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UK: Concerns raised as Email Recruitment Campaign attempts to Register UK Producers to India WEEE Compliance

B2B Compliance Member raises alarm — Email makes out to be a UK office of the Indian Authorities

Following the recent Introduction of the
Indian E Waste (Management and Handling) Rules,
Strateco has expressed concern about attempts to recruit and register UK Producers in India.

Carl Kruger — Environment and Technical Services Director at Strateco commented:

"India, along with a number of other countries, is introducing its own "Indian E Waste (Management and Handling) Rules" and has developed similar legislation to the EU WEEE Directive. This, of course, only applies to companies that have a legal entity in India and there is no requirement for UK Producers to register. There is, however, a danger of UK Producers being misled by a recruitment campaign by a UK Compliance scheme and we recommend Producers contact us for our professional advice rather than spending time and money for services that are not required".

India launched its WEEE (and RoHS) legislation on 1st May 2011 to come into effect 1st May 2012. Their rules are very similar to the EU WEEE (and RoHS) legislation. Estimates are that in 2011, 486Kt of WEEE were collected in India (before the commencement of the legislation). For the most part, Indian companies have been following WEEE approaches for some time already — it is likely to be the internal sales of electronics and the new prohibition on lead in solder, for example, that will hit hardest. The main problem is from the recycling end with an estimated 90% of current recycling being carried out by "informal" approaches such as burning the items to release metal content.

The Indian legislation requires that producers, collection centres, dismantlers and recyclers register within 3 months of the commencement of the legislation (ie by 31st July 2012). This being Indian legislation, it can only relate to those operations that are based in, or have a legal presence in, India itself.

Cause for concern:
Strateco was asked to comment when a UK client — a member of B2B Compliance, a not-for-profit UK WEEE Compliance Scheme run by Strateco on behalf of industry, contacted us. The client had no Indian operation or link, but reported that they had been emailed to get them to register via what was making out to be a UK office of the Indian Authorities.
Further research with other obligated producers in the UK revealed that they too had been contacted for the same reason. Strateco advised that it would seem that, without a legal presence, no jurisdiction exists whereby Indian legislation can be applied to UK operations (or vice versa).

It is Strateco's opinion that any business that trades with India would need to have a legal operation based in India before the Indian legislation could bite. We would recommend that companies be very wary of registering without checking fully what is required, where and at what cost.

Further reading can be found on the Strateco website at:
http://strateco.co.uk/2012/07/strateco-advises-producers-on-india-weee-legislation/

Useful information:

B2B Compliance website: Http://www.b2bcompliance.org.uk

Strateco website: http://www.strateco.co.uk

WEEE Helpline (run by Strateco for B2B Compliance and industry): 01691 676 124