The government has recently taken significant measures to improve product quality in the market. On October 23, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) issued three important notifications: Helmets for Police Force, Civil Defence and Personal Protection (Quality Control) Order, 2023, Bottled Water Dispensers (Quality Control) Order, 2023, and Door Fittings (Quality Control) Order, 2023. These notifications mandate that products must bear the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) mark to be produced, sold, traded, imported, or stocked.
To facilitate a smooth transition and support small and micro industries, the DPIIT has provided extensions. Small industries have been given an additional nine months, while micro industries have been granted an extra 12 months to meet these quality standards.
In collaboration with BIS and stakeholders, the DPIIT has identified over 60 products for Quality Control Orders (QCO). This initiative has resulted in the development of more than 60 new QCOs covering 318 product standards. Violations of these standards can lead to imprisonment of up to two years or a minimum fine of Rs 2 lakh for the first offense. Subsequent offenses could result in a minimum fine of Rs 5 lakh or up to 10 times the value of the goods.
The government is actively promoting awareness about quality standards among manufacturers and consumers. Ongoing initiatives include the development of QCOs, establishment of quality testing labs, and creation of product manuals. These efforts, coupled with lab accreditations, aim to establish a strong quality ecosystem in the country.
The enforcement of mandatory Quality Control Orders plays a vital role in preventing the import of sub-standard products, eradicating unfair trade practices, and ensuring the safety of consumers and the environment. Similar orders have been issued in the past for various goods such as smart meters, welding rods and electrodes, cookware and utensils, fire extinguishers, electric ceiling fans, and domestic gas stoves.