India: Regulation of E-wastes from Imported Products
With the advent of modernization and advancement of technologies there has been increasing dependence on various electrical products. These include equipment like mobile phones, laptops, computers, televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, etc. The electric/ electronic equipment comprises of toxic and hazardous components which cause environmental pollution. In order to guarantee adequate disposal of wastes generated from end of life electric/ electronic equipment, the Government introduced E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016 (hereinafter referred to as “Rules”). The said Rules are applicable on producers of e-wastes, collection centres, dismantlers and recyclers.
IMPORT OF ELECTRIC/ ELECTRONIC PRODUCTS
Increasing globalization has facilitated trade across international borders. More and more entities are involved in business transactions involving import and export of different products. The Government aims to monitor proper disposal of the e-waste accumulated from the imported goods. Obligations are imposed upon the importer of such products to ensure appropriate disposal of the e-wastes.
DUTIES OF THE IMPORTER
As per the provisions of the Rules, the importer is required to obtain the Extended Producer Responsibility Authorization (hereinafter referred to as “Authorization”) before importing electric/ electronic products. For the said purpose, an application is required to be made to the Central Pollution Control Board accompanied by documents such as:
Extended Producer Responsibility Plan which is inclusive of the strategies for channelization, collection and disposal schemes of the e-wastes generated by the electric/ electronic equipment imported. Awareness Plan which creates awareness amongst the consumer of the importer’s improper disposal of hazardous e-wastes and steps taken to prevent the same.
Budgetary allocation which the importer intends to spend to the execution of the disposal of the wastes. Association for suitable disposal of e-wastes indicative of the fulfilment of the obligations by the importer by engagement with recyclers/ dismantlers, Compliance to the Reduction of Hazardous Substances provisions.
By the following guidelines issued under the rules, the Government has taken progressive steps to confirm that the wastes generated from discarded electric/electronic products are properly disposed off without resulting in damage to the environment by casting duty upon the importer to ascertain the disposal of e-wastes.