KARACHI: Ministry of Commerce has made it mandatory that waste; parings and scrap of plastics, excluding hospital waste of all kind, used sewerage pipes and used chemical containers; can only be imported by industrial consumers after the approval of respective Environmental Protection Agencies (EPAs).

According to details waste/scrap can be imported by industrial consumers after environmental approval of Plastic Scrap Recycling facility by the respective Federal or Provincial Environmental Protection Agencies (EPAs) indicating the annual recycling capacity.

Respective EPAs will give final decision within 30 days of submission of the application. Moreover, Annual Environmental Audit Report duly approved by the respective EPAs is also mandatory.

Besides, Pre-Shipment Inspection in exporting country by any of the companies mentioned would also be required. The companies shall certify that the consignment being exported to Pakistan does not contain any hazardous substance as defined in the Basel Convention.

Customs authorities, in case of doubt, may randomly get any consignment tested, through PCSIR or any other government certified laboratory. The imported consignment of the registered recycling plant shall be cleared from one custom station only.

Sources said that all the consignments of above mentioned goods are held up by the Customs authorities after the issuance of the above directives by Ministry of commerce. As many as 82 containers are stuck up at MCC Lahore, 30 at Karachi port and consignments are also held up at other dry ports.

It may be recalled that Polymer West Importers Recyclers Association had taken a stay order from Lahore high Court on the provisions of Import Policy Order in this regard. However, MoC has issued this new notification. But, Customs is confused over the implementation of these directives and has held up all the consignments of the above mentioned goods.

Customs sources that quota for import of the above mentioned goods should be finalized by EDB Islamabad or IOCO Karachi.

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