New BIS certification rule in India - How will it affect 3D Printer Manufacturers?

Indian Government’s New Rule for Import of Electronic and IT Equipment to India

How will it affect 3D Printer Manufacturers?

The Requirements for Compulsory Registration Order (RCRO), 2012 issued by the Department of Electronics and IT of the Government of India, makes it compulsory for 15 IT and electronic product categories to be compliant with the specifications of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). Only BIS compliant products will be allowed for sale, manufacture and import in India in the 15 categories mentioned.

The RCRO is applicable to imported as well as locally manufactured products. If imported goods are not BIS-compliant the customs authorities can confiscate the shipments. The order allows the government to randomly select samples of registered electronic goods to ascertain whether these goods conform to the specified standards.

The categories include laptops, tablets, plasma/LCD/LED televisions, optical disc players, set top boxes, microwave ovens, video games, scanners and printers among others. The idea was to certify them for their quality, safety and health implications under Indian conditions.

The government had earlier set April 3, 2013 for vendors to get their products BIS-compliant. However, after requests from manufacturers and industry bodies, the deadline has been extended to January 3, 2013.

How Will it Affect Import of 3D Printers into India ?

While 3D Printers do not explicitly fall under any of the categories listed under the RCRO, the nomenclature ‘Printer’ gives a vague implication that 3D printers have to comply with this new rule. The Indian Customs have already started detaining imported ‘3D printers’ at the ports of entry, citing this new rule. However, since the technology is new and at a very nascent stage in India, it still remains to clarify whether 3D printers come under the category 'printers' for the purpose of RCRO.

BIS certification is a welcome initiative by the Government of India to ensure that all electronic goods are safe to be used by the end user. However, lack of testing infrastructure coupled with the vast inventory of electronic and IT equipment being imported by thousands of vendors in India has made is extremely difficult for importers to timely get a BIS certification.

In view of the above, it is advisable that 3D printer manufacturers, especially those eying the India market, take cognizance of this rule and gear up to face the challenges posted by it.

Link to BIS website:   Bureau of Indian Standards

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