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Import Authorisation for Refurbished Electronic Products

Refurbishment of Electronic products is always more beneficiary than recycling them. Every refurbisher has to obtain authorization from the concerned State Pollution Control Board.

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Import of Refurbished Electronics Product in India

The refurbished electronic products are the products which have gone through thorough testing of their quality and function. If it is found that some parts are defective, then such parts are repaired or replaced. The electronic product is cleaned, and its data is deleted. An updated latest software version is uploaded. Refurbished products offer a sense of safety and security. The refurbished product has a longer guarantee. These products are inspected and repaired. The Registration for the Import of refurbished electronics products in India has been made mandatory to avoid fraud by the people who are in this business.

EPR Authorization- Under E Waste Rules 2016

Every Refurbisher have to fulfil the EPR Compliance under E waste Rules and have to take EPR Authorization from CPCB.

The Refurbishment process and the one involved in it

Refurbishment is the process of improving the used electronic products to extend their life from their original use and the constant distribution of such products within the market or return them to the owner.

The person who carries out the business related to the whole Refurbishment process in his/her premises is known as the refurbisher.

Responsibilities of Refurbisher

Under the E-waste Management Rules, 2016, the responsibilities of a refurbisher have been provided as follows:

  • To collect the e-waste generated during the process of refurbishing and then channel the waste to an authorized dismantler or recycler through its collection centre. He can also collect material from the manufactures directly and can fulfil the compliance for the same.
  • To make an application for grant of the one-time authorization according to the procedure given under this E-waste Management Rules, 2016 to the concerned State Pollution Control Board by taking consideration of MOEF.  
  • To make sure that no damage is being caused to the environment during the storage and transportation of e-waste.
  • Ensure that the refurbishing process has no adverse effect on the environment or human health.
  • To make sure that e-waste generated is transported to the authorized collection centres, dismantlers or recyclers safely. 
  • To file annual returns to the concerned State Pollution Control Board on or before 30th June of that Financial Year.
  • To maintain records of e-waste and such records should be made available for scrutiny by any appropriate authority. 

Recycler Agreement

There is an agreement signed between the importer and the recycler on the refurbished electronics. The agreement has all the conditions mentioned, such as cost, etc. The recycler agreement is binding on both the parties, i.e., the recycler and the importer of refurbished electronics in India.

Guidelines for the Refurbisher

The E-waste Management Rules, 2016 have provided guidelines for the refurbisher. Such guidelines are as follows:

  • Repairing the used electrical and electronic equipment without damaging health and the environment
  • To obtain consent to establish from the concerned State Pollution Control Board under the Water and Air Act.
  • To obtain a certificate of registration and proof of installed capacity from the District Industries Centre. Or any other Government agency authorized for this.
  • To obtain one-time authorization from the concerned SPCB or PCC.
  • To manage leakage of coolant or Refrigerant gases and compressor oils from the EEE during the refurbishing operation.
  • The refurbishing area must be ventilated and have proper dust control equipment.
  • De-dusting system should be provided for the refurbishment tables.
  • Collect the e-waste generated during the Refurbishment separately and send them to the collection centre or authorized recycler. 
  • The area or premise of the refurbishing should fulfil the following requirements:
  1. Waterproof roofing and impermeable surfaces
  2. A refurbisher with a 1-ton capacity requires a minimum of 150 square meters for refurbishing per day, temporary storage of e-waste generated and space for the refurbished EEE.
  • If the refurbisher wants to sell refurbished EEE, he must obtain EPR authorization from CPCB. 

The list of Refurbished items

Followings are the electronics that fall under the category of refurbished electronic items:

  • Mainframes
  • Minicomputers
  • Personal Computers
  • Laptop
  • Notebook
  • Notepad
  • Printers including cartridges
  • Copying equipment
  • Typewriters
  • User terminals and systems
  • Facsimile
  • Telex
  • Telephones
  • Pay telephones
  • Cordless telephones
  • Cellular telephones
  • Answering Systems
  • Television sets
  • Refrigerator
  • Washing Machine
  • Air Conditioners
  • Fluorescent and other Mercury-containing lamps

Benefits of Refurbished Electronic Products

There are so many benefits of purchasing a refurbished electronic product. Some of them are listed below:

Cost-effective 

The refurbished products are affordable. It comes under budget, either required for one person or for the whole business. Refurbished items are available with 30-50% less value than a new product or item in the market. Refurbished electronic products are quality products as they have all the features of a new product at a cheaper cost. 

They are budget-friendly, but it does not mean that they are faulty or prone to issues; however, they go for testing before coming into the market. 

  • Longer warranty 

Warranty is very important while purchasing any heavy electronic item. If malfunctions occur, then the customer can go to the seller or manufacturer. A brand-new product always comes with a warranty, and so does the refurbished product. 

