The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has been working upon updating the existing helmet norms. The ministry has also removed the existing weight limit which restricted the sale of helmets which weighed more than 1200 gms. This lift also allows foreign brands to enter the domestic markets from September 4th 2020.
What did the previous helmet rule state?
- The previous rule implemented in 2018 stated that the average weight for a helmet was limited to 1.2 kg from 1.5 kg in a bid to make riding gears lighter and more comfortable for both riders and pillions.
- Moreover, the rule also restricted the sale of imported helmets that did support the ISI mark and weighed more than the average weight cap in the country.
What does the new helmet rule state?
- According to the new rule, foreign brands are only allowed to sell their product as long as they meet the current ISI standards. Additionally, MoRTH has also extended the ban on the sale and purchase of helmets not certified from BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards).
- BIS has also announced an increase in the minimum weight of the helmet. Earlier it was 700gms which has now been was increased to 1.2kg.
- This was done in order to prevent sale and purchase of cheap and low-quality helmets that provide less or no safety at all and are a major threat to the rider and pillion safety.
- According to a statement released by MoRTH which said, “After a brief consultation with BIS officials all players must be certified by the ISI under the BIS Act, 2016”. The new norms are expected to be to come into play by 31st March 2021.
- This allows foreign helmet manufacturers to sell ISI compliant helmets up until March 2021 meanwhile completing their own certification.
- The certification process will require either the manufacturer or it’s stakeholders in India to certify the designated product portfolio before selling the actual product, resulting in a price hike for the final product.
- Post-March 2021 all foreign players who comply with the much higher safety standards like ECE, DOT, Snell and Sharp which earlier did not meet the 1.2kg limit will also be allowed to sell their products in India.
Will the new norms have any adverse effect on Indian helmet manufacturers?
- Before making anything official the Ministry is in the process of getting feedback from various stakeholders and the general public.
- Meanwhile, many home-grown investors are not happy quite happy with the decision as the entry of foreign players might affect their own sales.
- Although many local manufactures have been focusing on complying to the current ISI standards but still fear a loss in sales in the nearing future.