Ministry of Commerce & Industry
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Govt. of India working in mission mode to develop robust quality ecosystem in India


DPIIT introduces Quality Control Orders for critical products impacting consumer safety like Electrical Accessories, Laboratory Glassware, Hinges, Copper Products and Door Fittings

Posted On: 30 JAN 2024 9:28AM by PIB Delhi

The Government of India has been working in mission mode to develop a robust quality ecosystem in India, the hallmark being the accent on superior and safety compliant products to take the economy to higher echelons of growth and development. As part of this endeavor, Quality Control Orders (QCOs) are being rapidly introduced by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) for critical products impacting consumer safety like Electrical Accessories, Laboratory Glassware, Hinges, Copper Products and Door Fittings. These QCOs have the right ingredients for strengthening the quality standards of ‘Made in India’ products, without compromising on the range of goods being made available to the Indian consumer. This focused approach for restricting the circulation of sub-standard products shall be a crucial driver for establishing India as a manufacturing powerhouse synonymous with best-in-class quality products.

With a view to establish India as a global leader in providing superior quality and safety compliant products, a plethora of reforms have been undertaken for ensuring that the ‘Made in India’ brand resonates with internationally recognized brands that offer premium quality. The guiding force behind this reform centric approach is the vision of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, that “If there's a "Made in India" product on any table in the world, the world should have confidence that there is nothing better than this. This will be ultimate. Be it our produce, our services, our words, our institutions, or our decision-making processes, everything will be supreme. Only then can we carry forward the essence of excellence.”

With the advent of technology, customers are becoming increasingly particular about safety standard related aspects such as the performance parameters, durability, and dependency of the goods. It has become a common practice to check product quality reviews before making a purchase. Maintaining a balance between product quality, price, and innovation in terms of manufacturing strategy is, therefore, of great essence.

To enforce strong quality standards for enhancing consumer product safety, there is unprecedented policy focus on implementation of Quality Control Orders (QCOs) which is in line with the provisions of the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The Agreement recognizes that countries can take necessary quality control measures to maintain the quality of its exports, protect human, animal or plant life and safeguard the environment.

Implementation of QCOs will help India acquire a greater share of the global manufacturing market while enforcing strong quality standards to enhance consumer product safety, prevent circulation of sub-standard products in the Indian market, attract investments and prevent loss of life or any accidents. The imposition of QCOs shall help detect any kind of product defect and malfunction in the initial stage which will be beneficial for both the manufacturers and consumers by way of rationalized costs.

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) which serves as the National Standard Body of India, is harmonized to a great extent with the relevant International Standards as laid down by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). It is involved in standardization, marking and quality certification of goods and conformity assessment with the underlying objective of providing safe, reliable, and quality goods.

While the Standards issued by the BIS for any product or process are for voluntary compliance, those notified by the Central Government through issuance of Technical Regulations (TR) primarily through Quality Control Order (QCO) under Scheme-I and Compulsory Registration Order (CRO) under Scheme-II are mandatory in nature.

Factoring in the importance of inculcating the safety aspect, DPIIT has focused on developing a robust quality ecosystem for products under its purview to provide good quality products and promoting exports of Indian products. This has led to the issuance of more than 60 new QCOs covering approximately 300 product standards, which have not only ensured that reliable products are being made available to the consumers but also improved the manufacturing quality standards, thereby enhancing brand and value of ‘Made in India’ products.

While implementation of QCOs is being introduced for various product categories, there is increased focus on products, the violation of standards for which, can pose threat to safety of consumers by causing severe harms and injuries as they are widely present in households. Therefore, QCOs have been recently notified for ‘Steel Wires/ Strands, Nylon Wire Ropes and Wire Mesh’, ‘Hinges’, ‘Safes, Safe Deposits Locker Cabinets and Key locks’, ‘Laboratory Glassware’ and ‘Electrical Accessories’, among many others. All of the aforementioned products have great usage and applicability in everyday activities, highlighting the criticality of having well-defined standards for them to avoid any unforeseen incidents.

The implementation of QCOs is an extensive exercise which encompasses DPIIT’s continuous engagement with relevant stakeholders for identification of products for which QCOs could be issued. Post the identification, BIS is consulted on various aspects including, Indian Standards, Suitable Conformity Assessment Scheme, availability of BIS test labs or BIS recognized Test Labs and Product Manual. This is followed by the preparation of draft QCO, on which consultations are held with the industry and relevant stakeholders.

Post the incorporation of comments from the industry, the draft QCOs are approved by the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry followed by legal vetting by Department of Legislative Affairs. Subsequently, the QCOs are uploaded on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) website for 60 days, inviting comments from WTO member countries. These comments from member countries are examined and reviewed, after which the final approval is sought from the relevant Central Government authority for notifying the QCO. To facilitate smooth implementation of QCOs for Micro and Small Industries several carveouts and relaxations are envisaged in terms of relaxation of timelines.

QCOs are implemented by BIS through Grant of License and/or Certificate of Conformity. With the notification of QCO, manufacturing, storing and sale of non-BIS certified products are prohibited. The violation of the provision of the BIS Act can attract a penalty up to 2 years of imprisonment or with fine of at least Rs 2 lakh for the first offence which increases to Rs 5 lakh minimum for the second and subsequent offences.

In the spirit of strong industry-government partnership for developing a robust quality ecosystem in India, DPIIT conducts regular consultations with industry members, sectoral associations, and relevant stakeholders to ensure that the QCOs being issued are attuned with their needs and requirements. Further, after the notification, several initiatives are undertaken about the newly implemented QCOs to develop awareness and sense of ownership in industry at a pan-India level. These extensive consultations ensure that the views, feedback, and technical inputs are taken into consideration of the authorities for smooth implementation.

The safety and well-being of the consumers is of paramount importance for which continued efforts shall be made to introduce QCOs for products. Adherence to safety standards will play a pivotal role in controlling the production and distribution of substandard products which will be a major step in enhancing the value of ‘Made in India’ products. The key for India is to create awareness among the manufacturers and service providers across the supply chain about quality. As there is reimagined focus on quality to avoid accidents, QCOs have become an integral element to foster consumer trust.

Going forward, QCOs shall therefore, play a pivotal role in enhancing the credibility and value of Indian products while promoting homegrown brands and minimizing inefficiency of any nature. It is indeed imperative to balance between ‘Zero Defect’ that is delivering at par with the global standards and ‘Zero Effect’ that is ensuring that there are no negative environmental implications or compromise on sustainability.

As emphasized by the Prime Minister, it is the opportune moment to work with the ethos of ‘Zero Effect, Zero Defect’ and with ‘Vocal for Local’ reverberating in every household, it is time to ensure that our products meet global standards, especially in terms of safety.  The initiative on QCOs shall help develop world-class products of superior quality in India, thereby fulfilling the Prime Minister’s vision of creating an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.

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