Hazardous wastes refer to a classification of wastes containing certain chemicals, metals, and contagious creatures which can cause harm to the environment even at low concentrations. If not adequately managed for safe disposal, it can have petrified environmental consequences. Haphazard disposal of these wastes into the environment without proper treatment could lead to pollution of river water, land, and groundwater resources. It is essential to manage Hazardous waste properly. In this write-up, we will discuss the Hazardous waste Management-Import.
What is Hazardous Waste Management?
Hazardous Waste Management refers to the collection, treatment, and disposal of waste material that, if improperly handled, can create consequential harm to human health and safety or the environment. Hazardous wastes may cause damage during improper storage, transportation, treatment, or disposal operations. Improper hazardous-waste disposal often pollutes open water and hydrological water supplies as harmful water pollution. It can also be a source of dangerous land pollution.
The Authority (Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change) is the decisive Ministry to deal with the cross-border movement of hazardous and other wastes following the provisions of Hazardous Waste Management rules. For the Hazardous waste Management-Import, an occupier shall follow the requisite steps-
- Recovery, utilization,
- Safe disposal.
Criteria for Importing Hazardous Waste in India
The criteria for Hazardous Waste Management-Import are mentioned below-
The Authority may grant the permission for Import within sixty days subject to the condition that the importer has –
(i) The environmentally sound facilities,
(ii) Proper arrangements for treatment and disposal of wastes generated.
(iii) A valid authorization and consents from the State Pollution Control Board.
(iv) In the case of Part A of Schedule III wastes, prior informed consent from the exporting country.
Rules and Regulation to be Followed by Importers of Hazardous Waste
- The Import of hazardous wastes from any country to India for disposal shall not be allowed.
- Import hazardous waste from any country shall be allowed only for recycling, recovery, reuse, and utilization. It includes co-processing.
- Import of hazardous waste in Part A of Schedule III maybe permitted to actual users with the prior informed permission of the exporting country. It shall require the authorization of the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Changes.
- The Import of hazardous wastes in Part B of Schedule III maybe permitted to actual users with the approval of the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Changes.
- The Import of hazardous wastes in Part D of Schedule III will be allowed per the procedure given in rule 13 and the note below the schedule.
- The Import of the hazardous and other wastes specified in Schedule VI shall not be permitted.
- The Import of hazardous wastes not mentioned in Schedule III, but displaying the dangerous aspects mentioned in Part C of Schedule III shall require initial written approval of the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change before the waste is imported to India.
Requisite Compliances for Hazardous Waste Management-Import
Real users planning to import for cross border movement of hazardous wastes shall follow the requisite compliances and steps
- It shall comply with the rules specified in Part A and Part B of Schedule III and
- It Shall apply in Form 5 along with the requisite documents mentioned
- in the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change for the Import.
- The actual user shall take prior well-informed consent of the exporting country regarding Part A of Schedule III waste, and
- At the same time, it shall send a copy of the application to the concerned Pollution Control Board of the respective state for details.
- The acknowledgment in this respect of the Import of hazardous waste from the respective Pollution Control Board shall be submitted to the MoEFCC. It shall be submitted along with the application.
Licenses Required for Importing Hazardous Waste in India
In case of Hazardous Waste Management -Import, the importer shall furnish the requisite details as per Form 6 to the Customs authorities, followed with the following documents in addition to those listed in Schedule VIII, wherever applicable.
- The import license from Directorate General of Foreign Trade, if applicable.
- Importer who is a trader importing waste on behalf of users shall obtain one-time authorization in Form 7, and a copy of this authorization shall be attached to Form 6.
- In case of Import(For Part B of Schedule III) of any used electrical and electronic assemblies as mentioned under Schedule I of the E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, as revised from time to time, the importer needs to obtain EPR-authorization as producer under the E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011.
- Also, before clearing a consignment of wastes mentioned in Part D of Schedule III, the Customs authorities shall verify the documents in column (3) of Schedule VIII.
- On receiving the complete application concerning Part A and Part B of Schedule III, the MoEFCC shall examine the application taking into consideration the comments and observations, if any, received from the Pollution Control Boards of the respective State.
- The MoEFCC shall forward a copy of the approval to the respective Port and Customs authorities, Pollution Control Board (Central and State) to ensure compliance with their respective functions are given in Schedule VII.
Maintenance of Records and Returns for Hazardous Waste Management-Import
The importer of the hazardous wastes shall maintain records of the hazardous imported by him in Form 3, and the record so maintained shall be made available for inspection.
The importer of the hazardous wastes shall file an annual return in Form 4 to the Pollution Control Board of the respective state on or before the 30th day of June following the financial year to which that return relates.
To conclude, Hazardous Waste Management -Import helps prevent, Minimization, Reuse, Recycling, Recovery, utilization, and Safe disposal of waste from any country to India. The importer shall take the requisite approvals and authorizations and comply with the compliances to fulfill the criteria listed in the rules.
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