Imported waste floods Vietnamese ports

Many containers stuck at Cat Lai Port

Many violations have been found in scrap import activities as a huge amount of scrap are being abandoned at local ports, threatening the environment.

According to the Customs Risk Management Department, from January 1, 2017, to March 12, 2018, 928 firms imported scrap and submitted 49,200 declarations. 407 firms imported plastic waste, 254 firms imported paper scraps and 369 firms imported iron and steel scrap.

Decision 73 issued in 2014 states that firms are allowed to import 36 types of scraps as manufacturing materials. However, the Customs Risk Management Department has found many violations. Le Vy Company imported 95 air conditioners, 279 bicycles and three motorbikes to Cat Lai Port in HCM City but didn’t submit any declaration and then abandoned the cargo.

Another company from Binh Dinh Province imported 44,000 tonnes of plastic waste in Hai Phong, HCM City and Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province from January 1, 2017, to March 12, 2018. However, it was discovered that this company was not granted a scrap import licence for January 1, 2016, to May 2, 2018 period and there are signs that documents had been falsified.

The department quickly reported to the General Department of Vietnam Customs and the anti-smuggling police department to investigate the case. “The investigating agencies will prosecute all involved individuals and organisations,” said a leader of the Customs Risk Management Department.

They also sent the list containing 16 cargo owned by 10 firms that showed violations to the General Department of Vietnam Customs and a list of 11 cargo of other seven firms to the anti-smuggling police department.

Falsified and altered documents are often seen in scrap imports when a firm want to import cargo that are on the banned list. After providing information about suspicious cargo to provincial and city customs departments, they discovered that the importers of all of four cargoes had violated regulations.

The Pollution Control Department said on May 7 that there were many shortcomings in the communication and information exchange between the customs departments and Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

Ngo Minh Tuan, deputy head of Saigon Newport Corporation, said about 5,200 containers, which contain plastic and paper waste, have been stored for 90 days or longer. If there is no action from the authorities those goods will remain at the port.

Source: Dtinews