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What is The Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016

  1. Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
  2. Replaces the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986. [establishes a Bureau for the purpose of standardization, marking and certification of articles and processes.]
  3. seeks to broaden its ambit and allow the central government to make it mandatory for certain notified goods, articles, processes, etc. to carry the standard mark.

d. Ambit of the Bureau of Indian Standards:
i. Under the 1986 Act, standardization, marking and certification processes applied to certain articles and processes.
ii. includes goods, services and systems.
iii. Good, Service, Article, Process and System
e. Establishment of the Bureau of Indian Standards:
i. National body which will formulate, implement and certify certain standards of quality for goods, services, articles, processes and systems.
ii. The Bureau will constitute technical committees of experts for the purpose of formulating such standards.
iii. The Bill constitutes a Governing Council which would be responsible to look at the general superintendence, direction and management of the Bureau.
f. Certification of goods, services, articles, etc.:
i. The Bureau would be a licensing authority for quality standards.
ii. A person may apply to the Bureau for a license to use a standard mark, or a certificate of conformity, depending on the good, article, process, etc.
iii. A license or certificate of conformity indicates that the item conforms to the Indian standard as set by the Bureau.
iv. The Bureau will establish and maintain testing laboratories for quality assurance and conformity assessment of goods, articles, services, etc.
g. Certification of precious metals:
i. A hallmark will be used to certify precious metal articles including silver, gold, platinum, and palladium or their alloys.
ii. A hallmark indicates a proportionate content of the precious metal in the article, as per the Indian standard.
iii. Such articles will be sold in certified sales outlets.
h. Mandatory certification of certain goods:
i. The Bill allows the central government to notify certain goods, articles, etc., which will need to compulsorily carry a standard mark.
ii. Such goods or articles will be notified by the government if it thinks them to be necessary for:
1. public interest or for the protection of human, animal or plant health,
2. safety of the environment,
3. prevention of unfair trade practices, or
4. national security.
i. Recall of goods, services, articles etc:
i. The Bureau may recall a good or article which is already out for sale or supply.
ii. This will be done if the Bureau is convinced that the good or article does not conform to the requirement of a particular standard.
j. Penalties:
i. The penalty for improper use of the Indian standard mark will be a fine of up to five lakh rupees.
ii. The Bill also prescribes penalties for:
1. the improper use of the standard mark by testing and marking centres, and
2. manufacturing or selling goods and articles which do not carry a standard mark and have been mandated to do so, among others.
3. The Bill provides for compounding of offences punishable with fine except when a person has committed such an offence for the second time or if such an offence committed by him has been compounded earlier.
k. Offences by companies:
i. When a company commits an offence under the Bill, the persons responsible for or in charge of the company will be presumed to be guilty irrespective of whether the offence was committed without their knowledge, consent or connivance.
l. Appeals:
i. An appeal against an order regarding the granting of a license or certificate of conformity, or compounding of offences, may be made to the Director General of the Bureau.
ii. A further appeal against the order of the Director General may then be made to the central government.
1. The products, process, the service, delivered in the country, should be of high quality and meet the expectation of both consumers and producers.
2. The Erstwhile Indian Standards Institution (now Bureau of Indian Standards) was established in the year 1947 with the objective of the harmonious development of standardization activity in India.

What does the Bureau of Indian Standards do?

  1. The activity is done through 14 Division Councils representing diverse areas of economy and technology, as follows:
    • Chemical
    • Medical Equipment and Hospital Planning
    • Civil Engineering
    • Metallurgical Engineering
    • Electrotechnical
    • Petroleum, Coal and Related Products
    • Electronics and Information Technology
    • Production and General Engineering
    • Food and Agriculture
    • Textile
    • Management and Systems
    • Transport Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Water Resources
  2. As a policy, the standards formulation activity of BIS has been harmonized with the relevant standards laid down by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
  3. BIS, being a signatory to the ‘Code of Good Practice for the preparation, adoption and application of standards (Article 4 of WTO-TBT Agreement, Annex 3)’ has also accordingly aligned its standards formulation procedure.

What are Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement?

  1. aims to ensure that technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessment procedures are non-discriminatory and do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade.
  2. It recognizes WTO members’ right to implement measures to achieve legitimate policy objectives, such as the protection of human health and safety, or protection of the environment.
  3. encourages members to base their measures on international standards to facilitate trade.
  4. Through its transparency provisions, it also aims to create a predictable trading environment.