In Penang port, 'normal situation' for plastic waste to be brought in without prior approval

Plastic waste is piled outside an illegal recycling factory in Jenjarom, Kuala Langat October 14, 2018. — Reuters pic
Plastic waste is piled outside an illegal recycling factory in Jenjarom, Kuala Langat October 14, 2018. — Reuters pic

BUTTERWORTH, Nov 14 — A total of 175 containers at the North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT) were found to be laden with undeclared plastic waste and without any approved permit (AP) from the Housing and Local Government Ministry; hence causing inconveniences to the port authority and the Customs.

Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, who visited the terminal today, said she was informed that it was almost a ‘normal situation’ at the Penang Port for plastic waste to be brought in before getting prior approval from the ministry.

“Even before getting prior approval from the ministry for import of plastic, they (importers) already placed their orders from the source country.

“Once (the containers) arrived, they will then put it their submissions for the AP. That is why the port is crowded with undeclared containers and unclaimed products, taking up spaces and causing inconveniences to the port authority and the Customs,” she told reporters after the visit.

Zuraida said she was also informed that some companies that import plastic waste had falsely declared their products using other codes, and not the HS Code 3915, following the freeze on all plastic waste import activities for three months starting July 23.

“They change (the declaration) to a more general one like the HS Code 3902 and by virtue of making that false claim I think they should be penalised,” she said, adding that she would raise the issue at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow. — Bernama

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