What Standards India should follow on Electrical Safety
Updated: Jul 9, 2022
The blog explains how the regulations and the standards work in cooperation to ensure its intended purpose, starting with a comparison of current and the upcoming draft regulations.
A typical example of misuse of various standards in a large-scale Metro Rail Project is included in another blog.
In Central Electricity Authority (Measures relating to Safety and Electric Supply) Regulations, 2010,
Regulation 12 (2)
“Save as otherwise provided in these regulations, the relevant code of practice of the Bureau of Indian Standards or National Electrical Code, if any, may be followed to carry out the purposes of this regulation and in the event of any inconsistency, the provisions of these regulations shall prevail”.
Regulation 12 (3)
The material and apparatus used shall conform to the relevant specifications of the Bureau of Indian Standards or International Electro-Technical Commission where such specifications have already been laid down.
Proposal in the new draft 2022
Regulation 14 (2)
Save as otherwise provided in these regulations, the relevant Indian Standards or National Electrical Code or National building code, shall be followed to carry out the purposes of these regulations and where relevant Indian Standards are not available, International Standard shall be followed and in the event of any inconsistency, the provisions of these regulations shall prevail.
Regulation 14 (3)
The material and apparatus used shall conform to the relevant specifications of the Indian Standards or National Electrical Code or International Standards where relevant Indian Standards are not available.
Regulation 2. Definitions
(49) International Standard” means IEC/IEEE/EN standard unless otherwise stated
To understand the method adopted that the technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessment procedures are non-discriminatory and do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade, the following policies of Govt of India is useful. India is a signatory to WTO/ TBT agreements.
India, TBT agreements and ISO/IEC/ITU as international standards
Note: TBT is Technical Barriers to Trade
The Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement aims to ensure that technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessment procedures are non-discriminatory and do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade. At the same time, it recognises WTO members’ right to implement measures to achieve legitimate policy objectives, such as the protection of human health and safety, or protection of the environment. The TBT Agreement strongly encourages members to base their measures on international standards as a means to facilitate trade. Through its transparency provisions, it also aims to create a predictable trading environment.
The following links form Govt of India, WTO and ISO provide the structure of India and TBT agreements.
From the Govt of India Ministry of Commerce portal https://commerce.gov.in/international-trade/india-and-world-trade-organization-wto/tbt/
More information about TBT on the below links of Govt of India
https://commerce.gov.in/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/hongkong_mindecln.pdf FORMALITIES CONNECTED WITH IMPORTATION AND EXPORTATION – Use of International standards
https://commerce.gov.in/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/BALI_3-6_DECEMBER_2013.pdf ministerial declaration decisions on international standards
WTO principles are available in following links
WTO | Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations
WTO | Technical barriers to trade - Technical Information
WTO | The TBT Committee's Six Principles for the development of international standards: Are they still relevant?
WTO | Technical Barriers to Trade
ISO/IEC/ITU and WTO/TBT agreements
(Note: for simple understanding, ISO/IEC/ITU are the recognised international standards by WTO/TBT)
BIS and IEC (BIS is the National Enquiry Point for WTO -TBT)
Reference to ISO/IEC/ITU in govt of India portal
The new draft regulation had defined IEC/IEEE/EN as international standard. As a result, the regulation will provide an easy access to EN/IEEE standards in the electrical engineering market in India. This will lead to misuse, misinterpretation of the required safety measures by the engineer and create discriminatory support to manufacturers in trade and services, resulting in the violation of the government policy and fair-trade practice. (refer annex below for a classic example in a metro rail tender).
The regulation shall allow only ISO/IEC/ITU as international standards, which is in line with the policy of Govt of India. Inclusion of any standards other than the Indian standards or ISO/IEC/ITU.
Hence the definition to be modified to (49) International Standard” means IEC/ISO/ITU standard unless otherwise stated.