China Seizes 8,500 Tonnes of US Waste Tyres
The US recently imposed tariffs aimed at preventing Chinese manufacturers from dumping cheap tyres in the market, and now China faces its own dumping problems of a different nature – customs officials there report seizing more than 8,500 tonnes of smuggled waste tyres sent from the US. According to the General Administration of Customs, some 366 shipping containers filled with tyres arrived in the coastal city of Guangzhou via Hong Kong between December 2008 and February 2009, where they remained until their discovery in December 2009. Three suspected smugglers were subsequently arrested.
According to customs official Cai Hongyu, transporting a tonne of waste tyres from the United States to China costs somewhere between US$4 and $10, and significant profits can be generated through selling waste tyre materials for oil refining and in retreading. Therefore, despite the illegality of such shipments, the quantity of waste tyres and other waste products shipped to countries such as China is growing. In total, Chinese customs has seized more than 44,000 tonnes of solid waste in 229 cases since 2005.