Over $700 million in imports by Apple, Samsung & others held up by India e-waste authority...

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 12
Apple and devices from other manufacturers are being prevented from being imported into India, with iPhone shipments piling up at customs after import permits were suspended over an alleged failure to follow e-waste regulations.




The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), an agency of the Indian government, issued the command to customs on April 4 to seize products imported on ten permits that were withdrawn from use. Hardware worth approximately 5,000 crore ($723 million) is being held by customs, including products from Apple, Samsung, HP, Motorola, and Vivo, among others.

The agency claims the group of companies have violated Extended Producer Responsibility clauses of the import permits, reports the Economic Times, relating to how e-waste is managed. Since the order, representatives from the companies have met with environment ministry officials to resolve the dispute, but seemingly without any progress made on the matter.

"These companies have made misrepresentations to us and they have accepted that compliance is an issue," said ministry of environment, forests, and climate change secretary CK Mishra. "Meanwhile we are trying to see whether they have moved towards compliance, so the ministry has asked CPCB to look at their commitments and se how this issue can be resolved."

The group of companies claim the revocation is a disproportionate response to rule violations, which are alleged to be minor compliance problems involving raising awareness of recycling centers and requesting approval from local authorities to shut down and open new centers. The companies also insist they have exceeded their targets for e-waste collection, making the punishment seem severe.

Environment ministry officials beg to differ, saying the violations are not minor at all. One example offered by officials was a visit to a collection center by the Kerala State Pollution Control Board, finding the operators of some centers were not aware they were designated as authorized collection points under EPR, and so had not made an effort to collect or transfer e-waste to authorized recyclers.

Officials claim they have been lenient with the firms, but there were limits to how far it would go.

"You can't expect each time you meet and say you need six more months. Once the e-waste management rules kicked in in December 2016, we were meeting the companies regularly and hand-holding them," an unnamed official advised. "Can they do any sort of noncompliance in any of the developed world?"

The firms are apparently aware of some mishandling of the rules, but believe the import ban was excessive, and that financial penalties could have been used instead.

"We feel this is a huge overreach of e-waste management rules" claims Indian Cellular and Electronic Association chairman Pankaj Mohindroo, who has requested a reexamination of the suspension rules for Apple and other ICEA members. "Even though e-waste management rules do not gel with India's trade environment, the legitimate industry has tried to comply."

Apple prides itself in being one of the most environmentally conscious technology companies in existence, with its efforts ranging from making its products more recyclable to investing in forest protection and renewable energy resources.

While the import block could hamper sales for all of the vendors this quarter, Apple may not necessarily be affected too badly by it, as it currently has assembly partner Wistron producing the iPhone SE, iPhone 6S, and iPhone 7 for domestic sale, while Foxconn is reportedly gearing up for iPhone X production. Even so, Mohindroo warned the pile of held imports includes both finished devices as well as raw materials and components, which could potentially impact local iPhone manufacturing efforts.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    tzm41tzm41 Posts: 83member
    Make it in India!
    yojimbo007
  • Reply 2 of 18
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,155member
    They bathe in the filthy and toxic Ganges but are worried about electronic waste?
    DanManTXyojimbo007radster360wonkothesanejony0
  • Reply 3 of 18
    iCaveiCave Posts: 5member
    lkrupp said:
    They bathe in the filthy and toxic Ganges but are worried about electronic waste?
    You can love Apple as much as any other fan, without being a sycophant. So, if someone bathes in filthy Ganges river, they should be ok with electronic waste? Do you think the billion+ people in India bathe in a river every day? It's simple: If you want to gain from doing business in a country, you follow the rules.
    Solidysamoriaminicoffeehammeroftruthmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 18
    Who did they forget to grease? Obviously someone who can wield a big stick.
    JFC_PAJWSCyojimbo007radster360
  • Reply 5 of 18
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 967member
    Looks like there is a benefit to having very little market share in India after all 
    chasmJWSCyojimbo007
  • Reply 6 of 18
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,599member
    First we have no idea what Apple product are being held, ie refurbish products or true e-waste which everyone jumped to due to the picture in the article. 

    If it is e-waste, companies like Apple and others do not handle their own e-waste this is all handled by third-party recyclers. Most of them will try and separate plastics from metal and electronics, they usually try to incinerate the electronics to get to the gold, silver and copper use in electronics.

    India being one of the worst polluter in the world, you can understand why they do not want someone else's waste. But China for the last 20 yrs made lots of money recycling US recycled materials. China is at the point they no long want others people waste since they generate so much of their own. This is leaving the US with a big problem, we all recycle every day with single stream recycling and there are very few operations in the US which can separate the single stream material so it use to go to China. As of this year most of our recycling material goes to a land fill or is being incinerate to generate electricity it not being made into new product like it did when it went to China. Even glass these days is going to the land fill, because US consumer like their clear glass very clear they do no like it cloudy when recycle glass is mixed.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,211member
    China doesn’t want our recyclables, not because they have too much of their own, but because America absolutely SUCKS at recycling. Our whole culture of material usage sucks. Corporations and individuals are selfish and lazy in regard to effort put into recycling.

    All of our recyclable materials are unseparated and commingled (pretty much everywhere you go the waste collection system is commingled for so-called recyclables, and many recyclables aren’t even accepted, which leads to consumers putting them into the system and collectors rejecting them or leaving them mixed with the rest when they sell it to recyclers).

    This laziness utterly destroys the value in the stream of materials output by our so-called recycling systems, because it demands insane amounts of separation efforts on the end of the actual recycler (once you dump everything together, the difficulty separating it gets much worse).

