China Tightens Oversight of Solid Waste Imports

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SHENZHEN, China--China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection has issued a set of rules to strengthen oversight of solid waste imports, according to a notice appearing on the ministry’s website May 20. The new measures are designed to improve implementation of the Solid Waste Pollution Prevention Law. Among other things, they prohibit the transfer of solid-waste importing permits without going through the proper licensing procedures and prohibit import of waste for the purpose of dumping or disposal, unless the waste is stored at special customs zones for later transfer or processing. Environmental protection bureaus above the county level are responsible for supervision and management of the measures, though the State Quality Supervision Bureau and customs departments at all levels are expected to cooperate in implementing, monitoring, and sharing information. The measures were disseminated to other government departments on April 8, and will enter into force Aug. 1. The Management Measures on the Import of Solid Waste are available, in Chinese, at http://www.mep.gov.cn/gkml/hbb/bl/201105/t20110520_210978.htm.