Malaysia to tighten scrap import waste thresholds

Posted on 02 September 2021

Malaysia will formally tighten standards for waste allowed in scrap metal imports after 31 October, extending an interim grace period that was set to expire on 31 August.

The more lenient deadline will allow exporters to "make full preparation for [. . .] implementation," Malaysia's Ministry of International Trade said, citing environmental protection as the rationale.

During the interim period, which began 16 July, Malaysia started asking exporters of copper, aluminum and ferrous scrap to restrict non-metallic waste to 0.25pc of weight and circuit boards or e-scrap to 0pc.

Argus was not aware of any rejections from US scrap exporters shipping to Malaysia in July or August and few exporters were aware of any new rules on the horizon.

Only a minority of US shredders can produce a 99pc zorba package for the export market, as requested by China, and an even smaller amount are capable of making a 99.75pc package, which would essentially be the same as tweak or twitch. Zorba is a mixed metal product recovered from automotive shredding, made mostly of aluminum and small amounts of copper, brass, zinc, magnesium and nonmetallic material such as seat foam and plastic.

Malaysia during the first half of the year was the number one destination for US exports of aluminum and the number two destination for copper scrap, after China. Malaysia was the third-ranked destination for US ferrous scrap in the first half, taking 11pc of exports.

Malaysia's announcement comes not long after Indonesia, another up and coming scrap importer of US scrap metal in southeast Asia, announced it would expand its waste allowance to 2pc, going against the trend of trading partners in the region such as China and Malaysia.

Source : Argus