Hazardous Waste Import Authorization

The Hazardous Waste Import Authorization (HWIA) is an import authorization to bring hazardous waste into other countries. You can apply for a HWIA if you are importing or bringing hazardous waste in transit from a country to India. The authorization is valid for 2 years.

Hazardous Waste Management

Hazardous waste is a waste (usually a solid waste) that has a characteristic of being hazardous such as being flammable, corrosive, reactive, toxic or infectious. The term often is use interchangeably with the term toxic wastes but not all toxic wastes consider hazardous. There are many examples of hazardous wastes such as lead-acid batteries, paint waste, asbestos insulation and hospital waste. The world is experiencing a rapid growth in production and consumption of manufactured goods. This has resulted in an increase in generation of waste across the globe. The types of waste generated are very diverse, complex and continually changing over time. The hazardous nature of many of these wastes poses significant challenges to efforts aimed at controlling their generation, storage, transport, treatment, recycling and disposal.


In response to these challenges, governments have enacted legislation and developed strategies to improve waste management practices. Generally, these strategies include creation of institutional frameworks such as the establishment of regulatory bodies; enactment of legislation; and development of infrastructure for managing wastes.

Many countries have also instituted policies and strategies that encourage the establishment of industries that use recycled materials as their raw materials thereby increasing the demand for recyclable materials.

What is an import authorization?

An import authorization is a written document issued by the Environment department that authorizes or restricts the importation of a particular hazardous waste from a country to India. You will need an import authorization if you are importing any material defined as a hazardous waste for treatment, storage or disposal.

Authorisation for Import of Hazardous Waste:

In India, there is no specific legislation to regulate the import of hazardous wastes. However, the import of hazardous wastes is governed by the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and Hazardous Wastes (Management Handling) Rules, 1989.

In India, the Central Government has put in place a system of consents and authorisations which regulates industrial activities and also contains certain specified environmental standards.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) is the competent authority for grant of import authorisation for hazardous waste. The application for import authorisation shall be made in Form I as prescribed under Rule 5(4) of the Hazardous Wastes (Management Handling) Rules, 1989. The materials imported into India shall be in accordance with the Basel Convention on Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.

Hazardous Waste Management Rules

Hazardous waste management rules are important for both people and the environment. They safeguard people from possible exposure to hazardous materials that could cause illness, disease or even death. The rules also protect the environment by reducing the amount of harmful materials that can leach into the soil and groundwater.

There are many different types of hazardous waste management rules. Some are design to regulate what businesses do with their hazardous waste, while others focus on how consumers dispose of materials that could potentially harm the environment. Hazardous waste is define as any material left over from industrial, commercial or research operations that cannot re-use or recycle, and which is harmful to human health or the environment if it isn't dispose of properly.

Procedure for Import of Hazardous Waste:

The import of hazardous waste is regulate in India under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and Hazardous Waste Rules, 1989 as amended in 2000. The import of hazardous waste govern by the following procedures:

  1. No person shall import any hazardous waste into India, unless he has obtained a prior permission from the Central Government.
  2. A person intending to import hazardous waste shall apply to the Central Government in Form I of the Hazardous Waste Rules, 1989.
  3. The application shall accompany by an analytical report of a laboratory approve by the Central Government or State Government, indicating the nature and composition of the hazardous waste sought to be imported as per Schedule I to IV of the Hazardous Waste Rules, 1989.
  4. An environmental impact assessment study report may also require depending on various factors such as types and quantity of hazardous wastes being import and propose management practices at facilities where such wastes are to handle or treat or dispose off etc.
  5. The application for import shall also include a certificate from competent authority of the importing country that it has import from that country after compliance with all laws applicable therein for export of such material out of its territory.