The criterion for eligibility has been approved by bureaus including the State Administration for Market Regulation and will be publicly announced in the next 20 days.

Well informed sources told Fastmarkets the new specification will be released ahead of Lunar New Year which takes place on January 25.

The new policy will bring drastic changes to China, the world's biggest scrap buyer. Currently, Chinese scrap buyers have to apply for quotas to buy metal scrap products from overseas. The additional trading hurdle faced administration difficulties and caused uncertainties for sellers and consumers.

The Chinese environmental ministry issued quotas for 561,202 tonnes of copper scrap to be brought into the country last year under the system which came into effect in July 2019.