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Overview of Export of E-waste

The deserted electronic products like computers, equipment used in Information and Communication Technology, audio and video products etc., are known as e-waste or electronic waste. E-waste has grown tremendously in India as the IT sector has enhanced electronic equipment use.

E-waste has multiple substances like heavy, precious metals, plastics, etc., which can be toxic and harmful ecologically and can cause harm to humans if not handled or managed correctly. Essentially the E-Waste is made up of metals, plastics and glass, which, when salvaged, give precious metals like copper, iron, tin, lead, zinc, silver, and gold. Moreover, the printed circuit boards comprise rare and precious metals like ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium etc.

To deal in the export of e-waste, you need to obtain permission from MoEF, which stands for Ministry of Environmental and Forest and SPCB, which stands for State Government's State Pollution Control Board. The Ministry of Environmental and Forest is the sole authority that deals with issuing approval for the export of e-waste from India.

Indian Management System for E-Waste

E-waste Management System in India is regulated under the Environment and Forests Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2008. E-waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2010 was also enacted to ensure safe and environmentally friendly handling, collection, segregation, dismantling, storing, recycling, transporting, and recycling of e-waste and reduce the usage of hazardous substances during the manufacturing of electrical and electronic equipment.

Enforcement Agencies involved in E-waste Management

The following are the Enforcement Agencies involved in E-waste Management in India:

  • Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India;
  • Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB);
  • State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB);
  • Directorate General of Foreign Trade;
  • Port Authorities and Customs Authorities under the Customs Act, 1962.

Eligibility Criteria for a License for Export of E-Waste

The following are needed to issue permission or license from the MoEF as specified under Schedule I –

  • E-Waste Producer
  • E-Waste Dismantler
  • W-Waste Refurbisher
  • E-Waste Manufacturer
  • Mass Quantity Consumer of Electronic Devices
  • E-Waste Collection Organisations

List of E-Wastes Eligible for Export

The list of waste applicable for export is as follows:

  • Metal and metal alloy wastes in metallic, non-dispersible form;
  • Metal and metal-bearing waste comprise alloys of- Antimony, Cadmium, Leads, and Tellurium.
  • Waste with constituents such as Antimony compounds, cadmium compounds, Lead compounds, and Tellurium compounds.
  • Waste with metal carbonyls.
  • Galvanic sludge.
  • Wastes Liquors from the pickling of metals.
  • Leaching residues from zinc processing, dust and sludges like jarosite, hematite etc.
  • Waste Zinc residues
  • Waste Electrical and electronic assemblies or scrap.
  • Wastes contain principally inorganic constituents, which can contain metals and organic materials.
  • Clean, uncontaminated metal scrap, including alloys, in bulk finished form (sheet, plates, beams, rods etc.) of Antimony scrap - Beryllium scrap - Cadmium scrap - -Lead waste (excluding lead-acid batteries) - Selenium scrap - Tellurium scrap.
  • Molybdenum, tungsten, titanium, niobium, tantalum and rhenium metal and metal alloy waste in metallic dispersible form (metal powder).
  • Mixed non-ferrous metal, heavy fraction scrap with cadmium, antimony, lead and tellurium.
  • Precious metal bearing residues in the form of solids with traces of inorganic cyanides.
  • Wastes from mining operations in non-dispersible form.
  • Glass wastes in non-dispersible form.
  • Calcium fluoride sludge.
  • Used multifunction print and copying machines.

Documents for Export of E-Waste

The following are the documents needed for the issuance of the license for E-Waste Exportation –

  • Permission Certificate / License from MoEF for export of E-Waste
  • NOC from MoEF
  • Consent Letter from SPCB

Issuance Process a License for Export of E-Waste

The following process needs to be followed:

  • Anyone intending to export e-waste should apply to the Ministry of Environment and Forest;
  • For obtaining permission to export e-waste, the applicant needs to show a physical presence in India of the business.
  • Further, the person for the proposed export needs to obtain NOC from MoEF and SPCB;
  • A prior informed consent in writing from the importing country is also necessary to export waste from India. For instance, if a recycler/dismantler wishes to export the waste to Australia, he should obtain prior informed consent from Australia.
  • The Ministry of Environment and Forest will forward a copy of the permission granted under sub-rule (2) to the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) concerned and the Pollution Control Board of the State where the port of export is situated and the Port and Customs authorities concerned for ensuring compliance of the conditions of export permission.
  • The exporter should ensure that no consignment is shipped before a prior informed consent is received from the importing country.
  • The exporter should also ensure that a movement document in Form 6 accompanies the shipment.
  • The exporter of the wastes shall maintain the records of the e-waste.

What is the validity of the NOC provided by MoEF?

The validity of a NOC or the No Objection Certificate provided by the MoEF is until the validity of the Consent Letter issued by the effective State’s State Pollution Control Board (SPCP), which will vary from state to state.

Violation of Laws set for Export of E-Waste

The export of e-waste from India shall be deemed illegal if,

  • It is without permission of the Central Government by these rules;
  • The permission has been taken through falsification, misrepresentation or fraud;
  • It doesn't conform to the shipping details specified in the movement documents;
  • It results in deliberate disposal (dumping) of hazardous waste contravention of the Basel Convention and international or domestic law general principles.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The deserted electronic products like computers, equipment used in Information and Communication Technology, audio and video products etc., are popularly referred to as e-waste or electronic waste.

E-waste has grown tremendously in India as the IT sector has enhanced electronic equipment use.

MoEF stands for Ministry of Environmental and Forest, the licensing authority from which the companies in the export business require an official permission certification for exporting E-Waste and other responsibilities.

SPCB stands for State Pollution Control Board.

E-waste Management in India is covered under –

  • Environment and Forests Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2008.
  • E-waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2010.

The necessity to enact specific acts for E-Waste was to ensure safe and environmentally friendly handling, collection, segregation, dismantling, storing, recycling, transporting, and recycling of e-waste and reduce the usage of hazardous substances during the manufacturing of electrical and electronic equipment.

Who Needs to this License:

  • E-Waste Producer
  • E-Waste Dismantler
  • W-Waste Refurbisher
  • E-Waste Manufacturer
  • Mass Quantity Consumer of Electronic Devices
  • E-Waste Collection Organisations

The validity of a NOC or the No Objection Certificate provided by the MoEF is until the validity of the Consent Letter issued by the effective State’s State Pollution Control Board (SPCP), which will vary from state to state.

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