BIS Standards Wreak Havoc in Metal Packaging Industry in India
India’s tin can making industry association Metal Container Manufacturers Association has urged the government to drop the steel and steel products quality control order for now, issued by the Ministry of Steel to impose mandatory BIS certification. The government had issued the order on July 17, 2020, pushing units for BIS certification for the major input material required such as tinplate, tin-free steel, and had also imposed restrictions on various steel products like easy-open ends, peel off ends etc. MCMA said “Considering Covid-19 situation with restriction on movements in and out of the country including International travel, MCMA recommends to defer this notification till March 2022. It is virtually impossible to force the international suppliers for BIS certifications as the procedure of BIS registration is highly cumbersome.”
MCMA said “In the wake of acute shortage of tinplate& tin free steel material which is largely used to manufacture cans and containers to pack processed food and fruits, the processed food packaging industry is feeling a pinch. The small players who are into the business of packaging fruits and other processed food have lamented that the government is not able to meet the demand for tin cans and containers.”
Indian tin can makers face a significant demand-supply gap for the major raw material, which is tinplate & tin-free steel to the extent of 250,000 tonnes per annum, which is met through imports. According to MCMA, Indian domestic steel mills claim to have an annual rated capacity of about 700,000 tonnes but they have never been able to produce more than 400,000-450,000 tonnes. Tin-free steel is produced only by one mill which is Tin Plate Company, and that too once a quarter; hence they are never able to meet regular monthly & seasonal demand of the industry. Problem is about the demand versus supply gap. The gap also includes the material used for non-critical products which have been filled from imports.