Govt to monitor imported electronic products for safety compliance

Written by Kirtika Suneja | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 5 2013, 11:01am hrs
In a move that might add to the woes of multinational electronics manufacturers, the government has decided to start surveillance of electronic products imported into the country to verify their compliance with the safety standards set by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The monitoring will be done once every two years.

The department of electronics and information technology (DeitY) plans to monitor the compliance of safety standards from next year.

As per the present 'self- declaration' procedure, all critical components of the products have to be declared by the manufacturing unit and a report of each component has to be submitted to a BIS-certified lab, after which the

lab issues a test report and

registers the product for a period of two years.

The move is likely to irk electronic majors as the government had asked for self-evaluation and declaration till now.

The companies may have problems once we start surveillance because currently they can go to any BIS-certified lab to get their products registered but, after that, we will decide where the products will go, said a DeitY official.

We will need to get into a system of recertification because it may not be tenable for the government to go to the units and verify the compliance of the products. Besides, two years is a long time and more deliberation need to be done, said an official of a company that supplies components to OEMs.

In fact, the Manufacturers Association of Information Technology (MAIT) has recommended that registration should not be made mandatory for each of the factories supplying components to the OEM of a particular product and brand owners should be allowed to register directly.

According to the Electronics and Information Technology Goods Order, 2012, issued by the department, 15 electronic products are required to comply with the applicable safety standards and mandatory registration before they are imported to, distributed or sold in India.

These gadgets are tested on safety parameters like hazards pertaining to shocks, temperature, fire, mechanical, stability and explosion.

The department had earlier extended the date of the order for three months beyond April 3, 2013. The new date on which the order comes into effect is July 3, 2013. Besides, units that do not comply by July can seek further extension for three months till October 3, upon paying a fee.

In fact, Samsung printers were the first category of electronics to be registered by the BIS more than three months after the government made it mandatory for electronics manufacturers to comply with these safety norms.