Posted on 30/05/2011 in category Convention

Recent BIR World Recycling Convention & Exhibition in Singapore

International Trade Council: Checking documents can provide headache relief

Enforcement of import controls is “very, very high” in certain parts of Asia and so overseas suppliers should “check and re-check” to ensure that they have the correct approvals and other documentation, BIR’s International Trade Council (ITC) meeting in Singapore on 23 May 2011 was told by Tony Kerr. Such diligence “can save you a lot of headaches, especially in China”, added the Senior Director of Bryan Cave International Trade (BCIT).

BCIT has been hired by BIR to provide intelligence on legislative and regulatory developments in China and India. In relation to China, Mr Kerr urged delegates to be on the look-out for “fraudulent AQSIQ certifications”. As for India, he highlighted: a drop from 20% to 15% in the export duty applied to ferrous waste and scrap and to ingots of iron or steel made from re-melted scrap; an increase in the import duty on all grades of brass scrap; and a halving of the duty on recovered paper from 5% to 2.5%.

In respect of the work it carries out for BIR, BCIT’s focus will be widened to cover the whole of Asia, ITC’s Chairman Robert Voss of UK-based Voss International noted in Singapore.

Earlier, Mr Voss had reviewed the work of the ITC over the past year, focusing in particular on: its monitoring of the debate on access to raw materials with a view to ensuring the movement of goods around the world “without hindrance”; and the revamping of BIR’s arbitration service. Describing the latter as “a very complex issue”, Mr Voss reported that this process was now complete and was being put in a format suitable for use both by members and non-members.

In one of the two guest presentations heard at the ITC meeting, Siew Loong Wong - Vice President of Asia-Europe Trade at container shipping specialist APL - listed several advantages of shipping recyclables, including improved back-haul vessel utilisation and reduced empty re-positioning costs. However, he also suggested that the associated freight rate is “sometimes so low we can’t even cover the variable costs”.

Mr Wong also alluded to the potential for container damage when loading certain recyclables but acknowledged this occurred “not very often”. Mr Voss responded by noting that the recycling industry often feels unfairly targeted by the repair charges levied by shipping companies, prompting some recyclers to protect their interests by taking photographs of containers to confirm their good condition.

The other guest presentation at the ITC meeting in Singapore was delivered by Caroline Quint, Commercial and Business Development Director at SGS Testing and Control in France. She outlined the recycling-relevant services offered by her company, including those in the areas of sampling and inspection.