On 31 August 2023, the Indian Ministry of Mines took a significant step by issuing two circulars: the Aluminium and Aluminium Alloys (Quality Control) Order, 2023 and the Copper (Quality Control) Order, 2023. These circulars aim to establish strict quality control measures for different base metals, including copper & aluminium which are produced and imported into India. This move is expected to set higher standards for these metals and ensure their quality for domestic use.
Products covered by these circulars must adhere to specific Indian quality standards and display a Standard Mark, which is a certification issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
These circulars will become effective three months from their date of publication, making them effective from 1 December 2023. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) takes on the crucial role of both certifying and enforcing compliance with these quality standards.
The circulars are issued for products intended for domestic use, while those meant for export are exempted from these quality control measures.
India relies on copper imports, and in the 12 months ending on 30 June 2023, the country imported 2,63,402 mt of Copper cathodes. Although most of these imports came from Japan and Tanzania, smaller volumes arrived from countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and several others. These suppliers will need to undergo the BIS registration process to comply with the new regulations.
There is a possibility that more intermediate metal products will come under the purview of similar circulars in the coming weeks and months. This indicates the government’s commitment to maintaining high-quality standards across various industries.
The Indian Ministry of Mines‘ recent circulars represents a significant step towards ensuring the quality of base metals in India. While there may be some challenges and adjustments for the industry, the ultimate goal is to enhance product quality and align with international standards. This move could set a precedent for other industries to follow suit and elevate the overall quality of products manufactured and imported into India.