In Q4 of 2018 MEITY of the Indian government announced that the BIS (CRS) market surveillance process had changed. The change at that time was intended to be fully implemented by January of 2019. As part of the change, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) was put in charge of surveillance. Although the new process has been slow to roll out, STPI has recently established an online portal to assist BIS certified manufacturers in registering for the new surveillance program. STPI is currently mandating that registration on the new portal be completed by the end of Jan, 2020. Even if BIS certification holders have already registered with STPI in the past, they must now re-register their certifications via the portal as well. As market surveillance is a mandatory part of the BIS certification process, we recommend all current BIS certification holders become aware of the new rules, and plan accordingly. For more information on this change see our Blog post: India BIS Market Surveillance Update
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has two main certification marks; the Standard Mark for Compulsory Registration, and the ISI mark. See below for illustrations of both marks. The ISI mark has some mandatory product categories, but also allows voluntary certification in other product categories. The ISI mandatory categories include: cement, household electrical goods, food and related products, steel materials, etc.
The Standard Mark for Compulsory Registration is a mandatory certification mark required for certain types of electronics and IT goods. The Compulsory Registration Scheme (CRS) came into effect in April of 2013. The requirements for compliance to this scheme are based mainly on safety aspects of a product. Examples of types of products required to comply with this scheme are: information technology equipment, office equipment, home appliances, and LED lighting products. The number of products and product categories requiring compliance are continually growing.
General BIS Requirements for Compulsory Registration Scheme:
The BIS certification process requires testing of samples to be performed in India and a report generated from an authorized BIS test lab. Test labs are not permitted to accept test data from CB reports. Once testing is complete, and a report has been generated, it must be submitted to BIS within 90 business days of the report date. This task must be handled by the company’s Authorized Indian Representative (AIR). BIS then reviews the report, and submittal documents. Upon acceptance they will either add the models in the report to an existing BIS registration number or create a new registration number if one does not currently exist.
An important distinction to be made between the India BIS approval process and other international approval processes is that BIS does not issue certifications per model or family. They issue a registration number, which is valid for 2 years and covers all models/families produced by a particular factory. This is of importance in that any issues found with a model/family after inclusion to a registration, will not only jeopardize approval for that model/family, but all models covered under the associated registration number.
The registration number is issued to the factory that builds the product instead of the applicant or brand owner applying for approval. An Authorized Indian Representative (AIR) must be established in India for BIS registration. If the applicant or factory has a representative office in India, this office must take the responsibility of AIR. If there is no existing representation in India, another legal entity within India can be nominated as the AIR.
BIS registration does not currently require factory inspections, but market surveillance of products is common. An applicant has a limited period of time to respond to a BIS request for product surveillance. This request is issued to the AIR, as the legal representative of the product in India.
Challenges Obtaining and Maintaining BIS Certification
Getting BIS certification in a fast, expedient manner, and maintaining it once achieved can be hindered by the following obstacles:
- Determine whether products require mandatory BIS certification
- Test samples are delayed in shipping, or get stuck in customs
- Products malfunction or fail during testing
- Family model platforms are interpreted by test lab to require multiple certification reports
- Components interpreted by test lab to require separate BIS certification, increasing cost and time
- AIRs not reliable in dealing with BIS product surveillance issues
- Registrations or certification standards expire, invalidating BIS registration and all products covered under it
How Can We Help?
G&M Compliance has an established office in India. Our experienced personnel in both the U.S. and India utilize the following practices to achieve a fast and efficient certification experience:
- Experience in interpreting BIS product definitions, and knowledge of where to find clarification.
- Understand process for clearing test samples through customs.
- Troubleshoot issues on-site during testing, to expedite approval process
- Work with test labs to maximize platform model certification coverage.
- Select the right laboratory based on favorable interpretations of BIS regulations
- Vet 3rd party AIRs to ensure that they are knowledgeable and reliable.
- Track and alert customers of upcoming registration renewals with G&M’s Certificate Alert and Tracking System (CATS)
Mark – A CRS certification mark is required to be placed on the product.
In-Country Representative: AIR required
In-Country Testing: Required.
Expiration Details – BIS registrations are valid for 2 years after which time they need to be renewed. Renewal is generally a paperwork transaction with no need to send samples. For more information on tracking certifications please see our CATS page.
Product Surveillance – No factory follow-up inspections are required. Market surveillance is common.
Components of BIS mandatory systems may also require BIS certification at the component level. As the definition of products/components requiring compulsory certification can be nebulous, test laboratories may have differing opinions on the exact types or applications in which components require mandatory certification.
If a system does not require compulsory BIS, it’s sub-system components should not require BIS either, even if they would require it as stand-alone products. Therefore it is imperative that proper documentation be presented, and that appropriate representation is retained for declaring the system at customs.
For electrical products, depending on the type of equipment, certifications other than BIS may be required for India. Among these are WPC for wireless products, and TEC for telecom products. For more information about what certifications are required for your product please contact us.