Foreign luxury shoes unable to expand footprint in India over BIS norms

The Bureau of Indian Standards for imported footwear requires the companies to float their products in India only after receiving the ISI mark

Louis Vuitton, LVMH

The developments also coincide with the Centre's repeated push to promote domestic goods and services. (Photo: Shutterstock)

BS Web Team New Delhi

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European luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior continue to face hurdles in penetrating the Indian market over the Centre's call to apply mandatory Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for imported footwear, Livemint reported.

The BIS, which operates under the Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, is the nodal agency overseeing activities of standardisation, marking and quality certification of goods in India.

The footwear quality control check mandates companies to float their products in India only after receiving the ISI mark. Developed by the BIS, the mark certifies that a given product conforms to Indian standards. Without the mark, no company can manufacture, import, distribute, sell, hire, lease, store or exhibit any product in the country.

Cumbersome process for BIS check

These rules for footwear have been in effect since July 2023 and the global brands may need to meet them in their European factories to be able to import products in India, the Mint report added.

"Each time, the sample must be sent, and every new material, the same design or not, will have to go for retesting before being exported to India. I don't know how this will be achieved, especially in the women's shoes category," a person associated with the matter told Mint, labelling the process cumbersome.

According to the Mint report, these brands had also urged the government to relax the norms, however the request was refused.

Centre asks domestic brands to boost quality

The developments also coincide with the Centre's repeated push to promote domestic goods and services in a bid to make India self-reliant. Notably, in January 2023, Union Minister Piyush Goyal urged the footwear industry to focus on quality and reduce import dependence to capture a larger share of the international market.

The quality control check move is also a bid to reduce counterfeit products. While addressing about 100 industrialists engaged in manufacturing sports shoes in India, Goyal had also expressed concerns over importing low-quality and low-cost raw materials.

He added that the footwear manufacturers should make the best possible use of free trade agreements that India has signed with other countries.

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First Published: Feb 13 2024 | 11:41 AM IST

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