Malaysia has inspected two containers from the United States that contained recycled plastic and allowed them to enter the country without prior informed consent.
Inspections were undertaken by various agencies including the Royal Malaysian Customs Department, Royal Police Malaysia and National Solid Waste Management Department (JPSPN).
As the United States is not a signatory of the Basel Convention, these containers had previously been viewed as illegal and were expected to be returned.
However, the Malaysian Government has confirmed that the containers were permitted for entry into the country.
In a statement, Malaysia’s Minister of Environment and Water YB Dato’ Sri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said: “The results of the inspections found plastic waste containers such is HS3915, which is polyethylene. JPSPN has confirmed that the plastic waste is clean, homogenous and meets the same criteria which has been required in the plastic waste import license (Approved Permit) to the importer.
“As the Competent Authority to the Basel Convention, DOE (Department of Environment) ratifies that the plastic waste is in compliance with Basel Convention B3011 criteria. The importation of this B3011 plastic waste does not required Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedures and notifications from countries’ exporters.
“The DOE’s review of the importer’s premises also found that they are in compliance with the Environmental Quality Act 1974 (Act 127) and carry out plastic waste recycling activities in an environmentally sound manner.
“The Government greatly appreciates any preliminary information provided by any party in the face of challenges of the investigation enforcement of the movement of plastic waste across borders into the country of Malaysia.
“I would like to emphasise that any attempt to import any waste into Malaysia as provided in Section 43, Environmental Quality Act, 1974 will face firm action if they fail to comply with legislation and import procedures prescribed by Malaysia.”