Members of the Metal Container Manufacturers’ Association (MCMA) met with senior officials of the BIS certification committee to address its concerns over the registration process for certification. However, senior authorities at BIS said that the issues could persist for some more time due to the ongoing pandemic situation.
As per the meeting, MCMA was informed on the status of the pending applications for certification under FMCS Scheme for tinplate and tin-free steel. MCMA was told that there is “no procedure for virtual inspection currently” and due to ongoing Covid-19 conditions, physical inspections are not possible.
The BIS authorities have indicated that in the current scenario, even though the travel restrictions are lifted, the complete registration process will take three to four months, which apparently includes getting visa from the respective country, physical inspection of the plant, getting the samples from the producer of tinplate, which is collected during the visit, getting the same tested in BIS lab in India, and finally conformity of the samples to respective BIS standards. In the process, it is also important to keep the safety of the officer who would be visiting the plant.
Although BIS authorities received a nod from DPIIT to go ahead with the inspection, the advisory by the Ministry of Steel to initiate the process for visit stands awaited.
During the meeting, MCMA also pointed out the issues that the metal packaging industry is grappling with, which is the demand-supply gap for tinplate, tin-free steel and steel products, and the constraints in getting the BIS certification.
MCMA, therefore, requested the senior BIS officials to send an appropriate recommendation to the Ministry of Steel for giving exemption in the current period till BIS certification is finally given to the applicant companies. MCMA has also recommended that the exemption be available to the industry even after the certification, keeping in mind the lead time for importing such raw material.