BEIJING: The Chinese Foreign Ministry has denied reports of putting restrictions on coal shipments from Australia. Delays in handling coal imports were due to stepped up inspections to protect the environment, it said.
“In recent years, China Customs has found that some of the imported coal didn’t meet our environmental protection standards when it carried out inspection and testing on safety and quality risks of the imported coal,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters.
He added that customs officials had strengthened quality and safety inspections of imported coal “in accordance with relevant laws and regulations” to better protect Chinese importers and ensure environmental safety.
Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham also said on Friday that he had no reason to believe China is banning Australian coal.