The Government of the Republic of Korea—the Ministry of Environment, the Korea Customs Service, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs—has embarked on the investigation of a Korean exporter which caused a controversy in the Philippines this month; the Government stated that it would take measures to have the wastes in question be brought back to Korea as soon as possible.
As the Bureau of Customs of the Philippines uncovered last July illegal plastic wastes which was exported from Korea, Korea’s Ministry of Environment and the Customs Service jointly inspected the exporter of the wastes in question, located in Pyeongtaek City, on November 16. The exporter in question made export declaration on waste synthetic highly polymerized compound in January 2018.
The joint inspection of the exporter’s business site found plastic wastes mixed with significant amount of alien materials such as waste wood/metals and trashes which had not gone through an appropriate recycling process.
As the joint inspection team opened the exporter’s container in the nearby warehouse, waiting to be shipped, wastes in the same condition—mixed with large amount of alien materials—as the one found in the aforementioned business site were discovered.
Since the Ministry of Environment and the Korea Customs Service confirmed that the exporter had exported wastes which had not gone through proper recycling process and were different from it declared in its export declaration and that documents required for export was forged, they have taken measures against related violations of law.
The Ministry of Environment on November 21 initiated legal procedure to have the wastes in question in the Philippines be brought back in accordance with Article 20 of the Law on Cross-border movement and Disposal of Wastes—Prior Notice of Repatriation Order—and embarked on investigation of the violation of Article 18-2 of the said law—False Export Declaration.
The Korea Customs Service is investigating the exporter in question for the possibility of its exporting of wastes with illegitimately prepared export documentation. The Customs Service also took a step to forbid the shipment of goods in question waiting to be shipped.
Relevant authorities of Korea will have the wastes in question be repatriated and properly disposed and work to prevent recurrence of the problem.