China will further tighten imported scrap metal import rules effective June 1, a notice said, as part a crackdown on duty evasion which came into effect at the start of April.

Mixed different kinds of scrap metal in containers will no longer be allowed after the June 1 date and will have to be segregated by type, according to the Administration of Customs website.

In March, China announced requirements for importers to provide grades of metal scrap content on customs documents based on specifications in the international market starting on April 1.

The new rules affect copper scrap imports the most given the country, the world’s top copper consumer, has a long-term copper deficit and some importers misreport the metal content of copper scrap to reduce duty payments under a 17 percent value-added tax.

Shipments from the United States and EU would take 30-35 days to Chinese ports and another 7-10 days are needed for declaring the customs for the imports, traders said.

“We this week have asked suppliers not to mix different scrap and different scrap should be packed individually,” said a trade manager at an alloy producer in Zhejiang, referring to copper scrap imports.

“That may discourage suppliers from selling scrap to China in the future.” (Reuters)