Over 4,900 scrap containers left unclaimed for 90 days are piling up at major seaports across the country, raising environmental concerns.
At a press conference on Monday, regarding press queries on the handling of scrap containers, deputy environment minister Lê Công Thành said that the following solutions are being pursued.
For shipments of scrap imported by 116 qualified businesses, accounting for 42 per cent of all scrap owners, customs authorities would ask that these businesses quickly complete customs clearance procedures as required.
In cases where the shipments fail to meet environmental protection requirements, they will be re-exported or disposed of – either way, the costs would be borne by those businesses, deputy minister Thành said.
Regarding the shipments imported by 158 businesses without licences and proper documents, customs authorities would continue to vet these businesses and may charge them with smuggling offences.
For unclaimed imported shipments, the authorities would find capable businesses that can either deal with shipments deemed as hazardous waste, or ones deemed eligible for re-cycling.
According to the ministry, the influx of scrap occurred as China, the world’s largest importer of recyclable waste, stopped importing 24 types of waste starting this year, forcing many countries to move their waste elsewhere, with popular destinations including Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam or Thailand.