China’s General Administration of Customs has announced the launch of a crackdown on the smuggling of “Western junk” into the country.
GAC head Ni Yuefeng (倪岳峰), said to state media that the current crackdown on Western junk smuggling is the largest such undertaking in recent years, with GAC’s bureaus in 25 cities ordered to mobilise 1,291 personnel in a total of 212 action teams to apprehend suspects and conduct inspections of company sites.
From 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on 22 May local time, GAC personnel seized 137,000 tons of smuggled waste, including mining slag and scrap hardware, as well as inspected 606,500 tons of smuggled plastic, mining slag and scrap hardware, and apprehended 137 suspects belonging to a total of 39 smuggling groups.
Much of the smuggled mining slag uncovered by investigators is believed to be waste produced overseas smelting, the import of which has been banned by Chinese authorities.
Raided companies are also suspected of selling scrap hardware and plastic, whose import into China is subject to heavy restrictions, to enterprises without environmental protection qualifications.
According to state media these enterprises lack the requisite pollution-prevention measures for processing operations, and are likely to pose a threat to ecological security and human health.