News

2020 August 20 16:53

ICS informs about China prohibition on the import of solid wastes

ICS members are invited to note the changes to Chinese regulations concerning the import of solid wastes, which will come into effect from 1 September 2020.

"Members are advised of changes to Chinese regulations concerning the import of solid wastes, which will come into effect from 1 September 2020. The new law is aimed at reducing the import of solid waste (including scrap metal) and is part of China’s efforts to ban the importation of all solid waste from 1 January 2021," ICS said in its news release.

Under the current law, if the importer cannot be identified, the carrier has responsibility for the return of prohibited solid wastes or the costs of their disposal.  Under the new law, the carrier and the importer will have joint and several liability.  Fines for violation will also be significantly increased.  It should be noted that the revisions will apply to cargoes that become waste as a result of a casualty, and potentially to ships that have become casualties and are no longer serviceable.  Such casualties will be assessed on a case by case basis.

A full explanation of the new provisions has been developed by the Clubs in the International Group of P&I Clubs.  The circular issued by Steamship Mutual can be found at the following link (all of the IG Clubs have issued a similar circular):

It should be noted that the new law concerns the import of waste cargoes, and is therefore distinct from issues that have been experienced with respect to the discharge of shipboard waste under MARPOL, which ICS continues to pursue with Chinese authorities where problems are encountered and reported.  Nevertheless, it can be anticipated that some confusion will arise following the implementation of the law, with the potential for legitimate MARPOL discharges to shore being unfairly prohibited as a consequence.  It is therefore requested that where such problems are encountered, the undersigned is informed so that the issue can be raised with the Chinese Authorities.