The policy has been changed at a time when the United States and its biggest trading partner China are on the brink of a trade war, with President Donald Trump announcing plans to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion worth of Chinese goods.
China plans to impose additional duties on up to $3 billion of U.S. imports, mainly in response to Washington's import tariffs on steel and aluminium.
The sparring has cast a spotlight on U.S. firms such as Apple, which assemble the majority of their products in China for export to other countries. Electrical goods and tech gadgets are the largest U.S. import items from China.
"Trump's trade war with China could be a win for India," said Neil Shah, partner at tech research firm Counterpoint.
China is currently among the top destinations for repair and refurbishment of electronic devices.
The country wants waste generated during the repair and refurbishing of the imported items to be treated in line with local laws including health, safety and environment norms, a government order issued on Wednesday said.
"(The policy change) will give someone like Apple an opportunity to tap India's cheap talent for repairing phones and could potentially turn India into a global export hub for refurbished devices," said Mr Shah.
Apple has been in talks with the centre for months, seeking tax breaks and incentives to expand its operations in the country.
Apple did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal and Nidhi Verma; Editing by Richard Balmforth)
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