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BIS certification date extended by govt
10/1/2013 11:26:31 AM from Business Standard
Ahead of the rise in demand in the coming festive season, the government has said manufacturers can continue selling various electronic products whose registration and labelling by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is pending, even after the October 3 deadline.

The announcement followed a meeting between communications and information technology minister Kapil Sibal and industry representatives late on Thursday.

With this, the deadline to implement the order has been extended thrice. Initially, the order was scheduled to be implemented on April 3 this year. The order, issued last year, makes it mandatory for about 15 categories of electronic products, including laptops, tablets, printers and scanners, to be certified by BIS before these can be sold in India.

Officials present at Thursday’s meeting told Business Standard the government had also allowed manufacturers to continue selling products for which test reports were awaited.

In such cases, companies would have to attach a self-certificationand confirmation that the products had been submitted for tests. Manufacturers have also been allowed to attach labels on products at their warehouses after the products are imported into the country. The deadline for labelling of products is January 3, 2014.

A notification on these announcements was likely to be issued on Monday, an official said.

“Though there has been enormous success in the last three weeks, only 50 per cent of the products have been given registration numbers so far,” said Alok Bharadwaj, executive vice-president of Canon India. “Of the 325 applications submitted with BIS, 225 have been cleared and we are hopeful by Monday, 300 of these will be cleared.”

He added each application included multiple products and manufacturers would have to submit test reports before January 3 2014.

As the industry is set to enter its peak sales season, the announcements come as relief for it. The Manufacturers Association of Information Technology (MAIT) couldn’t be reached for comment.

Ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meeting with US President Barack Obama, a consortium of influential American information technology and telecom industry bodies had sought intervention against the order, calling it “restrictive”. In a joint letter on Wednesday, three US electronics industry bodies said the potential losses during the last quarter of this year could run into several hundred million dollars, with billions of dollars of lost exports and sales at risk in 2014. “If left in place, these policies could shut out US technology companies from a critical emerging market,” the letter said.

Most industry players have claimed the pace of registration of products by BIS was very slow and an “enormous” number of products were yet to be certified by BIS, 10 days ahead of the October 3 deadline.

“I don’t think we are ready to meet the deadline, as the registrations have not come in yet,” Amar Babu, managing director, Lenovo, told Business Standard on Wednesday. “So far, the number of registrations is minimal and if the government does not extend the deadline, it might lead to a shortage of products in the market. Also, this order will lead to significant delays in bringing newer technologies into India.”
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