Thailand to ban scrap electronic imports

Legislation | | MIC Customs Solutions |

Scrap electronics will no longer be received into Thailand soon.

A ban is to come into effect on imports of scrap electronics into Thailand within the next six months, potentially leading to some industries having to rethink their waste disposal strategy.

Environment ministry officials said this week that 432 types of scrap electronics will no longer be able to be received by Thailand as part of a crackdown on waste piling up within the country, Reuters reports.

The news comes after China already prohibited the entry of a number of different types of waste earlier this year during a campaign against 'foreign garbage'.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has also stopped issuing licenses for scrap imports and Malaysia has revoked licenses for 114 of its scrap processors. Both nations said they will attempt to stamp out illegal shipments of paper, plastic and metal.

Thailand's environment minister Sarawak Kanchanarat said a full list of banned items will be announced soon, but it is already known that 432 types of electronics including circuit boards and old television parts will be included.

However, scrap metal and some types of other second-hand waste may still be allowed if they can be recycled and reused, provided they are separated and cleared at the country of origin.

It is also expected that Thailand will ban imports of plastic waste within two years, but no further details were given on this.

Large quantities of waste that were once sent to China are now being re-routed to other south-east Asian countries, but many are ill-equipped to deal with it and so it is increasingly finding itself in the sea and in rivers.

Like Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand, some are now being forced to bring in legislation to deal with imported waste and reduce its impact on the environment.

Anyone who produces, imports, exports or disposes of waste has a legal duty of care to ensure it is handled safely and only passed to other parties who are authorized to receive it.

This applies throughout the whole of the shipment chain, so always check individual nations' guidance if you are unsure of new legislation that may have been implemented.