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MSC stops accepting some exports to Hong Kong

PortandTerminal.com, June 11, 2020

HONG KONG – Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) this month stopped accepting shipments of recovered plastics, fiber, metals and chemicals headed for Hong Kong.

MSC’s announcement comes as China imposes national security laws on Hong Kong and the U.S. declares Hong Kong no longer has a high degree of autonomy from China.

Hong Kong historically has been a significant outlet for U.S. plastic: From January through April of this year, the most recent period for which figures are available, the U.S. exported 31.7 million pounds of scrap plastic to Hong Kong, about 8% of all U.S. plastic exports during that period.

China on the other hand banned most categories of scrap plastic imports beginning in 2018, and U.S. exports to the country have dwindled to a negligible amount.

As China tightens its grip on Hong Kong, MSC took the decision that Chinese rules now apply to the once-independent territory.

A company spokesperson confirmed MSC’s policy and said the company is “complying with recently updated Chinese legislation” related to solid waste cargo.

The company issued a notice to customers outlining the change, which took effect June 1. The notice references China’s goal to eliminate “solid waste” imports.

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