We all know that hazardous wastes are dangerous to the environment and human life. The majority of such waste generated via industrial activities severely affected the areas in close proximity. The government has implemented the Hazardous and other Wastes (Management & Tran boundary Movement) Rules, 2016, to minimise the impact of such wastes on the environment via apt management norms. The export and import of hazardous wastes fall under the scope of the same rules and is subjected to severe penalties in case of non-compliance. The following sections of this write-up will tell you more about the legalities around the import and export of hazardous wastes.
Norms around import and export of hazardous wastes
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) shall serve as the nodal Ministry to deal with the cross border movement of the hazardous wastes as per the provision of Hazardousand other Wastes (Management & Tran boundary Movement) Rules, 2016.
The said rules set out the following rules for the import and export of hazardous wastes;
- It is prohibited to import hazardous and other wastes to India
- The importation of hazardous and other wastes is only allowed for certain industrial activities such as recycling, recovery, reuse and utilisation
- The importation of hazardous waste in Part A of Schedule III may be permissible to actual users with the prior permission of the exporting nation and shall require the consent of MoFFCC
- The importation of wastes enlisted in Part B of Schedule III may be permissible to actual users with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change permission.
- The importation of wastes as mentioned under Part D of Schedule III shall be permitted as per the procedure mentioned under rule 13 and according to the note below the said Schedule.
- No importation of the hazardous and other wastes cited under Schedule VI shall be allowed.
- The exportation of hazardous and other wastes enlisted in Part A and B of Schedule III and IV shall be with the consent of MoEFCC. In case of applications relating to the exportation of hazardous and other waste enlisted in Part A of Schedule III and IV, they shall be taken into account on the basis of permission of the importing nation.
- The importation and export of hazardous wastes and other wastes not mentioned under Schedule III but showcasing the hazardous traits mentioned in Part C of Schedule III shall require written consent MoEFCC before it is imported to or exported from India.
Procedure relating to the export of hazardous & other wastes
(1) Any occupier aiming to export waste mentioned under Part A of Schedule III, Part B of Schedule III & IV, shall apply for consent along with insurance cover to the MoEFCC for the intended cross border movement of the said wastes together with the prior writ permission from the importing nation with respect to wastes cited in Part A of Schedule III and Schedule VI.
(2) Upon receiving the application under sub-rule (1), the said authority any give consent for the intended export within 60 days from the date of application submission and may levy such conditions as it may consider necessary.
(3) The MoEFCC shall send a copy of the consent conferred under sub-rule (2) to the respective state authority where the waste is generated and the PCC, i.e. Pollution Control Board where the port of export is located and the respective port and customs authorities for ensuring compliance of the export consent.
(4) The exporter shall ensure that no shipment is mobilised to importing country without prior consent from importing nation.
(5) The exporter shall also ensure the consignment is shipped along with the movement document via form 6.
(6) The exporter of hazardous and other wastes shall administer the record of the said waste exported by him in form 3, and the record so kept shall be accessible for inspection.
Legalities around import or export of hazardous or other wastes
Illegal traffic.-the import and export of hazardous wastes shall be considered illegal if;
- It is without consent of the concerned authority as per the rules of governing legislation; or
- The consent has been secured via falsification, fraud, misrepresentation; or
- It does not conform to the particulars cited in the shipping documents; or
- It results in intentional disposal or dumping of hazardous waste in n contravention of the Basel Convention and of fundamental norms of domestic or international law
- In case of illicit import, the importer shall re-export the concerned wastes at his cost within 90 days from the date of its arrival into the country, and the respective Port authority will ensure its implementation. In case of disposal of such waste by the customs authorities, they shall do the same as per the rules with the consent of PCC of the respective State where the port exists.
- In the case of illicit import of hazardous waste, where the importer is non-traceable, the waste can either be sold by concerned Customs authority having authorization under these rules from the respective State authority or can be sent to certified treatment and disposal and storage unit.
Hazardous wastes are extremely dangerous to humans and the environment. The Hazardous and other Wastes (Management & Tran boundary Movement) Rules, 2016 seeks to reduce the adverse effect of such waste through effective handling and disposal. For this reason, said rules entail various regulations and guidelines for treatment, storage, transportation processing, and disposal of such wastes.
Read our Article:Legal Aspects of Plastic Raw Material Manufacturing Business