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BIS Certification Compulsory for Furniture Materials

The Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has issued quality control orders (QCOs) that make BIS certification compulsory for furniture materials, namely – resin treated compressed wood laminates, wood-based boards, and plywood and wooden flush door shutters. These orders were notified on 14 July, 10 August and 29 August, respectively, this year.

The QCOs will come into effect six months from the date of their notification. However, for small enterprises, the applicable QCO will come into force with effect nine months from the date of notification, and for micro-enterprises, the period would be 12 months.

As per the QCOs, the products listed therein will conform to the corresponding Indian Standard and bear the Standard Mark under a license from the Bureau of Indian Standards. The exception is that the order will not apply to goods or articles manufactured domestically for exports. Any contraventions will be punishable under the provisions of the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016.

Products covered under the respective QCO and the applicable Indian Standard are:

 Resin Treated Compressed Wood Laminates (Quality Control) Order, 2023

  • Resin treated compressed wood laminates (compregs) – for electrical purposes [IS 3513 (Part 1): 1989]
  • Resin treated compressed wood laminates (compregs) – for chemical purposes [IS 3513 (Part 2): 1989]
  • Resin treated compressed wood laminates (compregs) – for general purposes [IS 3513 (Part 3): 1989]

Wood Based Boards (Quality Control) Order, 2023

  • Block boards [IS 1659:2004]
  • Prelaminated particle boards from wood and other lignocellulosic material [IS 12823:2015]
  • Particle boards of wood and other lignocellulosic materials (medium density) for general purposes [IS 3087:2005]
  • Medium density fibre boards for general purpose [IS 12406:2021]
  • Veneered particle boards {IS 3097:2006]

Plywood and Wooden Flush Door Shutters (Quality Control) Order, 2023

  • Plywood for general purposes [IS 303:1989]
  • Wooden flush door shutters (solid core type) – plywood face panels [IS 2202 (Part 1):1999]
  • Marine plywood [IS 710:2010]
  • Fire retardant plywood [IS 5509:2021]
  • Veneered decorative plywood [IS 1328:1996]
  • Wooden flush door shutters (cellular and hollow core type) – particle board and hardboard face panels [IS 2191 (Part 2):2022]
  • Wooden flush door shutters (cellular and hollow core type) – plywood face panels [IS 2191 (Part 1):2022]
  • Wooden flush door shutters (solid core type) — particle board, high density fibre board, medium density fibre board and fibre hardboard face panels [IS 2202 (Part 2): 2022]
  • Plywood for concrete shuttering works – specification [IS 4990: 2011]
  • Structural plywood – specification [IS 10701: 2012]

More Orders and Standards

A draft quality control order has also been floated by DPIIT with respect to ‘Other Wooden Furniture’ (HS code: 94036000)’, on August 17, 2022. This draft proposes to bring furniture under mandatory BIS certification “keeping in view the human safety and for ensuring the optimum quality of product.”

While inviting comments on the proposal, the draft lists the following categories of furniture:

  • Work chairs [IS 17631:2022]
  • General purpose chairs and stools [IS 17632:2022]
  • Tables and desks [IS 17633:2022]
  • Storage units [IS 17634:2022]
  • Beds [IS 17635:2022]
  • Bunk beds [IS 17636:2022]

Interestingly, the draft proposes to exempt the following goods or articles:

  • Meant for exports
  • Manufactured by micro enterprises as defined by the Ministry of MSMEs
  • Manufactured and sold by artisans registered with Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles
  • Manufactured and sold by registered proprietor and authorised user of a product registered as Geographical Indication by the Registrar of Geographical indications, Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDTM), DPIIT

The Bureau of Indian Standards also released in June 2023 a new standard – IS 18297:2023 – for Cabinet Hinges.

DPIIT, which has been set up by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, has a mandate to promote industrial development by facilitating investment in new and upcoming technology, accelerating foreign direct investment (FDI), and supporting the balanced development of industries and trade. It is also the nodal department for the formulation of policy on FDI. The Make in India program, which was launched in 2014, is a part of DPIIT’s mandate.

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Under Make in India 2.0 edition, 24 new sub-sectors have been identified, given their competitive edge, need for import substitution, potential for export, and potential for increasing employment. Furniture is one of these sub-sectors.

Furniture is also among the 14 sub-sectors identified for advancing value-addition and employment. The objective is to make these sub-sectors self-reliant by strengthening domestic manufacturing and enhancing India’s presence in global supply chains.

The QCOs for materials and the draft regarding furniture appear to be part of a preparation of the ground for making Indian furniture industry attractive for new investments, including FDI. Perhaps a Product Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) for furniture could be on the cards?

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