    We should not have single-stream recycling. We should be separating things at the consumer end and at the business end. Businesses must be forced into compliance since they’re the biggest source of all waste and pollution, often doing ZERO recycling at all, compared to individual citizens.

    Other developed nations put out way more effort on this than we do in America. Just like they do with regard to taking care of their own people with health, education, and housing.
    minicoffeedewmemuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 8 of 18
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 444member
    marktime said:
    Who did they forget to grease? Obviously someone who can wield a big stick.
    Yea, sadly for India, this is what it’s all about.  No one should get their hopes up about India joining the modern world any time soon.  Corruption and gross incompetence rule in that land.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    India has a problem with Apple generating waste? Seriously? ...
  • Reply 10 of 18
    sreesree Posts: 105member
    maestro64 said:
    First we have no idea what Apple product are being held, ie refurbish products or true e-waste which everyone jumped to due to the picture in the article. 

    If it is e-waste, companies like Apple and others do not handle their own e-waste this is all handled by third-party recyclers. Most of them will try and separate plastics from metal and electronics, they usually try to incinerate the electronics to get to the gold, silver and copper use in electronics.

    India being one of the worst polluter in the world, you can understand why they do not want someone else's waste. But China for the last 20 yrs made lots of money recycling US recycled materials. China is at the point they no long want others people waste since they generate so much of their own. This is leaving the US with a big problem, we all recycle every day with single stream recycling and there are very few operations in the US which can separate the single stream material so it use to go to China. As of this year most of our recycling material goes to a land fill or is being incinerate to generate electricity it not being made into new product like it did when it went to China. Even glass these days is going to the land fill, because US consumer like their clear glass very clear they do no like it cloudy when recycle glass is mixed.
    Firstly, No country comes close to the US as far as solid waste generation is concerned. US tops the world and creates about 6-7times as much as India. (So, no india is not one of the worst polluters in the world. They are significantly better than US with three times the population and one-sixth the solid waste).

    Secondly, please read the article fully. The clauses have been in effect since December 2016, and the agency has been giving repeated 6month extensions to companies to comply. They finally put their foot down. And lastly, it is obvious the companies are not serious about e-waste disposal. If an authorized e-waste disposal center does not know that they are the authorized e-waste disposal center for a company, one can imagine the scale of neglect by the companies.


    pratikindiamuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 18
    sreesree Posts: 105member
    lkrupp said:
    They bathe in the filthy and toxic Ganges but are worried about electronic waste?
    Well indians did not create the great pacific garbage continent.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 18
    sreesree Posts: 105member
    India has a problem with Apple generating waste? Seriously? ...
    Please read the article. India has a problem with apple not setting up recycling collection centers as they are supposed to. If you have no intent to even collect your junk and send it for recycling, why bother to sell?
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 18
    davendaven Posts: 528member
    I had a supervisor that was Indian. Bribery was the name of the game for him. You wanted a vacation? What gift did you have for him to get the time off? It was a government job so it wasn't as if my vacation was coming out of his pocket. He just expected payment for his good grace to give you the vacation you earned.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    daven said:
    I had a supervisor that was Indian. Bribery was the name of the game for him. You wanted a vacation? What gift did you have for him to get the time off? It was a government job so it wasn't as if my vacation was coming out of his pocket. He just expected payment for his good grace to give you the vacation you earned.
    Corruption is not limited to one race, so your point is irrelevant in this topic. It’s easy to be racist and blame the accuser of stereotypes instead of reading the article and addressing the issue. The issue is the US is not adept in maintaining a responsible recycle stream, just like we weren’t good at maintaining a responsible supply stream until Apple started
    auditing it. 

    What should happen is that Apple and other companies band together to create a responsible recycle chain that is efficient and easy to audit. 

    Germany is one of the most efficient and effective recycling systems in the world. Perhaps they should start teaching the rest of the world how to correctly recycle e-waste. 
    The EU could start setting up recycling systems all over and help some of the countries that have massive unemployment learn a new trade and make money recycling the worlds e-waste. 

    We need to learn how to recover the rare earths that we have been depleting in the past 30 years, otherwise we might run out and see devices cost 10 or more times what they cost now if they can be made at all. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 18
    It is election time in India. What did you expect :-) ? Though I am very surprised that Apple is in this list, especially considering how green the company is. Secondly, Apple is not the market leader in India by any degree, so this is basically someone forgot to deliver that free iPhone X Max to someone.
  • Reply 16 of 18
    JWSC said:
    marktime said:
    Who did they forget to grease? Obviously someone who can wield a big stick.
    Yea, sadly for India, this is what it’s all about.  No one should get their hopes up about India joining the modern world any time soon.  Corruption and gross incompetence rule in that land.
    It's not the case. It might have been the case previously, but not under current Govt. Apple and other tech companies have been given enough time to comply, but they did not care. India has absolutely no reason to go lenient.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    lkrupp said:
    They bathe in the filthy and toxic Ganges but are worried about electronic waste?
    Wow! Not that you'll give a rat's ass, but my respect for you has just gone down to 0. Just another uninformed idiot.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 18
    sreesree Posts: 105member
    It is election time in India. What did you expect :-) ? Though I am very surprised that Apple is in this list, especially considering how green the company is. Secondly, Apple is not the market leader in India by any degree, so this is basically someone forgot to deliver that free iPhone X Max to someone.
    So, you think a decision by some two bit ministry is an election issue in india? you obviously haven't seen an election in india!
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