China customs testing coal imports for environmental reasons: foreign ministry

Imported coal is seen lifted by cranes from a coal cargo ship onto a truck at a port in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, China July 26, 2018. Picture taken July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s customs administration is testing coal imports for reasons including environmental protection, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

Spokesman Geng Shuang made the comment at a regular press briefing in response to a question about a ban on imports of Australian coal.

Reuters earlier reported that China’s northern port of Dalian had banned imports of Australian coal indefinitely.

Chinese customs are conducting risk analysis according to the law, added Geng.

Reporting by Michael Martina; writing by Dominique Patton; editing by Christian Schmollinger