India: Responsibility of Importers under E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016
E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016 which regulate management and handling of electronic waste state that all importers of electronic equipment have to obtain Electronic Producer Responsibility Authorization to import such equipment.
India: No permits for vehicles with alternative fuel
Travel is an indispensable requirement of the modern-day world. There is an increasing dependence on fuels required to run various means of transport. Most of the fuel requirement in India is still being met through the burning of the ever-depleting fossil fuels in the form of petrol and diesel. These sources shall not merely be for a limited period which shall be exhausted over a span of time but the pollution caused by them shall also contaminate the surrounding environmental components such as soil, air and water.
The solution to the problem
The advancement in science and technology has reached to greater heights and has been quite successful in its attempt to provide alternative sources to run the vehicles making travel an environment friendly experience.
Alternative sources to fuel
Recourses have been made to biodiesel, bio-alcohol, refuse-derived fuel, chemically stored electricity, hydrogen, non-fossil methane, non-fossil natural gas, vegetable oil, propane and other biomass resources.
Use of vehicles dependent on electricity in order to meet the travel needs contributes towards the protection of the environment. These vehicles fulfil their fuel needs by relying on batteries, solar panels or an electric generator empowering them.
Steps by the Government
The Government has been taking active steps in promoting the environment protection by the enforcement of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”) with the objective of conservation and improvement of environment.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (hereinafter referred to as the “Ministry”) has exempted the requirement of any permits in order to encourage the use of vehicles which do not pollute the environment. The vehicles sourcing their energy requirements from alternative fuels including Compressed natural gas, ethanol or electric vehicles do not require any permit allowing the use of a vehicle as per provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988. A number of permits required by commercial vehicles include contract carriage bus permit, goods carrier permit and cab permit, among others.
The Ministry has already provided GST at 12 % in respect of electric vehicles and the Government also intends to introduce a subsidy on the electric vehicle charging infrastructures.
Following the regime of progressive steps towards a greener and cleaner environment the Ministry has promoted the usage of pollution free vehicle by facilitating legal compliance and going away with the essential prerequisite of permits.
India: CCI allows a sweet treat for Cadbury manufacturers
The healthy competitive spirit in the modern market not only bolsters the productivity and international competitiveness of the business sector but also promotes dynamic markets and economic growth. It increases the standard of living and the well-being of consumers. It elevates the country’s economy as a whole. Fair and open competition means lower prices and greater choice while enabling the vendors and manufacturers to deliver a greater variety of products to their customers around the world. It creates efficient and glowing atmosphere everywhere.
In order to ensure that the businesspersons do not opt for unfair trade practices hampering healthy market competition, the Government has enforced the Competition Act, 2002 (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”). The Act aims to promote and sustain competition in the market, protect the interests of the consumers and ensure freedom of trade is carried on by other participants in the market. The competition regulator of the country- Competition Commission of India (hereinafter referred to as the “CCI”) ensures proper monitoring of the competitive trade practices.
A former Maharashtra-based stockist and distributor (hereinafter referred to as the “distributor”) of products of M/s Mondelez India Foods Private Limited (hereinafter referred to as “Mondelez”) had alleged that the latter terminated the distribution agreement between the two entities on frivolous grounds.
The CCI has dismissed a case against confectionery giant Mondelez, the same not being contrary to Section 3 of the Act covering anti-competitive agreements, Section 4 of the Act pertaining to abuse of dominant position.
The Act prohibits anti-competitive agreements where one of the enterprise or association of enterprises or person or association of persons enter into any agreement in respect of production, supply, distribution, storage, acquisition or control of goods or provision of services, which causes or is likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition within India. In the present case, the distributor rose the issue of resale price maintenance and restriction imposed on distributors to come up with their own discount schemes by Mondelez. CCI held that resale price maintenance is not a per se violation of the Act and the same needs to be substantiated by a supporting evidence which was lacking in the matter.
Abuse of Dominant Position
Dominant position which is a position of strength, enjoyed by an enterprise, in the relevant market, which enables it to operate independent of the competitive forces prevalent in the market or affect its competitors or consumers or the relevant market in its favour. By the abuse of this dominant position, an enterprise may directly/ indirectly impose unfair/ discriminatory practices, limits/ restricts production of goods/ provision of services, indulging in practices resulting in denial of market access, etc. The requirement posed by Mondelez that its software be mandatorily used by the distributors appears to be an organised set up for data and inventory management and thus the same does not amount to be abusive in nature.
With the above judgement, CCI has elaborated on the provisions of the Act clearly indicating the anti-competitive agreements as well as abuse of dominant position which are strictly regarded as unlawful and bear penal consequences.
India: New Form for GST Annual Returns
Goods and Services Tax (hereinafter referred to as “GST”) is a single tax on the supply of goods and services. It is single uniform tax process which has subsumed a number of previous multiple tax regimes including excise duty, additional excise duty, service tax, value added tax, sales tax, octroi, luxury tax, etc.
