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This article is written by Ronika Tater, from the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, School of Law. In this article, she discusses the Toys Order 2020 in compliance with the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, the issues faced by the manufacturer due to the mandatory compliances and also benefits provided to both the manufacturer and the government.

Introduction

The Central Government on 20th February 2020 published the ‘The Toys (Quality Control) Order, 2020 as per the powers conferred under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016 (BIS). The Order put mandatory compliances on regulating the process for toys and materials for play by children and it thereafter, came into force on 1 September 2020.

Features 

Under this Order, the toy manufacturers and the importers are required to comply with strict standard requirements as per the BIS to meet the safety standards throughout the process of manufacturing and or importing the toys. The BIS Certification puts forth the norms for the safety of toys in relation to mechanical and physical properties and also the standard mark for toys to get a license from the Bureau as per Scheme-I of Schedule-II (Conformity Assessment) Regulations, 2018. After the enforcement of the Order, no toy manufacturer or importer will be able to sell or import any toy or related products as mentioned in the Order without acquiring a certification from the BIS. This Order is applicable to manufacturers in the toy industry in India as well as to the importers who are importing toys from outside the country. However, this Order is not applicable to goods or products manufactured for export purposes.

Enforcement

The Bureau is the certifying and enforcement authority for the goods and products related to toys. It ensures the standard requirement as mentioned in the Order by physically inspecting the factory location and manufacturing units. In the case of import shipment, the Bureau officials take the goods or products related to toys as samples to endure mandatory compliance with BIS.

Registration

The domestic toy manufacturers and or foreign manufacturers who are interested to apply for the license to manufacture or export goods or articles may follow the process of applying for a BIS licence under the certification scheme as the BIS website. The BIS certification provides two classifications for toys as below-mentioned:

Non-electric toys 

These are ordinary toys such as rattles, dolls, puzzles, etc, usually, these kinds of toys have no function dependent on electricity.

Electric toys 

These are the types of toys that have at least one function dependent on electricity.

Further, the manufacturers are provided with the options to choose one of the above toy categories for licence requirement. In case, if the license is required for more than one type of toy then a separate application shall be made for each type of toy.

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Issues faced due to mandatory compliances by BIS

The BIS certification has made mandatory compliances for the manufacturing and sale of any toy targeted at children below 14 years. However, there is some ambiguity on the sale of toys manufactured as below-mentioned:

  • Most of the toy manufacturers have sought from the government to clarify the position regarding the old stock. 
  • Due to COVID-19 the manufacturers are not acquitted with the BIS compulsory compliance and have requested the government for more time to get their items tested by third-party laboratories for the protection and safety of children.
  • In order to avoid delay in the process for verification of the products if the government favours testing from any third-party laboratories as manufacturers are struggling to acquire the equipment and machinery for setting up of the labs in a short span of time.
  • The main concern of the manufacturer due to the ban of various products and services from China has led to the shut down of hundreds of manufactures as more than half of the toys sold in India was imported from China, hence, this gap can only be bridged by encouraging Indian manufacturers.

Steps provided by the government for encouraging sustainable toys

The government has recently approved eight toy manufacturing clusters at an amount of Rs 2,300 crore to boost India’s traditional toys industry and to promote the objective of ‘Atamnirbhar Bharat by creating jobs and boosting the economy of the country through sustainable goods or articles. The clusters which are mentioned for manufacturing toys are made of wood, lac, palm leaves, bamboo, and fabric. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) are also looking to join hands with the existing schemes such as the Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI). The SFURTI scheme offers the incentive in the following:

  • Skill development.
  • Capacity building.
  • other facilities such as common facility centres, rehousing facilities.
  • Marketing and e-commerce assistance to local industries.

The Government plans to establish a total of 35 toy clusters this year across the nation.

Conclusion

The BIS mandatory compliance for manufacturing toys has been appreciated by the toy manufacturing association as the main objective behind the order was the safety of the children. The Government through investment, technological enhancement, sustainable products and encouraging opportunities for local consumption and exports as well is moving towards self-reliant industry development. Also moving towards attaining the objective of the government ‘Atamnirbhar Bharat’ for the creation of jobs as well as economic growth and development in the country.

References


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