Indonesia imposes 100% inspections on recycled paper imports – and other recyclables too?

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Containers being unloaded at the port in Jakarta

A 100% inspection regime has been placed on containers shipping recycled paper into Indonesia.

The rules were implemented on 1 April, but have only come to light now due to the US Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries receiving a notice from inspection firm Cotecna of the measures.

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Indonesian inspectors will require 100% of material to be presented for inspection, and will analyse 10% of it.

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There will be a simple procedure of inspecting a sample and taking pictures of the material if the load comes from one site, but if they come from multiple sites, the material will be inspected from each site.

Exporters sending material to Indonesia will need to provide the total weight of the load and the number of containers on their customs declaration form.

If this information isn’t provided, then the containers will not be inspected.

Although the notice specifically mentioned waste paper imports, it does also say that there will be 100% inspection of all non-toxic and non-hazardous wastes. However, it does not provide any detail on this.

With Vietnam placing temporary restrictions on imports, and Poland planning to strengthen its regulations, this will place even more strain on the export of recyclable materials. China also appears to be implementing 100% inspections on materials that are still permitted for export there.

In a statement, ISRI said: “This  situation will create burdens on exporters in terms of time, cost and storage. More importantly, along with last week’s announcement on Vietnam, this measure confirms what ISRI worried could happen.

“With China’s import restrictions in place and materials diverting to new customers in South East Asia, these governments look to be considering imposing burdensome import restrictions and requirements that will challenge the industry’s ability to recover from China’s shrinking market.”

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