Waste Import and Export Control
Waste Plastics Import and Export Control
Following a decision adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention (BC) in May 2019, control on transboundary movements of waste plastics will be enhanced with effect from 1 January 2021. By then, plastic waste is regarded as “regulated waste plastics” except for the single-type and uncontaminated waste plastics in entry B3011 of Annex IX to the BC that are recovered in an environmentally sound manner (e.g. recycling). Any person who intends to conduct transboundary movement of “regulated waste plastics” shall obtain prior consent from the states of export, import and transit concerned. In addition, import and export of “regulated waste plastics” between a Party and a non-Party of the BC are prohibited.
In the meantime, Hong Kong's neighbouring countries, such as Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia, have been progressively tightening up their import control on various types of waste plastics, including the above-mentioned “regulated waste plastics” as well as “non-regulated waste plastics”. Moreover, the Mainland of China has imposed a total ban on the import of all waste plastics since the end of 2018. In view of the above, it is a must for Hong Kong to enhance control on the import, export and re-export of waste plastics, so as to prevent waste plastics from being stranded or illegally disposed of, or causing pollution in Hong Kong.
With effect from 1 January 2021, any person importing or exporting “regulated waste plastics” shall apply for the relevant waste import / export permit or consent from EPD in advance. For re-export of “regulated waste plastics” via Hong Kong, declaration form and relevant documents should be submitted to EPD in advance for record purposes, so that EPD may respond timely to the request of the state of export for consent to the transit arrangement. Any person shall, before importing, exporting or re-exporting “non-regulated waste plastics” into, from or via Hong Kong, submit in advance a declaration form and relevant documents to EPD for record purposes. This is to prove that the waste plastics are not subject to permit control under the Waste Disposal Ordinance's (WDO) requirements. That means, the waste plastics are (a) uncontaminated; and (b) imported, exported or re-exported for the purpose of a reprocessing, recycling, recovery operation or the reuse of the waste. The submitted documents also facilitate the strengthening of information exchanges between EPD and relevant places of import and export, and endeavour to safeguard the legitimacy and smooth operation of the transboundary movements of the waste.
"Regulated Waste PlasticsNote 1"
Note 1: According to the definition under the Basel Convention, waste plastics are regarded as “regulated waste plastics” except for the single-type and uncontaminated waste plastics listed in entry B3011 of Annex IX to the Basel Convention that are recovered in an environmentally sound manner (e.g. recycling).
"Non-regulated Waste PlasticsNote2"
Note 2: “Non-regulated waste plastics” mean single-type and uncontaminated waste plastics listed in entry B3011 of Annex IX to the Basel Convention that are recovered in an environmentally sound manner (e.g. recycling). The only exception is mixture of waste plastics, consisting of polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and/or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) (such as plastic beverage bottles).
Note 3:“Uncontaminated waste plastics” mean waste plastics that are clean and contain no more than 0.5% impurities by total weight. Impurities include other types of waste plastics, waste paper, waste glass, etc.
EPD has prepared a set of “Guidelines on Import and Export Control of Waste Plastics” which lists out the details of requirements and issues to note regarding waste plastics import and export control.
Two briefing sessions were held on 30 October 2020 to explain to the trade the details of the Guidelines so that the trade can have a clear understanding of the new control arrangement. The presentation slides used in the briefing sessions can be downloaded here (Chinese version only).
Any person importing or exporting “regulated waste plastics” shall apply for the relevant waste import / export permit or consent from EPD in advance, and submit the documents to EPD for record in accordance with the conditions of the permit or consent issued before import / export of each shipment. Details of application for permit for import and export of waste can be found at:
Any person shall submit a declaration form and relevant documents to EPD in advance to prove that the proposed transboundary movement of waste plastics meets the requirements under the WDO and BC in case of the following –
- Import or export of “non-regulated waste plastics”; or
- Re-export of “regulated waste plastics” or “non-regulated waste plastics” via Hong Kong.
Declaration forms, “Notice to Declarant” and sample declaration forms can be downloaded from the hyperlinks below.
a) Declaration for Import of Waste Plastics
b) Declaration for Export of Waste Plastics
c) Declaration for Re-export of Waste Plastics
Please submit the completed declaration form and relevant documents by email (email@example.com) as far as practicable, and fill in the subject of the email by "Declaration for Import of Waste Plastics", "Declaration for Export of Waste Plastics" or "Declaration for Re-export of Waste Plastics". Electronic submission can expedite the processing by facilitating our follow-up with the authorities of the places of import and export and other organizations.
Declaration form and relevant documents may also be mailed / faxed / submitted in person by the following means:
Fax: (852) 2305 0453
Address: Environmental Protection Department
Environmental Compliance Division
Territorial Control Office
28/F, Southorn Centre
130 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, HK
Waste Plastic Import and Export Declaration Verification System
In order to allow the trade to verify acknowledgement letters issued by the EPD, the EPD has launched an online verification system. Once a valid reference number is entered on the website, part of the information of the relevant acknowledgement letter issued in the past 4 months will be displayed for verification. The system can be accessed via the following hyperlink:
Telephone: (852) 2835 2311
Fax: (852) 2305 0453