  • Better access to replacement parts

When purchasing refurbished electronic products, replacement of parts is much easier to obtain as these products are widely distributed and have been in circulation for a longer time. The need for special orders and the waiting to obtain the replacement is no longer with the refurbished products. 

  • Smaller carbon footprint

Using refurbished products positively impacts the environment, such as a reduction in the mining of valuable natural resources like copper, silver, gold and nickel, a reduction in demand for manufacture, and so reduction in air pollution. It also reduces the carbon emission in the environment. It results in a decrease in waste by keeping the old assets away from the landfills. 

  • Advantage over recycling

Refurbishment reduces the waste from the environment and expands the life of the products. In recycling, the materials from the product are extracted and then reused, but in Refurbishment, the working parts are reused in another product. Refurbishing is much healthier for the environment than recycling. In it, the older element/materials of one product are replaced with the latest updated element/materials. Thus, the quality of the product is also not compromised. 

The basic requirements for the process of Refurbishment

The followings are the basic requirements in the process of Refurbishment: 

  • The first requirement is a need for a separate place with minimum decent space to keep all the e-waste aside from the products and utilities. 
  • The second requirement is a closed space with a size of a small room similar to a factory. 
  • The third basic requirement is the materials, machines and equipment for repairing the refurbished materials.
  • And then there is a requirement of the refurbished material that is needed to be repaired. For this, there will be a need for a network of suppliers who will supply an adequate number of refurbished materials. 
  • Other requirements are land and manpower. These requirements are dependent on the size of the business. 

Documents required for authorization of Import of refurbished products

The documents required for the Application for obtaining permission to import the refurbished electronics to India are:

  • Name of the product to be imported 
  • The model number of the product to be imported
  • Details of the port where the imported products are landing
  • Details of the export product with which the imported item is to be re-exported
  • Justification for Import
  • Declaration letter, if the exemption has been granted earlier.
  • Permission Certificate from MoEF for Import of refurbished electronics product
  • Permission Certificate from SPCB for Import of refurbished electronics product
  • Consent Letter from the Country the refurbished electronic products have been imported to India.
  • A Legally Binding Agreement signed by both the countries who are part of the Import of refurbished electronic product 
  • Thoroughly covered insurance of all the goods being imported.

Process of obtaining permission to import refurbished electronics

The process for obtaining the permission from the SPCB and MoEF to import the refurbished electronics in India is as follows:

  • The applicant has to file an application to the SPCB to obtain permission to import the refurbished electronics to India. Such Application is accompanied with the Consent to Establish, certificate of Registration issued by District Industries Centre or any other government authorized agency and proof of the installed capacity of plant and machinery issued by the District Industries Centre or any other Government agency authorized for this purpose. 
  • State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) then acknowledges the Application. 
  • Then after such acknowledgement by the SPCB, the MoEF conducts a public hearing.
  • The MoEF then look into the consent by SPCB, copy of recycler agreement and post compliance report. 
  • The MoEF then sends a mail to SPCB for inspection.
  • Upon satisfaction, after inspection, the MoEF or SPCB grants permission to import the Refurbished electronics to India. 

Suspension and cancellation of Refurbisher Authorization

The SPCB, if it has an opinion that the Refurbisher authorization has not been complied with the conditions of the authorization or with any provisions of the legislative enactments related to this, may cancel or suspend the authorization after giving a reasonable opportunity of being heard and after recording the reasons. Such suspension and cancellation are made for a period as considered necessary in the public interest by the SPCB. After cancelling the authorization, the SPCB has to inform the CPCB within ten days of such cancellation. 

Upon such suspension or cancellation of the refurbisher authorization, the SPCB or CPCB gives directions to the persons for safe storage and management of the e-waste and such person has to comply with these directions. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

The term refurbished refers to an item which has been inspected and repaired like a new product.

According to MoEF, import means bringing into India from any place outside India.

Refurbishment means repairing used Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) to extend its working life and selling it in the market or returning it to the owner.

The followings are the requirements of the Application filed for the grant of refurbisher authorization:

  • Consent to establish by SPCB under Water and Air Act.
  • Certificate of the Registration issued by District Industries Centre or any other Government agency.
  • Proof of the installed capacity of plant and machinery issued by the District Industries Centre or any other government agency, if authorized.

The E-waste (Management) Rule, 2016 deals with the Refurbishment.

The State Pollution Control Board of the concerned state or the Pollution Control Committee of the concerned Union Territory are authorized under the E-waste Management Rules 2016.

The SPCB, i.e., the State Pollution Control Board, has the power to suspend and cancel the refurbisher authorization.

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