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Puerto Rico Enacts Electronic Waste Law

On January 17, 2012, the government of Puerto Rico enacted a landmark electronic-waste law. The law (Ley Núm. 18 de 17 de enero de 2012), entitled the Electronic Equipment Recycling and Disposal Law of Puerto Rico (Ley de Reciclaje y Disposición de Equipos Electrónicos de Puerto Rico), goes into effect May 16, 2012.

A copy of the law, in Spanish, is available here.  An English translation of the law is available here

The law applies to a broad range of products in the high-technology sector, including televisions, computers, computer peripherals, CD/ DVD players, copiers, fax machines, cellular telephones, PDAs, beepers, and many others.  Beginning 18 months after enactment, the law prohibits disposal of any of these products or cathode ray tubes anywhere other than a government-authorized collection center.

The law imposes end?of?life responsibility upon manufacturers, importers, and exclusive distributers of electronic equipment and cell phones, beginning six months after enactment. These entities are required to register with the Environmental Quality Board (Junta de Calidad Ambiental) and adopt a Recycling and Disposal Plan.  Such plans must, at a minimum, outline the methods of collection and processes to be used for the recycling, reuse, recovery or disposal of electronic waste, and must contain data regarding the amount of e?waste processed in the previous year and anticipated to be processed in the coming year.

The law also, among other things, mandates that businesses with 11 or more employees implement e?waste take-back programs; creates a voluntary “Green Business” certification program; and prescribes the respective supervisory and enforcement roles of the Environmental Quality Board, Solid Waste Management Authority (Autoridad de Desperdicios Sólidos), and municipalities.

For more information on the law or on any other developments in Latin American environmental law, please contact Madeleine Kadas at mkadas@bdlaw.com or (512) 391-8010, Edward Grauman at egrauman@bdlaw.com.

Reference Source:

  • Ley Núm. 18 de 17 de enero de 2012, January 17, 2012