Waste ban Thailand – continued

We have earlier this month reported on problems with handling scrap cargoes into Thailand as a result of mis-declared cargoes and fraudulent practices.

Mis-declared cargo

Currently around 3,000 containers have been inspected, and the majority of them have shown to contain mis-declared cargoes that may not be imported into Thailand under the Basel Convention and local law.

Import licenses

Secondly, many of the importers have proven not to have valid licenses and/or facilities to handle scrap cargo. The Department of Industrial Works that oversee this area have suspended the licenses of 5 importers and a sixth import license has expired. Currently, Fuji Xerox seems to be the only legitimate importer of scrap. However, their license is believed not to be extended when it expires. Effectively, this will stop all imports of scrap into Thailand, including ones that may have been legitimate in the past.

Costs on agents

Because of the extensive fraud, it is expected that many of the named Consignees will simply disappear. Since the Thai Customs Act calls for the Consignee’s active participation in either destroying the cargo or re-exporting it, we expect there to be a number of abandoned containers in the near future in Thai ports. Costs will rise to handle them, and the agent will likely be the target for covering the expenses.

Recommendation

It is therefore our recommendation that any scrap cargoes still on-board vessels and destined for Thailand is either not discharged or returned to their original loading port before reaching Thailand, unless there is a written and reliable confirmation from the Shipper (perhaps paid in advance) that they will cover any future container handling costs in Thailand and/or alternatively the Consignee’s confirmation that they have valid license and will take delivery of the cargo.

We will continue to monitor the situation, but should your member be in need of urgent and current advice, please contact Spica’s office in Bangkok.