DIW chief: Electronic waste import can benefit country

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The import of electronic waste to Thailand could benefit the country from the recycling processes using appropriate technology which prevents negative effects to surrounding communities, says DIW chief.

He said this in response to a public concern that the imported toxic waste would have negative impacts to environment and communities. The Department of Industrial Works Director-General, Mongkol Pruek­watana, said the import of electronic waste into Thailand can be done only with an advance approval and under strict control from the authorities.

He said the toxic waste in question is mainly the waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), which can be disassembled in proper facilities that use advanced technology and pollution control methods in order to extract iron from the electronic components. This practice is considered the way to make the most out of available resources.

The director-general added that all import of electronic waste into Thailand must be pre-approved by Thai authorities and the authorities from the country of origin in accordance with the Basel Convention, adding that the import approval will only be granted to factories intending to use these components as raw material, not for reselling.

Unauthorized import of electronic waste, or false custom declaration, will result in legal penalties to importers, which could be as high as two years imprisonment.