The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has published new regulations on all-glass evacuated solar collector tubes and related storage tanks of non-concentrating solar collector systems. Indian Standard (IS) 16542 : 2016 describes the storage tank’s specifications, IS 16543 : 2016 names the ones for tubes, and IS 16544 : 2016 covers the ones for complete systems. To obtain the three new standards, a company or individual will have to purchase them at BIS. Once the government notification has been published, all three will become mandatory and require that each tube or storage tank should carry the standard’s mark in addition to the manufacturer’s trademark and the batch number or date of manufacture. A transition period is to be set by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). The photo shows vacuum tube systems on the roof of a block of flats in Kolkata city in eastern India.
Machinery equipment which is imported to India and used to manufacture solar thermal components has been exempt from customs duty since July 2014. The products’ exempt status was announced by the new Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, on 11 July 2014 during his presentation on the annual Union budget for 2014-15. It is an amendment to the Central Excise Notification No. 15/2010 dated 27 February 2010. This notification had exempted importers of machinery equipment from paying excise and basic customs duty for solar electricity projects (see page 9 of the attached notification). As a result, only the photovoltaic segment reaped the benefits. In the July amendment, the word “power” was replaced by “energy”, which means that machinery equipment for solar water heater production now qualifies as well (see the attached amendment).