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On 22 June, the Interdepartmental Commission on International Trade (ICIT) of Ukraine reversed the resolution on introduction of preliminary safeguard measures against import of polymers into Ukraine irrespective of their country of origin and export dated 22 May. Among other things, it imposed an 18% duty on HDPE and PVC imports in support of domestic production as interests of some HDPE and PVC converters were disregarded and Ukrainian plants produce a limited range of PE and PVC grades, domestic supply is inadequate for the needs of all the converters in the country. Therefore, a lawsuit was filed in the county administrative court of Kyiv City to either revise or overturn the ruling.
As a result, another resolution imposing different safeguard measures against polymers import into Ukraine was released on 22 June.
Now, they apply to:
— suspension PVC, but not its emulsion and microsuspension varieties, with the K value between 59 and 72 (such value is specified in certification documents) that can be classified under the HS code of 3904 10 00 00
— white PE granules of 2—5 mm in diameter, 0.94 g/cm in relative density and 5—17 g/10 min in MFI at 21.6 kgf, or 0.34—0.37 g/10 min in MFI at 5 kgf, or 0.06—0.08 g/10 min in MFI at 2.16 kgf that can be classified under the HS code of 3901 20 90 00.
The preliminary measures will be in effect for 190 days from the date when the law imposing the 18% duty on these polymers is enacted.
The Spanish authorities intend to ban disposable cutlery from July 2021, Teresa Ribera, the Deputy Prime Minister of Spain responsible for the ecological transition, reports. The country’s Council of Ministers approved the proposed legislation on waste and sent it to Parliament for consideration on 2 June. A special tax on plastic packaging will be brought in until January 2023, so any take-away that includes a plastic container or a cup will be separately itemised and charged in the bill. The government hopes to have reduced sales of plastics by 50% by 2026 and by 70% by 2030 starting from 2022.
The €0.45/kg indirect tax on single-use plastic containers will fall on manufacture, import or acquisition of these items within the European Union for further use in the Spanish market and generate a yearly income of €724 million.
The Greek Minister of Environment and Energy Kostis Hatzidakis has launched the Greece without single-use plastic campaign to quit nine plastic items including food containers and cups from polystyrene, cotton buds, disposable plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons), dishes and straws. The Prime Minister directed that the EU Commission’s directive to ban single-use plastics by July 2021 be incorporated into the bill in a month. The policy will be implemented in the public sector six months in advance, from January 2021.
Europe produces over 26 million t of plastic waste annually, out of which, less than a third is recycled. The EU data shows that 85% of the marine debris is plastic, with 50% of that being disposable one and another 27% fishing equipment.
Greece started to limit usage of plastics a few years ago, having introduced a €0.04 fee on thin disposable plastic bags, one of the major sources of environmental pollution, on 1 January 2018. At the same time, the government created incentives to strengthen their recycling and promote reusable bags. Single-use plastic bags got €0.09 costlier in supermarkets in 2019.
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