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India’s introduction of a series of Quality Control Orders (QCO) to rein in a Chinese import surge and boost exports to western markets is facing objections at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and from domestic manufacturers seeking more time to adjust.

About the News,

India has brought a slew of products including toys, machinery safety equipment, pressure cookers, ACs, and chemicals under compulsory certification.

  • Objections from WTO
    • Technical regulation implemented through QCOs and Compulsory Registration Orders (CRO) should be on the grounds of
      • health,
      • safety,
      • environment,
      • deceptive trade practice or
      • National security.
    • If they are not on these grounds they can be challenged at WTO as being trade restrictive.
  • Objections from domestic manufacturers
    • Implementing the QCO on such short notice could destroy the already-stressed export value chain. As per the Confederation of the Indian Textiles Industry, Government gave only 30 days to the industry to comply with QCO on viscose staple fibers.
    • It could lead to
      • cancellation of orders
      • turning Indian industry unreliable
      • Diversion of export orders to competing countries.
    • Objections from other bodies
      • As per National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB), Regulatory impact assessment (RIA) is lacking. RIA is a formal exercise done by developed nations before coming out with a technical regulation to assess the impact of regulations.
      • As per India SME Forum, Quality control has to be a continuous process and not once in a decade knee-jerk reaction

What are QCOs?

  • Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), established by the BIS Act 2016, is the National Standards Body of India. It is engaged in the Standardisation, Conformity Assessment, and Quality Assurance of goods, articles, processes, systems, and services.
  • The Central Government, after consulting BIS, publishes QCOs thereby bringing the products under BIS Mandatory Certification.

Why does India need QCOs?

  • Curb dumping from China:
    • India imports 90% of bulk drugs or APIs from China and allows easy access through a simple registration system without any rule for checking off each consignment at the time of import. Whereas in China, where registration takes one to three years and testing takes place again at the time of imports. And China cancels registration even if one batch has issues.
    • Such regulations will act as an anti-dumping
  • Safeguard Consumer Interest:
    • The Quality Council of India conducted a survey that showed that 67% of toys that were imported were not safe for the children.
  • Regulations at par with global standards:
    • Every country, be it the US or China, does it. India is behind in terms of quality standards and needs to push for better standards to be part of the global supply chain.

  • One Nation, One Standard Mission:
    • Creating India as a leader in maintaining global benchmarks for the highest levels of quality standards.
  • Zero Effect, Zero Defect products
  • Globally competitive Made in India products
  • Boost domestic industries:
    • By opening up new global markets with high quality products, domestic industries can recover from post-COVID slump.



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