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India extends date for implementing new electronics safety certification

The government has extended the deadline for electronics manufacturers and importers to get safety certifications for their products due to delays at the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

The original deadline was July 3, after which products that did not meet the safety norms were not to be sold.

“Department of Electronics and IT shall provide provisional clearance to the manufacturers and importers to sell goods and to obtain registration for a period of three months beyond July 3, 2013,” the government said today.

The new order is likely to prevent a major disruption in the electronics and information technology market in the country.

According to a law passed last year, fifteen categories of items — video games, laptops and tablets, Plasma/LCD/LED TVs, optical disc players, microwave ovens, printers, keyboards, music systems etc. are all supposed to carry the Indian Safety Standards (ISS) standard from July.

Such standards already exist in foreign countries. In the European Union, the CE mark is used to ensure compliance with local laws. Many new products first get unveiled when they are submitted for regulatory clearances.

This is the second time the deadline for ISS has been extended.

The move is likely to negatively affect the unbranded electronics market. Small importers, who typically buy their lots of Hong Kong and elsewhere in China and sell them under their own brand, are unlikely to bother with ISS certification for their low volume products. As a result, such goods will not be allowed to be imported to India.

This is particularly likely to affect certain markets, though small computer peripherals and mobile phones and accessories are not covered by this rule. But it is bound to affect tablet sales.

It was recently reported, quoting the Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT), that 1,400 products have been submitted for testing and test results of 400 have been given to the BIS.

“Considering that some manufacturers and importers have yet not received registration numbers from Bureau of Indian Standards, the Department of Electronics and IT (DeitY) has put in place an interim mechanism vide Gazette notification No. 714 dated 22.3.2013. According to this notification, DeitY shall provide provisional clearance to the manufacturers and importers to sell goods and to obtain registration for a period of three months beyond July 3, 2013,” government said today.

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