What is Foreign Manufacturers Certification Scheme by BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards)?

  • June 10, 2024
  • Dushyant Sharma
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The Indian economy is one of the world’s fastest developing economies. It has a potential to compete with some of the biggest economies in the world such as the USA, UK, etc. Due to globalization, several opportunities have been created for trade like manufacturing, services, import-export, etc. 

 

In the past few decades, many foreign companies have established their branches and set up manufacturing units in India as a result of globalization. The manufacturing sector has the potential to expand its market base beyond the borders of one country and can significantly boost another country’s development and contribute to the foreign exchange services of its economy. 

 

When it comes to import, India is one of the biggest hubs for foreign manufacturers to sell their products in India. However, it is necessary to ensure that the foreign products meet the Indian Standards before they can be sold. So, how is this done? It is done through the Foreign Manufacturers Certification Scheme by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

 

In this article, we will discuss what is Foreign Manufacturers Certification Scheme by BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards). If you are a foreign manufacturer who is interested in selling their products in India, we recommend you to read this helpful article.

Bureau of Indian Standards’ (BIS) Foreign Manufacturers Certification Scheme (FMCS): Explained

Almost every country has a government body that sets different rules and standards for foreign manufacturers before their products can be sold. Many foreign companies are operating in India. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is responsible for setting different rules and standards in India for certain products, including products of foreign manufacturers. BIS is India’s National Standards Body, which was established under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016 which came into effect on 12th October, 2017. BIS comes under the Department of Consumer Affairs of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India. 

 

The foreign manufacturers cannot launch their products directly into the Indian market without product conformity compliance, testing and marking. This is when the Foreign Manufacturers Certification Scheme (FMCS) comes into play. The FMCS is a certification scheme by BIS for foreign manufacturers and has been in effect since 2000. It operates under Scheme-I of Schedule-II of BIS Act, 2016 and (Conformity Assessment) Regulations, 2018. Before 2000, only the Indian manufacturers were required to obtain BIS certification. But now, even the foreign manufacturers are required to get their products certified by BIS. 

 

The Foreign Manufacturers Certification Department (FMCD) is the sole authority for granting BIS Certificate (under FMCS) for import to the foreign manufacturers. The reason behind granting the BIS certificate is to ensure that the foreign products are of good quality, safe, reliable and harmless. The BIS FMCS Certificate is meant for the manufacturing units that are located overseas and which will undergo factory audit to determine whether the manufacturer fulfills all the mandatory requirements illustrated by BIS. 

For which Products is BIS Certificate under FMCS granted?

The BIS certificate under FMCS can be granted for all kinds of products for which an Indian Standard exists and is amenable to certification except for the Electronics & IT Products which have been notified under BIS’ Compulsory Registration Scheme (CRS).

Eligibility of BIS Certificate under FMCS

To be eligible for applying for a BIS certificate under FMCS, the foreign manufacturers should meet the following conditions.

  • The manufacturing unit of the foreign manufacturer shall be located outside of India.
  • The foreign manufacturers must ensure their product’s conformity to all the Indian Standards Specification (ISS).
  • The foreign manufacturer must ensure that all manufacturing machinery and testing facilities should be available at the factory’s location.
  • To test the product as per applicable ISS, the product testing equipment and quality control personnel must be available for in-house laboratory.
  • The foreign manufacturer shall accept the Scheme of Inspection & Testing (SIT) and the annual marking fee.
  • The foreign manufacturer or the manufacturing company shall accept the BIS Certificate under FMCS’ terms and conditions.

If you want to learn how to apply for BIS license under FCMS, you can check out the official website of BIS.

 

Authorized Indian Representative (AIR) for Foreign Manufacturers Certification Schee (FMCS)

Before the BIS License can be granted, the foreign applicants are required to nominate an Authorized Indian Representative (AIR). The AIR must be an Indian resident and shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with BIS rules and regulations on the foreign applicant’s behalf. The AIR acts as a local representative and is responsible for the submission and management of the Application for BIS Certificate/License under FMCS.

