New Delhi: The government has notified two new Quality Control Orders (QCOs) on potable water bottles and flame-producing lighters to “strengthen the quality ecosystem in India and enhance public health and safety of consumers”.
The QCOs have been notified by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry on July 5, 2023. These QCOs will come into effect six months from the date of notification.
The QCO for potable water bottles mandates compulsory certification under the appropriate IS Standard for the production and import of potable water bottles made of copper, stainless steel, or aluminium. The QCO for flame-producing lighter mandates compulsory certification under IS Standards for safety specifications for lighters as well as utility lighters, for the flame lighters manufactured for domestic market or imported into India.
A lighter is a portable device which creates a flame and can be used to ignite a variety of items, such as cigarettes, gas lighter, fireworks, candles or campfires. It consists of a metal or plastic container filled with a flammable liquid or compressed gas, a means of ignition to produce the flame, and some provision for extinguishing the flame. There are two types of lighters: Flame and Spark type.
To support the domestic micro and small industries, relaxations have been granted in terms of the timeline for implementing the QCO. This aims to safeguard their interests while ensuring smooth implementation and fostering an environment conducive to ease of doing business.
Secretary, DPIIT, Rajesh Kumar Singh stressed the importance of building a quality ecosystem in India for the manufacturing of world-class products. He also emphasized that it will not only contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country but also put India prominently on the world map in terms of quality products.
DPIIT stated it has taken steps to establish a comprehensive quality control regime in India. One of the key measures that it has undertaken is the development of mandatory QCOs with the aim to curb the import of sub-standard products, prevent unfair trade practices, and ensure the safety and well-being of consumers, as well as the environment. The implementation of the QCO is envisaged to improve manufacturing quality standards and enhance the brand value of ‘Make in India’ products. DPIIT said it is actively developing quality testing labs, product manuals, and other essential components, fostering the growth of a robust quality ecosystem in India.
In collaboration with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), DPIIT has initiated the development of 64 new QCOs, covering 317 product standards. Extensive consultations with key industry associations and stakeholders are conducted to gather valuable inputs and feedback for each QCO, after which the QCO draft is submitted for approval to the Commerce and Industry Minister and vetted by the Department of Legislative Affairs. Once this process is completed, the QCOs are uploaded on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) website for a 60-day period, inviting comments from member countries.
With the notification of the QCOs, manufacturing, storing and sale of non-BIS certified products are prohibited as per the BIS Act, 2016. The violation of the provision of the BIS Act can attract a penalty of imprisonment up to two years or with a fine of at least Rs 2 lakh for the first offence. In case of second and subsequent offences, the fine will increase to Rs 5 lakh minimum and extend up to ten times the value of goods or articles.
– global bihari bureau