E-waste export documentation: Compliance with DGFT rules in India

Electronic waste (e-waste) management is a critical issue globally, and India is no exception. DGFT or the Directorate General of Foreign Trade in India plays a pivotal role in regulating and facilitating international trade, including the export of e-waste . This document offers an in-depth understanding of the documentation required for e-waste export and compliance with DGFT rules.

Regulatory Framework

India has established a comprehensive regulatory framework to address the export of hazardous waste, including e-waste. The primary legislation governing this area is the Hazardous & Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) (HOWM) Rules, 2016, granted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest, & Climate Change (MoEF&CC). DGFT, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, supplements these rules with specific guidelines for e-waste export.

Significance of E-waste export from India

The export of electronic waste (e-waste) from India holds both economic and environmental significance. Understanding these aspects is crucial for policymakers, businesses, and the general public to make informed decisions about e-waste management. Here are some essential points highlighting the significance of e-waste export from India:

Resource Recovery:

  • E-waste often contains valuable resources such as precious metals, rare earth elements, and other materials that can be recovered and reused.
  • Exporting e-waste allows India to tap into the global market for resource recovery, leading to the circular economy by lowering the demand for new raw materials.

Economic Opportunities:

  • E-waste export can be a source of revenue and employment for the Indian economy.
  • Recycling and recovery industries associated with e-waste management create job opportunities and support small and medium enterprises engaged in the recycling sector.

Technology Transfer:

  • Exporting e-waste can facilitate technology transfer, as other countries may have advanced technologies and processes for e-waste recycling.
  • Collaborative efforts between countries can lead to the exchange of best practices, fostering innovation in e-waste management technologies.

Environmental Conservation:

  • Responsible e-waste export helps prevent improper disposal and dumping of electronic waste within the country.
  • Exporting e-waste to facilities equipped with advanced technologies for environmentally friendly recycling reduces the environmental impact associated with unsafe disposal practices.

Compliance with Global Standards:

  • Engaging in e-waste export requires adherence to international regulations and standards, such as the Basel Convention.
  • By complying with these standards, India contributes to global efforts to manage hazardous waste and promotes a responsible approach to e-waste disposal.

Reduced Environmental Burden:

  • Exporting e-waste to countries with advanced recycling infrastructure may result in more efficient and environmentally friendly processes.
  • This can help minimise the environmental burden associated with e-waste recycling within India, especially if the country lacks the necessary facilities and technologies.

Global Supply Chain Integration:

  • E-waste export integrates India into the global supply chain for recycling and resource recovery.
  • This integration can enhance collaboration between nations, promote sustainable practices, and create a more interconnected global system for managing electronic waste.

Meeting International Commitments:

  • E-waste export aligns with India's commitment to international agreements and conventions related to environmental protection.
  • It demonstrates India's dedication to responsible waste management practices on a global scale.

Technology Access:

  • Importing countries may have advanced technologies for safe and efficient e-waste recycling .
  • By exporting e-waste, India can gain access to these technologies and knowledge, potentially improving its own e-waste management capabilities.

It's important to note that while e-waste export offers several benefits, it should be carried out responsibly, with strict adherence to international regulations and ethical recycling practices. Striking a balance between environmental responsibility and economic gains is crucial for ensuring the sustainability of e-waste management practices in the long term.

Key DGFT Rules for E-waste Export

Basel Convention Compliance:

Exporters must adhere to the Basel Convention, an international treaty intended to reduce the movement of hazardous waste between nations.

E-waste is categorised as hazardous waste, and exporters must comply with the procedures outlined in the convention.

Obtaining IEC (Import Export Code):

A valid Import Export Code (IEC) is mandatory for any entity involved in the export of goods, including e-waste.

Applicants can obtain IEC from the DGFT by submitting the prescribed application form along with the required documents.

Authorisation from the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB):

Prior to e-waste export, exporters must obtain authorisation from the concerned State Pollution Control Board.

The application to SPCB should include details of the type and quantity of e-waste to be exported, along with a commitment to follow environmentally sound management practices.

Consent to Export:

After obtaining SPCB authorisation, exporters must apply to the DGFT for a 'Consent to Export' certificate.

This application includes details such as the destination country, quantity, and nature of e-waste, as well as the mode of transportation.

Bank Realisation Certificate (BRC):

To establish that the payment for the exported e-waste has been received, exporters must submit a Bank Realisation Certificate along with their DGFT application.

Customs Documentation:

Standard customs documentation, such as the commercial invoice, packing list, and bill of lading, is required.

These documents should accurately reflect the details provided in the DGFT application.

Shipping Bill:

A shipping bill, prepared in accordance with customs regulations, must be submitted to the DGFT as part of the export documentation.

Declaration of Conformity:

Exporters must provide a Declaration of Conformity stating that the exported e-waste conforms to the specifications mentioned in the DGFT authorisation.

Process Overview

Application to SPCB:

Submit the required documents to the State Pollution Control Board for authorisation to export e-waste.

Obtain Consent to Export from DGFT:

Apply to the DGFT for Consent to Export, providing details of the proposed export.

Submit BRC and Customs Documents:

Submit the Bank Realisation Certificate and standard customs documents to the DGFT.

DGFT Approval:

DGFT reviews the application and, if satisfied, issues the Consent to Export certificate.

Shipping Process:

Complete customs formalities and ship the e-waste consignment, ensuring compliance with the approved documentation.

Post-Shipment Reporting:

Post-shipment, submit a report to the DGFT detailing the actual quantity of e-waste exported and any discrepancies from the approved plan.


Exporting e-waste from India requires meticulous adherence to DGFT rules and other regulatory guidelines. Failure to comply results in legal consequences and harm to the environment. Therefore, exporters must stay informed about the latest regulations and work closely with relevant authorities to ensure responsible and legal e-waste management on the international stage.

Diksha Khiatani

A writer by day and a reader at night. Emerging from an Engineering background, Diksha has completed her M. Tech in Computer Science field. Being passionate about writing, she started her career as a Writer. She finds it interesting and always grabs time to research and write about Environmental laws and compliances. With extensive knowledge on content writing, she has been delivering high-quality write-ups. Besides, you will often find her with a novel and a cuppa!

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