India eases scrap import rules at 6 major ports

India has loosened pre-shipment inspection requirements on scrap metal imports from the United States and four other countries at six of its major ports.

The European Union, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Australia were also granted exemptions from pre-inspection certification if shipments are cleared at the ports of Chennai, Tuticorin, Kandla, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Mumbai and Krishnapatnam, according to a notice from India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry Department of Commerce.

The shipments are required to have a certificate from the supplier stating that they do not contain radioactive materials or explosives, and they will be subject to radiation tests and explosive checks through portal monitors and container scanners.

This action comes after more than three years of advocacy by the Materials Recycling Association of India.

Scrap imports through all other ports, including nine ports for unshredded scrap and waste, irrespective of country of origin, will be subject to the existing pre-shipment inspection requirements.

“These ports are in the process of installing radiation detection equipment, and when they have been fully tested and are operational, it is possible that the PSIC requirements will eventually be lifted there, too. Timing is unknown,” the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries said in a statement on Wednesday May 9.

“In no way, shape or form is this related to [the] CCIC North America suspension,” which is impacting shipments to China, one exporter said, noting that the amendment is due to the installation of inspection equipment at certain Indian ports.

“It’s a nice, welcome relief, but it’s not a game changer because most people were already doing self-inspections. If a container comes in with any radiation, they’ll ship it all the way back to its point of origin,” the exporter added.

Meanwhile, with the non-ferrous scrap trade to China frozen, market participants said India buyers are aggressively working to fill the vacuum.

“India is taking advantage of the CCIC suspension. Prior to the announcement, yellow brass prices for export were around $2.24 per pound. Now, Indian buyers are quoting $2.13 per pound,” a second exporter said.

A third exporter said that the CCIC North America division suspensions have “impacted the honey [yellow brass] price in the near term, as India is flooded with offers.”