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Thai Customs recently found that waste being imported into Thailand was mis-declared, usually as a recyclable type, when in reality it was bound for waste disposal. The Thai Police also discovered that a number of recipients of such waste, said to be recycling facilities, do not have any such capability.

Our correspondents in Thailand, Spica Services (S) Pte Ltd have alerted us to the suspension of all waste imports into Thailand, including waste that is otherwise permitted for recycling. Spica reports that containers in transit are also included in the suspension.


Boundary movement of hazardous waste is governed by the Basel Convention that also applies in Thailand. The Convention allows for certain types of waste to be imported into Thailand legitimately. In general, these are recyclable types of waste, but does not include lower quality waste bound for deposit. Recycling is already an established business in Thailand and various types of waste are imported without problems.

Temporary suspension

Because of the large volume of waste, and the impossible task of checking each shipment or container, the Thai Authorities have decided to place a temporary suspension on all imports of waste. This means that otherwise legitimate shipments, even in transit, may not be allowed to discharge at a Thai port in the near future.

It is uncertain as to when the Authorities will lift the ban on discharge of waste. Members and clients are encouraged to contact their local agents prior to arrival in Thailand to obtain the latest information on the suspension and to secure a smooth discharge operation.


We thank Spica for the information and we will update this alert with further clarification when received.