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The ministry announced this week that imports of ferrous scrap, stainless scrap, aluminium scrap and copper scrap will be exempted from its licensing requirements. Apart from these, exemptions will also be made for imports of semi-finished copper and copper products as well as stainless steel products, among others.
Market participants are waiting for more detailed information about the policy change.
“It’s expected to be a government move to reduce red tape,” a source at Fengli Group, one of the country’s largest scrap traders, told Steel First.
Apart from permits issued by the ministry’s commerce commission, scrap importers in China also need to obtain licences from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) and the Ministry of Environment Protection.
“Compared with the AQSIQ licence and solid waste import licence [from the Ministry of Environmental Protection], Mofcom’s import permit is more procedural as one needs to apply for an import permit for each bill of lading,” the Fengli source explained.
“It would simplify the procedure of scrap imports if the [Mofcom] licensing requirement is removed,” a scrap trader source in north-eastern China said.
“There is no way that the solid waste import licence will be removed since China is taking environmental protection very seriously. The green fence campaign is still ongoing,” she added.
Scrap importers have to apply for the solid waste import licences annually. Checks are done to ensure importers are qualified and there is a quota for each licence.
As for the AQSIQ licensing, scrap importers are typically granted three-year renewable permits.
China is simplifying its procedures for the import of scrap by no longer subjecting it to its Ministry of Commerce’s (Mofcom) licensing requirements from September 1.