India's Quality Control on Steel Imports

QCOImage Source: Indian Chemical Regulation


India has introduced a new requirement for the importation of steel, necessitating approval from the Ministry of Steel for all steel imports that do not have a certification from the Bureau of Indian Standards. Importers are now required to apply for clarification for each steel consignment through the Quality Control Order (QCO) Portal. The move aims to ensure all imported steel products comply with national quality standards and are accompanied by a mill test certificate and the requisite BIS marking.


In a bid to tighten quality control over steel imports, the Indian government has rolled out a regulation mandating that importers of non-BIS-certified steel obtain specific approval from the Ministry of Steel. This step ensures that all steel products entering India meet the high standards set by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

Importers are now compelled to apply for each steel shipment through the QCO Portal, a platform set up specifically for this purpose. The QCO stipulates that all imported steel must bear a BIS license or certification, a mill test certificate, and be marked with an ISI and BIS license number, confirming its adherence to Indian quality standards.

To facilitate this directive, the Ministry of Steel established a technical committee in October 2018, tasked with reviewing and analyzing applications for the issuance of clarifications regarding the BIS certification status of imported steel products.

Under the current policy framework, BIS certification can be obtained by qualified foreign steel manufacturers, ensuring that their products are eligible for the Indian market. Once steel arrives in India from a BIS-certified source, it undergoes a verification process by government officials at Indian ports before it can be released for sale within the country.


The Indian government's new mandate for steel imports is a strategic move to bolster the quality of steel entering the market, safeguarding the industry and consumers alike. By necessitating Ministry of Steel approval for non-BIS-certified steel imports, India is reinforcing its commitment to high standards and quality assurance in its rapidly growing steel sector.

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