BIS order will hit Indian packaging

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The Bureau of Indian Standards’ (BIS) quality control order on tin plates issued in April will affect India’s metal packaging industry, according to a piece published today (13 August) in The Economic Times. The Draft Steel Quality Control order incorporates ‘Cold Reduced Electrolytic Tinplate’, an import component used for the packaging of products such as baby food, milk power and coffee – to name but a few.

Metal Container Manufacturers Association (MCMA) feels that the order, which will come into force by next month, needs to be reviewed as it will impact the metal packaging industry, which employs a large number of people in the country. According to MCMA president Sanjay Bhatia, tin cans are an “industrial product and not an item of mass consumption”.

Industry consumes around 550,000 tonnes of tin mill products (tinplate/tinfree steel etc), of which about 60 per cent is prime and 40 per cent non-prime. Domestic availability is about 325,000 tonnes and the balance is imported from different countries such as Japan, Korea, Brazil, Europe, USA, China, Venezuela, etc.

“The firms in these countries follow rigorous global quality control orders and since we do not import large quantities they will not take pains to get BIS certification, which will impact us as we will not get good material at competitive rates,” Bhatia told Press Trust of India.

“The order brings a non-tariff barrier in order to protect the domestic producers, but the production in the country is not sufficient enough to meet the demand of the industry both in terms of volume as well as grades.

“We have approached the Prime Minister’s Office, Steel Ministry, Commerce Ministry, Ministry of Medium and Small Enterprises with our demand. A similar order had come in 2007-08 and the government had taken it back. We are hopeful that something can happen this time as well,” he added.

Source: Economic Times

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