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steel imports: Steel ministry nod must for imports not cleared by BIS

The Centre has made the steel ministry’s nod mandatory for imports which have not been cleared by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), a move aimed at a crackdown on substandard goods. The decision comes after the BIS issued a quality control order for a variety of steel products and importers were mandated by the Centre to seek prior quality approval of import consignments which were meant for sale locally.

Domestic steel importers said this may reduce imports of steel products which had surged in recent months.

India’s iron and steel imports stood at 7.68 million tonnes (mt) between April and August, up 59.45% from 4.82 mt a year ago.

ET Bureau

Under the existing policy, BIS certification is issued to eligible overseas steel mills. Once an importer receives a consignment from a BIS certified manufacturer, government officials verify the goods at the Indian port before they can be sold in the market. The Centre’s latest directive empowers a technical committee, under the steel ministry, to approve imports of any non-BIS compliant steel that lands up in India.

South Korea led the exporters with shipments of more than a million tonnes during April-August. Steel imports during the period amounted to 5,856.35 crore, up from 4,830.42 during the same period last year. “Vietnam, Japan and China are exporting to India in a large volume which is creating an impact on pricing,” said Vedant Goel, MD at Neo Mega Steel, a wholesale trader.

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