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EuRIC: Import Ban would equally devastate paper mills in India

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Ms. Julia Blees -Policy Director, European Recycling Industries' Confederation (EuRIC) views over EU's ban on waste paper export to India

EuRIC: Import Ban would equally devastate paper mills in India

-Import ban would disrupt a very-well functioning market which is why we are relieved that the matter will be resolved soon

European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC) is representing the interests of the European recycling industries at EU level. EuRIC, through its various Branches covering the vast majority of waste streams, brings together National Recycling / Resource Management Federations and Companies in lieu from more than 23 European countries active locally and globally.

The Pulp and Paper Times interacts with Ms. Julia Blees -Policy Director, European Recycling Industries' Confederation (EuRIC) over the accidental ban imposed by European Union (EU) disrupting the well-functioning market in India. Here is her exclusive interview:

Brussels | 28th October 2021 | The Pulp and Paper Times: 

Q: What is the new rule of EU Regulation 2021/1840 published in the Official Journal of the European Union last week the entry for recovered paper (B3020) now appears in the annex’s column a) for India, indicating that shipments of that material from the EU to that country are to be banned. 

Regulation (EC) No 1418/2007 states how the European Union (EU) can export green-listed wastes to non-OECD countries. Regulation (EU) 2021/1840 which was published on 21 October 2021 in the EU’s Official Journal is the latest update of aforementioned Regulation (EU) No 1418/2007. The update process took place over the last 2 years in the form that the European Commission sent written requests to the country’s governments, seeking confirmation in writing what waste may be exported from the EU and which procedure should be applicable. Regulation (EU) 2021/1840 is a summary of all confirmations received and therefore placed B3020 into column a (= import prohibition) of the annex for India. However, we are aware that B3020 was not intended to be placed into column a and that a corrigendum process will be launched to solve the issue. 

Q: How do you see this situation and its impacts?

An import ban for recovered paper would have devastating impacts for the European paper recycling industry as India is the second largest export market for recovered paper. It would equally devastate paper mills in India as they rely on European recovered paper imports. In a nutshell, we believe that the import ban would disrupt a very-well functioning market which is why we are relieved that the matter will be resolved soon. 

Q: When does the imposition of the ban will start and stop?

The update of Regulation (EC) No 1418/2007 is scheduled to enter into force on 10 November 2021, as well is the import prohibition. However, as stated above, a corrigendum process is underway which will take a few weeks, however, very likely until after the entry-into-force date. The corrigendum should then solve the issue and not prohibit recovered paper imports anymore.

Q: What do you suggest to Indian Waste paper importers for the future?

Indian paper mills have an excellent relationship with many European suppliers as have Indian and European associations. They should continue to closely work together especially in the light of the next revision of Regulation (EC) No 1418/2007 which takes place approximately every 4 years. 

Q: The ban on recovered paper shipments from the EU to India is now expected to apply only for several weeks. What Indian paper mills and waste paper importers should understand with this?

For a few weeks, there is a risk of no European recovered paper imports but as soon as the situation will be resolved, the business should go back to normal.


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