On 2 May 2023, the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) published a draft notification in the Gazette of India for bringing out regulations for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for used oil. The public and other stakeholders have 60 days from the date of publication of the draft to make any objection or suggestions on the proposals contained in the draft notification.
Used oil is a major environmental hazard if it is not disposed of properly. One litre of used oil can contaminate 1 million litres of fresh water. The aim of the draft notification is to promote circular economy for used oil such as re-refining of used lubricants which could have both environmental and economic benefits.
The EPR for used oil is notified under the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management
and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016. The latest amendment of these rules is the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Amendment Rules, 2023 which will come into force on 1 April 2024.
The definition of used oil is defined in subrule 36 of rule 6 of Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 as:
Any oil derived from crude oil or mixtures containing synthetic oil including spent oil,
used engine oil, gear oil, hydraulic oil, turbine oil, compressor oil, industrial
gear oil, heat transfer oil, transformer oil and their tank bottom sludges.
Any oil suitable for reprocessing, i.e. oil that does not include waste oil and meets the limits for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), lead, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, nickel and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).
Under the draft notification producers, collection agents, recyclers and used oil importers will have to register on the online system developed by the Central Pollution Control Board. The portal will also be used for filing quarterly and annual returns, EPR certificate and tracing of oil produced or generated by the stakeholders.
EPR obligations for producers of base oil or lubrication starts at 10 % of the oil sold or imported in the year 2022-2023 and increases by 10 % for each of the following 5 years. EPR obligations for used oil importers is 100 % of the imported oil. The import of used oil is permitted only for the purpose of re-refining.
The complete text of the draft notification can be found here: https://egazette.nic.in/WriteReadData/2023/245597.pdf