The system is described as “simple and easily bolted onto existing depot quality systems, such as ISO standards”. It has been agreed in conjunction with the UK branch of the Chinese inspection agency, CCIC which is based in north London.
The alternative for companies not using the system, warns the Recycling Association, is that exporters of paper to China face could face “CCIC physically inspecting all consignments to China and the possible operational and commercial barriers this may cause”.
The new scheme involves a quality control system at depot level with personnel at the depot involved in quality control. The Recycling Association said it is now inviting member companies and businesses outside of the Association to send personnel, “including those actively involved in day-to-day depot quality control and operations, and those in charge of training these staff”, to five regional training seminars.
Simon Ellin, chief executive of the Recycling Association, described the new system as “ground breaking” and said that the TRA board “believes that this new QC system will help position the UK as global leaders on quality in other UK and export markets too, and will help TRA members during these unique and dynamic times.”
Mr Ellin added: “Although the new system is not compulsory, we do believe that it will offer exporters significant benefits when compared to the alternative of 100% physical inspections prior to shipment and the potential delays and costs this would incur.”
CCIC London managing director, Shouyun Huang said: “Thanks to The Recycling Association Quality First campaign, UK material has seen a huge improvement to meet the quality standards set by the Chinese Government. We are very pleased to have worked in partnership with The Recycling Association to develop this new Quality Control scheme that will meet the Chinese inspection requirements while maintaining high quality fibre exports to China.”
The next stage of the partnership, said the Recycling Association, will involve “the development of blockchain technology that will be used to provide transparency to all those who need to see the inspection data and export paperwork.”
This blockchain approach could mean that the depot, exporter, shipping line, CCIC, UK environment agencies, end destination customs authorities and the purchaser of the material would be able to see all of the data associated with a load, explained the association. However, it added that competitor companies would not be able to view the data.