Govt to introduce stricter quality norms for solar equipment, BIS mark could be made mandatory for sale

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The government will be bringing in strict quality norms for solar equipment and components, allowing its sale only if registered and approved by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), reports the Economic Times.

As per the planned norms, the equipment that does not carry the “Standard Mark” of BIS can be destroyed, according to the renewable energy ministry’s Solar Photovoltaics, Systems, Devices and Components Goods (Requirements for Compulsory Registration) Order, 2017.

The norms are likely to come into force a year after its publication in the Official Gazette. The one-year time period, until the time the order is implemented, is expected to be sufficient to give industry to adjust to the new norms.

“No person shall by himself or through any person on his behalf manufacture or store for sale, import, sell or distribute goods which do not conform to the Specified Standard and do not bear the Standard Mark as notified by the Bureau for such goods from time-to-time after obtaining registration from the Bureau,” the order said.

The order excludes the export goods manufactured from India.

Authorities can seek information, inspect the work premises of the manufacturer or seller, confiscate goods, collect samples from the factory to ensure that the equipment is being tested in a laboratory established or recognized by BIS.

“No manufacturer shall refuse to give any information lawfully demanded from him…or conceal, destroy, mutilate or deface any book or document relating thereto in his possession or control,” it said.

This can encourage domestic manufacturers to bring in quality solar equipment instead of resorting to importing inferior quality Chinese solar equipment.

India has set ambitious targets set by Power Minister Piyush Goyal for the country to resort to renewable energy. The solar energy sector has expanded rapidly.

Earlier, the domestic manufacturers used to complain about how they are being priced out by cheap Chinese imports and have also sought anti-dumping duties to Chinese imports.

The norms and the anti-dumping duties won’t only encourage domestic manufacturers but also encourage foreign firms to set up their factories in India, according to industry executives. India is currently one of the biggest markets for solar equipment.

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