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What are Compliance Requirements for E-Waste Refurbishment Business?


What are Compliance Requirements for E-Waste Refurbishment Business?

27 Oct, 2022
E-Waste Refurbishment Business

Refurbished devices are gaining popularity in the Indian market, yielding in an ever-rising consumer base from all segments – individuals, businesses and organisations. The refurbished product includes a consumer electronics segment and is not just limited to computers and mobiles. This business can provide a complete experience and utility of new products at a significantly lower price. The market for refurbished products is in the form of consumer goods and electronic items rejected by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM[1]) or the buyer due to minor faults that decreased their value as brand-new products. A refurbishment business in E-Waste deals in non-functional but usable electronics. These are procured from OEMs or e-waste traders, repaired and re-distributed in the market after successfully passing a series of tests for functionality and defects.

Under the E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016, processing or collection of e-waste can be carried out only by producers or their authorised associates/partners, authorised dismantlers, recyclers and authorised refurbishers. We can call a refurbished device a reconditioned or refreshed gadget sold at a discounted price. The manufacturer or an authorised refurbisher carries out the e-waste refurbishment business. In either case, the refurbishing unit must follow compliance requirements mandated by the government agencies like the CPCB, the concerned SPCB or the MoEF&CC.

Guidelines for refurbishers as per E-waste Management Rules

As e-waste management is regulated under the EWM Rules, 2016, the following guidelines have been elaborated as post-compliance for the e-waste refurbishment business. These act as a standard operating procedure (SOP) which is also mandatory for refurbishers to conduct business in India. This is because repairing used electronics and electrical equipment (EEE) generates other hazardous waste. It further involves processes like dismantling and metal recovery, which is a potential hazard. Therefore, this must be regulated.

The CPCB has consequently mandated the following compliance requirements for e-waste refurbishment businesses.

  • A refurbisher has to obtain Consent to Establish (CTE) under the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981(21 of 1981) and the Water (P&CP) Act, 1974, (25 of 1974) from the concerned State Pollution Control Board/Pollution Control Committee.
  • A refurbisher has to obtain a certificate of registration and proof of installed capacity from the District Industries Centre (DIC) or any other authorised government agency.
  • A refurbisher has to obtain one-time authorisation from the concerned SPCB/PCC.
  • A refurbisher should have a system to manage leakage of coolant/refrigerant gases and compressor oils from used EEE during refurbishing operations.
  • The refurbishing area should be ventilated and have proper dust control equipment.
  • De-dusting system for refurbishment tables should be provided.
  • Any e-waste generated during refurbishment should be collected separately and sent to the collection centre/authorised recycler. In case of refurbisher not having own collection centre, the generated e-waste may be channelled to an official recycler.

The premise for refurbishing should fulfil the following requirements:

  • Waterproof roofing and impermeable surfaces
  • As a general rule, a refurbisher of the capacity of 1 Ton per day shall require a minimum of 150 square meters for refurbishing, temporary storage of e-waste generated and space for refurbished EEE.
  • If the refurbisher opts to sell refurbished EEE, then he is required to seek EPR authorisation from CPCB. In no circumstances shall the refurbisher sell any refurbished EEE without having EPR authorisation.

Licenses and authorization needed to start an E-waste refurbishment business

From the list of post-compliances mentioned above, the procedural obligations in the e-waste refurbishment business must have become clear. However, the entrepreneur must also know the legalities associated with starting this business. The following section will briefly law down the licenses and authorization that an entrepreneur will need to start an e-waste refurbishment business.

Consent NOC

Before establishing the unit, the e-waste refurbishment business must obtain Consent to Establish (CTE) for the facility part of the Consent NOC. After that, the concerned SPCB or the PCC awards CTE, the unit is established as per the recommended guidelines and the mandatory pollution control measures. Subsequently, the unit can approach SPCB for Consent to Operate (CTO). The Consent NOC is given in 2 stages – CTE and CTO. However, the latter includes a site inspection by authorised personnel from the board.

Documents Required for Consent NOC

  • Application at the OCMMS portal of the board
  • Signed undertaking
  • Site plan
  • Detailed project report
  • Layout plan with details of refurbishment processes and sources of effluent discharge ( i.e. air emission/solid waste/hazardous waste )
  • Details of finished products
  • Water balance, its source and its quantity required
  • Consent fee (as applicable)
  • Balanced sheet certified by a CA
  • Details of water and air pollution control devices
  • Laboratory analysis report of the trade effluent and emissions.
  • Copy of any environmental clearance
  • Any other document specified in the application form

Authorization for Refurbishment

The e-waste refurbishment business owner must apply for a one-time authorisation at the next stage at the CPCB. This is done after getting all prerequisites (Consent NOC, business registration, etc.).

The documents needed for the authorisation process include the following –

  • Duly filled Form – 1(a)
  • CTE under Air and Water Acts
  • Certificate of registration (issued by DIC or any authorised entity)
  • Proof of installed capacity of the facility

Hazardous Waste Management Authorization

 If the e-waste refurbishment business manages the hazardous waste generated, it will need a Hazardous Waste Management Authorisation. If the facility takes treatment, storage, and disposal assistance from a waste management facility operator, it will need to tie up with a registered TSDF.

Documents needed with Hazardous Waste Management Application

  • GST certificate
  • Rent, lease or any other proof of ownership
  • Factory or Trade license
  • Memorandum of Association
  • Article of Association
  • Certificate of incorporation in case of company or LLP
  • Layout Plan
  • Aadhar Card copy and PAN card copy of the applicant
  • Electricity bill

EPR Authorization

Though Extended Producer Responsibility is the obligation of a producer of EEE, this authorisation will be required in case the e-waste refurbishment business is importing the used EEE for refurbishment or refurbishing e-waste and selling it under his name. In both cases, the application and a detailed EPR Action Plan must be submitted to the CPCB.

The following are the documents required at the time of EPR authorisation –

  • Identity proof
  • Details of the signatory
  • Contact details
  • Address proof
  • BIS license
  • Details of compliance with RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive)
  • Certificate of incorporation of the manufacturer/importer
  • EPR Action plan
  • Estimation of e-waste/plastic waste
  • Product details
  • Copy of agreement entered with storage and disposal dealers, collection centres, recyclers etc.
  • Details of toll-free number and website
  • Any other document as may be required

Additional licenses and permits needed by e-waste refurbishment business

  • Factory License
  • Fire NOC
  • Udyam registration certificate
  • BIS certificate


Post-compliance with environment-related protocols is important not only to function under the law or smooth the functioning of the e-waste refurbishment business but also to act as a safety net for the refurbisher. When the EEE become e-waste, they are a potential hazard. When a refurbisher operates on such e-waste, it opens himself and his surrounding environment to the ill effects of the waste. If not discarded as per the mandated protocols, it can cause harm to human health and the environment if stored safely.

However, if the waste is disposed of in the open or un-scientifically or even if crude methods are used for refurbishing or retrieval of valuable components, then it may cause health risks and environmental damage. Besides the demand from price-sensitive consumers, the demand for refurbished EEE has also increased due to rising prices of new electrical equipment, disruption in the global supply chain and trade restrictions due to global instability in the past few years.

Read our Article:How to obtain an EPR Certificate for the import of e-waste in India?

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