BIS to frame quality norms for 371 items by March 2021 to curb non-essential imports

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NEW DELHI: To check imports of sub-standard and non-essential goods, including from China, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) on Monday said it is framing mandatory quality standards for 371 items identified by the commerce ministry and the process will be completed by March 2021. The list of 371 tariff lines includes several segments, ranging from steel, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and electrical machinery to furniture and toys.

“The commerce ministry has identified 371 imported tariff lines, including Chinese products. We are trying to frame standards and make them mandatory and improve enforcement of the same,” BIS Director General Pramod Kumar Tiwari told reporters in a virtual press conference.

The concerned ministries are identifying the important products from the list given by the commerce ministry and approaching BIS for making the standards mandatory, he said.

Asked for how many products from the list the standards have been made so far, Tiwari said: “It is a complex issue. Different ministries like steel, chemicals and petroleum have been told to identify the products for making standards.”

For some products, ministries have decided not to have standards because of insignificant import volumes, while for certain items, there are already standards in place, he added.

On the deadline to make standards for all the 371 items, he said, “The cabinet secretary is also reviewing the matter closely. Different ministries have asked us to make standards for certain products. Standards for some products will be made by December and the rest by March 2021.”

The target is to make standards for products under 371 tariff lines by March 2021, he added.

Meanwhile, BIS is strengthening its surveillance system and has posted officers at major ports to work closely with the customs department.

“The officers will take the market samples of the imported products and test at the port itself,” Tiwari said.

To ensure quality products are imported and sold in India, he said BIS is making efforts to increase its surveillance visits at factories and markets to more than a lakh a year from the current 20,000 visits.

In the press conference, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan launched the BIS mobile app and two portals on BIS certification and standards for the benefit of consumers and industry stakeholders.

BIS is the national standards setting body. So far, it has set 20,866 standards and mandatory standards for 358 products.





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