Vietnam Prime Minister orders review of existing recycling import quotas

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Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc

A review into existing recycling import quotas is about to be undertaken by the Vietnamese Government.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to co-ordinate with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Industry and Trade and Ministry of Transport plus regional government to prevent Vietnam becoming a dumping ground for foreign waste.

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As a result, companies that are currently allowed to import recycled goods into Vietnam will need to prove that they use the raw materials in production. If they cannot prove this, their licenses will be revoked.

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The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will now put forward new rules on national technical standards on all scrap and recyclable material allowed for import. The process on developing this will include clarifying the demand for use of each kind of waste material from domestic sources for use in production. It will then look at whether domestic sources can be used by manufacturers. This will then be used as the basis on whether to amend the list of materials that can be imported by Vietnam.

Vietnam recently revealed that it would ban mixed paper and mixed plastic imports and it could be that more materials will be removed from the permitted list following the review.

The Prime Minister also ordered the Ministry for Natural Resources and Environment to withdraw import licenses from enterprises that have committed import violations, including in the past.

He recently ordered that no new import licenses should be issued.

To prevent further illegal imports, the Ministry of Defence will mobilise its forces to aid inspections.

For containers that have been abandoned at port, the Prime Minister has assigned the Ministry of Public Security to direct local police, seaports and customs to investigate and clarify the reasons for discarded containers entering Vietnam. The intention is to prosecute any company found to have abandoned containers at the dockside.

The Ministry of Transport will be required to remove and destroy these containers once the investigation is complete.

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