The BRI is stepping up its vigilance on the quality of toys
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Southern Regional Office (Chennai Branch Office-I), plans to conduct more raids in the city and neighboring districts to ensure that only ISI-marked toys are made and sold.
The Toys (Quality Control) Ordinance which made BIS certification compulsory for toys came into force in January last year to prevent the sale of cheap quality products in the market. BIS officials said most toys, including electric and non-electric, such as dolls and slides, should carry the ISI mark.
There are various Indian standards formulated including safety aspects related to physical and mechanical properties of toys like sharp edges, flammability and transfer of toxic elements and test methods for finger paints. In addition to domestic manufacturers, the order applied to imported toys and foreign manufacturers who also had to obtain BIS certification for their products.
Although it was initially introduced in 2020, it only came into effect last year and enough time has been given to manufacturers and traders to eliminate old stock and manufacture toys with the ISI brand, have officials said.
It is estimated that there were at least 40-50 toy makers in and around Chennai. Of these, only 16 manufacturers have obtained a BIS license to manufacture toys.
G. Bhavani, E and Chief Scientist (Chennai Branch -I), said the raids would be carried out at the facilities of the manufacturers and traders’ shops to verify the sales of uncertified toys. Seized goods would be disposed of safely.
Toy makers will get licenses within 30 days through a simple online process. Samples can be tested in 40 certified laboratories. “We will organize cluster-based lab tests for manufacturers,” she said.
However, products made and sold by artisans registered with the Office of the Development Commissioner (Crafts) and certain other government agencies like the Registrar of Geographical Indications are exempt from BIS certification.
Deepak Agarwal, Director (Technical), Parul Toys India Ltd., Chennai, said the toy industry has a turnover of around ₹1,500 crore in the state. There might be around 300 to 400 manufacturers across the state. The online application process made it easier to obtain a BIS license, he added.