Levied at Centre (CGST) as well as State (SGST) levels, GST accrues to the taxing authority under whose jurisdiction the product is consumed or supplied.
Filing of Returns
A taxpayer is required to file a document with the administrative authority which is commonly known as a “return”. Various types of returns under GST include the Monthly return, Return for Composition Scheme, TDS return, Return for Input Service Distributor Annual return
The Government has notified new annual tax return forms under the GST, in which details of of sales, purchases and input tax credit benefits accrued can be provided in a consolidated manner. The normal taxpayers will need to file GSTR-9 return form while composition taxpayers will have GSTR-9A. The last date for filing the annual return form for 2017-18 is December 31. The first annual filing will cover the period from July 1 to March 31.
Following complaints of complicated and cumbersome filing, the GST Council had allowed businesses to file the summary return form GSTR 3B.
The newly notified annual GST return forms comes after a long wait for the requirement of a simpler format for annual return. This is also believed to enhance the transparency in the accounts and prevention of tax evasion.
India: Government Panel to penalize Johnson & Johnson
Advancements in science has deeply impacted modern life. Innovation in technology has played a significant role in improving our health. Achievements in the field of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, information technology, physics, chemistry has led to the development of medical devices and equipment, which have proved to be life transforming. From administration of vital lifesaving drugs to incorporation of critical medical devices such as pacemakers, CT Scanners, X-Rays to an era of robotic surgery, medical equipment have revolutionized human lives, at the same time, the Government is vigilant to monitor the quality control.
The Government regulates the commercialization of drugs and medical devices under the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 under the authority of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (hereinafter referred to as “CDSCO”).
The faults revealed
With a view to help patients suffering from painful hip joint with arthritis which is replaced by an artificial joint often made from metal and plastic components. In 2006, a subsidiary company of Johnson & Johnson, DePuy Orthopaedics started import
The patients faced adverse reactions attributable to the aforesaid hip implants being faulty in nature and resulting in revision surgeries earlier than the prescribed period.
Penalizing the faulty
In order to determine the amount of damages payable to patients suffering the consequences of the faulty implants, the Government has constituted a Central Expert Committee
(hereinafter referred to as the “Committee”). The new central committee is chaired by RK Acharya, director of Safdarjung Hospital’s sports injury centre, and will consist of five members.
The Committee shall be calculating the amount of compensation by Johnson & Johnson to be paid on case to case basis.
The Government aims to ensure that the party committing the fault does not evade of its liabilities and that damages suffered by the victims are appropriately compensated for.
India: Responsibility of Importers under E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had notified the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016 (hereinafter referred to as “E-Waste Rules”) on March 23, 2016 and were made effective on October 1, 2016. The E-Waste Rules seek to regulate persons and/or entities which are involved in the manufacture, sale, transfer, purchase, collection, storage and processing of e-waste, i.e., electrical and electronic equipment, whole or in part discarded as waste or rejects from manufacturing, refurbishment and repair processes. The E-Waste Rules are applicable on manufacturers, producers, consumers, bulk consumers, collection centres, dealers, e-retailer, refurbishes, dismantlers and recyclers of e- wastes. A summary of the important provisions of the E-Waste Rules, 2016 are available on our website here. This present article seeks to discuss the responsibility of importers of e-wastes.
Importers under E-Waste Rules
The term “Importer” has not been defined under the E-Waste Rules, however, the term comes under the ambit of the definition of Producer as the definition of Producer includes a person who offers to sell imported electrical and electronic equipment and their components or consumables or parts or spares.
Extended Producer Responsibility
Extended Producer Responsibility (hereinafter referred to as “EPR”) means the responsibility of producers and importers of electrical or electronic equipment, for channelization of e-waste to ensure environmentally sound management of such waste. The E-Waste Rules, 2016 state that the import of electrical and electronic equipment is allowed only to producers having EPR authorization , i.e., a permission given by Central Pollution Control Board (“CPCB”) to a producer or importer, for managing EPR with implementation plans and targets outlined in such authorization including detail of Producer Responsibility Organization, i.e., a professional organization responsible for collection and channelization of e-waste generated to ensure environmentally sound management of such e-waste. Therefore, while submitting an application for EPR Authorization to the CPCB, the importers have to submit a plan known as Extended Producer Responsibility Plan providing details of e-waste channelization system for targeted collection including detail of Producer Responsibility Organization.
Other responsibilities of importers under the E-Waste Rules include, without limitation to, maintenance of records of e-waste handled, in format prescribed in the E-Waste Rules and making such records available for scrutiny by the CPCB or the concerned State Pollution Control Board, submitting records in formats as prescribed in the E-Waste Rules.
Liability of importers
Importers of e-waste shall be liable for all damages caused to the environment or third party due to improper handling and management of the e-waste and shall also be liable to pay financial penalties for any violation of the provisions of the E-Waste Rules, 2016.