NEW DELHI: Toys manufactured in India or those imported for use by children below 14 years will have to comply with the BIS standards from September 1.
This could be another big blow to Chinese companies as their share in the basket of imported toys is close to 75%. India imported toys worth nearly Rs 4,000 crore in 2019-20.
“All imported toys will have to comply with the BIS standards. We won’t allow import of any non-standard toy and their sale in India,” Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said.
BIS director general, Pramod Kumar Tiwari said BIS officials will be deployed at seven major ports including Mumbai, Deendayal Upadhyay ( Kandla), Paradip, Kolkata and Kochi for sample check of imported items.
He said there would be two steps to ensure the standards are complied with; one is at the source itself, wherein BIS officials go for physical inspection of a factory location from where the imported products are sourced abroad and second quality check after the shipment lands here.
The commerce ministry had in February issued the quality control order (QCO) mandating that no toy, including those manufactured in India, would be sold without having BIS certification from September. Till now there are no licence-holders for manufacturing toys. BIS officials said recently nine applications have been received for obtaining licences. They said some demanded deferment of the time-line as it may affect small domestic manufacturers as well.
The seven Indian Standards were notified barely months after a Quality Council of India (QCI) had found that nearly 67% of imported toys failed the testing survey The testing was conducted on 121 varieties of toys, available in Delhi and NCR markets, at NABL-accredited laboratories as per the Indian standards. It had found that 30% of plastic toys failed to meet the safety standards and 80% failed on mechanical and physical safety properties. Sources said nearly 75% electric toys had failed in the test.
Officials said in case of most of the toys, the manufacturers or importers will have to comply with the norms meant for safety of toys related to mechanical and physical properties. “In some cases such as toy drones, they would have to comply with other specific standards. All seven norms won’t apply to all toys being manufactured or sold here,” said an official.
Besides toys, the mandatory standards for steel, chemicals, electronic goods and heavy machinery as well as for food items like packaged water and milk products are in the process of being included in the QCO, Tiwari said. Different departments will come out with the QCO. One such example is the mandatory gold standard coming into force from June 2021. So far, 268 standards have been mandatory in the country and many are in the pipeline.