Amazon and 20 other e-commerce portals issued showcause notice for selling refurbished mobile phones

By: | Published: September 27, 2016 9:36 AM

According to the Ministry, they had come to notice that the online shopping player was shipping used and/or refurbished mobile phones into the country fo resale, which is a violation to both Hazardous and Other Waste (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules and E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules.

amazon 1Along with Amazon, Snapdeal, eBay, Olx and Quickr have also been asked to stop the import of EEE. (Reuters)

E-commerce giant Amazon has been issued a showcause notice by the government for importing and reselling refurbished, used mobile phone. Not just Amazon, 20 other e-commerce portals have been directed to stop import of used electrical nad electronic equipment (EEE). The move comes a year after Amazon India started selling refurbished smartphones from Samsung and Xiaomi.

On September 23, the Environment Ministry issued a notice to Amazon “to stop the import/shipment of used and/or refurbished EEE immediately”, with a threat to initiate action against the company under Section 15 of the Environment (Protection) Act.

An Amazon spokesperson said, “We are compliant and will always remain compliant with local laws. Amazon.in is a marketplace where goods are all sold by third party sellers. However, we have noted the concerns flagged by the Ministry of Environment and are conducting a detailed evaluation, working closely with our sellers, partners and the government to ensure our commitment to compliance continues.”

According to the Ministry, they had come to notice that the online shopping player was shipping used and/or refurbished mobile phones into the country fo resale, which is a violation to both Hazardous and Other Waste (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules and E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules.

Under the Hazardous Waste Rules, it is mandatory to seek the ministry’s permission for the import/export of any waste item-including EEE for reuse or recycling. While under the E-Waste rules, an EEE producer-either the brand owner, importer or retailer needs to obtain Extended Producer Responsibility authorisation from the Central Pollution Control Board whereby the producer takes responsibility for collection and channelisation of e-waste generated from “end-of-life” products.

“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,” says the order. Under Section 15 of the Environment (Protection) Act, the maximum punishment is five years in jail and/or Rs 1 lakh fine.

Along with Amazon, Snapdeal, eBay, Olx and Quickr have also been asked to stop the import of EEE.

“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,” says the September 22 order.

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