India Sets Quality Standards For Key Base Metals
21 days ago
Non Ferrous Scrap
Non Ferrous Scrap

India Sets Quality Standards For Key Base Metals

India's Ministry of Mines has introduced quality control orders for copper and aluminum, affecting domestic and imported base metals. Effective from December 1, 2023, the orders mandate adherence to Indian quality standards and BIS certification.

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.

Understanding The Requirements

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).

Covered Products


  • Aluminium and aluminium alloy ingots and castings
  • High-purity primary aluminium ingot
  • Aluminium alloy ingots for bearings
  • Primary aluminium ingots for remelting
  • Aluminium ingots billets and wire bars (EC GRADE)


  • Copper cathodes
  • Electrolytic tough pitch copper
  • Fire-refined high-conductivity copper
  • Fire-refined tough pitch copper, wrought products and alloys
  • Phosphorized copper
  • Arsenical tough pitch copper
  • Phosphorus deoxidized arsenical copper

Compliance & Exemptions

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.

Aluminium Industry Impact

  • Industry Disruption: India is a major producer and exporter of Aluminium Alloys, which could limit the need for overseas alloy suppliers to seek registration. While India also imports some aluminium, the bulk of these imports are associated with exports, exempting them from the circular’s requirements. However, a small quantity of Russian aluminium imports may require Russian producers to register with BIS to continue exporting to India. This could potentially affect only a minor portion of imports.
  • Compliance Timeline: All Indian producers of the covered products must obtain BIS certification before the due date. Given that India boasts over 100 aluminium alloy producers, it remains uncertain whether this formal process can be completed within three months. The industry may request an extension from the ministry to meet these requirements.
  • Producers Disqualification: It is unlikely that any refined aluminium producers will face disqualification. Due to a lack of sufficient data about the quality of alloys produced by Indian manufacturers, it is challenging to assess whether the circular would disqualify any of them.

Copper Industry Impact

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.

Expanding Coverage

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.

OFB’s Insight

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.

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