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Supervision of Exporters to Be Tightened

China will strengthen supervision of Chinese exporters and ban exporting at the expense of environmental pollution, said Zhang Lijun, vice director of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), on Tuesday.

Zhang said "environmental protection departments will set up a database to collect information of those exporters who violate environmental protection rules and also keep details of efforts made to clean up their act by these exporting companies."

No date was given for the start of these new powers.

Zhang said SEPA will enhance information exchanges with the Ministry of Commerce to strengthen the supervision of Chinese exporters.

The SEPA and MOC have issued a notice earlier that exporters would be banned from trading abroad for one to three years if they were found seriously violating environmental protection rules.

Before violating exporter have made corrections, the MOC would authorize local departments to suspend approving export-related applications, such as export quotas and licenses, contracts for processing, and applications for participating in national or regional trade fairs, of violating companies, based on reports from local environmental watchdogs.

Analysts said they were the most severe measures the MOC had adopted to crack down on environmental violations in the last four years.

There has been a shift in the style of punishments doled out by SEPA to polluters in recent years. Long-term restrictions designed to affect the way businesses operate are now favored over one-off fines.

(Xinhua News Agency October 31, 2007) 

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