PM orders stricter measures to prevent massive scrap imports hinh anh 1PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc orders stricter measures to prevent massive scrap imports. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Illegal scrap importers will face prosecution as part of the efforts to prevent massive scrap imports to Vietnam, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at a meeting on July 25.

As the congestion of imported scrap materials at seaports is currently a great public concern, PM Phuc asked relevant ministries and sector to prevent the massive imports of scrap, which have silently been turning Vietnam into the world’s industrial landfill and causing harm to both the life of people and the environment.

The PM ordered concerned agencies to investigate and deal with stagnant unclaimed scrap containers which are occupying large spaces at Vietnamese ports.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) was requested to clarify the impacts of each kind of scrap so as to construct a list of qualified scarp for import into Vietnam.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport must join hands with the Ministry of Finance and other ministries and localities to destroy or remove scrap containers.

PM Phuc stressed that it is pertinent to review all valid permits for shipments of scrap materials, and that there will be no more new licences approved for scrap importers.

A close scrutinisation of scrap re-exports will be carried out by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The latest report from the General Department of Customs shows that in the first five  months of the year, Vietnam imported more than 2 million tonnes of steel scrap, worth 744 million USD. The highest imports came from Japan, with 564,000 tonnes worth 200 million USD.

The congestion of imported scrap materials at seaports has affected the operation capacity of ports and shipping companies, slowing down their flow of goods.

A large volume of scrap imports are currently stuck at ports in Ho Chi Minh City. As of June 26, up to 4,480 containers of scrap materials had been stuck at the ports under the Saigon Newport Corporation’s management for at least 30 days. Up to 3,464 of the containers are at Cat Lai Port.

Meanwhile, 737 containers have been stored for more than 90 days and 507 others have stayed for between 30-90 days at ports in northern Hai Phong city.

About 20 percent of the imported scrap is paper, and the rest is plastic and other types of scrap materials, according to the MoNRE.–VNA