Bureau of Indian Standards:BIS

Bureau of Indian Standards:BIS


Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the National Standard Body of India established under the BIS Act,1986. It ensures harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking, quality certification of goods, and for matters incidental to it. In addition, it provides traceability and tangibility to the national economy. In 2015, a new bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha to repeal the former Act. The new BIS Act was passed by both houses of the Parliament and came into force in 2017.  It is regulated under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and the Government of India. Its headquarters are located in New Delhi. 

What are the objectives of the BIS?

BIS is mainly responsible for the standardization, marking, and quality certification of goods. The main objectives are as follows:

1.    To provide safe, reliable, and quality goods

2.    To minimize health hazards to consumers

3.    To protect the environment 

4.    To promote exports and import substitute

5.    To control other activities

The certification scheme of BIS benefits the consumers as well as the industry. BIS focuses on product safety, consumer protection, food safety, environment protection, building, and construction, etc.Recently, BIS has worked towards addressing national priorities and government initiatives like Make in India and Digital India. It also ensures that activities of standardization help businesses run smoothly. It aims at making the process simpler and faster.

What is the difference between ISI and BIS?

The Indian Standards Institution (ISI) was established in 1947 as a registered society, under a Government of India resolution. The ISI provided the standards required for industrial and commercial growth, quality production, and competitive efficiency. Later the government realized that a National Standards Body is required to regulate the standards of products. Then the Government passed the BIS Act in 1986. Thus, BIS came into existence. The Act has been repealed by the BIS Act, 2016 as of now.The main function of the BIS is to maintain the quality of a product. BIS assigns the ISI mark to any product as a third-party guarantee after verifying the quality of the product. 

What all activities are undertaken by the BIS?

The activities undertaken by the BIS are as follows:

1.    Standards formulation:

BIS formulates Indian standards for national priorities. These standards are applicable on various departments like Chemicals, Food and Agriculture, Civil, Electro-technical, Electronics and Information Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Management and Systems, Metallurgical Engineering, Petroleum Coal and Related Products, Medical Equipment and Hospital Planning, Textile, Transport Engineering, Production and General Engineering and Water Resources. In addition, the standards cover essential aspects of the economy and help the industry in upgrading the quality of goods and services. 

2.    International activities:

BIS is the founding member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).  It also engages in developing International Standards by acting as Participating member or Observer member in various committees. BIS also represents India in International Electro-technical Commission (IEC). Further, BIS plays an active role in the formulation and implementation of regional standards for the SAARC countries under the South Asian Regional Standards Organization (SARSO). In addition, BIS is the national enquiry point for technical barriers to trade in World Trade Organisation.

3.    Product Certification:

BIS’s product certification scheme ensures compliance with Indian Standards. If a product has a BIS standard mark it means the product conforms to the relevant Indian standard. 

4.    Hallmarking:

The advent of hallmarking gold jewelry in India was started by BIS in 2000. Hallmarking provides third-party assurance to the customers on the purity of gold jewelry. Later on, hallmarking of silver jewelry or artifacts was started in 2005. Under this scheme, the jewelers are granted a registration certificate to sell hallmarked jewelry. Assaying and Hallmarking centres verify the purity of jewelry submitted by the registered jeweler and apply hallmark if it conforms to the Indian Standards.  

5.    Laboratory services:

The main function of BIS is to provide standardization and quality certification of goods. For this, laboratories are required. BIS has established 8 laboratories in the country. It has also recognized NABL accredited laboratories and government laboratories to discharge the work related to testing of products for conformity assessment.

6.    Training services:

BIS imparts training through the National Institute of Training for Standardisation. Technical and management training is given to cater to consumer organizations, government undertakings, bodies, and developing countries. 

7.    Consumer Affairs and Publicity:

BIS also organizes awareness programs to sensitize the consumers. Consumers are made aware of standardization, product certification of goods, etc. In addition, BIS organizes Educational Utilization of Standards Programmes (EUS) for students and faculties of schools, colleges, etc., to inculcate the young minds with the concepts and benefits of standardization.BIS also celebrates World Standards Day on 14thOctober to pay tribute to the collaborative efforts of thousands of experts worldwide, which develop voluntary technical agreements that are published as International or National Standards. A public grievance forum is available to the consumer to get their grievances redressed. 

Which products require mandatory BIS certification?

The following products require mandatory BIS certification:

1.    Cement

2.    Household electrical goods

3.    Food and related products

4.    Diesel engines

5.    Oil pressure stoves

6.    Automobile accessories

7.    Cylinders, valves, and regulators

8.    Medical equipment

9.    Steel products

10.    Electrical transformers

How to apply for BIS certification?

There are five schemes under which a manufacturer can apply for BIS certification.

1.    Normal Procedure for Domestic Manufacturers:

The applicant is required to submit the BIS Certification application with the requisite documents and fee. After submission, a preliminary factory evaluation is conducted by a BIS officer. Then samples are tested in the factory and for independent testing. BIS certification is provided only if the sample fulfills the Indian standards. Generally, BIS certification is granted within four months of submission. 

2.    Simplified Procedure for Domestic Manufacturers:

The applicant is required to submit a test report of the sample from a BIS-approved lab along with the application for BIS Certification. If the test report is accepted, a BIS officer conducts a factory evaluation. If the BIS officer finds the factory evaluation satisfactory, BIS Certification is granted. License is usually granted within 30 days of applying. 

3.    Tatkal scheme:

Manufacturers who need BIS certification mandatory as per the Government notification can obtaina license under the tatkal scheme. Under this scheme, the application is processed within fixed timelines and the total time taken to approve is 30 days. Applications are verified on a priority basis under this scheme. 

4.    ECO Mark scheme:

BIS license for eco-friendly products is granted under a separate scheme. These products are required to conform to other Indian Standards to qualify for the ECO mark. The process is similar to the procedure for domestic manufacturers. 

5.    Foreign Manufacturers Certification Scheme:

Oversees applicants and foreign manufacturers are granted a license under a separate scheme. The license is usually granted within six months. 

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Mili rawat
BALLB(Hons.) from National Law Institute University, Bhopal.

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