Chinese regulations on incoming waste

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Prohibited and allowed waste imports

The Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste stipulates:

'It is forbidden for solid waste from abroad to be dumped, stored or disposed of in the territory of China.'

'The State forbids the import of solid waste that cannot be used as raw materials or utilized in environmental-friendly way; Solid waste that can be used as raw materials are managed through a restricted import and automatic-licensing import scheme.'

Solid waste that can be used as raw materials are managed through a 'restricted-licensing import' and 'automatic-licensing import' scheme. The difference between restricted and automatic is only applicable to the license requirement and procedure of Chinese recycling facilities. For foreign exporters is no difference in the procedures of restricted and automatic licensed raw materials.

The lists of prohibited, restricted and automatic licensed raw materials has been changed 1th of August 2009 by MEP announcement no. 36-2009.

Additional to the list AQSIQ announcement no. 134-2005 concerning used Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT’s) should be taken into account. By this announcement used CRT’s are considered as hazardous waste, therefore import is prohibited.

Allowed waste imports - quality standards

Waste that is allowed for import according to announcement No 36-2009 can be imported in China if it meets the following quality standards (all downloads available in English and Chinese). Only the Chinese versions have a formal status in Chinese legislation, because the English translations have not been officially published.

More information

GB 16487.1-2005 waste of bones (CN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 20 kB

GB 16487.1-2005 waste of bones (EN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 0 kB

GB 16487.2-2005 smelt slag (CN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 20 kB

GB 16487.2-2005 smelt slag (EN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 232 kB

16487.3-2005 wood and wood articles (CN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 20 kB

16487.3-2005 wood and wood articles (EN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 206 kB

GB 16487.4-2005 waste and scrap of paper and paperboard (CN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 20 kB

GB 16487.4-2005 waste and scrap of paper and paperboard (EN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 208 kB

GB 16487.5-2005 waste and scrap of fibres (CN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 20 kB

GB 16487.5-2005 waste and scrap of fibres (EN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 207 kB

GB 16487.6-2005 waste and scrap of iron and steel (CN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 21 kB

GB 16487.6-2005 waste and scrap of iron and steel (EN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 210 kB

GB 16487.7-2005 nonferrous metal scraps (CN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 21 kB

GB 16487.7-2005 nonferrous metal scraps (EN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 215 kB

GB 16487.8-2005 waste of electric motors (CN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 20 kB

GB 16487.8-2005 waste of electric motors (EN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 203 kB

GB 16487.9-2005 waste and scrap of wires and cables (CN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 20 kB

GB 16487.9-2005 waste and scrap of wires and cables (EN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 234 kB

GB 16487.10-2005 metal and electrical appliance (CN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 20 kB

GB 16487.10-2005 metal and electrical appliance (EN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 208 kB

GB 16487.11-2005 waste and scrap ships (CN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 21 kB

GB 16487.11-2005 waste and scrap ships (EN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 228 kB

GB 16487.12-2005 waste and scrap of plastics (CN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 21 kB

GB 16487.12-2005 waste and scrap of plastics (EN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 208 kB

GB 16487.13-2005 compressed piece of scrap automobile (CN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 21 kB

GB 16487.13-2005 compressed piece of scrap automobile (EN)30-03-2015 | PDF-document, 205 kB

Imported compressed PET drink bottles shall also meet the following control requirement: MEP announcement 2011 - 11 PET bottles

Licenses/certificates

Solid waste imported to China mainland in line with Chinese laws shall have the following licenses/certificates.

MEP-License

(formerly SEPA-License, waste import license issued by the Ministry of Environmental Protection of China). The MEP-License is obtained by recyclers and/or utilizers of the imported waste in China prior to the waste import. The procedure of getting this license depends whether the waste is included in the list of restricted licensed waste or the list of automatic licensed waste.

Foreign exporters should  check whether importing companies have a valid import license or not. This can be done by:

Relation to European Waste Shipment Regulation:
Shippers that ship waste to companies in China mainland that do not have a MEP-License are in violation of Article 37.4 of the European Waste Shipment Regulation.

AQSIQ License

Suppliers in exporting countries shall obtain the 'License of Registration for Overseas Supplier Enterprise of Imported Scrap Materials' issued by AQSIQ China.

The application procedure is written down in the AQSIQ Order no 119 and announcement no 98-2009.

The system for applying an AQSIQ licence and an overview of all registered companies can be found at http://scrap.eciq.cn/cover.jsp
For the latest procedures check: http://english.aqsiq.gov.cn/

CCIC, Pre-shipment certificate

Solid waste that is going to be imported in China shall obtain the 'Certificate for Pre-shipment Inspection of  Scraps to China' issued by a pre-shipment inspection institution recognized by AQSIQ. AQSIQ announcement no. 112, 2007. The application procedure for each shipment must start before loading the containers.

The exporter shall contact the CCIC office that is responsible for the country where the container will be loaded. For the Netherlands this is CCIC Europe B.V. in Rotterdam.

There are four other CCIC offices in Europe: