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Indian Government will Introduce New Standards for “Non-Essential Imports”

In a move to curb imports of cheaper products such as electrical products, plastics and toys, coming mostly from China, the Indian government has asked its biggest certification body BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) to draft up to 400 new standards for products considered “non-essential”. This is a clear reaction to the current ongoing political and economic tensions going on between the two Asian giants.

Global news outlets have extensively reported on the Cashmere border region dispute that has recently escalated to new heights. In addition to that, there have been on-going licensing disputes of cheap Chinese products without proper Indian quality approvals. Lots of products from China are imported either without any or, even worse, with fake quality certifications, which is hurting Indian consumers and the local economy.
BIS already has more than 25,000 quality standards for a wide range of different products, but most of them are on a voluntary basis. Only about 150 product standards are mandatory, but this number is about to be increased to more than 500, and will affect mostly cheaper products coming from China.
This means that Indian consumers’ demand for quality will rise and this in turn will open up the Indian market to importers from other countries. It also means that some companies in Europe or the US will already be affected by these new standards as well.
Please make sure to keep reading our news to stay informed of these updates whenever they come out and do not hesitate to contact us for any BIS specific certification questions. Many products require a mandatory BIS Certification in India.

Food safety in India highlighted on World Certification Day on 9 June

World Certification Day is celebrated every year on 9 June to highlight and promote the importance of certification in business and trade. The theme this year has been “Certification Improves Food Safety” and has been proposed by the international certification association (IAF) and the international laboratory certification association (ILAC). The competent authorities in India, the National Accreditation Body for Certification Bodies (NABCB) and National Accreditation Body for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), both members of the Quality Council of India (QCI), organised a webinar with the participation of all the executive staff.

At the beginning of the event, Ms. Rita Teaotia, Executive Director of the Indian Food Safety Authority (FSSAI), gave a guest speech. She emphasized the importance of a functioning and credible food certification system and praised the cooperation of Indian institutions in this area. But she also addressed weaknesses in the system. The state laboratories would have to undergo a proficiency test according to international standards, increase the number of reference materials, develop rapid tests for food and create an automatic system for the exchange of information.
The webinar also included two sessions on food technology. They focused on the role of regulatory and approval authorities and the industry’s perspectives on food safety. Representatives of government, authorities and industry discussed the key areas of the food industry. In the end, it was agreed that industry and regulatory authorities should work better together to ensure food quality. About 700 people watched the live stream of the webinar and more than 1500 people watched the recording of it during the day. FSSAI certification is required for all foods distributed on the Indian market. We would be happy to advise you on the process of an India certification and carry it out for you.

Mandatory marking for vehicles according to new BS VI directive

Vehicles that comply with the new BS VI are to be given an additional marking, following an announcement by the Ministry of Transport and Roads. An approximately 1 cm wide green stripe is to be applied to the upper part of a new third number plate. A coloured marking indicating the fuel used by the vehicle is also to be introduced. The colour code is intended to distinguish cars with high pollutant emissions from more environmentally friendly ones. The government stipulates that from October 1, all vehicles that comply with the BS VI standard must have such a marking.

Earlier, the government announced that from April 1, 2019, all motorized vehicles must be equipped with a counterfeit-proof license plate. The so-called HSRP or third license plate is attached to the windscreen inside the vehicle. The HSRP sticker consists of a hologram and a ten-digit identification number engraved by laser. Depending on the fuel used, there is another colour code of the HSRP: light blue for petrol or gas and orange for diesel.
Meanwhile, car manufacturer BMW has adapted its new car fleet for the Indian market to the new BS IV emission standards. According to the company, the gasoline models were already compliant with the new requirements, while the diesel engines had to be adapted. The BWM plant in Chennai is currently producing cars of the 5 and 6 Gran Turismo series, production of the X1 is to start soon. The sales price of BMW India models that meet the BS IV emission standards was increased by six percent at the beginning of 2020. Certification is mandatory for the sale of automotive products in India. AIS stands for Automotive Industry Standards, the technical automotive standards for India, while TAC stands for Type Approval Certificate. Depending on the product category, there are different certification steps. We will be happy to advise you on certification in India and are always available to answer your questions.

India wants to establish itself as a preferred manufacturing base

India’s Foreign Minister Shringla said that his country’s democratic society could be a very attractive destination for foreign investment, and the comparatively high rate of education combined with a continued cheap labour force could be an attractive alternative for other existing markets. Therefore, the country wants to continue to improve conditions. Without naming any particular countries, the Foreign Minister said that the sole reliance on one location or region for investment and the resulting Indian imports or exports would have to be reconsidered. Instead, Shringla plans to develop India into an attractive and leading manufacturing base for investors at low cost.

Recently, political tensions and developments on the world market have put pressure on companies that had relied too heavily on just one foreign location. India could be a good alternative for these companies to expand their product range and secure their supply chain, said Foreign Minister Shringla. India’s functioning democratic system and prevalent transparency of authorities are factors that increase investor confidence. The Minister alluded to China, where the business practices and actions of the authorities have been criticised on several occasions by foreign governments and companies.
India’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs seeks to attract investors with simple rules for setting up a company and easy access to capital. Together with a skilled and large workforce and low production costs, India wants to grow into a leading industrial hub. For production, import and export, in many cases you need a corresponding certification of goods or production processes. We will be happy to advise you which India certification is relevant for you and carry it out for you.

Imports from foreign companies in India are growing faster than exports

Despite the assumption that foreign companies in India would increase exports, their imports are growing faster. According to figures from the Reserve Bank of India and the World Trade Centre (WTC), imports by foreign companies of raw materials and machinery rose by 13.4 percent in the period 2018-19. In the same period, their exports fell by 13.8 percent. For the Indian economy as a whole, however, exports increased by 28 percent.

According to information from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), 8095 foreign companies were registered last year, most of which are active in exports. Of these companies, 63 percent are service businesses, 29 percent are producers and the rest are active in other sectors. Broken down into individual industries, 18 percent are IT companies, 7 percent mechanical engineering and 6 percent wholesale and retail. The countries of origin of the foreign companies are the USA with 22 percent, 12.5 percent Singapore, 9.5 percent Mauritius and 7 percent each Japan and Great Britain.
Last year, exports by these companies fell by 26.5 percent despite rising production. The ratio of exported goods or services to their total production or services in the same period also fell from 5.5 to 3.8 percent. Machinery and tool manufacturers were the only industry to maintain this ratio at the level of 11.5 percent. On the other hand, automobile manufacturers lost drastically in exports compared to their total production. According to figures from the WTC, the figure fell rapidly from 5.6 to 2 percent. The trade of goods in India requires in many cases a corresponding certification of the goods or production processes. We will be happy to advise you on which India certification is relevant for you and carry it out for you.