Product Certification

The Bureau of Indian Standards, empowered through an Act of the Indian Parliament, known as the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986, operates a product certification scheme by which it grants licences to manufacturers covering practically every industrial discipline from Agriculture to Textiles to Electronics. The certification allows the licensees to use the popular ISI Mark, which has become synonymous with Quality products for the Indian and neighbouring markets over the last more than 55 years. The Bureau's predecessor, the Indian Standards Institution began operating the product certification Scheme since 1955.

OPERATING PRINCIPLE
The BIS Product Certification Scheme operates in an impartial, non discriminatory and transparent manner. The documents stating the powers, functions and responsibilities of BIS are published by the Government of India as the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986, BIS Rules, 1987 and BIS (Certification) Regulations, 1988. The specific procedure for operating a licence is given in another document called the Scheme of Testing and Inspection (STI), described later. Procedures provide for maintaining a very high degree of confidentiality and integrity among its personnel who perform certification related tasks. A body called the 'Certification Advisory Committee', composed of persons from varied sectors like manufacturers, consumers, Government agencies, industries associations, reviews the performance of the scheme and advises on key policy issues.

CERTIFICATION SYSTEM
The BIS product certification scheme is essentially voluntary in nature, and is largely based on ISO/IEC Guide 28 which provides general rules for third party certification system of determining conformity with product standards through initial testing and assessment of a factory quality management system and its acceptance followed by surveillance that takes into account the factory Quality management system and the testing of samples from the factory and the open market. All BIS certifications are carried out in accordance with Indian Standards, which are amenable to certification. A large number of operational elements of the BIS product certification scheme correspond with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17065.

TYPES OF LICENSING
Although, the scheme itself is voluntary in nature, the Government of India, in public interest (for example public health and safety, security, infrastructure requirements, mass consumption) has enforced mandatory certification on various products through various Quality Control 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 authorities notified in such quality control orders. For the list of items brought under mandatory certification, together with the corresponding Indian Standard Number, and the authorities responsible for enforcing the orders,

List of products under Mandatory certification

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.

For all other products, the manufacturer is permitted to self certify the products after ascertaining its conformity to the Standard licensed for. Through its surveillance operations, the Bureau maintains a close vigil on the quality of certified goods.

The BIS Product Certification Scheme is open to manufacturers in all countries without discrimination. Overseas applicants are also granted licence for use of ISI mark under separately designed scheme. FMCS

Resources
The finances of the Bureau are self managed, with certification operations accounting for about 90 percent of the revenue. The BIS employs competent engineers and scientists to cater to all its fields of operations. They are trained into evaluation and assessment techniques to a high degree of professional competence. All preliminary and surveillance inspections are carried out by qualified personnel only. BIS has set up eight laboratories in different cities of India for testing samples of products taken during preliminary and surveillance operations. In addition, independent laboratories having demonstrated ability and a quality system complying with IS/ISO/IEC 17025 have been recognized for testing of samples.

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 BIS Directory .