Environment Agency sets out guidelines for exporting paper and plastics to Hong Kong

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Guidelines for exporting recycled paper and plastics to Hong Kong have been set out by the Environment Agency.

As reported by REB Market Intelligence in August, Hong Kong has banned all imports of waste paper unless it is to be exported elsewhere. This is because the Chinese special administrative region does not have its own paper recycling capacity.

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But the Environment Agency has also clarified the rules on plastic exports to Hong Kong.

With effect from 1 January 2021, any person importing or exporting ‘regulated waste plastics’ which means Y48 plastics under the Basel Convention, must apply for the relevant waste import/export permit or consent for Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department (EPD) in advance. Prior to each shipment, they must also submit declaration forms to the EPD in accordance with the conditions of the permit or consent issued.

The Environment Agency has said it is now accepting applications for notifications to export Y48 via IWS Online.

For those exporting ‘non-regulated exports’ that are currently known under the Basel Convention as B3010 and will become B3011 plastics from 1 January 2021, must submit a declaration form and relevant documents to the EPD for record purposes.

The Environment Agency said in its guidelines: “Failure to comply with the controls may result in waste being rejected by the HK EPD and being returned to the country of origin at the operators own cost.”

Recently, exporters of plastics have struggled to send material to Hong Kong as shipping lines have refused or been reluctant to take it. These new guidelines may help to reopen routes for plastics to Hong Kong.

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