India Mandates BIS Certification for Import of IT and Electronic Products

Posted by Written by Vasundhara Rastogi Reading Time: 3 minutes

BIS registration

Importing electronics and information technology (IT) products without Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) registration is now prohibited in India.

The country is tightening quality controls for electronic products to curb the rising import of cheap electronic items, in particular from China, and boost local manufacturing under its Make in India program.

According to the Directorate General of Foreign Trade’s (DGFT) notification, every company importing and selling electronic products like mobile phones, LED television and LED lights in the country is required to register with the BIS for clearance, failing which the imported goods would be re-exported.

Previously, the government had initiated the Electronics and Information Technology Goods (Requirements for Compulsory Registration) Order in 2012 and mandated 15 electronic products under it to have a BIS certification. These included laptop, notebook, and televisions among others. The order now extends to every imported electronic and IT product for sale in the market.

New rules have wider implications on future imports of electronic items to India – which imports nearly 50 percent of its total electronic products sold. The proportion of electronic components imported for manufacturing is even higher, at about 75 to 80 percent.

India’s commerce ministry data show that the imports of electronic items have nearly doubled in the last five years. If the current trend continues, analysts estimate the demand for electronic items to outpace its local production – creating an import requirement of about US$ 300 billion by 2020.

Given India’s huge appetite for imported electronic products, it is important for importers and foreign manufacturers to get every aspect of compliance right. Failure to do so can prove to be expensive and may also damage business credibility.

What is BIS?

BIS is a national body that operates a product certification scheme to maintain quality, safety, and reliability of products in India. The BIS certification is not a uniform standard or directive that applies to all products. Instead, products are regulated by a specific IS (Indian Standard). 

Below, we outline steps and procedures for registering products with BIS in India.

  • Get the product tested from any one of the BIS recognized laboratories. All critical components must be declared by the manufacturing unit and test report of each component must be submitted to the lab, if applicable. Test report typically takes about 15 days to arrive. 
  • The test report must be issued only in the name of the applicant who is actually manufacturing the product and must specify the name of the manufacturing unit as well as the complete address of the production unit.
  • Before submitting the application for registration in BIS, the applicant must ensure that the test report is duly evaluated and complete.
  • Download and fill the application form number VI and VII from BIS website.
  • To file the application, submit all supporting BIS registration documents along with the test reports. The test report must not be older than 90 days on the date of online application as well as the physical application of registration. The hard copies of the documents must be submitted within 15 days at BIS.
  • In case of foreign manufacturers having no liaison office or branch office located in India, the forms must be filled and signed by the Authorized Indian Representative (AIR), appointed as per the guidelines issued by BIS.
  • Manufacturers/applicants must note here that they need to apply for a separate registration number for products manufactured at different locations. If a product is produced under multiple brands, each brand must be registered separately. If the product and location of manufacturing are the same, the registration may be made based on a common test report.
  • Once the application is complete, the documents will be verified by the BIS officers and the registration will be granted within 15 days. The registration is granted for two years and can be renewed every two years if there is no change in the product and the standard.

Documents required to register with BIS

  • Acknowledgment proof of online file submission;
  • Address proof including business license, and other documents issued by the government;
  • Application signed by the CEO of the company, or an authority letter from the CEO;
  • Form VI and VII;
  • Registration certificate of the brand name, or a copy of the trademark application (if applied for), or an authorization letter from the brand owner;
  • Affidavit and undertaking for the authorized Indian representative along with identity proof of the person signing affidavit, if the manufacturer is located abroad;
  • Undertaking for test report; and
  • The test report.

In addition to meeting BIS certification compliance, an importer must file a Bill of Entry (BE) along with the following documents:

  • Commercial invoice;
  • Packing list;
  • Insurance cover note;
  • Bill of lading; and
  • Country of Origin certificate.

Once the registration is granted, BIS will issue a unique registration number to the applicant which can be affixed on their products.

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India Briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia from offices across the world, including in Delhi and Mumbai. Readers may write for more support on doing business in India