BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards), a National Standards Body in India much like CE, FCC, RoHS has brought in 15 categories of IT and Electronic equipment under its gambit. The Requirements for Compulsory Registration Order (RCRO), 2012 issued by Department of Electronics and IT, Government of India makes it compulsory for 15 IT and electronic product categories to be compliant with the specifications of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). Only BIS compliant products will be allowed for sale, manufacture and import in India. The primary motive for the move is to certify the devices for their quality, safety and health implications under Indian conditions and also to ensure that low quality, hazardous electronic goods don’t enter the country.
BIS certification is applicable for both locally manufactured and imported items falling under those 15 categories. If imported goods aren’t BIS compliant, customs authorities can confiscate the shipments. The categories include include laptops, tablets, plasma/LCD/LED televisions, optical disc players, set top boxes, microwave ovens, video games, scanners and printers among others. Actually definition include any electronic device that can be connected to a desktop and used as a consumer level device. Government had earlier set an April 3, 2013 deadline for vendors to get their products BIS-compliant. Due to huge backlog at the certification centers in India, government extended the deadline for certification to January 2014.
There is a widespread criticism against the move, especially on the implementation of the same. Industry officials allege that the process of BIS certification takes an average of 45 days, depriving Indian consumers the access to the latest models available in other countries. Also, it was estimated that compliance would cost the industry anywhere around $200 million and that cost has to be passed on to the consumers.
As per Sunil Soni, director-general at BIS “There was some delay in initial days but the processes are well streamlined now. Now a days, most models are cleared in a week’s time. There are some pending applications but that is due to incomplete applications that we receive from the manufacturers”.
How will it affect import of 3D printers in India?
3D Printers come under the Printers category, one of the 15 categories that come under BIS gambit. So, by definition 3D printers require BIS certification to be commercially sold in India. The Indian customs have already started detaining imported 3D printers citing this reason. As the whole industry is at a very nascent stage, customs officials are lenient in case of 3D printers. As per Raja Sekhar Upputuri from think3D, one of the pMrominent 3D printing companies in India “When we imported an Ultimaker, the assessing officer asked for BIS certification. As we didn’t have the BIS certification we approached the customs officer and explained the purpose. As the intended purpose is R&D work, they let us import the printer after we wrote a letter stating the same”. So, if the intended purpose of the printer is R&D / testing, then one can import 3D printers without any issue.
How to apply for BIS?
The applicant can opt for one the two procedures listed below to get the BIS license.
i) Normal Procedure – In the normal procedure, the applicant should submit the filled in application along with required documents and requisite fee to the nearest BIS branch office. Subsequently, after recording of the application, a preliminary factory evaluation is carried out by BIS officer to ascertain the capability of the applicant/manufacturer to produce goods according to the relevant Indian Standard and to verify the availability of complete testing facility and competent technical personnel. Samples are tested in the factory and also drawn for independent testing. Grant of licence is considered by BIS provided the samples pass during independent testing, preliminary evaluation is satisfactory and the applicant agrees to operate the defined Scheme of Testing & Inspection and pay the prescribed marking fee.
ii) Simplified Procedure – In the simplified procedure, applicant is required to furnish the test report(s) of the sample(s) got tested by him in the BIS approved laboratories, along with the application. If the test report(s) and other documents are found satisfactory, a verification visit is carried out by BIS. The licence is granted thereafter if the verification report is found satisfactory. The applicant also has the option to get the documents and other details as specified in the application, certified by a Chartered Engineer and submit the same to BIS. The licence then shall be granted after scrutiny of the documents and report submitted by Chartered Engineer. By this procedure the licence is expected to be granted within 30 days of receipt of application by BIS, provided all required documents are furnished and found satisfactory.
Note 1: Simplified procedure is available for all products except certain items under mandatory certification like gas cylinders, valves, regulators, cement, etc.
Note 2: If any licence granted as per simplified procedure is cancelled in the event of failure of verification samples, the fresh application shall only be considered as per normal procedure.
Note 3: All India first licence for any product shall be granted as per normal procedure only.
Note 4: There is a separate scheme for Foreign Manufacturers and Indian Importers.
Click here for all the required documents for Foreign Manufacturers
Click here for all the required documents for Indian Importers
Government of India has issued some exceptions for the BIS compliance
(a) If faulty units are sent abroad under provisions of special customs rules and brought back after repairs, it shall be treated as exempted from BIS certification.
(b) Highly Specialized Equipment (HSE) as per the criteria given below shall also stand exempted from the application of BIS certification provided less than 100 units per such model are imported.
(i) Equipment powered by three phase power supply
(ii) Equipment powered by single phase power supply with current rating exceeding 16 Ampere or
(iii) Equipment with dimensions exceeding 1.5m x 0,8m or
(iv) Equipment with weight exceeding 80 kg.
(c) Exemption if the device is imported for testing / R&D / demonstration purpose.
BIS certification is a welcome initiative by the Government of India to ensure that all electronic goods are safe to be used by the end user. Lack of testing infrastructure coupled with the vast inventory of electronic and IT equipment being imported by thousands of vendors in India made is extremely difficult for importers to timely get a BIS certification in the past. But with the ramping up of testing facilities, it has become easier and faster to achieve the BIS certification. Government of India is promising a 30 day turn around time. In view of this, it is advisable that 3D printer manufacturers take cognizance of this rule and get the BIS certification to gain the market share in India before competition does.
Link to BIS website: Bureau of Indian Standards