Legislation and Regulations Governing Waste Tire Imports

Waste tire management is a global environmental and health concern, and India is no exception. With a growing number of vehicles on the road, the disposal and recycling of waste tires have become increasingly significant. This blog examines the legislation and regulations governing waste tire imports in India, emphasising environmental protection, safety, and trade considerations.

Environmental Protection

1.1. Environmental Hazards of Waste Tires

Waste tires pose significant environmental hazards in India. When discarded irresponsibly, they contribute to air and water pollution soil contamination, and present fire risks in tire dumps. To address these challenges, India has developed a regulatory framework to control waste tire imports and ensure their proper disposal and recycling.

1.2. The Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016

The Hazardous & Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) (HOWM) Rules, 2016, enacted under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, are instrumental in regulating the importation of waste tires in India. These rules classify waste tires as hazardous waste, emphasising their potential environmental risks. Key provisions include:

Prior Informed Consent (PIC): Importers of hazardous waste, including waste tires, must obtain PIC from the exporting country. This ensures that the receiving country is aware of the nature and characteristics of the imported waste.

Environmentally Sound Management (ESM): Importers are responsible for ensuring the environmentally sound management of waste tires. This includes safe storage, transportation, and disposal practices.

Authorisation and Licensing: Entities involved in the importation of hazardous waste, such as waste tires, are required to obtain specific licenses and authorisations from the (SPCBs) State Pollution Control Boards or Pollution Control Committees (PCCs).

Record Keeping: Detailed records of waste tire imports, storage, and disposal activities must be maintained and submitted to the regulatory authorities.

1.3. Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Amendment Rules, 2022

HOWM Amendment Rules, 2022, define the EPR for waste tyres to regulate its associated processes.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for Waste Tyre

For waste tyre importer: -

(i) The extended producer responsibility obligation for waste tyre importer in the year (Y) shall be 100% of the tyre imported in the year (Y-1)

(ii) Importing waste tyres to produce pyrolysis oil or char is prohibited.

1.4. The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016

While primarily focused on plastic waste, the Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, 2016 also address the issue of tire-derived waste, including rubber and plastic components from waste tires. These rules establish extended producer responsibility (EPR) for manufacturers and importers of products, including tires. EPR requires manufacturers and importers to manage the waste generated from their products throughout their life cycle, including its collection, recycling, and safe disposal.

Safety Regulations

2.1. Occupational Safety and Health

Safety regulations concerning waste tire management in India are primarily enforced at the state level. State-specific labour laws and occupational safety and health regulations govern worker safety in the waste tire industry. These regulations cover handling, storage, and fire prevention, emphasising the importance of worker protection.

2.2. Transportation Safety

Transportation safety is critical when moving waste tires within India. Transporters must adhere to the Motor Vehicles Act (MVA) of 1988 and the Central Motor Vehicles Rules of 1989, which establish guidelines for securing and transporting hazardous materials, including waste tires. Compliance with these rules helps prevent accidents, spills, and road hazards during transit.

International Trade Considerations

3.1. Basel Convention and International Agreements

India is a party to the Basel Convention (BC) on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes (HWs) and Their Disposal. As a signatory, India complies with the convention's requirements regarding importing and managing hazardous waste, including waste tires. The convention obliges India to regulate waste tire imports in accordance with environmentally sound management principles, protecting both its environment and public health.

3.2. Bilateral and Multilateral Agreements

India may engage in bilateral or multilateral agreements with other countries to facilitate the import and export of waste tires. Such agreements often include provisions for monitoring and reporting on waste tire movements, ensuring compliance with environmental regulations and safety standards.

Permitting and Licensing

4.1. Importer Registration

Entities intending to import waste tires into India must register with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC). Registration involves providing detailed information about the nature and volume of waste tires to be imported and the intended recycling or disposal facilities.

4.2. Importer Authorisation

Once registered, importers must obtain authorisation from the MoEFCC or SPCBs/PCCs to import waste tires. Authorisation is subject to compliance with environmental and safety regulations and adherence to the principles of environmentally sound management.

4.3 IEC from DGFT

The importer of waste tires must obtain the Import Export Code from DGFT.

Recycling and Disposal Requirements

5.1. Mandatory Recycling

India has set recycling targets for entities generating waste tires to encourage responsible waste tire management. The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 stipulate that tire manufacturers and importers are responsible for collecting and recycling a specific percentage of end-of-life tires. This encourages the establishment of recycling facilities and the use of waste tire-derived products like crumb rubber.

5.2. Disposal Restrictions

India has imposed restrictions on the disposal of waste tires in open areas or landfills. These restrictions align with the country's commitment to the Basel Convention and its efforts to minimise hazardous waste disposal in environmentally sensitive locations.

Monitoring and Enforcement

6.1. Regulatory Authorities

Various regulatory authorities monitor and enforce waste tire imports in India, including the MoEFCC, SPCBs, and PCCs. These agencies conduct inspections, review documentation, and ensure compliance with waste tire regulations. Violations may result in penalties and legal actions.

6.2. Reporting Requirements

Importers of waste tires are required to submit regular reports to regulatory authorities detailing their importation activities, recycling rates, and waste tire management practices. This reporting ensures transparency and allows authorities to track waste tire movements and assess their environmental impact.


India's legislation and regulations governing waste tire imports underscore the country's commitment to environmental protection, safety, and responsible waste management. The Hazardous & Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) HOWM Rules, 2016, HOWM Amendments Rules, 2022 and the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, provide a comprehensive framework for controlling waste tire imports and ensuring their proper disposal and recycling. International agreements, such as the Basel Convention, further emphasise India's commitment to managing hazardous waste, including waste tires, in an environmentally sound manner. Compliance with these regulations is vital to mitigate environmental hazards, promote recycling, and protect public health as India continues to address its waste tire challenges.

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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