Vietnam remains unrelenting on scrap imports

By Nguyen Hoai, Nguyen Ha   September 17, 2018 | 07:36 pm PT
Vietnam remains unrelenting on scrap imports
Plastic scrap is smuggled into Vietnam at Cai Lai Port in Ho Chi Minh City in April 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Thien Tri
The government has announced emergency measures to cope with the pileup of containers of scrap at the country's ports.

In a directive issued Monday, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has instructed the finance, and industry and trade ministries to review and make required changes to the temporary ban on the import, re-export, transit and transshipment of scrap.

"[We must] resolutely re-export shipments that abuse scrap import regulations to bring waste into Vietnam and punish perpetrators severely in accordance with the law," the directive stated.

The Ministry of Finance has also been ordered to help customs agencies quickly clear scrap shipments that have been certified as meeting environmental protection norms.

Customs agencies are required to block scrap that does not comply with legal requirements and instruct shipping companies to provide detailed information on scrap shipments and their owners when filling the manifest.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is responsible for ensuring imports of scrap as feedstock for production do not affect the environment.

The PM also instructed the ministry not to issue new licenses or extend existing licenses to units entrusted to import scraps by third parties and those that import scrap merely to process and resell.

Environmental authorities will only issue new documents or extend existing ones certifying that scrap imports meet the government's environmental protection norms if the importers can prove their needs and capabilities to process scrap.

Scrap import management is on the agenda of the 14th Assembly of the Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI 14) to be held in Hanoi from September 19 to 22.

At a press conference held in connection with the event, State Auditor General Ho Duc Phoc said his office would discuss audit of scrap imports into Vietnam and add it to next year's schedule.

According to official figures, over 5,700 containers of imported scrap lie at seaports across the country, especially in HCMC.

As of June 26 Saigon Newport Corporation, which operates the city’s ports, had a backlog of 4,480 containers, including 3,464 in Cat Lai Port alone.

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