Tough quality norms hit imports of Chinese toys
Toy imports from China have dropped to less than a half, according to industry estimates, since the government introduced tough quality criteria and mandated certification of compliance by accredited agencies from September 1.
This has hit supply and pushed up retail prices 8-14 per cent, while wholesale prices have risen about 30 per cent, executives said, cautioning that further increases are likely.
Supply is likely to be hit further during the festive season right up to Christmas, Mattel Inc, Future Retail and other retailers said, pointing to the paucity of infrastructure in the country to test imported toys and issue Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certifications.
“There has been a drop of more than 50 per cent in imports of Chinese toys since the government introduced the norm,” said Manish Kukreja, president of All India Toy Manufacturers Association.
“India imports four-five lakh stock keeping units (SKUs) annually. SKUs are actually varieties of toys. There are only three to four National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL)-accredited laboratories in India which can test 100 -150 SKUs in a week.”
Chinese toys account for an estimated 70 per cent of India’s Rs 5,000-crore toy industry.