According to Au Anh Tuan, acting director of the Customs Supervision and Management Department, after China banned the import of 24 types of scrap, the amount imported to Vietnam in 2017 and the first five months of 2018 has increased. Additionally, some enterprises had forged scrap import permits.
Domestic companies have imported scrap from many different countries for production demand.
Remarkably, in the first five months of this year, the volume of imported plastic scrap surged nearly 200 per cent over the entire 2017, Tuan told Thoi bao kinh doanh (Business Times).
A report from the General Department of Vietnam Customs said there were 3,579 scrap containers held up at Cat Lai Port in HCM City and 1,485 containers at Hai Phong Port.
Tuan said that many shipments of imported scrap did not meet environmental criteria.
The customs department refused many shipments and a number of enterprises had not carried out customs procedures when they were detected by customs officers, resulting in the large amount of scrap at seaports around the country, he said.
At a recent press conference, responding to questions about the handling of scrap containers at ports and preventive measures for the future, Mai Xuan Thanh, Deputy General Director of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, affirmed that the department would not accept any imported scrap shipments that did not meet the conditions for environmental protection and had no clear origin.
Owners have to remove the imported scrap from Vietnam if such a shipment is still held up at port 90 days from the date of arrival, according to Thanh.
Particularly, for illegal scrap importers, the department will resolutely transfer the cases to investigation agencies to handle in accordance with the law.
Tuan said the department is proposing the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to publish a list of eligible enterprises to import scrap into Vietnam.
They would submit to the Finance Ministry a proposal to the Government to amend and supplement the regulations on sanctions in case the transport owners do not remove scrap which causes environment pollution in accordance with Article 58 of the Customs Law of 2014.
Earlier, at a recent Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc called for solutions for the thousands of imported scrap containers held up at major seaports around the country.