India plans quality norms on European lines for basic chemicals

22 August 2013 07:37  [Source: ICIS news]

KOLKATA (ICIS)--India’s Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers is planning to introduce mandatory quality norms and registration on the same lines as those adopted in Europe on imports of basic chemicals into the country, a government official said on Thursday.

The minimum quality norms will be evolved with the assistance of  Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and a new national chemical centre while importers would have to register their shipments with the government, the official said.

The minimum quality norms and mandatory registration would be to set to WTO compliant barriers to dumping of basic chemicals detrimental to health and environment and would be along the lines of legislations prevalent in the European Union, he added.

In the first phase basic chemicals covered under this would include caustic soda, soda ash, aniline, phenol, hydrogen peroxide, boric acid and  phthalic anhydride.

These chemicals have been selected in the first phase because they are already under anti-dumping duty (ADD) regime and it has been determined by the ministry that sub-quality imports of these chemicals was having a negative impact on health and environment.

The official said new quality norms and registration may take at least one year from now because it has to complete several processes before coming into force.

India does not have any system of classification of basic chemicals based on impact on health and environment, not does it have any registration of imports. Hence, the new system will be incorporated in the National Chemical Policy, a draft of which was currently in circulation among stakeholders seeking comments, the official said.

The draft has been in circulation seeking stakeholders comments since last year. Final version according to ministry would be ready within next three months.

The chemical centre is scheduled to be set up within the next six months. Its continuing mandate would be to monitor usage of basic chemicals, imported and domestic, monitor impact on health and environment and recommend action in case of violations, the official said.

Author: Ajoy K Das

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