Scrap market shaken by China’s import regulations

China’s adoption of aggressive restrictions on contaminants in scrap metal imports has sent a shock wave through the international recycling industry, which is now grappling with the feasibility of the new standards - and their potential impact on trade.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) both reported on Thursday January 11 that Chinese officials have confirmed the final regulations for the country’s Environmental Protection Control Standards. The newly confirmed thresholds for impurities allowed in scrap metal imports to China will be:
  • smelt slag - 0.5%;
  • ferrous - 0.5%;
  • non-ferrous - 1%;
  • waste electric motors - 0.5%;
  • wires and cables - 0.5%;
  • metal and appliance scrap - 0.5%;
  • autos - 0.3%.

The regulations are set to go into effect on Thursday March 1, an IRSI spokesman said in an email to Metal Bulletin sister title American Metal Market.
These standards mark a milestone in the nation’s long-term strategy to enhance environmental protection, develop a circular economy and advance its domestic recycling infrastructure.

China first...


Bradley MacAulay

January 12, 2018

01:50 GMT