New Delhi, June 20: The government said on Monday that large and medium-scale footwear manufacturers and all importers will have to follow mandatory quality control orders (QCO) for 24 footwear and related products from July 1 onwards.
The move is aimed at preventing low-quality imported footwear from China, Director General of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Pramod Tiwari, told mediapersons.
However, small-scale footwear manufacturers have been given a relaxation in the deadline, and they will have to comply with the norms from January 1, 2024 onwards.
Also, for the micro-level footwear industry, the mandatory quality standards will be applicable from July 1, 2024, Tiwari said.
He informed that after this, no further extension would be given and the QCO will push domestic production and help check low standard imports.
The QCO for 24 footwear and related products were notified in October 2020 and thereafter extension was given thrice before making it mandatory for large and medium-scale industries from next month.
The standards prescribe specifications on what kind of raw material like leather, PVC, and rubber is to be used in manufacturing footwear besides issuing norms on making soles and heels, among other parts of the footwear.
The 24 footwear products on which the quality standards will apply include rubber gum boots, PVC sandals, rubber hawai chappals, slippers, moulded plastic footwear, footwear used for municipal scavenging work, sports footwear, derby shoes and anti-riot shoes, moulded solid rubber soles and heels etc.
With this, the total number of footwear products under the QCO stands at 27 out of 54.
The Indian standards are in line with the global standards, Tiwari added.
The remaining 27 and other footwear products will be brought under the QCO within the next six months, he added.
It was also informed that the BIS has revised five standards on footwear specifications, and the industry has been given an additional time of six months till January 1, 2024, to comply with the QCOs.
The BIS chief informed that test facilities have been created in two BIS labs, two Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) labs and Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), while 11 private labs have been recognised for testing footwear.
Notably, the government recently announced an 80 per cent cut on testing charges for footwear products under the QCOs for the certified startups and micro industrial units.