n° 166 – May 2020

Set to create major change within China, the country’s revised law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Wastes was adopted at the 13th National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China on April 29 and will take effect from September 1 this year.

The term solid waste refers to solid, semi-solid and gaseous articles and substances generated in production, life and other activities that lose their original use value or are discarded or abandoned although they have not lost their use value. Included in the definition are industrial solid waste, agricultural solid waste, construction solid waste, hazardous waste and household waste.

Management of the prevention/control of environmental pollution by solid waste adheres to the principles of reduction, recycling and harmlessness. Any unit or individual is to take measures to reduce the amount of solid waste generated, to promote the comprehensive utilization of solid waste and to reduce the harmfulness of solid waste.

In conjunction with other competent bodies, the State Council’s department of standardization will formulate standards for the comprehensive utilization of solid waste.

As previously reported, the standards “Recycling materials for brass” (GB/T38470-2019), “Recycling materials for copper” (GB/T38471) and “Recycling materials for cast aluminium alloys” (GB/T38472-2019) were published on December 31 2019 and will be implemented on July 1 2020. According to the above standards, recycling materials for brass, copper and cast aluminium alloys that have been pre-processed abroad and meet the quality standards of raw material products will be managed according to product import rules.

Under Article 23 of the waste import policy, the state prohibits outside wastes from entering China for dumping, storage and disposal, while Article 24 enshrines the state’s gradual realization of zero imports of solid waste.

In terms of violations, the law imposes stronger penalties, increasing both the scale of fines and the types and severity of penalties. For example, in a case where solid wastes are illegally imported from outside of China, customs officials will order it to be returned and issue a fine of not less than RMB 500,000 but not more than RMB 5 million. The carrier will bear joint and several liability with the importer for the return and disposal of the solid waste.

Ma Hongchang - Ma Hongchang ()

Ma Hongchang

Regional recycling expert (CHN), provides BIR with a regular update on policy and regulatory developments in China. The following is based on his latest report.


n° 166 – May 2020