Waste management

Import of Hazardous Waste Material to India

calendar14 Apr, 2022
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
Import of Hazardous Waste Material to India

Hazardous waste is categorized as wastes containing certain chemicals, metals and pathogenic organisms which can cause damage to the environment. If not managed properly, then it can have repercussions on the environment. Disposal of such wastes in the environment without any proper treatment can lead to pollution of land and water resources. 

Preventive measures are required to handle the generation and import of hazardous waste[1], and for this, the Central Government has notified some rules. Such rules have clearly stated that the import of hazardous waste material to India shall not be permitted for dumping and disposal; however, the import may be allowed for reuse of such hazardous waste material after their examination by State Pollution Control Board or other officials. 

Legislative Rules for Import of Hazardous Waste Material to India 

For the management and handling of hazardous waste, the Ministry of Environment & Forest has passed the Hazardous Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 1989 under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.  

According to rule 11, the import of hazardous waste for dumping and disposal shall not be permitted, but it can be permitted as raw material for recycling and reuse of such hazardous waste material as per sub-rule 3 of rule 12. The import of hazardous waste material to India without permission will be treated as illegal trafficking. The importer of hazardous waste material must provide all the detailed information to the Customs Authorities. 

The importer importing hazardous waste to India should comply with the Articles of Basel Convention to which the Indian Government is a signatory. If any dispute arises regarding the grant of permission to import of hazardous waste material to India, then it shall be referred to the Central Government for decision. 

Rule 13 deals with the import of hazardous waste. According to this rule, the occupier who wants to import such waste material shall apply to the State Pollution Control Board or the appropriate committee. Such application should be made before 120 days of the intended date of commencement of shipment. The SPCB examines the application within 30 days and forwards it with recommendation and stipulation of transport, processing and storage to the Ministry of Environment & Forest. The Ministry, after receiving the application from SPCB, will examine it and, after satisfying itself, shall grant permission for the import of hazardous waste material to India. But such permission shall be subject to certain conditions, such as:  

  • Environment-friendly or appropriate technology should be used for re-processing.
  • The capability to handle and re-process such waste should be in an environmentally sound manner.
  • There should be an accurate facility for the disposal and treatment of such wastes. 
  • There must be a no-objection certificate, approval and authorization from all appropriate authorities. 

The Ministry shall then forward the copy of permission to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), State Pollution Control Board (SPCB), and concerning port and Customs Authorities for ensuring compliance with conditions of import and safe handling of waste at the time of off-loading. 

The occupier, with permission for import, shall inform SPCB and CPCB and Port Authorities 10 days prior to the arrival of the hazardous waste consignment. Such occupiers importing hazardous waste material shall maintain a record of all the hazardous waste imported to India, and such records should be available for inspection. Occupiers who are involved in the import of hazardous waste should register themselves with the Ministry of Environment & Forest or any other appropriate authority or agency. 

License for Import of Hazardous Waste Material to India

An application for a license to the Directorate General for Foreign Trade shall be accompanied by permission granted by the Ministry of Environment & Forest to the importer. 

A trader who wants to indulge in the import of hazardous waste material to India is required to have a license. Without the license, they cannot import such hazardous waste materials. the license is granted by the pollution board. 

Documents for Import License 

The followings are the required documents for the license for import of hazardous waste material to India:

  • Import Code issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.
  • Certificate of GST
  • Identity Proof
  • Copy of Address Proof
  • Details of the waste to be imported to India
  • Copy of purchase order/invoice
  • Details of actual user
  • NotarizedMOU for selling imported scraps to actual user
  • Partnership Deed/ AOA (if applicable)

Process for Import License

The license for import of hazardous waste material is generally granted for metal, paper, plastic and e-waste scrap import. The procedure to obtain a license for the import of hazardous waste material to India has the following steps:

  • Filing of application with requisite documents
  • Inspection of application by the appropriate authority
  • Issuance of license

There will be yearly compliance of the, if applicable, and renewal of the license. 

The license for import of hazardous waste material is generally granted for metal, paper, plastic and e-waste scrap import. 

Illegal Traffic in case of import of hazardous waste material to India

The import of hazardous waste material to India shall be considered illegal if it is without permission of the Central Government or the permission has been obtained through fraud, misrepresentation or falsification. It is considered to be illegal if it does not conform to the shipping details as provided in the documents. 

In case of any illegal import of hazardous waste material to India, it shall be returned back within 30 days to the exporter or the exporting country, or it shall be disposed of in 30 days from the date of off-loading to inability to comply with the above-stated point then in accordance with the procedure laid down by the State Pollution Control Board or Central Pollution Control Board. 

Conclusion

The waste that by reason of its chemical, physical, flammable, toxic, reactive, explosive or corrosive character causes danger to the environment or health of human beings, solely or with the contact of different substances is called hazardous waste. The Central Government has made rules for controlling and managing such hazardous waste. The import of hazardous waste material to India is not permitted, though it can be allowed for the purpose of recycling or reuse after permission is granted by the appropriate authority. With the permission, there is a grant of license too for the importer of such hazardous waste, such license is mandatory, and without it, the import of such waste is not possible. Not complying with the procedure of permission for import of hazardous waste material to India will be considered illegal Traffic.

Read our Article:Classification of Hazardous Waste – An Overview

Shambhavi Suyesha

Shambhavi holds a strong legal background, having completed her BA LLB and LLM. She is particularly interested in legal research and writing, and wishes to utilise her knowledge to create informative legal content. She is an analytical researcher and keeps herself updated about the current legal affairs. She also holds prior experience in publishing articles on assorted legal areas.

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