How to Apply for ISI Certification?

Last Updated at: Oct 09, 2020
The BIS is currently in the process of bringing in legislation to mandate the use of the ISI mark on the windscreens and windows of all cars. Since this process could take time and cause inconvenience, the BIS is likely to give carmakers a lead time of around six months before the rule is enforced. The current proposed date stands at April 1, 2021.


ISI or Indian Standards Institute is set up after India’s independence to produce standards required for commercial growth and quality maintenance in industrial production. In mid-80’s, the Bureau of Indian Standards(BIS) a stronger body took over ISI. The BIS certificate scheme aims to provide third-party guarantee of reliability, quality and safety of products to the customer.

ISI stands for the Indian Standards Institute, a body set up when India gained Independence to create standards needed for orderly commercial growth and maintaining quality in industrial production. By the mid-80s, the country’s socio-economic climate had changed, triggering the need to set up a stronger body, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), which then took over ISI.

The Product Certification Scheme of BIS aims at providing third-party guarantee of quality, safety and reliability of products to the ultimate customer. The presence of the ISI certification mark, known as Standard Mark, on a product is an assurance of conformity to the specifications. The conformity is ensured by regular surveillance of the licensee’s performance by surprise inspections and testing of samples, drawn both from the market and factory.

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Product Certification

BIS is authorised by a legislation of 1986 to offer product certification. This certification programme is basically voluntary. Any manufacturer who feels confident enough that his product has the ability to meet the BIS standard can apply for product certification in two ways:

a) Submitting an application at the nearest BIS office. A BIS officer will then evaluate at the factory level, the capability of the manufacturer to produce goods according to the standards laid down for the category. Samples are tested at the factory and outside. If the evaluation is satisfactory and the product passes the tests, a licence is granted and the manufacturer can use the coveted ISI mark.

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b) The manufacturer provides test reports to BIS after it gets the product tested in the bureau’s labs and gets the necessary documents certified independently. BIS is supposed to check the veracity of the reports within a month and grant a licence for usage of the ISI mark.

Mandatory Certification

While product certification is otherwise voluntary, there is, however, a list of items which for reasons of public health, safety or mass nature of consumption are mandatorily certified by BIS. These include gas valves and cylinders and infant food. Manufacturers of such products can’t apply for ISI mark under the voluntary scheme.

There are 16 broad categories, including textiles, packaged water, food, automobile components, plastic products and electronics, for which BIS has laid down standards. If anyone wants to add a new category to the current list, they can apply for it.

There are 19,000 standards formulated for products across the 16 categories. It covers so many areas with such meticulous detail that there actually shouldn’t be any substandard products. For example, there is a standard for windshield wipers of four-wheelers, for the quality of silver foil used in sweets, for precast concrete slabs used in pavements and even for hooks and fasteners. So, yes, there is a standard for almost every product, and new ones can be made for products not yet covered.

Any manufacturer who has confident on his product and ability to satisfy BIS standard can apply for the certification. There are two ways to get certification: Submit the applicaton at the near BIS office. The BIS officier evaluates the capability of the manufacturer to produce the products according the BIS standards. The samples will be tested at factory level and outside. Once the product pass the test and evaluation is satisfied, then licence is issued and can use the ISI mark. Other way, the manufacturer provides the documents and test reports to the BIS independently. The BIS checks and grants permission to use the ISI mark.

A lawyer with 14 years' experience, Vikram has worked with several well-known corporate law firms before joining Vakilsearch.