Today, I want to focus on a crucial but often overlooked aspect of buying electronic gadgets in India, about the safety standards, particularly for chargers and adapters. Not everyone is aware that manufacturers and importers need to adhere to specific standards, and if you’re learning about this just now, you’re not alone. Let’s delve into this topic with two examples from my desk: an Apple charger and a Portronics charger, a well-known Indian brand.

The R-Standard-Mark on the left, the ISI mark which was used in earlier decades

The R-Standard-Mark on the left, the ISI mark which was used in earlier decades

Both chargers have a registration number, known as the R-number, printed beneath a logo that resembles twisted wire. This logo represents the BIS Standard Mark, used specifically for electronic and IT products sold in India. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), formerly known as ISI, is the Indian government’s standard body responsible for ensuring that products meet safety and quality guidelines. Why does this matter? We often invest heavily in high-end smartphones yet opt for cheaper, potentially unsafe chargers, risking accidents like fires. To address these risks, the government mandates that all electronic items sold in India must carry the BIS Standard Mark. For electronics, this specific mark is crucial; other types of electrical and mechanical products have different marks.

BIS Care App

BIS Care App

However, these registration numbers are often printed in very small fonts. A simple trick is to snap a picture and zoom in to read them easily. Verifying the BIS registration is essential for ensuring safety, though the BIS website at bis.gov.in can be somewhat user-unfriendly. Fortunately, the “BIS Care” mobile app offers a better experience. It includes a feature to “Verify R-no under CRS,” where you can either type in or scan the QR code of the R-number to obtain the registration details of the product. The same app has features to check your Gold’s Hallmark as well.

Portronics Charger with the mark: R-91005576

Portronics Charger with the mark: R-91005576

Apple Charger with the mark: R-41014800

Apple Charger with the mark: R-41014800

Remember, when buying electronics, always check for the BIS mark—it’s worth the extra minute to make sure you’re bringing home a product that’s safe to use.

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