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BIS ISI Certification for Switches for Domestic Purposes: Explained

calendar29 Dec, 2022
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
BIS ISI Certification for Switches for Domestic Purposes: Explained

The BIS ISI certificate is a globally-acknowledged certification that empowers manufacturers to produce quality and safer products. There are several electronic products, including switches that fall under the BIS mandatory marking scheme. Products that pass the testing requirements under the standards can only use the ISI marking. The ISI marking signifies product quality and helps end-users to pick the safer product. The unauthorized use of ISI marking can incur severe penalties for defaulters. In this write-up, we will take a closer look at the BIS ISI certification for switches for domestic purposes, granted by the Bureau of Indian Standards.

Types of Switches falling under Mandatory ISI marking Scheme

The Bureau of Indian Standards regulates the ISI marking scheme for various products in India. The Bureau considers various Indian Standards (IS) for formulating testing grounds for different products. Switches that are used for household purposes fall under IS-3854:1997. The standard briefs out the testing requirements for switches that adhere to an operating voltage of not more than 440 V and a rated current of 60 A.

Apart from this, the IS-3854:199 also applies to other switches as shown below:

  • Switches having pilot lights
  • Switches with a time delay device
  • Electromagnetic remote control switches

Testing Requirements for BIS ISI Certification for switches

Coming to the testing requirements, the aforesaid standard requires switches to pass the following tests:

  • Normal operation
  • Making and Breaking capacity
  • Resistance to abnormal fire and heat

Let’s dig into some mandatory tests to be performed by certified BIS lab to determine switches quality.

Test for Normal operation

  • Switches must seamlessly make and break an electrical circuit at the rate of current and voltage for 20000 switch cycles, which translates to 40000 operations. This requirement is laid for switches with a rated current of 6A and 16A. Furthermore, switches with a rated current above 16A must withstand 10000 cycles at a rate not surpassing 6 cycles/minutes.
  • The test circuit should not surpass the maximum threshold ->110% of the rated voltage while testing switches on an open circuit.
  • During such tests, all metal parts shall be earthed via a copper wire fuse measuring at L-75mm and D-0.125mm.

Test for breaking and making capacity

Switches when new after passing half of the tests cited under Annex E shall be able to make and break a current 130% of the rated current and 110% of the rated voltage. This capability should remain intact even after performing 10 such successive tests at the interval of 30 seconds.

Furthermore, manufacturers must take the following notes into account for testing newly manufactured switches

  • Tests as per the governing standards are type tests. Clause 26 entails the information concerning the schedule of routine and type of tests.
  • Specimens must undergo stipulated tests under normal conditions with no changes whatsoever unless otherwise illustrated. Flush-type switches that are not in line with the accepted standard sheet should be tested together with their corresponding boxes.
  • The testing temperature range for the new switches should lie between 15-35 degrees Celsius.
  • Nine specimens are required for testing for switches with one rated current and one rated voltage. Likewise, 15 testing samples are required for switches marked with two rated voltages.

Labelling Norms for Switches as per IS-3854:1997

Every manufacturer makes sure to affix the following information on the new switches:

  • Rated current in amperes (A)
  • Lamp current in amperes (ax)
  • Rated Voltages in Volts
  • Symbol concerning the nature of the supply
  • Manufacturer’s name, and trademark, if any.
  • Catalog number
  • Symbol relating to mini-gap construction, if applicable
  • Symbol relating to the threshold of protection against ingress of water

Mandatory Documents Concerning BIS ISI Certification for Switches

Following is the list of documents required for BIS ISI Certification for Switches:

  • Name and address of the production unit
  • Document reflecting the legal status of the production unit such as MoA, Incorporation Certificate, and partnership deed, whichever is available.
  • Process flow chart relating to the manufacturing process
  • List of machinery and testing equipment
  • Copy of certified calibration instruments
  • Third-party lab report generated after inspecting the collected samples
  • Layout plan concerning production unit
  • Authorization letter from the CEO declaring the applicant has been assigned the task of securing the ISI certificate.
  • Nomination details concerning the Indian agent if the applicant belongs to the overseas nation.

Process of Securing BIS ISI Certification for Switches

The process of securing a BIS ISI Certification for switches is as follows:

Step 1:  File the prescribed application 

The first step is to file a prescribed application (Form V) with the BIS. You also need to furnish a standard fee which may include audit expenses along with the application form.

Note: you can only file one application for one product.

Step 2: On-site inspection of the production unit

Upon receiving the application, the authority i.e. BIS directs its officials to vet the production unit for any non-conformity. During the inspection, the officials perform an in-depth check of quality measures and manufacturing processes and consequently collect some samples for lab testing.  

Step 3: Sample testing and Report Collection

Collected samples will then be shared with the BIS-certified lab, which determines the quality of the same based on tests mentioned under the Indian Standard. After the successful completion of tests, the lab prepares a brief report. The applicant will be accountable for the report collection and its submission to the BIS.

Step 4: Issuance of ISI Certificate

The report shared will then be vetted by the BIS for any non-conformity with the standard. If the report comes out clean, the authority will finally accord the BIS ISI certificate for switches.

What about the Renewal of the BIS ISI Certification for Switches?

A BIS ISI Certification for switches or any other products remains valid for 1 year. The license holder must renew the certificate before the deadline arrives to avert late fines or penalties. The application for renewal must have the signature of the practicing CA.

What Is The Penal Provision For The Misuse Of ISI Marking?

One who is found guilty of unauthorized utilization of ISI marking shall confront a dual penalty comprising;

  • Monetary fines of Rs. 50000
  • Jail term of one year


The production of domestic switches in India attracts copies amount of compliance concerning production, quality, and labelling. Those who breach BIS norms may find it difficult to sell their product in the Indian marketplace. Therefore, every switch manufacturer must abide by the applicable standards and BIS’s[1] guidelines to stay compliant.

Read Our Article: An Overview Of ISI Certification Procedure

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