Consumer Scrap not Allowed – Customs should Check Samples Carefully

The following Public Notice was issued by the Commissioner of Customs (Import) Jawaharlal Nehru Customs House on 19th March 2010.

[Customs Public Notice No. 33 dated 19th March 2010]

Subject: Import of Plastic Waste and Scrap.

This has reference to Public Notice No. 392 dated 01.01.1997, issued by the DGFT and Circular No. 20/2002-2007 dated 12.03.2003. As per the Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008 import of Plastic Waste is allowed with the permission of the Ministry of Environment & Forest (MoEF) Customs authorities have the responsibility to verify the documents, draw random samples prior to clearance of consignment, ensure that the consignment is accompanied by movement document, inform the Ministry about any illegal traffic and take action against the importer for violations under the Customs Act. Under the Rules, the conditions for import of plastic waste are :

(i)   No import of hazardous waste from any country to India for disposal is permitted.

(ii)  Import shall be only for the intended use of recycling or recovery use.

(iii) No ‘Municipal Solid Wastes’ or ‘Post Consumer Domestic Wastes’ or ‘Bio-medical wastes’ or any other type of Hazardous waste shall be imported along with the plastic scrap. In case of any illegal imports, the consignment will have to be sent back to the exporting country and the importer shall bear the cost of such transportation.

(iv) Inventory of imported material will be maintained by the unit, including the details of exporter from where imported.

(v)  Record of residue generated while recycling the imported plastic scrap should be maintained along with the quantity and characteristics of non-recyclable residue. These must be treated/disposed of as per the consent issued from time to time by the State Pollution Control Board in an environmentally sound manner.

(vi) No Objection from MoEF is valid till the validity of the consolidated consent order issued by concerned State Pollution Control Board.

As per the Public Notice No. 392 dated 01.01.1997 samples are requird to be drawn from the imported consignments and sent to the nearest laboratory of CIPET for testing. In many cases, even a visual inspection by a layman would reveal that the consignments contain waste and scrap of plastic which has been put to use. Some of the pieces may have on them lables bar codes, tags etc proving that they have been put to use. However, since plastic waste can not be allowed to be imported mixing it with other waste or with plastic waste which is not virgin, as defined in Public Notice No. 392, it is essential that the samples are drawn properly and such pieces containing used plastic waste are invariably included in the samples. Conditions laid down in Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules 2008 and Public Notice No. 392 dated 01.01.1997, issued by the DGFT need to be strictly adhered to in allowing import of plastic waste and scrap by all the importers including those in SEZs and EOUs.

F. No. S/26-Misc-2505/09-10 Gr. IIC&D