Quality Control Orders for Fibres

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    • Recently, Quality Control Orders (QCO) have been issued for cotton, polyester and viscose by the Bureau of Indian Standards.

    About:

    •  For ensuring availability of quality products to consumers, Quality Control Orders (QCOs) are issued by various Ministries/Departments of Government of India in exercise of the powers conferred by section 16 of the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016 stipulating conformity of the products to Indian Standards.
    • In the recent issuance some QCO ‘s were revised and made mandatory for a few products.
    • The order also mandates International manufacturers of these fibres, who supply to India, are also mandated to get a certificate from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), which is the certifying authority for the QCOs.

    State of India’s Fibre Imports

    • The Indian textile and clothing industry consumes both indigenous and imported fibres and filaments.
    • The imports are done for  reasons like  cost competitiveness, non-availability in the domestic market, or to meet a specified demand of the overseas buyer.
    • India imports 50,000 – 60,000 tonnes of  fibre from nearly 20 countries. In the case of polyester, 90,000 tonnes of polyester fibre and 1.25 lakh tonnes of POY (Polyester Partially Oriented Yarn) are imported annually.

    Issues with the Order

    • Lost Orders: The overseas fibre manufacturers sell not only to India but to other countries too. The supply of some fibres to India is in small quantities. Getting the certificate from the BIS involves a cost and hence not all are interested in getting the certificate. Indian textile manufacturers who are dependent on these suppliers for the raw material will have to either look at other suppliers or lose orders
    •  Delayed Visits: BIS officials have to visit the manufacturing unit abroad before issuing the certificate and this process is yet to be completed for all suppliers who have applied for the BIS registration.
    • Supply Chain Disruption:The textile buyers, be it domestic or international, have established a supply chain over the years and when there are constraints because of certification, the value chain is disrupted.
    • Ambiguous: There is no clarity on the fibres that were stocked before the certification order.
    • Incomplete:  Many textile units use lower grade fibres that are generated from rejects and wastes and these are not covered under the QCO. 

    Remedial Measures

    • Fibres which have special functional properties have separate HS (Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System) code when imported.since a Quality control system already exists, import of speciality fibres that are used as blends with other fibres should be made available without restriction.
    • BIS certificate issuance should be  without delay after inspection
    • polyester spun yarn mills in the MSME sector should be provided capital support to set up labs to test products.

    Bureau of Indian Standards

    • BIS is India’s National Standard Body established under the BIS Act 2016 for the total development of standardisation, certification, and quality assurance of goods
    •  It operates under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
    • Initiatives by BIS:
      • Activities include standardisation, certification, hallmarking, and product testing in laboratories.
      • BIS collects market samples for independent testing in order to ensure the quality of ISI-marked products on the market.
      • Action is taken against violating firms whose products do not meet Indian standards.
      • BIS organises Consumer Awareness Programs to educate consumers about the quality of ISI-marked items, as well as their misuse and colourable imitations.

    Source:TH