ISO 9000/ISO 14001 Certification Reimbursement Scheme
To encourage Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to get ISO certification for their products, the government of India, through the Development Commissioner of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (DC-MSME), has introduced the ISO 9000/ISO 14001 Certification Reimbursement Scheme. The scheme provides reimbursement for acquiring ISO Certification, which is otherwise expensive for small and medium enterprises. Through a valid ISO Certification, firms can sell their goods and products in both national and international markets. By supporting technological upgradation, quality improvement, and environmental management, the scheme enhances the SME’s competitive strength in the global market.
ISO Certification and Its Importance for SMEs
ISO Certification is an international certification that signifies that the holder (organisation) and its products adhere to international quality standards. To get this certification, the company must undergo a rigorous and detailed examination of every aspect of its product. The ISO standards comprise five documents:
- ISO 9000: Quality Management and Quality Assurance Standards – Guidelines for selection and use.
- ISO 9001: Quality systems – Model for quality assurance in design, production, installation, and servicing.
- ISO 9002: Quality systems – Model for quality assurance in production and installation.
- ISO 9003: Quality systems – Model for quality assurance in final inspection and test.
- ISO 14001: Environmental Management Standards – Guidelines for implementing an environmental management system.
ISO certification ensures that SMEs adhere to international quality and environmental standards, which boosts their reputation, attracts more customers, and allows them to compete effectively in domestic and international markets. It also helps in improving product quality and environmental performance.
However, SMEs need a lot of funds to attain the ISO certification, which might prevent them from applying despite offering products that meet international standards. The DC-MSME has introduced this reimbursement scheme to enable such businesses to get ISO Certifications.
What is the ISO 9000/ISO 14001 Certification Reimbursement Scheme
The ISO 9000/ISO 14001 Certification Reimbursement Scheme provides financial assistance to SMEs that have acquired ISO Certification for their products. The assistance covers up to 75% of the certification expenses. This support enables SMEs to meet international standards, access new markets, and improve their business practices. By participating in this scheme, SMEs can strengthen their position in the global marketplace and contribute to India’s economic growth.
Key Highlights of the Scheme
- Reimbursement for Certification: The scheme covers charges related to ISO certification, encouraging organisations to improve their quality and environmental management systems.
- One-time Reimbursement: The scheme provides a one-time reimbursement for each eligible unit, regardless of whether the unit has one or multiple enterprises within the same premises or location.
- Maximum Reimbursement: SMEs can be reimbursed up to 75% of the total certification. cost, with a maximum limit of Rs.75,000.
- EM Number Requirement: To avail the scheme, applicants must possess an EM Part-II Number, which can be obtained from DIC as per the MSMED Act, 2006.
Benefits of the Scheme
The ISO 9000/ISO 14001 Certification Reimbursement Scheme offers significant benefits to SMEs, including:
- Financial Support: It provides financial aid for costly ISO certifications, making them more accessible to SMEs.
- Competitive Edge: ISO certifications enhance the competitiveness of SMEs in both domestic and international markets.
Environmental Responsibility: ISO 14001 certification demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to environmentally friendly practices, which can attract environmentally conscious customers and partners.
Who Can Apply for ISO Certification Reimbursement Scheme
Permanent registered micro and small enterprises (MSEs) are eligible for this incentive scheme. It applies to MSEs, small-scale, tiny, ancillary or Small-Scale Service Business Enterprises (SSSBE) and also those small-scale units that have already obtained ISO-9000, ISO-14001, or HACCP certification.
How to Apply for ISO Certificate Reimbursement Scheme
MSEs with their Entrepreneurship Memorandum (EM) Number can apply for reimbursement under this scheme. Applicants should submit their completed applications to their local Director of MSME-DC based on the regional area where the units are located. Details of the same are listed on the official website: www.dcmsme.gov.in.
Applicants must include invoices, receipts, and annexures detailing payments made to certifying bodies and consultants to be eligible for reimbursement.
FAQs on ISO Certification Reimbursement
Where should I apply for ISO Certification?
The ISO Certification Reimbursement scheme mentions that businesses must acquire ISO 9000/ISO 14001/HACCP certification from NABCB (National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies) registered Certifying Bodies. So, it's essential to select a certification body recognised by NABCB.
Are standalone cold storages covered under the ISO certification reimbursement scheme?
No, the scheme primarily focuses on ISO certification for quality and environmental management. Standalone cold storages are not covered under this specific scheme.
Which is the implementing authority of the scheme?
The DC-MSME administers and oversees the implementation of the ISO certification reimbursement scheme in India. It ensures that eligible businesses receive the financial aid as per the scheme's guidelines.
Can MSMEs apply for reimbursement under the scheme throughout the year?
Yes, the scheme is demand-driven, which means MSMEs can apply for reimbursement at any time during the year as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.
What are the benefits of ISO certification beyond financial reimbursement?
ISO certification not only makes businesses eligible for reimbursement but also enhances their overall quality management, environmental performance, and competitiveness. It opens doors to domestic and international markets, improves customer trust, and boosts the company's image.
What is the process for reimbursement under the ISO certification scheme?
The reimbursement process usually involves businesses applying for the scheme with their Entrepreneurship Memorandum (EM) number. Once approved, they must submit proof of expenses, such as invoices and receipts, to the relevant authorities. After verification, the reimbursement amount is provided to the eligible businesses.