China sees drop in ivory smuggling amid intense crackdown

Тимофей Борзенко

China is seeing a decline in ivory smuggling. Photo by Xinhua

China has seen a significant decline in ivory smuggling as efforts to crack down on the practice intensify, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said, according to reports by Xinhua News Agency.

“The total volume of ivory products seized plunged to 68 kg last year from 9.2 tons in 2019”, – Ni Yuefeng, head of the GAC, said at a working conference.

Ni said customs authorities have always prioritized cracking down on the smuggling of solid waste from overseas, endangered species and their products, frozen goods, refined petroleum products and narcotics.

In 2021, Customs investigated 4,259 criminal smuggling cases, 23,294 cases involving smuggling practices, and 52,542 cases of irregularities and other violations.

Ni Yuefeng, head of the GAC. Photo by Xinhua.

“China has also seen a sharp decline in the illegal import of waste, as evidenced by the United Nations awarding the Asia Environment Enforcement Award for the fourth time in 2021”, – Ni said.

Last year, Chinese customs seized 42,000 tonnes of smuggled foreign waste, down 97.4 percent from a year earlier, according to the GAC.

Once the largest recipient of overseas waste in the world, as of 2021 China has banned imports of all solid waste, the pinnacle of efforts to phase out the practice as the country shifts to a model greener.

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