Rules by BIS for nominating an Authorized Indian Representative (AIR) 

The following conditions/rules must be met/complied with before an individual can be nominated as an AIR:

  • The Authorized Indian Representative (AIR) shall be a resident of India. He shall declare his consent to be responsible for compliance to the provisions under the BIS Act, Rules, Regulations and Terms & Conditions stated in BIS License, Agreement, Undertaking, etc. executed by/on behalf of the foreign manufacturer in connection with the license’s grant and operation.
  • The AIR shall be the representative of only one manufacturing firm and shall not represent other foreign manufacturer(s) as AIR under the BIS Conformity Assessment Schemes. However, this restriction does not apply in case of foreign manufacturers belonging to one group of companies and importers (connected to the foreign manufacturers) nominated as AIR.
  • The foreign manufacturer’s incharge of the branch/office in India or a senior person of the branch/office shall be nominated as the AIR. In a scenario where there does not exist such a branch/office established, the foreign manufacturer shall nominate an AIR in the prescribed format on its letter-head.
  • The manufacturer shall inform BIS in advance in case of change of the AIR or his/her address.
  • The AIR(s) shall not have any conflict of interest regarding their roles as AIR with testing of sample(s) in third-party labs.
  • The AIR(s) shall preferably have at least graduated and shall comprehend the provisions of the BIS, 2016 and the rules and regulations framed in it along with their implications.

Renewal of BIS Certificate under FMCS

It is the responsibility of the foreign manufacturers to get their BIS certificate under FMCS renewed on time. The BIS certificate is initially granted for a period of not less than one year and up to two years. 

 

The renewal of license may be considered for a period of not less than one year and up to five years, depending on whether the annual certificate’s fee and advance minimum marking fee has been paid for. If the application for renewal is made after the license’s validity period, the applicant is liable to pay a late fee while submitting the renewal application. The renewal application must be filed using Form XII and include month-wise production detail including the complete address of the consignees. An extended performance bank guarantee (which is 6 months more than the certificate’s validity) must be submitted along with the remittance of applicable marking fees.

Conclusion

The BIS certificate under FMCS can be obtained by the foreign manufacturers who want to sell their products in the Indian market. The BIS certificate ensures that the foreign manufacturers’ products are in compliance with the Indian standards set by BIS. 

 

Apart from BIS Certification, Import-Export Code (IEC) issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) is also required to be obtained by the foreign manufacturers before they can sell their products in India. For further information about what BIS is or assistance in obtaining IEC, connect with Registrationwala.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What is Foreign Manufacturers Certification Scheme (FMCS) by BIS?

A. FMCS is a scheme meant for foreign manufacturers who are looking to get certified by BIS. BIS certificate under FMCS is granted to foreign manufacturers who want to sell their products (other than Electronic and Information Technology Products) in India. 

 

Q2. Is BIS’ FMCS certification scheme mandatory for importing products in India?

A. The FMCS scheme of BIS is voluntary in nature. However, certain products as notified by the Government of India under Quality Control Orders can be imported to India only with a valid license/certificate from BIS. 

 

Q3. Is it mandatory to nominate an AIR (Authorized Indian Representative)?

A. Yes, the nomination of an AIR is mandatory. The AIR must be an Indian resident and shall declare his consent to be responsible for the compliance with BIS Act’s provisions. 

 

Q4. How much time is taken for the grant of a BIS license/certificate under FMCS?

A. According to the official website of BIS, the average time taken for the BIS license’s grant is generally 6 months from the date of receipt of completed application and its recording. This timeline may vary for reasons like delayed response to queries raised, organizing inspections, etc.

 

Disclaimer: The content provided herein is solely for educational purposes. The information provided in this blog post does not constitute professional advice.


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Dushyant Sharma
Author: Dushyant Sharma

Hey there, I'm Dushyant Sharma. With the extensive knowledge I've gained in past 8 years, I have been creating content on various subjects such as banking, insurance, telecom, and all the important registration and licensing processes for various companies. I'm here to help everyone with my expertise in these areas through my articles.

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