Text of Timeline of China’s Import Policies and Response from Affected Parties Chart

    • February 2013: Green Fence launched
    • November 2015: New two-month customs crackdown on importer practices
    • February 2017: National Sword announced
    • Mid-April 2017: Early indications of a ban
    • Mid-July 2017: Additional enforcement on polluting facilities in China
    • July 18, 2017: China files intent to ban certain recyclables with WTO
    • Late July 2017: China proposes 0.3 percent maximum contamination levels
    • Mid-August 2017: Reports of slowdown in exports to China
    • Late September 2017: Initial impacts of import restrictions reach curbside programs and MRFs
    • November 2017: China increases contamination limit to 0.5 percent
    • December 2017 to January 2018: China issues limited import permits for 2018
    • January 2018: Significant shifts in material flow away from China
    • Late January 2018: CalRecycle public meeting on China’s policies
    • February 2018: Continued industry focus on cleaner materials
    • March 2018: 0.5 percent contamination limit takes effect
    • Mid-March 2018: Blue Sky 2018 announced
    • Mid-April 2018: China announces additional materials prohibited by end of the year
    • May 2018: China suspends CCIC North America for one month
    • June 2018: CalRecycle workshop on changes to international commodity markets
    • June-July 2018: Southeast Asian countries raise quality standards or ban imports
    • July 2018: China declares intent for full recyclable import ban by 2020
    • July-September 2018: Plastic scrap imports decline in SE Asia
    • October 2018: Chinese investment in US recycling infrastructure continues to grow
    • November 2018: Southeast Asian countries continue to limit scrap plastic imports
    • January 2019: Plastic scrap imports to China down 99 percent in 2018, recovered fiber down 34 percent
    • March 2019: India scrap plastic import ban announced, postponed until August 2019 
    • March 2019: Indonesia sets recovered paper import restrictions and quality requirements, then postpones changes until further notice
    • March 2019: Vietnam announces plan to ban all plastic scrap imports by 2025
    • April 2019: Exports of scrap paper and plastic declining since November 2018
    • April 2019: Malaysia dealing with a spike of plastic scrap shipments fraudulently labeled as finished plastic products
    • May 2019: China announces retaliatory tariffs on US goods that includes 20% duty on recycled paper pulp
    • May 2019: Pending funding bill in US Congress directs U.S. EPA to develop a national recycling strategy that includes standardized labeling
    • May 2019: Malaysia sending some non-recyclable plastic scrap back to countries of origin
    • October 2019: Regulations under consideration in China show that the country is still determined to ban “solid waste” imports completely by 2020.   
    • December 2019: China looks likely to ban all recycled fiber imports by 2021.
    • December 2019: China stops planned additional tariff increase on OCC, other fiber, and scrap aluminum imported from the US.
    • January 2020: China acknowledges scrap is different from solid waste in their updated standards for nonferrous metal imports
    • January 2020: India will enforce 1% contamination limit on mixed paper imports