The government is finalising quality control and safety standards for commonly used household appliances where a large part of the domestic demand is met by imports from China, a senior official said on Thursday. The appliances have been grouped in six broad categories based on their use and for each category a separate Quality Control Order (QCO) will be issued, the official said.
On Thursday a stakeholder meeting was held to discuss the Draft Quality Control Order for Safety of Household, Commercial and Similar Electrical Appliances under the chairmanship of Joint Secretary in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade Sanjiv. The participants included representatives of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Ministry of Power and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. Representatives of industry chambers and associations of manufacturers of electrical and electronics also participated in the meeting.
The products for which the quality control orders will be issued include fans, appliances used in cooling, clothes washing, domestic water heating, cooking, commercial vending and appliances used for skin and hair care. For the six categories of appliances, classified on the basis of use, 11 standards will be applicable for safety.
The six categories will in all have 85 products of everyday use and for every product different standards will be laid down. Some of the common items in the list include – microwave ovens, vacuum cleaners, electric steam cookers, coffee makers, juicers, food processors, washing machines, dishwashers, grillers and toasters, and air purifiers.
The QCOs will be applicable on all sales of such appliances in India, whether imported or manufactured by the domestic industry. Overseas manufacturers too will have to obtain certifications from the Bureau of Indian Standards to sell in India.
The imports of domestic fans alone stood at $46.49 million last financial year, a 32.4% drop from $68.79 million last year with most of them being imported from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Imports of other electrical appliances for household use stood at $274.3 million in 2022-23 with China accounting for 45% of the share. This is a drop from 2021-22 when China’s share in imported appliances other than fans was 51% of the total that stood at $264.88 million.
From the start of 2021 the government had imposed quality control standards on toys, both domestic and imported. Following the order 36 licences have been granted to foreign toy manufacturing units and 1140 to domestic manufacturing units.
The quality control order has led to a decrease in imports of toy and allied items into India to $421.35 million in FY 23 from $592.17 million in 2019-20 even though during this period overall imports saw a substantial growth.