Consignments of over 600 tons of used oil are allowed for import or not?

VCN – Four companies imported over 600 tons of oil and declared as a new product. However, the competent agency verified that the oil was used oil with the main ingredients as heavy oil and impurities. Therefore, HCM City Customs Department has proposed a solution to control this product to avoid affecting the environment effectively.
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Consignments of over 600 tons of used oil are allowed for import or not?
Officers of the HCM City Customs Department inspect imported goods. Photo: Illustrative photo

Over 600 tons of used oil

Zone 1st Sai Gon Seaport Customs Branch (HCM City Customs Department) processed customs procedures for consigning over 600 tons of oil declared as "100% new oil" imported by four companies from many countries.

D. Production Company Limited imported three consignments of 260 tons of oil. As a result, at the end of September 2022, the company imported a shipment of over 42 tons of oil and declared as Refined Oil HFO350 containing more than 70% of the mineral oil originating oil under the heavy oil segment and 100% new, made in Singapore.

However, the notice of verification results in No. 00107/N2.22/ĐG dated October 20, 2022, of Quality Assurance and Testing Center 3 (Quatest 3) shows that the product was used oil with the main ingredients as heavy oil and impurities. The content of mineral oil and non-soap substances on the sample was 82.2% mass fraction.

At the end of October, the company imported two consignments of oil, weighing over 215 tons of Refined Oil HFO350 containing more than 70% of the mineral oil originating oil under the heavy oil segment 100% new. One shipment of over 112 tons was made in Malaysia and the remaining in Singapore. The verification result showed that the imported product uses oil with the main ingredients as heavy oil and impurities, not as FO. The content of mineral oil and non-soap substances on the sample was 76.6% mass fraction.

In the second case, F. Environment Co., Ltd imported 87 tons of mineral oil distilled from tar and coal at high temperatures, packed in containers, each containing 19 -22 tons, 100% new. The verification result showed that the imported products are used oil, heavy oil with light components, water and impurities, and less than 70% mineral oil and non-soap base oil content.

B. Petroleum Trading Production Co., Ltd. imported 48 tons of base oil preparations with a larger volume of aromatic oils than non-aromatic compounds, with a distillation of less than 65% at 25 degrees Celsius, used for plasticizing rubber and industrial burning, 100% new. The notice of verification results in No. 00110/N2.22/TD dated October 28, 2022, issued by Quatest 3, shows that the sample is used oil, with the main components as heavy oil and impurities - mineral oil content and non-soap substances on the sample 79.8% mass fraction.

V Petrol Transport Co., Ltd. Imported 241 tons of mineral oil distilled from tar and coal at high temperatures, with mineral oil content at over 70%, under the heavy oil segment, not used as engine fuel, 100% new. Under the notice of verification results in No. 00112/N2.22/TD of Quatest 3, the sample of the shipment is the used oil with the main ingredients as heavy oil and impurities. Therefore, the sample is not FO.

Is waste oil hazardous?

The companies declared these shipments with HS code 2710.19.90, 5% import tax rate and a 10% VAT rate. The Customs are required to verify these shipments at the Quatest 3. The verification results issued by the Quatest 3 were inconsistent with the declaration by the companies. These shipments used oil with the main ingredients as heavy oil and impurities, not as FO.

The Branch asked Quatest 3 to clarify whether the used oil sample is waste oil or waste on the List of hazardous wastes and industrial wastes subject to control and ordinary industrial solid waste specified in form No. 01, Appendix III issued together with Circular No. 02/2022/TT-BTNMT dated January 10, 2022, of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment detailing the implementation some articles of the Law on Environmental Protection or not.

The Quatest 3 said that with the technical conditions and available information, the centre had not had enough legal basis for determining whether this used oil product as hazardous waste on the List of hazardous wastes under Circular 02/2022/TT-BTNMT dated January 10, 2022, of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment or not.

At a recent meeting participated by representatives of the HCM City Customs Department, importers and the Quatest 3, the representative of Quatest 3 concluded that the sample was used oil because the metal content in the oil sample was very high. However, the Center does not have enough legal basis for determining whether this is waste oil. Furthermore, the representative said that with impurities and metal content in the oil, if used as fuel for the furnace, it can cause environmental pollution and damage.

HCM City Customs Department cites provisions of Decree 69/2018/ND-CP dated May 15, 2018, of the Government as saying that the used oil is not subject to the List of goods banned from import. Furthermore, according to Vietnam's List of export and import goods issued under Circular No. 65/2017/TT-BTC dated June 27, 2017, as amended by Circular 09/2019/TT-BTC dated February 15, 2019, of the Ministry of Finance, there is no HS code of "Used Oil".

For imported goods to meet the prescribed standards and avoid harm to the environment, the Department has reported the above problems for the General Department of Vietnam Customs to work with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to handle this issue.

By Le Thu/Ngoc Loan

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