PETALING JAYA: The Ministry of Housing and Local Government has praised the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change's move to stop the import of illegal waste into the country.
In a statement, it said it would work together with the Ministry of Energy, the Royal Malaysian Customs Department and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry to ensure that illegal smuggling and false declarations of plastic waste did not continue.
"The government will also use international channels via the Basel Convention agreement to return the illegal waste to the countries from which it came," it said.
The statement came following reports on Tuesday (Apr 23) that plastic waste was now being smuggled into the country via shipping containers that were falsely declared so as to avoid the requirement for a permit.
Minsitry of Energy Yeo Bee Yin said a two-week investigation found that plastic waste was now being smuggled into Malaysia from developed countries, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States and Germany.
"We have found that there are containers which have contaminated plastics, but it is being declared that they are not (HS Code) 3915 plastics.
"They are falsely declaring it as (HS Code) 3920 plastics, whereby they don't need a permit and can enter the country straight away.
"If we don't investigate, such plastic waste can enter the country, and these cannot be recycled," she said during a press conference at Westport here on Tuesday (April 23).
The HS (Harmonised System) Code, is a coding system to classify products when they are declared at the customs checkpoints.
The 3915 code refer to plastics waste, parings and scrap, while the 3920 code refer to other plates, sheets, film and foil strips.
She added that international cooperation was needed to take down global syndicates that did this.