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5 Oct 2020

Econ Digest

Beware! The importation of used electronics may turn into the importation of electronic waste

The Ministry of Commerce has announced the Notification Regarding the Prohibition of the Importation of Electronic Waste into the Kingdom B.E. 2563, effective from September 15, 2020, in an effort to save the environment and protect public safety.

 

KResearch views that the ban will be a boon for Thailand's environment and will, to a certain extent, help save environment-related costs. However, in order to efficiently reduce problems related to imported electronic waste (e-waste), a ban should also be imposed on the rising importation of used electrical appliances and used electronics too, taking their high import value of USD59.1 million in 2019 into account.

 

Some value can be gained from used electronics, as they can be reused or placed on the second-hand electronics market or replacement equipment market (REM). However, such second-hand products have a short service life, so they will eventually become electronic waste that causes disposal costs.

 

Therefore, import restriction measures on second-hand electronics should be tightened to prevent other countries from using Thailand as a dumping ground for e-waste. Additional rules may be required; for instance, importers may be required to prove that e-waste imports can be used to add value to other products.

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