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Import rubbish surrounding Hai Phong port

Making the corrupt use of the loopholes in the current laws relating to the temporary import for re-export later, a lot of enterprises have illegally imported hazardous industrial waste.

6000 tons of rubbish at Hai Phong port

According to Cao Trung Ngoan, Deputy General Director of the Hai Phong port, six months ago, an enterprise headquartered in Hai Phong City imported 6458 tons of zinc ore from South Korea for re-exporting to China.

However, the consignment of imports has not cleared from the port. On August 14, the Hai Phong port authorities received a document from the import company which informed that it would “abandon” the imported zinc consignment, because the company could not contact the Chinese goods owner and could not receive the legal vouchers of the consignment.

As such, the 6458 tons of unclaimed ore has been left at the port for the last six months, causing the loss of income of 195 million dong a month, because the consignment has not been cleared to get places for other goods.

Especially, Ngoan said the imports have caused serious environment pollution. Tens of workers have to keep a close watch over the imports and prevent them from drifting out which may cause the drainage congestion.

The Hai Phong port still has no idea about how to deal with the imported ore. The State budget would have to spend big money to ruin the imports, while it is not sure if the method can settle the environmental problems to the every root.

Meanwhile, the ores remain unsalable, as enterprises have refused to buy them due to the low ore content.

Experts have pointed out that the 6458 tons of zinc ore kept at the Hai Phong port is just a kind of hazardous industrial waste, and that an industrial developed country like the Republic of Korea would never export raw ores. Especially, if the products are really valuable, the importer would not give up them.

Ngoan also said that the expenses on handling and carrying the 6458 tons of ore, plus the storage fee all have exceeded the actual value of the ore consignment.

The foreign waste

The zinc ore import consignment is not the only unclaimed consignment kept at the Hai Phong port. The city’s customs agencies have reported that hundreds of ownerless consignments have been found since May 2012, including hazardous industrial waste.

An official of the Hai Phong Customs Agency said the agency, after examining 455 containers of goods, including 386 containers of dry goods, left at the port for a long time, has found out that 80 percent of the containers violate the current laws.

These include hundreds of containers of hazardous industrial waste such as lead battery, rubber, plastics and electronic parts. Meanwhile, frozen food containers were full of animal viscera. Especially, the customs agency found five tons of frozen pangolin meat.

Hai Phong port has become the ground for industrial waste for the last many years. Vietnamese enterprises make the corrupt use of the loopholes to import waste. Meanwhile, in many cases, since they cannot consume the import consignments, decide to leave the imports at the port.

An official of the city’s customs agency has admitted that it is very difficult to punish the importers. In many cases, only when checking the information about the importers, did customs officials realize that these were just “bogus companies.”

Meanwhile, customs agencies cannot contact ship owners and no one comes forward to claim responsibility for the import waste.


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