EU scrap exports to China halted amid no consensus on 'waste' regulation

Scrap metal shipments have been halted from European Union countries to China following a lack of regulatory consensus between the parties on what constitutes 'waste' and 'recyclable raw materials', sources told Fastmarkets.

The European Commission (EC) recently amended the EU’s regulation concerning the export for recovery of certain 'waste' materials, including ferrous and non-ferrous scrap, to certain countries not belonging to the Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) group.
Notice of the new regulation was published in the Official Journal of the EU on October 21 and the regulation came into force on November 10 this year.
In 2019, the EC sent a written request to the non-OECD countries in question, seeking confirmation in writing that 'waste' and 'mixtures of wastes' may be exported for recovery in those countries.
China, which takes a firm stance against imports of 'waste' and has very high standards for imports of scrap metal, did not reply to the EC's questionnaire.
Therefore, no agreement to import these materials can be expected from China, BIR Environment and Trade Director Ross Bartley said on Monday November 29.



Maria Tanatar

Lee Allen

Julian Luk

November 29, 2021

17:00 GMT