Sorry Amazon, You Cannot Sell Old/Refurbished Phones In India; Govt Issues Show Cause Notices
However, their plans have come to a screeching halt, as Govt. of India has issued a show-cause notice to them, for violating Indian laws. Not only Amazon, but 20 other ecommerce portals have been asked to immediately stop importing and selling used/refurbished phones in India.
In case Amazon and the other ecommerce portals fail to produce valid cause for breaking Indian laws, then they will liable to heavy penalty and/or imprisonment.
Which Laws Were Broken By Selling Used Phones?
As per the show-cause notice sent by the Environmental Ministry, Amazon and other ecommerce portals have broken laws mentioned in the Hazardous and Other Waste (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules and E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2016.
Under Section 55 of the Environment Protection Act, Govt. has impose a fine of Rs 1 lakh and/or imprison concerned officials for harming Indian environment and posing grave danger to its inhabitants.
The show-cause notice said, “You are directed to show cause why action shall not be initiated against you for the above stated violations within 15 days, failing which action shall be initiated.. In case the e-commerce fails to comply with the above directions from the date of issue of this direction, the ministry will be constrained to initiate proceedings against the said company under provisions of Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act,”
Besides Amazon, other ecommerce portals against which show-cause notice has been sent include: eBay, Snapdeal, Olx, Quikr and more.
India Is Now Serious About e-Waste and It’s Damage
Under PM Modi’s Governance, India has refused to be converted into a dumping ground for e-waste and it includes used/refurbished smartphones, old electrical appliances and electronic gadgets.
In March this year, Indian Govt. approved the improvised and revamped E-Waste Management Rules, 2016, according to which, manufacturer and dealers have been made accountable for selling their refurbished products in India; and clearance needs to be received from the Environmental Ministry for setting up a business to sell such products.
As per the rules, a special Extended Producer Responsibility authorisation has to be approved from the Central Pollution Control Board, so that the end of life products are taken care of, and environment is not polluted.
Amazon and other ecommerce portals had not obtained any such authorization, and the show-cause notice is a direct result of this action.
Kudos to Indian Govt. for taking environmental issues seriously, and enforcing regulations which will protect our environment.
But at the same time, Govt. should also look into the under-ground grey market of old smartphones in India, which is a booming business, without any regulations.