Financial Express reported that imposition of BIS standards on tinplate has become a major hurdle for Indian metal packaging industry. Metal Container Manufacturers Association has requested the steel ministry to put the Quality Control Order on hold until sufficient quantity of tinplate is produced in India to meet the industry’s demand of 700,000 tonnes per annum. The MCMA has urged the ministry to allow use of materials, aligned to ISO, which the MSME ministry’s FSSAI order has also recommended. MCMA president Mr Sanjay Bhatia said “The steel ministry issued the QCO on July 17 last year when the industry was already reeling under pressure for the pandemic-induced lockdown. While the industry required resetting its business post lock down, forcing suppliers to go for BIS certification came as a huge road block since it was an expensive affair. India not being a big market for tinplates, the exporters stopped shipments putting the metal packaging industry in a great difficulty. The government earlier issued QCO in 2008, 2015 and 2017 but withdrew it in view of the demand supply gap and difficulties in implementation. The same situation prevails till date with a demand supply gap of 250,000 tonnes per annum.”
MCMA said “The industry, producing metal cans and containers, is largely dependent on tinplate imports from various countries. Moreover, prices of tinplate or the raw material for metal packaging have escalated more than 15%.”
The steel ministry’s QCO mandates BIS Certification on major inputs like easy-open ends, peel off ends besides tin free steel. The industry imports all the inputs from several foreign countries and the order notifying that steel items cannot be produced, sold, traded, imported and stocked without BIS mark has held back all foreign tinplate mills from exporting to India.