The 2021 ISRI Fall Meetings began Monday, Oct. 18, in Charleston, S.C. The meetings ran through Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Jacqueline Lotzkar, vice president of Pacific Metals Recycling International and Trade Committee Chair, called the meeting to order at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19.

Adina Renee Adler, ISRI’s vice president of advocacy, provided an update on the Biden administration’s announcement on trade policy with China. On Oct. 4, Ambassador Katherine Tai gave the administration’s first statement on trade policy with China. “The approach will focus on the American worker,” Adler says.

The administration has indicated it will keep the tariffs that were put in place during the Trump administration. However, Adler noted, the administration is willing to consider exemptions to some tariffs. On Oct. 5, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced it is seeking public comments to revive a targeted tariff exclusion process for a specific list of products imported from China. The public comment period is open from Oct. 12 through Dec. 1. Shredder wear parts are among the products considered for possible exclusion.

ISRI will submit comments and explain that shredder wear parts cannot be sourced from anywhere other than China, Adler says. The association encourages members impacted by the tariff to submit comments as well. Adler added that if the exemption is approved it would only be retroactive to Oct. 12, when the comment period opened, rather than April 18, when the previous exemption expired.

David Eaton, ISRI’s director of government relations, provided an update on the shipping issues that have plagued the recycling industry along with many others. After meeting with business leaders, port leaders, and union leaders, to discuss challenges at the ports, the White House announced a plan to move toward 24/7 operations at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. While the intent behind this decision is to strengthen the supply chains, Eaton remarked that the ongoing labor shortages at the ports will likely still pose challenges to move supplies.

He also reviewed the virtual fly-in ISRI held in May where members had the opportunity to speak with their legislators and urge them to support the Shipping Act of 1984 and work with other government agencies to develop a solution to this critical problem.

Adler reviewed Malaysia’s new requirements for ferrous and nonferrous metals and recovered paper. Under the new requirements, metals must be almost entirely made up of metallic content and cannot include anything that isn’t recoverable. For recovered paper, the paper must meet the European EN643 standards. There is a 0% tolerance for scheduled waste, which refers to hazardous materials and include plastics. The Malaysia government delayed the full implementation for metals until Nov. 1, and has not made an announcement on recovered paper. “We advised paper members that the existing regime still applies but there is an expectation that the pre-shipment requirements will eventually be implemented for paper as well,” Adler notes.

She reviewed the certification process for becoming an approved supplier by SIRIM QAS, the agency that released the new requirements. “If SIRIM comes to your facility, inspects it, and approves you as a supplier, then you are not required to go through pre- and post-shipment inspections,” Adler says.

Adler discussed the EU waste shipment regulations. The EU is looking into its waste shipment regulations that oversee the handling and transboundary movements of all end-of-life materials moving out of the EU. Earlier in October, the European Steel Association, European Aluminum, European Copper Institute, and the European Association of Metals signed a letter against exporting end-of-life materials unless they go to a country with equivalent regulations like climate change policy and end-of-life management regulations. “But they don’t clarify what equivalent means,” Adler says. “ISRI is working with the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) and European Recycling Industries Confederation (EuRIC) on this issue and evaluating next steps.”

Joe Pickard, ISRI’s chief economist and director of commodities, announced that ISRI has been awarded a grant by the Commerce Department as part of the Market Development Cooperator Program. The grant is for $46,000 over the project’s three-year period to advance ISRI’s Specifications and the association’s work promoting U.S. exports of recycled materials. ISRI plans to create a new interactive, online scrap specification resource. “We want to make it an interactive interface where people can search for various scrap commodity specifications and links between commonly traded commodities and additional resources in terms of import guidelines and other resources,” Pickard says.

ISRI Chair Gary Champlin announced that Andy Cohen, director of nonferrous trade at Metal Conversions, will chair the Specs Working Group.

Adler discussed the Indian government’s plan to formalize its nonferrous recycling. “They want to establish roles and responsibilities of everyone involved in recycling, including recyclers, importers, consumers, OEMs, etc.,” she says. The government has reached out to ISRI for help and the association has briefed it on the ISRI Specs and how they’re used to ensure quality. India is also aiming to lift up its recycling industry, Adler adds, by implementing benchmarking, inspections, and a RIOS-like system that fits the country.

Photos courtesy of ISRI.

Hannah Zuckerman

Hannah Zuckerman

Hannah is a Writer & Editor for ISRI's Scrap News. She's interested in a wide range of topics in the recycling industry and is always eager to learn more. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in History and a minored in Creative Writing. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband.