ISI (Indian Standards Institute) mark is a product certification scheme by the BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards). BIS is India’s National Standardization Body, issuing ISI mark which conforms product’s quality with the BIS prescribed parameters/standards. The primary objective of the ISI marking scheme is to ensure that the products made available to consumers are safe for use and meet all of the quality and safety standards established by BIS.
ISI mark is a standard quality mark. Manufacturers of household goods, food and related products, footwear, steel, chemical, cement, toys, jute, etc., can apply for the ISI mark.
BIS requires manufacturers to obtain registration prior to selling the products in the Indian market. The BIS- ISI certification process is primarily voluntary. However, in order to address public health and safety concerns, BIS has identified certain products that falls under mandatory certification. There are over 380 mandatory products that must be ISI certified before they can be sold in India.
Process to obtain BIS-ISI Certification:
 Application submission- A manufacturer is required to submit an application either under ‘Normal Procedure’ or ‘Simplified Procedure’. The authorised BIS officer will conduct a preliminary assessment of the submitted application together with all the documents.
Under the Simplified Procedure, applicant is required to apply with the Test report/s from a BIS accredited laboratory whereas under the Normal Procedure applicant can apply without the Test report/s from a BIS accredited laboratory.
 Preliminary Inspection- An on-site factory inspection will be conducted and BIS grants a licence based on preliminary inspection by assessing the manufacturing infrastructure, production process, quality control and testing capabilities. Detailed examination including factory layout, quality control parameters, staff details, testing & manufacturing equipment details, process flow, etc., will be physically checked.
 In-house lab testing facility- Under the Simplified Procedure, it is mandatory to have an in-house lab testing facility. Under the Normal Procedure, if a BIS accredited lab is not available for the relevant Standard, then an in-house lab facility becomes mandatory.
 Drawing of sample(s)- Under the Simplified Procedure, sample(s) are drawn by the Inspector for independent testing by a BIS approved lab. The conformity of the product to its relevant Standard is established through the BIS approved Test report (sample drawn by the Inspector).Under the Normal Procedure, samples may or may not be drawn.
 Adherence to Scheme of Testing and payment of Marking Fee- Applicant has to adhere to the Scheme of testing and pay the marking fee.
 Grant of License (GoL)- On successful factory inspection and satisfactory test report, the manufacturer will be eligible to get CM/L number (Central Mark License) in order to use the ISI mark on each product or the package.
License granted under ISI marking scheme is valid for 1 year and can be further renewed by filing the renewal application and paying the prescribed fee.
In case BIS Certification is mandatory on a product and manufacturers, importers and sellers enter the Indian market without a BIS licence, they will be penalised, and the Bureau has the right to revoke their licence in accordance with the BIS Act.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
The article has been jointly authored by Ms. Ruchika Agarwal and Ms. Swati Sitani of Mind Sync Business Solutions.
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