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Quality Control Orders (QCO) On Fibres

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April 03, 2023

Why in news?

Recently, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has issued new Quality Control Orders for cotton, polyester and viscose.

What is the status of India's textile industry?

  • Share in global trade - India has a 4% share of the global trade in textiles and apparel.
  • GDP –The textile sector accounts for more than 2% of the total GDP.
  • Employment - 2nd largest provider of employment in India, after agriculture.
  • India is the world’s largest producer of cotton.
  • Export -The export of textiles and apparel during April-January 2021-22 is USD 34.459 billion.
  • The US is the single largest market for India’s textile and apparel exports.
  • Import - India imports annually 50,000 - 60,000 tonnes of viscose fibre and its variants such as Modal and Tencel LF.
  • In the case of polyester almost 90,000 tonnes of polyester fibre and 1.25 lakh tonnes of POY (Polyester Partially Oriented Yarn) are imported annually.

textile sector

What is Quality Control Order (QCO)?

  • Aim - To control import of sub-quality and cheaper items and to ensure that customers get quality products.
  • Ministries - QCOs are issued by various Ministries (Regulators) under the Central Government depending upon the products being regulated through the Order, after having stakeholder consultations.
  • Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) -For implementation of the provisions of QCO, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) acts as the certification authority.
  • New mandate of QCOs - International fibres manufacturers who supply to India are also mandated to get a certificate from the Bureau of Indian Standards.



  • Synthetic fiber and a type of polymeric material
  • Made from petroleum
  • Durable, moisture-resistant, and it retains shape. It is generally non-biodegradable
  • Semi-synthetic fiber, which is a version of rayon
  • Made from wood pulp and is used as substitute for silk
  • Absorbent, lightweight, breathable, soft, and maintains shape as well

What are the challenges?

  • Getting the certificate from the BIS is expensive for importers. 
  • Indian textile units will lose orders from importer.
  • Indian textile units will lose their international market customers.
  • BIS officials have to visit the manufacturing unit abroad before issuing the certificate and this process is complex.
  • Disrupt the established supply chain over the years.

What is the way forward?

  • Import of speciality fibres that are used as blends with other fibres should be allowed without restriction.
  • Any overseas applicant for the BIS certificate should get it without delay after inspection.
  • Several textile units using lower grade fibres should be covered under the QCO.

Quick facts

HS (Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System) code

  • HS Stands for Harmonized System and it is a 6 digit identification code.
  • HS is developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO).
  • It comprises more than 5,000 commodity groups.
  • Custom officers use HS Code to clear every commodity that enters or crosses any international border.
  • Over 98 % of the merchandise in international trade is classified in terms of the HS.
  • The Harmonized System is governed by "The International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System".

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)

  • BIS is the National Standard Body of India established under the BIS Act 2016.
  • BIS is working under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.
  • BIS has its Headquarters at New Delhi and has 5 Regional Offices.
  • Aim - Harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods.
  • BIS provides for safe reliable quality goods through standardization, certification and testing.



  1. The Hindu | Quality Control Order
  2. Bureau Of Indian Standards | About BIS
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