WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) defines Technical Regulation as a document which lays down product characteristics or their related processes and production methods, including the applicable administrative provisions, with which compliance is mandatory. It may also include or deal exclusively with terminology, symbols, packaging, marking or labelling requirements as they apply to a product, process or production method. The difference between a standard and a technical regulation lies in compliance. While conformity with standards is voluntary, technical regulations are by nature mandatory.
The TBT Agreement recognizes that no country should be prevented from taking measures necessary to ensure the quality of its exports, or for the protection of human, animal or plant life or health, of the environment, or for the prevention of deceptive practices, at the levels it considers appropriate.
In India, Technical regulations include Quality Control Orders (QCOs) and Compulsory Registration Order (CRO) based on various Conformity Assessment Schemes. Technical regulation regime in India is being strengthened to promote public health and safety, environmental protection, to safeguard national security requirements and discourage deceptive trade practices.
DPIIT issues Technical Regulations for industries falling under its domain (i.e. Light Engineering Industry (LEI), Consumer Industry (CI), Cement, Paper, Rubber & Linoleum, Leather, and Explosives) under BIS Act, 1986/2016 and Indian Explosives Act, 1884.