Steel Imports
Steel ImportsImage Source: SteelGuru

India Tightens Reins on Steel Imports


India's government now requires steel imports without Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) clearance to get approval from the Ministry of Steel. Importers have to apply for each shipment through the Quality Control Order Portal. This move aims to ensure the quality of steel entering the Indian market.


In a notable regulatory shift, the Indian government has declared that imports of steel lacking approval from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) must now secure authorization from the Ministry of Steel. According to a circular viewed by Kallanish, the new policy affects all steel importers bringing in products without a BIS license.

To facilitate this, importers are obliged to apply and seek clarification for each steel shipment through the Quality Control Order (QCO) Portal. The Ministry of Steel stipulates that every steel product imported into the country must have a BIS license or certification, come with a mill test certificate, and bear both ISI and BIS license numbers.

To ensure smooth execution of the new Quality Control Order, the Ministry formed a technical committee back in October 2018. This body is tasked with the review and analysis of applications to determine if products imported without BIS certification fall under the QCO guidelines.

Currently, the Bureau of Indian Standards grants certification to eligible foreign steel manufacturers. Once a shipment arrives from a BIS-approved source, government officials at the Indian port inspect the goods to verify their compliance before they can enter the marketplace.

The move aims to raise the bar for steel quality entering India, as well as to ensure that all imports align with the country's quality control regulations. This could potentially affect trade relationships and may cause a shake-up in the steel import market.


The Indian government's decision to mandate Ministry of Steel approval for non-BIS steel imports adds a new layer of oversight in the steel importation process. This development not only aims to guarantee the quality of steel coming into India but also seeks to bring more transparency and control into the system. This is a significant step in regulating a crucial sector for India's growing infrastructure needs.

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