Why China is cracking down on the quality of imports


Chinese customs have been strictly controlling the quality of secondary imports in an attempt to restrict environmental pollution, SCM has learned.

A Chinese customs official told SCM that there have been significant environmental pollution problems in the main recycling areas such as Guangdong and Zhejiang.


Although all materials are under strict quality focus, the main focus is on secondary paper, which is behind much of the pollution the customs official explained. She also said that this will not be a short-term action, and importers into China will need to maintain high quality standards.

Ahead of the changeover in power at the Communist Party Congress this autumn, the Chinese government is wanting to show it is tackling environmental pollution, that is a symptom of its rapid growth over recent years.

There have been significant protests in China by residents against environmental pollution, and the Chinese government is keen to ensure environmental standards are improved as a result.

Chinese authorities this month scrapped plans to build a metals facility in Sichuan following violent protests by residents concerned about the factory’s environmental impact.

While there were also major protests involving an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 people against the Japanese owned Oji Paper mill in Qidong this weekend. Residents were voicing anger against plans to allow discharges from a pipe at the plant to increase to 150,000 tonnes per day into the port of Lusi in the city through an extended pipe. The plant currently discharges material into the Yangtze River, and the company said that its discharges met Chinese standards.

Local officials have closed the plant as a result, with it planning to re-open using new measures to deal with its waste water.