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All you need to know about the new BIS regulation on importing LED lights to India

by Kamal Mohta

Recently, the government of India made the BIS certificate mandatory for certain items, including LED lights and few electronic goods, for custom clearance for goods imported from China or other countries. This has a wider implication on future imports to India after 6th May 2015.


What is BIS certificate?


                                                                     BIS logo

The BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) product certificate scheme provides QA certification and the use of ISI marks to producers who confirm to the quality standards mandated by BIS.

The BIS Product Certification Scheme is open to manufacturers in all countries without discrimination. Any business entity foreign or Indian are free to apply for a BIS certificate by following their certification and licensing guidelines as follows:

·      Indian manufacturer can apply for grant of BIS license under the simplified scheme by furnishing test reports of samples tested by the approved laboratories followed by a field visit by BIS staff to the applicant’s factory. The license is granted within 30 days once field visit and test reports are found satisfactory and meeting BIS standards

·      Indian importers are treated at par with Indian manufacturers provided they maintain a fully equipped laboratory to conduct tests confirming to BIS standar

                                                      Sample of BIS certificate

Do I need a BIS certificate for importing from China?

BIS certificate is not country-dependent and it is not needed for all products. Items for import under mandatory BIS certificate are notified by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) vide their notification that can be viewed here.

Currently food products, wire and cables, cement, electrical household appliances, dry cell batteries, steel tubes, medical equipment, automobile tires and few electronic products are covered. LED lights (self-ballasted type) for general-purpose lighting and fixed LED fixtures are included in the mandatory list with effect from 6th May 2015.

How to custom clear goods falling under mandatory BIS certificate?

In addition to the normal customs clearing process, all shipments requiring BIS certificate should have a “self-declaration” printed on each specific commodity itself and external product package. A valid self-declaration must have the registration number of the product and IS (Indian Standard) number allotted.

The failure of proper compliance of BIS registration processes will result in Customs clearance delays into India.

I am planning to import LED lights from China. What process needs to be followed for compliance with BIS while importing from China?

Most Chinese factories are aware of European or American product standards. Those holding such certificates would be capable of getting BIS certificates using an agent in India. If you cannot find a supplier who is willing to apply for BIS certificate, then it is importer’s responsibility to apply for BIS certificate. Currently, BIS certificate is mandatory for following LED lighting products:

·      Self-ballasted LED lamps for general lighting services

·      Fixed general-purpose LED luminaries

What other documents are needed for custom clearing of LED lamp imported from China?

There are no anti-dumping duties or other special licensing requirement to import LED lights from China. In addition to meeting BIS certification compliance, an importer has to file a Bill of Entry (BE) along with the following documents:

1.     Commercial Invoice

2.     Packing Lis

3.     Insurance cover note

4.     Bill of Lading / AWB

5.     Country of Origin certificate

Price list, product catalogs and copy of purchase order or contract may be required by the customs department, but it is not mandatory to submit these initially while applying for import clearance. Visit this link for custom duty and import process for goods imported from China to India.

Kamal Mohta has a decade of experience in procurement and supply chain management. He assists companies to safely import from China. Kamal is a community writer on Hubpages and several other blogs where he writes about travel, international trade and supply chain issues related to China.

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