The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016 ("Rules 2016") in supersession of E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 ("Rules 2011"). The Rules 2016 will be effective from October 1, 2016.

Major Key highlights of the rules are as follows:

1. The definition of “bulk consumer” is expanded and has also included public companies and health care facilities which have turnover of more than one crore or have more than twenty employees and they are also require to file annual returns.

2. New rules have also included components, consumables, spares and parts of EEE, Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) and other mercury containing lamp in addition to equipment as listed in Schedule I of previous rule.

3. The rules have continued with exemption for micro enterprises; however small enterprises, which have been referred as one of the major source of generation of e-waste, have been included in the rules for responsibility as manufacturer, without burdening them with Extended Producer Responsibility ‘EPR’ responsibility as applicable to Producers.

Now single EPR Authorization for Producers is Central Pollution Control Board ‘CPCB‘s responsibility to ensure pan India implementation.

5. New Rules has provided option for setting up of Producer Responsibility Organisation ‘PRO’, e-waste exchange, e-retailer, Deposit Refund Scheme as additional channel for implementation of EPR by Producers to ensure efficient channelization of e-waste.

6. There have been Simplification of various permissions to avoid delays like :

6.1 No separate authorization for collection centre which shall be part of EPR now

6.2 Registration/ authorization for dismantling and recycling through one system

6.3 Pan India EPR authorization by CPCB

7. Many new definitions and new concepts have been introduced for example:

A. Channelisation means to direct the path for movement of e-wastes from collection onwards to authorised dismantler or recycler.  In case of fluorescent and other mercury containing lamps, where recyclers are not available, this means path for movement from collection centre to Treatment, Storage and Disposal facility.

B. Dealer means any individual or firm that buys or receives electrical and electronic equipment as listed in Schedule I of Rules 2016 and their components or consumables or parts or spares from producers for sale. [Rule 3(j)]

C. E-retailer means an individual or company or business entity that uses an electronic network, such as, internet, telephone, to sell its goods. [Rule 3(q)]

D. Refurbisher means any company or undertaking registered under the Factories Act, 1948 or the Companies Act, 1956 or both or district industries centre engaged in refurbishment of used electrical and electronic equipment. [Rule 3(gg)]

E. Refurbishment means repairing of used electrical and electronic equipment as listed in Schedule I of Rules 2016 for extending its working life for its originally intended use and selling the same in the market or returning to owner. [Rule 3(ff)]

F. End-of-life of the product means the time when the product is intended to be discarded by the user. The term "end-of-life" was even used in the Rules 2011, however the term was not defined in the Rules 2011. Rules 2016 now provide a clear definition of the said term to provide greater clarity and facilitate implementation.

8. Deposit Refund Scheme has been introduced as an additional economic instrument wherein the producer charges an additional amount as a deposit at the time of sale of the electrical and electronic equipment and returns it to the consumer along with interest when the end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment is returned.

The procedure for implementation of Reduction of Hazardous Substances ‘ROHS’ at the time of manufacturing has been elaborated and explicit Provision have been made on ROHS and related Schedule II of the rules has been revised in line with existing European Union ‘EU’ regulatory framework which forms the basis of the provision. In case the products not comply with the RoHS provision, provision has been introduced to withdraw or recall the product from market and take corrective measures to bring the product into compliance;

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