CRO: Harbinger of Indian Electronics and IT Industry

Background of CRO

BIS a standardizing body incorporated in 1986 since then BIS has shown active involvement to develop international standards by putting India’s viewpoints effectively keeping our trade interest in mind. This has resulted into formulation of Harmonized Indian standards under dual numbering scheme. BIS develops indigenous standards too. BIS is among the founding members of ISO, and member of IEC also, and has signed BCA/MRA with many countries to cooperate in terms of standard development

Compulsory Registration Order (CRO) was notified on oct 2012 by MEITY under the provision of Compulsory Registration Scheme of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Act 1986. And this order came into effect from July 3rd, 2013. 

Growth of CRO

Over the years CRO has seen extensive growth in terms of number of registrations of various products notified by order in phased manner. CRO has been notified for 63+8 product categories, and 35 Indian Standards and as over 23000+ registrations till date. Since its birth in 2012 CRO grew over the year exponentially. Registration growth was +3.59% from 2018 to 2019 calendar year. However, in Calendar year 2019 to 2020 it witnessed depreciation of 5.9% due to COVID 19 pandemic.

Cell-batteries, LED Luminaires, LED Bulb, ADPM, Control gears, IT and other office equipment, Mobile Phones has huge demand in Indian market, top 10 product categories notified under CRO which shares almost 65-70% of BIS registrations.

What New after CRO implementation?

Consumers are enjoying the best quality goods and the import of substandard goods has been curtailed many folds due to implementation of CRO. Indian electronic industry is in a nascent stage and Chinese dumping policy is another threat for domestic players, so CRO plays a vital role to mitigate this effect.

MSME(Udyam) sector has always been Pillar of Indian economy, where the entrepreneur has a better opportunity to contribute national GDP. Implementation of CRO promotes “Make in India” Campaign of govt. and it provide relief to cash strapped MSME sector. In future, a well-established Indian industry will provide tough competition for global manufacturers who try to reap Indian market otherwise. Finally, this chain process will create demands for better products and set the stage for new standards and more products under the scope.

Under Aatmnirbhar Bharat, the Indian government has redefined the limits & definitions for Micro, medium and Small enterprises. Standardization of more product creates good environment for innovators and investors where India’s bid in global forums and summits will attract foreign investment in the country.

China and USA are leading manufacturers of world and shares 20% and 18% of global manufacturing, India accounts for mere 3% although India is one of the largest

markets for manufactured goods. Due to manufacturing deficiency, there is always a high demand of products. so, there is always room for substandard products in the Indian market and to curb this the role of national Standardization is important. Under market surveillance process BIS has taken measures through nodal agency STPI.

CRO Phase 4 Products

As per gazette notification on 1st April 2020 Twelve, more products notified by MeitY and these were supposed to be mandated from 1st Oct 2020 initially but later it was extended till 1st April 2021.

Among these twelve products, 2 are from LED industry (Standalone LED Module, Rope Light), 5 from IT industry (Keyboard, ATM, USB type external HDD, USB type External SSD up-to 256 GB capacity, SMPS with output up-to 48Vmax), 3 from AV industry (Wireless Headphone and Earphone, Music system < 200W input power, TV other than Plasma/LED/LCD) & 2 from the Household segment (Induction stove, Rice Cooker).

Regulatory body (MeitY) has finalized series guidelines, FAQ for labs, and manufacturers and Standard formulation body (BIS) also finalized UTRF. For these new product categories, many registrations are awarded by BIS to manufacturers and product of the AV segment (wireless headphone and earphone, music systems) has been getting more registrations compared to other product segments. 

New CRO Phase 5 order 

Even before CRO phase IV products got mandatory from 1st April 2021, Ministry has notified about new products under CRO phase V with a gazette notification dated 1st Oct’ 2020. Date of implementation of this new product is the same as that of CRO phase 4(i.e., 1st April 2021).

New product categories are Wireless microphone, Digital camera, Video camera, Webcam (as finished product), Smart Speakers (with and without display), Dimmer for LED products, Bluetooth speaker.

The industry has not anticipated the release of CRO-V, but regulatory bodies are burning the midnight oil for implementation of CRO-IV and CRO-V simultaneously without any extension to it. UTRF for almost all new categories (except LED Dimmer) has been released and lab recognition is in process. MeitY and BIS are working closely to solve stakeholders queries whichever arises due to CRO-V products, though MeitY is yet to release FAQ officially for these products. Still, manufacturers can send their enquiries to Meity/BIS with details of products to get clarity

Recently registration process for this line of products also has been started.

QCO from Heavy Industry 

Ministry of Heavy Industry and public enterprises (Deptt. of Heavy industry) notified 8 new product categories from Low Voltage switchgear and control gear (IS/IEC 60947) segment through a gazette notification on 11th Nov 2020. The date of implementation of this order is 1 year from this date. The product falling in this order are Circuit brakers, Switches, Disconnectors, fuse, Electromechanical contactors and motor starters, AC semiconductor motor starters and controllers, proximity switches, electrical emergency stop devices with mechanical latching function etc.

It may be possible that manufacturers dealing in these products, voluntarily got themselves registered already as per scheme-1 of BIS regulation (ISI mark). For these manufacturers, CRS registration as per Scheme-2 will not be applicable.

More clarity is yet to be gained from Heavy Industry

MNRE Products future under CRO

India`s ambitious SOLAR alliance (76+ member nations) is attracting world investors for the SOLAR business in India. Unfortunately, Batteries and Solar Panel are mostly imported from foreign manufacturers.

There are total of 5 products under MNRE like Storage Batteries, PV modules (Thin film type, Crystalline type), PV Inverters, Utility-Interconnected PV inverters etc. The order for these products was released by the ministry on 30th Aug 2017, but MNRE product has seen lots of capacity crunches and testing fee-related issues in past. They are able to register merely 1% of the total registrations of CRS till date. However, there is huge scope for CRO to grow under MNRE products. 

COVID 19 put huge pressure in the solar industry due to geopolitical issues and trade restrictions with neighbouring countries. MNRE has exempted BIS certification of SPV module for those Indian Small manufacturers whose annual production capacity is <50MW provided they have a valid IEC certificate. This exemption will help small manufacturers of the solar module.

Way Forward for CRO

North America, Europe, Japan, South Korea even China are already manufacturing and working on latest technologies for Electronic (AV) and IT products (ICT). Use of multiple latest technology in a single device resulting smart technologies and wearable devices which demanding a future proof standard, so technology giants are already switched from old IT and AV standard to a new IEC 62368-1 standard. (DOW of legacy standards was Dec 2020). The new standard is pro manufacturer standard and will help them to develop to world-class product.

India is also not far behind and has already started developing new common standard IS/IEC 62368 for AV and IT equipments.

BIS has taken many initiatives over the years to make registration process smooth and transparent such as smart registration, LIMS (laboratory information management system) and mobile app-based surveillance system. Also, BIS offers training program through NITS to interested stakeholders

Ongoing geopolitics also changes the equations of trade and manufacturing. More companies may see future with India due to its potential of consumption which will help in CRO growth in terms of new product compliance. Hope the Indian market will look forward and demand a safe and secure product from rapid growing industry and CRO will establish itself as a Harbinger of Indian Electronics and IT industry in global forums.

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