The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Southern Regional Office (Chennai Branch Office-I), plans to conduct more raids in the city and neighbouring districts to ensure that only ISI marked toys are manufactured and sold.
The Toys (Quality Control) Order that made BIS certification mandatory for toys came into effect from January last year to prevent sale of cheap quality goods in the market. Officials of the BIS said most toys, including electric and non-electric, such as dolls and slides, should carry ISI mark.
There are different 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. Besides domestic manufacturers, the order applied to imported toys and foreign manufacturers who too have to obtain BIS certification for their products.
Though it was initially introduced in 2020, it came into effect only last year and sufficient time was given to manufacturers and traders to clear old stock and manufacture toy products with ISI-mark, officials said.
It is estimated that there were at least 40-50 toy manufacturers in and around Chennai. Of these, only 16 manufacturers have obtained BIS licence for making toys.
G. Bhavani, Scientist E and Head (Chennai branch office -I), said the raids would be conducted at both facilities of manufacturers and traders’ stores to check sales of uncertified toys. The seized goods would be safely disposed.
Toy manufacturers will be granted licences within 30 days through a simple online process. Samples can be tested in 40 certified labs. “We will organise cluster-based lab testing for manufacturers,” she said.
However, goods manufactured and sold by artisans registered with the office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) and some other government agencies like the Registrar of Geographical Indications are exempted from BIS certification.
Deepak Agarwal, director (technical), Parul Toys India Ltd., Chennai, said the toy industry had a turnover of about ₹1,500 crore in the State. There might be about 300-400 manufacturers across the State. The online application process had made it easy to obtain a BIS licence, he added.