PETALING JAYA: No solid waste is allowed into the country without an approval permit (AP) to prevent Malaysia from becoming a dumping ground.
A National Solid Waste Management Department (JPSPN) spokesman said any company that intends to bring in waste such as plastics must first obtain an AP even before the importation process begins.
However, JPSPN said any plastic wastes that are found abandoned comes under the control of the port authorities and the Customs Department as they have not left the Customs area.
“The onus is on the importers to send back the plastic wastes that are contaminated and do not have proper AP,” said the spokesman in an e-mail.
JPSPN has approved a total of 18,323 AP from 2015 till April this year.
Companies applying for these APs must be registered with JPSPN, have a factory or premises approved by the local council, and a permit compliance letter from the Department of Environment.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Malaysian Freight Forwarders (FMFF) president Alvin Chua Seng Wah said many foreign nations choose to dump waste in Asean countries, especially those with weak regulations.
Chua said FMFF has proposed to the port authorities that shippers who bring in containers with scrap materials for the purpose of dumping must be told to ship them back to the country of origin.
“There is no regulation here at the moment so we have written to the port authorities,” he added.
Chua said shippers and shipping lines must be responsible and cannot feign ignorance as they are responsible for the cargoes and containers.