India, the world’s largest democracy and one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, imports most of its goods from other countries. Globalization has opened up the global economy to trade in areas such as manufacturing, services, selling items in different nations, import-export, and so on. India has emerged as the most appealing destination for imports and investment in the manufacturing sector. Because people rely on brands and buy more foreign products, India’s imports are constantly increasing.
Economic development and growth are dependent on the quality and quantity of goods and services imported and manufactured in the country. It is difficult to thrive in this competitive market without a standard quality and certified product. Many substandard and counterfeit products are imported and manufactured in the country on a regular basis, and contain unknown impurities. The government has made a step forward in the public interest by making BIS certification mandatory for some items.
You may now be curious to know about the BIS certification required to sell products in India.
Before moving forward, Let’s understand BIS first.
BUREAU OF INDIAN STANDARD (BIS)
BIS stands for Bureau of Indian Standards, an Indian standard organisation that falls under Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution, Government of India. The Bureau of Indian standard is responsible for managing, grading, setting industry standards, conformity evaluation, and quality assurance of goods, process and system.
BIS develops industry standards to ensure the quality, stability, and reliability of goods for end users. All imported and manufactured goods must meet Indian standards as defined by the Bureau of Indian Standards. Manufacturers are granted a BIS licence if their products meet relevant Indian Standards.
In order to use standard mark and sell goods in the Indian market, manufacturers may need to obtain a BIS licence. So, without further ado let’s start with Scheme operated by Bureau of Indian standards for Foreign Manufacturer.
Foreign Manufacturers Certification Scheme (FMCS)
Foreign Manufacturers Certification Scheme is run by BIS for foreign manufacturers under BIS (Conformity Assessment) Regulations, 2018 and the BIS Act, 2016. Under FMCS, BIS grants a BIS licence for foreign manufacturers to use the standard mark, which is also called ISI Mark, to sell their products in India. BIS licenses are only awarded for products that comply with specified Indian standards. Only the FMCD (foreign manufacturers Certification Department) is authorized to issue a BIS licence to the foreign manufacturers. The manufacturer and importer must ensure that the imported goods adhere to Indian standards before importing them into India. Imported goods that don’t comply with Indian standards and clearance procedures are held or seized by customs.
In the preceding paragraph, you learned about the certification required for foreign manufacturers. Now, you might be wondering how to get them now.
Let’s go over the procedures that manufacturers must follow to get BIS certification.
Procedure for BIS Certification
The following is the procedure for BIS certification for foreign manufacturers:
Step 1. Documentation: Documentation is the first step for BIS certification. Before initiating the project, the Aleph INDIA Team gathers and compiles the necessary information and documents.
Step 2. Application submission: Aleph Team will submit the application in hardcopy to the FMCD department after the manufacturer signs the documents and AIR countersigns them. A remittance receipt for the audit fee will be submitted along with all supporting documents.
Step 3. Scrutiny of application: BIS officials will review the application once it has been submitted. Document review typically takes 20-30 business days. If the application is found to be satisfactory in all aspects, it will be recorded and an acknowledgement number assigned for future reference.
If any document or information is missing or incomplete, the Bureau will notify you through email. Aleph Team responds to the BIS email with all required documents and information.
Step 4. Officer nomination: After completion of all the documentation part, the bureau shall nominate a scientist level officer to visit the factory to physically verify the documents.
Step 5. Factory Audit: BIS auditors will visit the factory and audit the production line and testing facilities to ensure they meet Indian standards. The sample will be tested in the factory lab in presence of auditor, and a sample will be drawn for independent testing at the BIS lab in India.
Step 6. Grant of Licence: After receiving a satisfactory audit report and a test report of the product in compliance with Indian Standards, the Bureau issues a letter granting the BIS certification Mark licence. The applicant must pay a licence fee, a minimum advance marking fee, and any outstanding due.
After the grant of the BIS licence, AIR signs an agreement and an indemnity bond with the bureau. The manufacturer shall provide a performance bank guarantee of $10,000 USD, or AIR may raise the same in equivalent Indian rupees.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR BIS CERTIFICATION
Let’s look at the documents needed for BIS certification!
- Copy of Test certificate of raw material
- List of testing equipment
- Calibration certificate of test equipment
- Process Flow Chart
- Authorization letter
- Business licence
- Plant layout
- Quality control in-charge details
- AIR Agreement
- Undertaking letter for long duration test
In addition to following the BIS certification procedure, all foreign manufacturers shall have to appoint an Authorized Indian Representative to represent their case and ensure compliance with regulatory and certification requirements to obtain a BIS license
- It is mandatory to nominate an Authorised Indian representative for the grant of BIS licence.
- The Authorized Indian Representative (AIR) shall be an Indian resident.
- AIR shall be a representative of one manufacturing firm only and shall not represent other foreign manufacturer(s) as AIR under the BIS Conformity Assessment schemes.
- AIR must be at least a graduate and understand the terms of the BIS Act, 2016, as well as the rules and regulations formulated thereunder, as well as the implications thereof.
It is mandatory to obtain BIS certification for foreign manufacturer to sell their product in India. Foreign manufacturers cannot sell their products in India unless their product bears the ISI mark. To use standard mark, manufacturer shall have to obtain BIS licence.
As you can see, in order to obtain BIS licence, the manufacturer will have to go through each step, from documentation to license grant, which is complex and time-consuming. However, you don’t have to worry since Aleph INDIA Group, a worldwide consulting organisation, offers a one-stop solution for all of your compliance needs. Aleph INDIA’s FMCS consultant will assist you in getting your product tested and approved, providing useful expertise and advice at every stage of the BIS certification process.