The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued three draft notifications proposing amendments in the regulatory framework related to scrapping of end-of-life vehicles. These notifications propose that the details regarding cancellation of registration of vehicles, issue of certificate of deposit and certificate of vehicle scrapping are updated on the Vahan portal and the national motor vehicle database in real time. These notifications are collectively intended to simplify and digitise the vehicle scrapping process for all stakeholders such as vehicle owners, registered vehicle scrapping facility ("RVSF"), dealers, Government authorities, etc. It also prescribes fixed timelines for the ease of doing business.

Following are the key amendments proposed in these notifications.  

  1. Notification dated 04 March, 2022:

    • 'No dues' certificate for vehicle scrapping: The owner of a motor vehicle is required to apply for the grant of 'no dues' certificate on the Vahan portal for scrapping of vehicle by RVSF. Such application has to be made in the prescribed format to the registering authority of the State where the vehicle is currently registered. It will be valid for a period of 30 days from the date of its issuance.

    • Voluntary cancellation of certificate of registration: The scrapping facility should apply for cancellation of certificate of registration on Vahan portal. Such application has to be made in the prescribed format along with the 'no dues' certificate and Certificate of Deposit (proof of submission of vehicle to scrapping facility) to the registering authority of the State where the vehicle is currently registered. The authority is required to consider the application and cancel registration within 7 days. Such cancellation should be reflected on the Vahan portal and national motor vehicles register in real time.
  1. Notification dated 10 March, 2022:

    • Procedure for scrapping of motor vehicles:

      The owner of a vehicle needs to apply for scrapping of the vehicle on the Vahan portal in the prescribed format along with the specified documents for verification. The scrapping facilities and collection centres are required to assist owners in filing digital application for vehicle scrapping. The scrapping facility is required to verify vehicles through Government databases for its criminal records, pending dues and blacklisting of vehicles. It can proceed with scrapping only after receiving a 'no dues' certificate from the registering authority of the State where the vehicle is currently registered. These facilities can accept vehicles for scrapping registered in any State or Union Territory.

      After acceptance of vehicle for scrapping, original certificate of registration shall be defaced and a digitally signed Certificate of Deposit shall be issued as proof for submission of vehicle for scrapping. These certificates can be traded and utilised for claiming benefits for purchasing new vehicles. The scrapping facility shall ensure that removal, recycling or disposal of hazardous parts of the scrapped vehicle is done as per Central Pollution Control Board's guidelines for Environmentally Sound Management of End-of-Live Vehicles and AIS129. After scrapping of vehicles, scrapping facility shall issue a digital Certificate of Vehicle Scrapping. All these records shall be uploaded on Vahan portal.  
  1. Notification dated 25 March, 2022:

    • Testing specifications have been prescribed for Automated Testing Stations to declare different kinds of vehicles as unfit or end-of-life. These tests ensure that improperly functioning vehicles are tested, repaired for fitness and scrapped if they are found unfit for further use.

    • Automated Testing Stations have been allowed to test vehicles registered in any State or Union Territory under the jurisdiction of any registering authority.

As per the Ministry, these proposed amendments would be suitably amended after comments are received on the regulatory framework and proposed processes from stakeholders in the vehicle scrapping industry. Whenever implemented, these notifications are expected to encourage scrapping of end-of-life vehicles, which will not only solve the problem of air pollution by taking old polluting vehicles off the roads but will also provide valuable resources for manufacturing of new vehicles through recycling and reutilisation of resources extracted from scrapped vehicles. However, there is a need to ensure that utmost precaution is taken to prevent pollution or contamination from vehicle scrapping and recycling processes.

Nawneet Vibhaw is a Partner and Himanshu Pabreja is an Associate in the Environmental Law practice at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.

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