Thai authorities are cracking down on e-scrap imports after government inspections showed frequent abuse of import licenses.
Thailand’s Department of Industrial Works (DIW) is considering a ban on imports of some categories of scrap electronics, the Bangkok Post reported. In the short term, however, DIW is inspecting 148 known e-scrap processing facilities in the Southeast Asian country and charging violators, the head of DIW told the newspaper.
DIW already inspected the seven factories that hold permits to import scrap electronics and found five of them were importing types of material they weren’t allowed to or were sending material downstream to facilities disposing of hazardous waste improperly.
Thailand has experienced an increase in e-scrap imports since China began closing the door to shipment, a customs department spokesman told the Post.
In late May, Thai police raided a sprawling e-scrap processing facility in Thailand owned by Wai Mei Dat (WMD), a Hong Kong-based company that also runs a processing site in Chino, Calif.
The raid prompted Seattle-based watchdog group Basel Action Network (BAN) to release more results of an ongoing scrap-tracking project. BAN used GPS devices to follow scrap electronics from Europe to facilities in Thailand.
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