Vietnam Rejects Some Japan Waste Battery Export

Japanese Ministry of Environment tries to check the quality for Japanese waste battery export to Vietnam. The battery export reached 44,270 tonnes in 2005 to Vietnam, which is the largest destination of Japanese waste battery. The higher export caused tight supply of raw material for Japanese lead smelters. Vietnamese officials started import regulation since October 2005to avoid environmental risk. Japanese export still continues at around 1,000 tonnes per month. The export could stop depending on the outcome. Vietnamese newspaper reported the initial report for the issue on March 3. The paper reported the official found problem in 26 containers of 39 containers of waste battery from Japan in Hai Phong, which is a city in northern part of Vietnam. The official ordered the local importers to return the cargoes. Some cargoes are reportedly shipped for Japan. Some cargoes from Japan are reportedly missing. Some local presses reported uncertainness of waste battery import including environmental risk caused by appropriate treatment after custom clearing. Japanese Ministry of Environment started the affirmation of facts through unofficial routes to Vietnamese officials. The ministry decided to check waste battery export at the export custom in compliance with the domestic low and Basel Convention. The waste battery export is permitted for reuse and banned for scraping. Japanese waste battery export to Vietnam decreased from the peak 6,687 tonnes in September 2005 due to import restriction by Vietnamese officials. However, the export continues at around 1,000 tonnes per month. The export also increased to 3,000-4,000 tonnes for Hong Kong. Japanese Ministry of Environment sees there is no waste battery market in Hong Kong. The official found no reported importer in the research for some export cases. The Vietnamese issue could result in reveal of gap between nominal trading and actual picture including export to Hong Kong.