Certification marks in India
India has a comprehensive system of product certifications governed by laws made by the Parliament of India at various times. These certifications are managed by various agencies, and hold various statuses before the law. Some of these marks are mandatory for such products to be manufactured or to be placed in the Indian market while some of the marks hold only an advisory status. All the industrial standardization and industrial product certifications are governed by the Bureau of Indian Standards, the national standards organization of India, while standards for other areas (like agricultural products) are developed and managed by other governmental agencies.
The state enforced certification marks presently in India are:
- ISI mark. For industrial product. Certifies that a product conforms to a set of standards laid by the Bureau of Indian Standards.
- FPO mark. A mandatory mark for all processed fruit products in India. Certifies that the product was manufactured in a hygienic 'food-safe' environment.
- Agmark for all agricultural products.
- The Non Polluting Vehicle mark on motor vehicles certifying conformity to the Bharat Stage emission standards.
- BIS hallmark. Certifies the purity of gold jewellery.
- The India Organic certification mark for organically farmed food products. Certifies that the product conforms to the specifications of National Standards for Organic Products, 2000 and any eventual amendments.
The certification is issued by testing centres accredited by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) under the National Program for Organic Production of the Government of India.
- Ecomark. An ecolabel for various products issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards. Voluntary and promotional.
These are mandatory marks or labels required by the law in India, but are not exactly certifications marks.
- The Vegetarian mark (green dot symbol) and the Non-vegetarian mark (brown dot symbol). Either of this is mandatory for packaged food products. To distinguish between vegetarian and non-vegetarian food.
- Toxicity label. Mandatory on the containers of pesticides sold in India. Identifies the level of toxicity of the pesticide in four levels
There are other non-statutory certification marks or schemes in India which are promoted by the Government of India, by policy, or through governmental or semi-governmental agencies. But these certifications bear no legal status in the nation and are purely promotional in nature.
Examples of such certifications are:
- Silk Mark. Certifies that a piece of textile is pure silk. Managed by the 'Silk Mark Organisation of India'.
- The Ayush Mark or the Ayush Product Certification Scheme for herbal products by the Department of Ayush.
- The Darjeeling tea certification mark, a geographical indication mark for tea produced in Darjeeling.
- Bureau of Indian Standards. Official web site. 'Product Certification Schemes.'
- Directorate of Marketing and Inspection. 'Promotion of Standardization and Grading of Agricultural and Allied Produce'.
- Ministry of food processing industries.
- Spices Board of India. 'Organic certification mark'.
- APEDA. 'National Standards for Organic Products.'
- Department of Ayush. 'AYUSH Mark'.
- Voluntary Certification Scheme For Ayush Products. Introduction.
- Voluntary Certification Scheme For Ayush Products. Use of the Mark.
- Tea Board. 'Darjeeling Tea'.