Ultimate Guide to Importing & Exporting Plastic Scrap into China
The process of importing and exporting plastic scrap to China can be confusing at first. However, in the end, when you figure everything out, it can be quite rewarding. Essentially, by shipping your recyclables directly to processors in China, you’re cutting out several layers of middlemen.
In a nutshell, any recyclables being exported to China must first be inspected by CCIC, an independent inspection and certification organization accredited by AQSIQ to inspect all recyclables exported to China.
AQSIQ is the government body in China overlooking the importation of cargoes and making sure imported cargoes are in compliance with rules, laws and environmental regulations of China.
To request CCIC inspection, you must be an AQSIQ registered company. Or, an AQSIQ registered company must apply for CCIC inspection on your behalf.
Registering for AQSIQ is a long and arduous process. It involves sending them a detailed application package written in Chinese proving a company or facility’s ability to properly control and maintain the quality and environmental standards of recyclables it exports. If Chinese is not your native language, it’s best to hire a third-party registration company to prepare the application package for you. The average processing time is between 6-12 months.
For those that are not registered with AQSIQ, it’s not the end of the world. As mentioned above, all you need is for an AQSIQ registered company to file for CCIC Pre-shipment Inspection on your behalf. Although there is typically a fee for this sort of service, it is relatively low, around several hundred dollars per container. If you have questions regarding this, feel free to send me an email at andrew[@]recycledplastic.com.
Once you file an application for inspection, A CCIC agent will travel to your site of loading and inspect the recyclables. If your recyclables comply with AQSIQ regulations, CCIC will issue you a “Certificate for Pre-Shipment Inspection of Recycling Scraps to China” for this shipment. The original document is required during customs declaration in China.
At this point, you will need to find a suitable freight forwarder or container line to transport your recyclables. A freight forwarder is a company that can arrange the entire shipment for you which includes trucking, ocean freight, and export/pier paperwork. As freight forwarders handle many other shipments, they typically have decent discount contracts with major container lines and local truckers.
When you are more experienced and have larger volumes, you can contact the major container lines (such as COSCO, YANG MING, etcâ€¦) to discuss large volume discounts. That is, if you have large volumes, this is the best way to save on your logistics bills (which can add up very quickly).
Now that your recyclables are well on its way, it’s time to discuss importing scrap containers into China. For most suppliers, you will not need to worry about this. Most buyers in China will take care of importing once the containers arrive. While this is the case, I thought I would go over the process anyway.
To properly import recyclables into China, you need to provide China customs with a valid Environmental Import License. This license is typically issued to processors and or end users of recyclables in China. Written on each import license is the type of scrap it is valid for, a quota in metric tons, and the specific port of clearance. Make sure the environmental license covers the recyclable you plan on importing. In addition, the consignee on your bill of lading must also match the importer as shown on the environment import license.
Generally speaking, a customs declaration company or freight forwarding company in China can take care of all the paperwork for you. You just need to provide them with a copy of your AQSIQ registration, original copy of the CCIC approval, the Environmental Import License, and occasionally loading pictures. Granted all things move along smoothly, scrap containers are released once customs duties are paid. Customs duties are calculated based on the recyclable’s current market value and is charged on a per metric ton basis. The typical time frame for importation is 5 business days.
Everyone’s situation is different. If there is something not covered in this article or if you need assistance with the above mentioned certifications, feel free to contact me via email at andrew[@]recycledplastic.com.