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31 March 2023: Issues with the Quality Control Orders(QCO) for fibres. 

How would the new orders from the BIS deter International textile import?

  • QUALITY CONTROL ORDERS (QSO) have been issued for fibres like cotton, polyester and viscose – that constitute basic raw materials are the majority of the Indian textile and clothing industry.
  • International manufacturers who are suppliers of these fibres mandated to get a certificate from the Bureau of Indian Standards(BIS) which is the certifying authority to these QCOs.

Key takeaways – 

  1. Indian textile and clothing industry consumes both indigenous and imported fibres and filaments.
  2. The import of these raw materials are for different reasons like cost competitiveness, non availability in the domestic market, or to meet a demand of the overseas buyers.
  3. The entire supply chain from the textile manufacturers to exporters, has so far, focused on quality standards prescribed by the buyers.

What are the fibres covered under these QCOs?

  • India imports annually 50000 to 60000 terms of viscose fibre and its variants such as Modal and Tensel LF from nearly 20 countries.
  • In case of polyesters almost 90000 terms of polyester fibre and 1.25 lakh turns of Polyester Partially Oriented Yarn are imported.

What challenges does the new mandate bring?

  • Getting the certificate from the BIS involves a cost and hence not all suppliers are interested in getting the certificate, so that the Indian textile manufacturers who are dependent on the suppliers for the raw material will have to either look at other suppliers or lose orders.
  • Furthermore, BIS officials have to visit the manufacturing unit abroad before issuing the certificate.
  • Because of the certification process, the textile buyers, be it domestic or International, will face a disruption in the value chain.

Way Forward 

  1. Be it viscose or polyester some varieties of the fibres, have special functional properties and separate HS (Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System) code when imported, but these are bundled in the QCOs and thus have uniform quality standards.
  2. The textile industry imports just small quantities of such fibres and restricting its availability will deny Indian consumers of niche products.
  3. The BIS certificate should be provided without any delay after inspection and several textile units use lower grade fibres that are generated from rejected and wastage and these are not covered under the QCO.
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