Guide to India’s Foreign Manufacturer Certification Scheme

Posted by Written by Archana Rao Reading Time: 7 minutes

India’s Foreign Manufacturer Certification Scheme (FMCS) is meant for overseas production units and those manufacturers exporting goods to India. India Briefing shares with you a comprehensive overview of how the scheme works and qualifying norms for manufacturers.

India is emerging as a key production and assembly hub for global markets. The country has significantly boosted its imports of raw materials to meet the demand for finished goods. Nevertheless, a rise in imports has also contributed to a rise in the dumping of commodities, many of which are of poor quality. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the national standards organization that promotes and controls product and goods standards in India, has established a number of rules to guarantee that goods entering India meet minimum quality thresholds.

Major manufacturing economies have set different rules and standards for goods production; therefore, a manufacturer is obligated to adhere to each market’s conformity compliance, testing, and marking rules. The Foreign Manufacturer Certification Scheme (FMCS) provides BIS product certification under the ISI mark scheme. The ISI mark is a standards-compliance mark for industrial products in India since 1950.

What is the foreign manufacturer certification scheme? 

Foreign manufacturers who want to export their product to India first need to get a manufacturer certificate from the BIS.  

BIS has been operating FMCS since the year 2000 under Scheme-I of Schedule-II, BIS Act, 2016 and (Conformity Assessment) Regulations, 2018 for foreign manufacturers. This scheme enables overseas applicants or manufacturers to use the standard mark, which is also called the ISI Mark, to sell their products in India.

The Foreign Manufacturers Certification Department (FMCD) is the only eligible authority that can grant BIS certificates for import to foreign manufacturers.

Qualifying norms for factory audits

The FMCS Certificate in India from the FMCD department is meant for manufacturing units located overseas. The production units will undergo a factory audit to determine whether the manufacturer is complying with all the necessary requirements illustrated by BIS. It is also mandatory for foreign applicants to nominate Authorized Indian Representative (AIR).

The auditing process also ensures that the manufacturing unit is legitimate and that the said machines and equipment are present on the premises. Prior to the audit, a manufacturer must agree to the applicable fee, as prescribed by the BIS. 

List of fees to be borne by an applicant 

The fees to be remitted by applicants & licensees under FMCS shall be the same as applicable to domestic manufacturers. In addition, Per-diem charges shall be applicable as prescribed in Chapter II of Regulation 12 (4) (a) of the Bureau of Indian Standards (Terms and Conditions of Service of Employees) Regulations, 2020.

All visits under FMCS shall be treated as special visits, and cost of ticket, visas, insurance, etc. shall be payable as per BIS norms. Payment against contingency fund of INR 10,000 (US$120.07) shall also be payable.

List of fees to be charged

A. Applicant


A-1.1 Application fee (non-refundable)

INR 1000 (US$12.01)

A-1.2 Special visit charges

INR 7000/- per man-day (US$78)

A-1.3 Testing charges

As applicable

B. Licensee


B-1 Annual license fee

INR 1000 (US$12.01)

B-2 Renewal application fee (non-refundable)

INR 1000 (US$12.01)

B-3 Late fee for renewal

INR 5000 (US$60.03)

B-4 Marking fee

As applicable

B-5 Special visit charges

INR 7000/- per man-day (US$78)

B-6 Processing charges for inclusion of new varieties, or, where grouping guidelines are available, per group of varieties

INR 5000/- per variety (US$60.03)

B-7 Design & drawing approval for LPG cylinders, valves, regulators, etc. and other products where design &drawing approval is sought from BIS (for each approval) B-8Testing charges, where required

INR 5000/- (US$60.03)

B-8 Testing charges, where required 

As applicable

B-10 Counter Sample Testing & Witnessing Charges (applicant/licensee)


B-9 Issue of Duplicate license

INR 1000/- (US$12.01)

B-10 Counter sample testing & witnessing charges (applicant/licensee)

(i) Charges for testing of counter sample:

(ii) Charges for witnessing testing of counter sample:



Twice the rates charged for normal testing

INR 10,000 (US$12.01) + travel, boarding & lodging for BIS official where outstation travel is required to be made.

