No new recycling import licenses are to be issued by the Vietnamese Government, following an order from the Prime Minister.
Nguyen Xuan Phuc also said that Government departments must revise all quota-free permits to prevent too much recycled material entering the country.
The Prime Minister chaired a meeting looking at the situation of scrap imports into Vietnam that has led to containers being abandoned at port and a large volume of waste entering the country following the ban by China.
Scrap metal ban
He also requested that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment consult on potentially banning imports of scrap metal that cause serious environmental issues. However, he recognised that there is demand for scrap paper and plastic within the Vietnamese economy. He said this was economically advantageous for manufacturers, but this should not harm the environment.
The Prime Minister also said that the same ministry should look at which materials had most impact on the environment, and to specify the materials allowed to be imported into Vietnam while overall reducing the types of materials that were permitted (more on this below).
Vietnam will also seek to ban import of materials for further re-export to other countries, as only materials to be used within Vietnam should be imported.
It will also look at whether violations of existing environmental laws have been committed by existing import license holders, and take action against any officials or importers that have been seen to aid breaking the law.
Vietnam must not become a dumping ground the Prime Minister said, and so clear responsibilities would be given to Government departments.
Prosecutions on waste import violations
This would include prosecuting those that had committed environmental violations including investigating those that had sent containers to Vietnam without a recipient. The Ministry of Transport would take responsibility for removing these containers along with the Ministry of Finance, will take responsibility for removing and destroying abandoned waste containers.
As a result of the meeting, the Prime Minister has decided to issue a Directive to ensure all relevant Vietnamese Government Departments are clear on their responsibilities and to make these measures law.
Reducing approved recycling import list
On the day before this meeting, another meeting had been chaired by Environment Minister Tran Hong Ha in which it was proposed that the list of allowed recycling import materials that can be allowed into Vietnam be reduced from 36 commodity codes to 24.
The removed items would be those for which there is no demand from Vietnamese manufacturers or cause particular environmental problems.
However, it is not yet clear what these 12 items would be, although it would appear that paper and plastics grades would remain on the list based on the comments of the Prime Minister at the meeting the day after.
Environment Minister Tran Hong Ha said: “The import of scrap for factories is only recommended for commercial production, high quality products, not just raw processing and re-export.”
The full list of the 36 commodities allowed into Vietnam:
LIST OF SCRAPS ALLOWED FOR IMPORT AS MANUFACTURING MATERIALS
(According to Decision 73/2014/QD-TTg dated 19/12/2014 by the Prime Minister)
|2||Small particle slag (sand slag) from iron or steel metallurgy industry.||2618||00||00|
|3||Mixed chemical elements used in electronics in plate, thin layer or similar types.||3818||00||00|
|4||Scraps and pieces of plastics from polymer ethylene (PE): porous type, non-hard.||3915||10||10|
|5||Scraps and pieces of plastics from polymer ethylene (PE): Other type.||3915||10||90|
|6||Scraps and pieces of plastics from polymer styrene (PS): porous type, non-hard.||3915||20||10|
|7||Scraps and pieces of plastics from polymer styrene (PS): Other type.||3915||20||90|
|8||Scraps and pieces of plastics from polymer vinyl chloride (PVC): porous type, non-hard.||3915||30||10|
|9||Scraps and pieces of plastics from polymer vinyl chloride (PVC): Other type.||3915||30||90|
|10||Scraps and pieces of plastics from other types.||3915||90||00|
|11||Discarded paper or cardboard (scrap and pieces): kraft paper or kraft cardboard or undyed cardboard.||4707||10||00|
|12||Discarded paper or cardboard (scrap and pieces): other paper or cardboard made mostly from paper pulp collected from the chemical process that are white dye, undyed fully.||4707||20||00|
|13||Discarded paper or cardboard (scrap and pieces): other paper or cardboard made mostly from paper pulp collected from the mechanical process (e.g, paper for newspaper, magazine or similar publications).||4707||30||00|
|14||Discarded paper or cardboard (scrap and pieces): other type, including unclassified scraps and pieces.||4707||90||00|
|15||Silk scrap (including cocoon unsuitable for silk reeling, scrap fiber and recycled fiber).||5003||00||00|
|16||Glass piece and glass scrap and other pieces; glass in block.||7001||00||00|
|17||Scrap and pieces of cast iron.||7204||10||00|
|18||Scrap and pieces of alloy steel: stainless steel.||7204||21||00|
|19||Scrap and pieces of alloy steel: other type (different from stainless steel).||7204||29||00|
|20||Scrap and pieces of iron or tin coated steel.||7204||30||00|
|21||Scrap and pieces of iron or steel: hobbed, planed, chop, scale and bavia iron shavings, not press into blocks or in package, bar, cluster.||7204||41||00|
|22||Scraps and other pieces of iron or steel: other type.||7204||49||00|
|23||Re-melt foundry pig (iron, steel, cast iron) scrap.||7204||50||00|
|24||Copper scrap and pieces||7404||00||00|
|25||Nickel scrap and pieces.||7503||00||00|
|26||Aluminum scrap and pieces.||7602||00||00|
|27||Zinc scrap and pieces.||7902||00||00|
|28||Tin scrap and pieces.||8002||00||00|
|29||Wolfram scrap and pieces.||8101||97||00|
|30||Molybdenum scrap and pieces.||8102||97||00|
|31||Magnesium scrap and pieces.||8104||20||00|
|32||Titanium scrap and pieces.||8108||30||00|
|33||Zirconium scrap and pieces.||8109||30||00|
|34||Antimony scrap and pieces.||8110||20||00|
|35||Manganese scrap and pieces.||8111||00||00|
|36||Chromium scrap and pieces.||8112||22||00|