The Product Certification Scheme of BIS aims at providing Third Party Guarantee of quality, safety and reliability of products to the customer. Presence of ISI certification mark, known as Standard Mark, on a product is an assurance of conformity to the specifications. The conformity is ensured by regular surveillance of the licensee's performance by surprise inspections and testing of samples, drawn both from the market and factory. The manufacturer is permitted to self certify the licenced products after ascertaining its conformity to the Standard. Through its surveillance operations, the Bureau maintains a close vigil on the quality of certified goods. The certification scheme operates through a network of 34 Branch Offices set up in State capitals or major industrial towns and 5 Regional Offices overseeing the work of the Branch offices.
Although, the scheme itself is voluntary in nature, the Government of India, on considerations of public health and safety, security, infrastructure requirements and mass consumption has enforced mandatory certification on various products through Orders issued from time to time under various Acts. While BIS continues to grant licences on application, the enforcement of compulsory certification is done by the notified authorities.
Under separate arrangements with Statutory agencies, some products have been placed under special certification schemes of lot or batch inspection carried out by BIS Inspecting officers. A majority of gas cylinders, regulators and valves are certified through such schemes.
In order to safeguard the interest of consumers against spurious marking/misuse of ISI mark, penal provision exists in BIS Act 1986 under section 33(1), as per which any person who contravenes the provisions of Section 11, Section 12, Section 14 or Section 15 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend upto one year or with a fine which may extend upto Rs. 50,000 or with both.