Posted on 21/04/2016 in category Legislation

India adopts new rules on waste imports and exports

The Indian Ministry of State of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has adopted the "Hazardous And Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules (2016)" as of this month (full text accessible via this link in the BIR members area).

In August 2015 BIR had informed its members on the draft rules and the areas of particular interest to their business (news see here).

While BIR welcomes India’s efforts to ensure a more environment- and industry-friendly legal framework, there is concern regarding some import prohibitions formulated in the Rules (schedule VI), amongst which solid plastic waste.

However, the Ministry’s related press release (accessible via this link) stresses that:  (quote)  “The import of metal scrap, paper waste and various categories of electrical and electronic equipment for re-use purpose has been exempted from the need of obtaining Ministry’s permission” (unquote).

The Rules are based on principles of prohibition or prior informed consent for waste imports and exports according to Basel Convention Annex VIII (hazardous waste) and certain Basel Convention Annex IX (non-hazardous waste). The remaining Basel Convention Annex IX non-hazardous waste listings are divided into two parts: one part where import and export permission is required; and a second part not requiring ministry permission for import or export.

BIR stresses that "choosing secondary raw materials first" optimises climate change mitigation as recycled raw materials use less energy and generate less CO2 in manufacturing in comparison to primary raw materials.