Gallium and Germanium – China Introduces Export Controls on Metals

MOFCOM, China’s Ministry of Commerce, and GAC, China’s General Administration of Customs, have announced export controls for gallium, germanium, and related substances starting on the 1st of August, 2023.

Gallium and Germanium are not naturally occurring minerals, but rather are by-products of the refining of other minerals. Gallium is produced from the refining of bauxite and zinc ore, while Germanium is a by-product of zinc refining. Despite their by-product status, Gallium and Germanium have applications in electronics manufacturing. Germanium is used in fiber optic and solar energy products. Gallium is used in the manufacture of semiconductors and in LEDs (light-emitting diodes).

New export controls require a license for exporters. Applications will be reviewed provincially and by MOFCOM for the export of Gallium and Germanium-related products. MOFCOM will issue or deny the license.

While China is the leading producer of these minerals and their associated products, other countries with refining operations are able to produce Gallium and Germanium. Furthermore, there are potential substitutes available to these minerals.

To monitor your company’s use of Gallium and Germanium, and their associated compounds, consider use of the Green Data Exchange, GDX. Search for your impact and get results instantaneously. Secure your supply chain and monitor your impact with GDX.


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