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Vietnam Moves to End Plastic Scrap Imports by 2025

“Vietnam must not become a dumping ground for other countries' scrap,” Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc recently said in response to a dramatic rise in scrap imports to Vietnam.

Facing a 14% increase in plastic scrap imports starting from 2017, the government has ordered that all scrap imports as feedstock stop on December 31, 2024, according to VnExpress. Another reason for this policy is that when China banned the import of certain waste six months ago, plastic imports grew quickly in Vietnam, putting the country at risk of being the next dumping ground of the world.

Meanwhile, the government directed the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to collaborate with other governmental agencies to remove unnecessary procedures so as to deliver the order more efficiently.

In response to the order, the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA) petitioned the government to waive the ban for metal scrap imports. According to another VnExpress article in 2018, the supply of scrap metal in Vietnam only met 40% of the needs of VSA members; therefore, they are compelled to depend on imports to meet the rest. They also reasoned that manufacturing steel from scrap metal is an environmentally friendly process.

Nevertheless, the government also instructed the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to issue environmental safety certificates for eligible containers before importers can use them to manufacture products.

However, a Dan Triarticle brought to light the fact that some corporations have forged documents and certificates to make their scrap imports look official. Other parties falsified appraisal results to disguise scrap and waste as imported merchandise, consequently leaving scraps stuck at ports. As a result, almost 21,600 containers of scrap remained uncleared at ports for more than three months, according to VnExpress. It was not until July 2018 that customs officials closely investigated ships prior to their arrival at ports, ensuring that regulations were met and preventing unprocessed scrap containers from accumulating.

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