Footwear Retailers Seek 8-10 Months Extension For Implementation Of BIS Quality Control Order
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Footwear Retailers Seek 8-10 Months Extension For Implementation Of BIS Quality Control Order

Footwear retailers have sought more time for the implementation of norms of the Quality Control Order, 2020 (QCO), for footwear manufacturers.

QCO norms for footwear are slated to be enforced from July 1 in the country. Retailers have urged the government to give them 8-10 months of additional time from the effective date of the QCO for footwear manufacturers.

This request is meant to allow retailers to place orders and procure stocks of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)-compliant footwear from manufacturers, the retailers said in their request.

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) issued QCO for footwear made from leather, rubber or polymer. Once implemented, it will make it compulsory to conform with the Indian Standards and footwear products will also be required to bear a Standard Mark under a licence.

Saurabh Sanyal, CEO and Secretary, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI), said that the implementation of QCO at this crucial juncture without much time for transition for the retail industry has created a precarious situation and will be an impediment to the operation, growth and sustenance of the footwear retail sector.

“While the industry is gearing up for readiness of QCO compliance for new manufacturing, as of now there has been no clarity for applicability of QCO on the inventory manufactured or procured prior to June 30, 2023 (before QCO effective date), for which large capital has been deployed by pan-India retailers while incurring a huge amount of taxes, duties and levies,” Sanyal said.

The retailers said that most of the manufacturing plants still do not have internal testing facilities within their premises. They will require further investments and time for setting up such facilities before applying for the BIS registration and certification process.

According to the PHDCCI statement, only a miniscule of manufacturers or suppliers have been able to receive the BIS licences till date with 30 licences issued across 10 leather footwear categories, and 18 licences for 13 categories of non-leather footwear.

At the current pace, the certification process for most manufacturers will not be completed even after the QCO’s effective date, it added.

Moreover, the retail industry players said that they were determined to adopt the QCO and are aligned with Prime Minister’s clarion call for “Zero-Defect-Zero Effect” manufacturing.

They said that while the manufacturers have already commenced the process for getting BIS registration and licences to comply with QCO requirements, the existing infrastructure and testing facilities are not sufficient to cater to the current requirements of stringent BIS testing and certification for all the manufacturers and products being manufactured.

BIS had still not come up with product manuals for some standards, testing equipment required, testing methodologies and procedures, they added.


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