Vietnam to restrict containerised waste imports due to congestion

Date: Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Source: Lloyd's Loading List

Vietnam is to temporarily stop accepting scrap plastic imports and restrict paper waste imports from mid-June because the country’s Tan Cang-Cai Mep International Terminal and Tan Cang-Cat Lai Terminal (Cat Lai) have become overwhelmed with scrap imports since China introduced its own restrictions this year.

A letter from Vietnam’s Tan Cang-Cai Mep International Terminal (TCIT) seen by Lloyd’s Loading List,said the restrictions were “in order to maintain service quality and facilitate import-export activities of all enterprises”.

It said the container terminals had received thousands of import containers of scrap this year, with Cat Lai currently at “over-capacity”, and with more than 1,000 containers at TCIT because of the blockage at Cat Lai.

The company said the backlogs were not just affecting its own operations and business activities, but also those of shipping lines and their customers.

As a result, June 15 containers for discharge at TCIT or TCTT will only be discharged from vessels subject if customers present a valid import permit and a written commitment of pick-up date prior to the vessel’s arrival.

It will “stop receiving all import laden containers of plastic scraps from other ports to TCIT” from June 25 to October 15, but will continue receiving paper scrap if customers present a valid import permit and a written commitment of pick-up date.

The recycling information service wastedive.com said the move was consistent with reports that Vietnamese customers had no more room for imported materials and that the build-up of containers of recovered paper and plastic scrap diverted from China were causing delays at Vietnam’s main import terminal.

Container lines have begun communicating the changes to their customers.

Hapag-Lloyd noted: “With reference to the Notice from Saigon Newport Corporation, Tan Cang-Cai Mep International Terminal and Tan Cang-Cai Mep Thi Vai Terminal (TCTT), please be informed that Hapag-Lloyd will adopt the following procedures to handle imports of paper and plastic scrap in Ho Chi Minh. With effect from 1 June, containers discharged at Cai Mep Vung Tau will not be barged to Catlai Terminal. Customers will have to complete procedures to take delivery at TCIT, TCTT or at Tan Cang-Hiep Phuoc.

“Containers for discharge at Catlai Terminal will only be approved subject to customers being able to present a valid import permit and a written commitment of pick-up date to Hapag-Lloyd prior to vessel arrival. In the absence of same, the containers will be directed to discharge at Cai Mep Vung Tau, and customers will have to clear containers directly at TCIT or TCTT.”

Effective June 15, Hapag-Lloyd said containers for discharge at TCIT or TCTT would only be approved subject to customers being in a position to present a valid import permit and a written commitment of pick-up date to Hapag-Lloyd prior to vessel arrival.

In addition, plastic scrap will not be accepted for discharge between June 10 and September 30 at Catlai Terminal; nor from June 25 to October 15 at TCIT or TCTT at Cai Mep Vung Tau. Future acceptance of plastic scrap will be subject to review by the Terminals.

Earlier this month, China Scrap Plastics Association executive president Steve Wong warned recyclers who are exporting materials to countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia that these countries may become overwhelmed with the volumes of waste imports diverted from China and may also introduce their own restrictions on imported scrap in due course, wastedive.com reported.

China announced last July that from January 1 it would impose much stricter quality restrictions on imported cardboard, as well as banning the import of 24 types of waste material, including plastic and mixed paper, as part of President Xi Jinping’s drive to clean up China environmentally.

As a result, large volumes of these waste imports that were previously sent to China have been diverted.

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