, which are:

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  • China will develop three defence lines abroad, at its ports and domestically
  • It will vigorously promote joint management, multiple measures, joint prevention, joint control and joint governance between the involved organisations
  • Deepen international law enforcement cooperation and establish and improve a long-term mechanism for combating solid waste smuggling, and resolutely block foreign garbage from outside China.

The exact details of what this means in practice have yet to be announced.

This announcement follows the launch of the third round of Blue Sky 2019 enforcement.

Under the command of the General Administration of Customs, Tianjin, Xiamen, Dalian, Nanjing, Ningbo, Qingdao, Guangzhou, Shenzen, Shantou, Huangpu and 10 other directly affiliated customs agencies dispatched 718 police forces.

Around 20 illegal waste smuggling gangs had been caught, 72 people had been arrested and 79,100 tonnes of illegal waste had been seized. This was mostly waste slag and plastics.

Chinese Customs also said that since the beginning of 2019, year-on-year imports of solid waste had fallen by 37.45% to 13.1027 million tonnes.

In that year, 354 cases of foreign waste smuggling have been investigated (a fall of 21% on 2018), and 763,200 tonnes of waste have been investigated (a fall of 48.64% on 2018).

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