China suspends all shipments of recycled materials from the US for one month

Container ship under Golden Gate Bridge
A container ship under San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge

As of today (4 May 2018), the Chinese Government has effectively banned all shipments of recycled materials from the United States until 4 June 2018 by suspending CCIC North America.

Although the official reason is that port authorities in China have “detected multiple batches of imported US wastes as raw materials that do not meet the environmental protection requirements”, it could also be seen as a response to the tariffs imposed by the US government on Chinese goods.


It has suspended shipments from the US by putting inspection body CCIC North America into a category A warning measure, which means that from 4 May to 4 June it will not be conducting pre-shipment inspections. The information management system for pre-shipment inspections, called PSI, will also be shut down for a month.

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Effectively, without the pre-shipment inspection regime, this means that exporters from the US cannot get the required certification so are unable to export to China.

In a more permanent measure, once US containers arrive at Chinese ports they will be subject to 100% inspections.

If the containers are found to include “hot plastic waste plastics, metal scrap containing powder, and the waste papers containing hard-to-be-identified special paper (silicone paper, wet wax paper, thermal paper, moisture-proof paper, etc.), and waste paper with suspected hazardous materials” these will be sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Those containers that were shipped before 3 May 2018 will be inspected under the previous rules.

Chinese customs will also be strict about verifying that all documentation is correct.

The notice was issued by the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China on 3 May 2018.



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