How to obtain an EPR Certificate for the import of e-waste in India?
26 Oct, 2022
E-waste refers to unwanted, obsolete, or defective Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE). Over time, it has become one of the fastest-increasing trash streams worldwide. India alone produces nearly 50 million tonnes of e-waste or electronic waste annually. Indeed, the count is on and is expected to rise due to the growing demand for electronic products, especially after the pandemic. Add to it e-waste coming from other countries in India, which exponentially increases the count. Thus, to combat all this, an EPR certificate for the import of e-waste in India was introduced.
E-waste usually comprises hazardous elements that can affect the environment and humans. Upon ill-treatment or mismanaged disposal of the e-waste, these elements land up in water, soil and air. This makes e-waste far more toxic than much other municipal waste.
What is e-waste management?
The problem of increasing e-waste calls for better e-waste management. For the unversed, the technique usually involves recycling, collecting, reusing, and disposing of e-waste in an environmentally friendly manner. Another vital aspect of proper waste management is the introduction of an EPR certificate for importing e-waste in India.
Known as EPR, the ‘Extended Producer Responsibility’, according to E-waste Management Rules, implies the responsibility of any producer of EEE for the channelisation of e-waste. This is done to ensure its environmentally sound management. EPR may include setting up collection centres, implementing a take-back system, or both. It includes having agreed arrangements with an authorised recycler or dismantler via a Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO). But this PRO must be recognised by the producer or producers in their Extended Producer Responsibility – Authorisation.
All the details about the Extended Producer Responsibility – Authorisation or EPR certificate
Extended Producer Responsibility – Authorisation is permission given to the producer by CPCB or the Central Pollution Control Board. It is given for properly managing EPR with targets outlined and implementation plans. In addition, obtaining an EPR certificate for the import of e-waste is quite mandatory.
Mandatory guidelines that must be adhered to get an EPR certificate for importing e-waste in India
- The producer, manufacturer, importer, refurbisher, transporter, dismantler and recycler shall be liable for all environmental or third-party damages due to improper management and handling of the e-waste.
- The producers importing or selling EEE are now directed to apply to the CPCB for an EPR certificate for the import of e-waste in Form – 1. Failing to do so, suitable action under the law shall follow.
- The importer, along with all other people mentioned above, shall be liable to pay financial penalties as stipulated under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, for any violation of the provisions under these rules.
- The import of EEE shall be allowed only to producers having EPR Authorisation. Thus, obtaining an EPR certificate for the import of e-waste is inevitable.
- CPCB is responsible for conducting random checks to determine compliance with the e-waste rules. Furthermore, the Board must identify producers or importers who have not applied for EPR authorisation or are not complying with RoHS provisions. Wherever necessary, the Board may seek the help of the customs department or any other agency of the Government of India.
- Both Port and Customs Authorities must verify the Extended Producer Responsibility – Authorisation for the import of e-waste in India. Additionally, the authorities are liable to take action against importers for violations under the Indian Ports Act, 1908/Customs Act, 1962.
Targets for Extended Producer Responsibility – Authorisation for import of e-waste
The producers must meet the following targets to get an ERP certificate for the import of e-waste in India –
|Sr. No.||Year||E-waste Collection Target (Number/Weight)|
|1.||During the first and second years of rules implementation||30% of the qty. of waste generation as mentioned in the EPR Plan.|
|2.||During the third and fourth years of rules implementation||40% of the qty. of waste generation as mentioned in the EPR Plan.|
|3.||During the fifth and sixth years of rules implementation||50% of the qty. of waste generation as mentioned in the EPR Plan.|
|4.||Seventh year onwards of rules implementation||70% of the qty. of waste generation as mentioned in the EPR Plan.|
Eligibility criteria for obtaining EPR license for e-waste import in India
The following conditions must be met to get the EPR certificate for the import of e-waste in India –
- One must be related to the import or electronics manufacturing industry.
- Applicant must be an importer or a business entity.
Documents required for EPR certificate for import of e-waste
The following documents are required to obtain the EPR license in India –
- Legal documents of exporter/manufacturer
- Address proof
- Certificate of Incorporation
- IEC (Import Export Code)
- Certificate by Municipal corporations or local bodies, if applicable
- Directorate of Industries
- Contact details
- Copy of PAN card
- Details of the products, including model numbers and import history
- Details and documents of the authorised person signing the documents (Aadhaar card)
- Copy of BIS License (if applicable)
- Details of (Reduction of Hazardous Substances) RoHS compliance
- E-waste estimation
- Details of the recycler
- The estimated budget for the EPR
- EPR plan
- Details of the awareness programme to make folks aware of the waste management
- Copy of agreement with the dealers, collection centres, recyclers, disposal and storage.
The process to obtain an EPR certificate for importing the e-waste in India
- An application for EPR – Authorisation must be made within three months starting from the date of these rules coming into force in Form-1 to CPCB.
- As per the new guidelines, application for renewal/grant of EPR Authorisation/Registration for import of e-waste in India under the EWM Rules, 2016 can be submitted at the website: https://eprewastecpcb.in/
- All the stakeholders, namely PROs, producers, dismantlers, recyclers, refurbishers, bulk consumers and manufacturers, must register on this portal to get login credentials.
- After successful login, user instructions to be referred before applying to this portal will be made available.
- Note for Producers:
- After login, the producer must browse the menu on the screen (left-side) to check whether their service providers (PROs/recyclers/dismantlers) are already registered on the portal. If not, they must ask the service providers to register on the website. Any application for an EPR certificate for importing e-waste in India without details of service providers shall be deemed incomplete.
- Upon receiving the complete application, the Board will evaluate the EPR Plan. On being satisfied, CPCB grants the EPR certificate for the import of e-waste in India in Form 1(aa). The Board grants the authorisation within four months, and remains valid for five years.
- Power to refuse or cancel the grant of EPR certificate for import of e-waste in India
- According to the rules, the Central Pollution Control Board can refuse to give an EPR certificate for the import of e-waste after giving the applicant enough opportunity to be heard.
- In case of refusal, the producer loses his right to put any EEE in the market till the authorisation is granted.
- After granting the Extended Producer Responsibility – Authorisation, CPCB forwards the EPR Plan to the respective SPCB for monitoring.
Renewal of EPR certificate for import of e-waste in India
- An application for the renewal of EPR Authorization for import of e-waste in India must be submitted in Form-1 four months after its expiry to CPCB.
- The Board renews the authorisation after receipt of a compliance report from the concerned SPCB, which must submit the compliance report to CPCB within three months from the date of receiving the application.
- In case of non-receipt of the compliance report from the SPCB within the stipulated three months, CPCB may renew the Extended Producer Responsibility Authorisation post examining such case on a merit basis.
Timeline for obtaining the EPR certificate for import of e-waste in India
CPCB must grant EPR authorization for the import of e-waste within 120 days. In case of an incomplete application, the Board verifies it and responds with a checklist within 25 days.
Note: An agreement will be signed for a year. Also, the EPR certificate for the import of e-waste in India will be valid for five years.
For importers and manufacturers, it is mandated to obtain the EPR certificate to manage e-waste efficiently. However, if importers or manufacturers fail to obtain the same, they won’t be able to operate in India. In addition, importers or manufacturers have to face fine, debarments, or both.
Read our Article:E-waste as a Business: How to Convert Electronic Waste into a Start-up?