B-11 Testing charges for resumption of marking/applicant sample/verification sample

Testing charges of samples drawn in connection with Resumption of marking/applicant sample/ sample, or verification sample shall be charged

BIS guidelines also specify that all payments can be made either in Indian Rupees with GST (as applicable) or in equivalent of US dollars by applicants or licensees of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries, i.e., Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. It may be noted that the fees prescribed by the authority do not include bank commissions and transfer charges.

Validity and renewal of foreign manufacturer certificate

Initially, the license is provided for a minimum of one year and a maximum of two years. Depending on whether the yearly license fee and advance minimum marking charge have been paid, the license renewal may be considered for a minimum of one year and a maximum of five years. An INR 5,000 (US$60.03) late charge must be included with the renewal application if it is submitted after the license has expired.

The following must be included in renewal request:

  1. renewal application (Form XII)
  2. Production details, broken down by month and consignee address in full
  3. Extended Performance Bank Guarantee: six months beyond the license’s expiration date
  4. Payment of the relevant marking costs

As prescribed by the BIS, there are over 200 items that are mandated to obtain a quality certificate. The articles are product-wise categorized.

Sr no.

IS product categories

BIS Quality Control Orders



Cement (Quality Control) Order, 2003


Household Electrical goods

Electrical Wires, Cables, Appliances and Protection Devices and Accessories (Quality Control) Order, 2003



Multipurpose Dry Batteries (Quality Control) Order, 1987


Food & Related Products

Food Safety & Standards Prohibition & Restriction on Sales, Regulation, 2011

Solvent Extracted Oil, De-oiled Meals and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967

The Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and Infant Foods (regulation of production, supply and distribution), Act 1992


Oil Pressure Stoves

Oil Pressure Stoves (Q.C) Order, 1997


Automobile Accessories

Pneumatic Tyres and Tubes for Automotive Vehicles (Quality Control) Order, 2009


Cylinder, Valves and Regulation

Explosive Act, 1884

Gas Cylinder Rules, 2016


Medical Equipment

Clinical Thermometers (Quality Control), 2001

Diagnostic Medical X- Ray Equipment


Steel Products

Steel and Steel Products (Quality Control) Order, 2020

Ductile Iron Pressure Pipes and Fittings (Quality Control) Order, 2009
Mild Steel Tubes (excluding seamless tube & tubes according to API Specification) (Quality Control) order,1978 and Amendment Order, 1983


Electrical Transformers

Electrical transformers (Quality Control ) order, 2015


Electrical Motors

Energy Efficient Induction Motor (Quality Control) Order, 2017



Electrical Capacity (Quality Control) Order, 2017


Chemicals and Fertilizers

Bureau of Indian Standard (Caustic Soda) Order, 2018

Bureau of Indian Standards (Standards for Boric Acid) Order, 2019

Poly Aluminium Chloride (Quality Control) Order, 2019

Acetic Acid (Quality Control) Order, 2019

Aniline (Quality Control) Order, 2019

Amendment in Methanol (Quality Control) Order, 2019


Kitchen Appliances

Bureau of Indian Standards Kitchen Appliances (Quality Control) Order, 2018


Domestic Water Heaters for use with LPG

Bureau of Indian Standards Domestic Water Heater for Use with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Quality Control) Order, 2018


Air Conditioner and its related Parts, Hermetic Compressor and Temperature Sensing Controls

Air Conditioner and its related Parts, Hermetic Compressor and Temperature Sensing Controls (Quality Control) Order, 2019


Plugs and Socket-Outlets and Alternating Current Direct Connected Static Prepayment Meters for Active Energy

Plugs and Socket-Outlets and Alternating Current Direct Connected Static Prepayment Meters for Active Energy (Quality Control) Order, 2019


Domestic Gas Stoves for use with Liquefied Petroleum Gases

Domestic Gas Stoves for use with Liquefied Petroleum Gases (Quality Control) Order, 2019


