India notifies Quality Control Order for Asbestos and Fibre Cement-Based Products to WTO
On 21 September 2023, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) notified the draft of a new regulation called the Asbestos or Fiber Cement-Based Products (Quality Control) Regulations 2023 to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The deadline for comments is 60 days from the date of notification. The draft of the Quality Control Order (QCO) can be found here.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous silicate mineral. It is an excellent thermal and electrical insulator and is highly fire resistant. Inhalation of asbestos fibres can lead to various dangerous lung conditions including asbestosis and lung cancer.
The purpose of this regulation is to protect human health or safety and the environment, to prevent deceptive practices, to protect consumers and to enforce quality requirements.
Conformity to the standard and compulsory use of the Standard Mark
The purpose of this QCO is to ensure that asbestos and fibre-cement based products conform to the Indian standard relevant for the specific product (see table below) and bear the standard mark under license from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) as per Scheme I of Schedule II of the Bureau of Indian Standards (Conformity Assessment) Regulations 2018. The use of the standard mark is governed by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016 and the rules and regulations made thereunder. The Bureau of Indian Standards is the certifying and enforcing authority for the goods or articles specified in the table.
|Goods and Articles||Indian Standard||Title of Indian Standard|
|Asbestos or Fiber Cement based Products||459:1992||Asbestos Cement Cable Conduits and Troughs|
|459:1992||Asbestos Cement Cable Conduits and Troughs|
|459:1992||Asbestos Cement Flat Sheets|
|2098:1997||Asbestos Cement Flat Sheets|
|6908:1991||Asbestos – Cement Pipes and Fittings for Sewerage and Drainage|
|13000:1990||Asbestos – Cement Pipes and Fittings for Sewerage and Drainage|
|8870:1978||Asbestos Cement Cable Conduits and Troughs|
|9627:1980||Asbestos Cement Pressure Pipes (Light Duty)|
|13008:1990||Shallow Corrugated Asbestos Cement Sheets|
|14862:2000||Fibre Cement Flat Sheets|
|14871:2000||Fibre Reinforced Cement Products – Long Corrugated or Asymmetrical Section Sheets and Fittings for Roofing and Cladding|
This regulation shall come into force six months after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.
Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of the QCO for asbestos is punishable under the provisions of the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016.