|In recent times customs authorities have discovered a lot of second-hand products being illegally imported. — Photo petrotimes
HCM CITY (VNS) — The ban on the import of used electronic and refrigerative appliances has failed to stop the practice, and experts warn about its health impacts.
HCM City generates around 6,000 tonnes of electronic and refrigeration waste every year and this figure is expected to nearly double by 2020, but the city does not have a collection and treatment system, according to the Institute of Tropical Techniques and Environment Protection.
In recent times customs authorities have discovered a lot of second-hand products being illegally imported.
For instance, one company claimed to import 880 new speakers from China at a cost of US$23,760 but customs officers found the consignment containing 320 speakers, 324 laptops, 230 mobile phones, and 500 computer connectors, all of them used.
The company also imported 1,500 other already used speakers and 216 CPU.
The police are investigating.
By the middle of April this year customs discovered six such cases.
"Electronic and refrigerative wastes, which have lead and mercury, are very harmful to people's health and the environment," Prof Dr Nguyen Van Phuoc, head of the Natural Resources and Environment Institute at the Viet Nam National University, HCM City, was quoted as saying by Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper.
Pham Quoc Hung, deputy head of the city customs department, said: "Importing such wastes can bring very high profits. Therefore, companies try to import illegally in many ways, causing an adverse impact on health and the environment."
He also blamed the occurrence on the lack of environmental protection regulations related to import-export. — VNS