Transparent Float Glass

(Quality Control) Order, 2019 S.O. 03 (E) dated 31/12/2019


Domestic Pressure Cooker

(Quality Control) Order, 2020 S.O. 294 (E) dated 21/01/2020



Cables (Quality Control) Order, 2020 S.O. 294 (E) dated 21/01/2020


Rubber Hose for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)

Rubber Hose for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) (Quality Control ) Order, 2020 S.O. 478(E) dated 28th January 2020


Aluminum Foil

Aluminium Foil (Quality Control) Order, 2020 S.O. 687 (E) dated 13/02/2020



Toys (Quality Control ) Order, 2020 S.O. 853(E) dated 25th February 2020


Flat Transparent Sheet Glass

Flat Transparent Sheet Glass (Quality Control ) Order, 2020 S.O. 738(E) dated 14th February 2020


Safety Glass

Safety Glass (Quality Control ) Order, 2020 S.O. 1045(E), dated 12th March 2020

Foreign manufacturer certification process

FMCS conducts inspection of a manufacturing unit based in abroad to ensure the articles meant for imports to India meet the required quality standards. All manufacturers, except for those dealing in electronic and information technology, are permitted to obtain the FMCS certification.

  1. Fill out the application form for the certification along with all the mandatory documents.
  2. Pay the prescribed fee while submitting the application form.
  3. The manufacturing and testing infrastructure would be verified during a factory inspection.
  4. A sample product will be taken during the factory inspection for independent testing.
  5. The registration process will only move forward if the inspection and independent testing report verifies that the product complies with the BIS standards.
  6. The applicant would have to pay a license fee before the license is granted.
  7. The certificate will be issued if the product complies with the BIS standards.

Mandatory documents

  1. Business license and ISO certificate (English translation is mandatory, if license/certificate is available in any other language).
  2. Process flow chart.
  3. Certificates for products or factory systems (if any).
  4. List of manufacturing machinery.
  5. List of raw materials and raw material test certificate.
  6. Test Equipment Calibration Certificate.
  7. Drawing of the product or its components.
  8. Test report according to Indian Standards.
  9. Authorized Indian Representative (AIR) details
  10. Undertaking and Declaration.

Guidelines to nominate an AIR by foreign manufacturer

Each foreign application or manufacturer must have a branch office in India that will handle all of the foreign applicant’s duties and obligations with regard to the BIS Act as well as any rules and regulations formulated for the purpose of registration. In order to present their case, comply with registration requirements, and meet regulatory requirements, foreign manufacturers and companies must designate an Authorized India Representative in India.

In the event that they do not have a branch office in India, international applicants must designate AIR in order to obtain an ISI Mark Certificate and a BIS License. As the local representative, AIR is in charge of filing and overseeing the certification application and is accessible to respond to inquiries. The applicant must be sure of the following when nominating the AIR:

  • The foreign manufacturer’s nominee for AIR must be an Indian citizen.
  • In connection with the grant and operation of the license, AIR shall agree that he is responsible for adhering to the terms and conditions stated in the BIS license, agreement, undertaking, and any other documents executed on behalf of the foreign manufacturer.
  • AIR is only able to represent one foreign manufacturer at a time; it is not permitted to act in the place of other foreign applicants.
  • When AIRs examine a sample in a third-party laboratory, they will not have a conflict of interest in their capacity as AIRs.
  • The minimum qualification for an AIR is a bachelor’s degree and knowledge of the provisions of the BIS Act, 2016, as well as rules and regulations.
  • AIR’s name shall appear in the license documents.

Key takeaways

On average, it takes six to nine months from the date of receipt of the completed application and its documentation to grant a license. It may also vary for other reasons, such as the applicant’s delay in responding to inquiries, sample transportation, fee payments, etc. Obtaining a BIS certificate for foreign manufacturers is done manually; the forms to be submitted can be downloaded from the BIS website.

(US$1=INR 83.29)

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