Bhutan Standards Act, 2010

Link to law: http://www.nationalcouncil.bt/assets/uploads/docs/acts/2014/Bhutan_Standards_Act,_2010eng5th.pdf

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Table of Contents

Preamble 1

Chapter 1: Preliminary 2

Chapter 2: The Bhutan Standards Bureau 3

Chapter 3: Powers and Functions of the Board 6

Chapter 4: Licence 14

Chapter 5: Finance, Accounts and Audit 16

Chapter 6: Miscellaneous 17

PREAMBLE

WHEREAS, it is highly important to foster and promote
standards and standardization activities as a means of
advancing the national economy, benefiting the health,
safety and welfare of the public, assisting and protecting
consumers, protecting our natural environment, promoting
industrial efficiency and development, facilitating domestic
and international trade;

AND WHEREAS, the Royal Government is desirous
to promote the concept of “Brand Bhutan” as a mark of
quality, purity and originality;

AND WHEREAS, Bhutan respects international
standardization norms and practices, and had acceded to
major international standardization bodies;

AND WHEREAS, there is a need for an umbrella institution
to coordinate and oversee all standardization activities in
the country and avoid duplication of works;

Parliament of Bhutan do hereby enact the Bhutan Standards
Act, 2010 on the 25th Day of the 5th Month of Iron Male
Tiger Year of the Bhutanese Calendar corresponding to the
7th Day of July, 2010 at its 5th session of the First Parliament
as follows:

CHAPTER - I
PRELIMINARY

Short Title, Commencement and Extent

1. This Act shall;

a) Be called the BHUTAN STANDARDS ACT,
2010;

b) Come into force on the 13th Day of the 6th Month
of the Iron Male Tiger Year of the Bhutanese
Calendar corresponding to the 23rd Day of the
July 2010; and

c) Extend to the whole of Bhutan.

Repeal

2. This Act shall repeal all other laws, by-laws, rules,

regulations or directives the provisions of which are
inconsistent with this Act.

1.

2.

CHAPTER - II
BHUTAN STANDARDS BUREAU

Establishment of Bhutan Standards Bureau,
Appointment of Head and its members

3. There shall be a Bhutan Standards Bureau which shall
be an autonomous body.

4. The Bureau shall have the mandate to:
a) develop national standards and facilitate their

implementation;

b) establish and operate metrological referral and
calibration laboratories;

c) establish and operate product testing
infrastructure;

d) carry out/operate product and management system
certification schemes;

e) permit, coordinate and facilitate accreditation of
laboratories and certification bodies;

3.

4.

f) promote quality and standardization;

g) oversee the implementation of the regional and
international trade agreement related to standards
and technical barriers to trade; and

h) carry out such other mandate related to
standardization and quality control including
monitoring as may be assigned by the Royal
government.

5. The Board of the Bureau shall consist of the following
members:

a) chairperson, who shall be the minister from a
relevant ministry;

b) one member each, above or equal to the level
director, from different relevant ministries;

c) the head of the Bureau who shall be the Member
Secretary of the Bureau; and

d) not more than 5 members appointed by the
Chairperson representing industry, scientific and
research institutions, consumer interests and
other interests who shall possess knowledge of
standards or other matters likely to be assistance
to the Bureau in the performance of its functions
under this Act.

4

5.

6. The term of office and the service conditions of the
members shall be such as may be prescribed in the
rules and regulations.

7. The Royal Civil Service Commission shall by public
notice, appoint a person suitably qualified, scientifically
and technically, as the Head of the Bureau who shall be
the Chief Executive Officer of the Bureau, subject to
the general superintendence of the Bureau.

8. The terms and conditions of service of the Head and
employees of the Bureau shall be such as may be
prescribed under the Civil Service Act of Bhutan.

9. The Head of the Bureau shall exercise and discharge
such powers and duties of the Bureau as may be
delegated to it by the Board.

10. The Bureau may appoint or hire on contract such
officers and staff of the Bureau as the Bureau may deem
necessary for the proper performance of the functions
of the Bureau under Civil Service Act of Bhutan.

5

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

CHAPTER – III
POWERS AND FUNCTIONS OF THE BOARD

Powers and Functions of the Board

11. The Board shall exercise such powers and perform
such functions as may be assigned to it by or under
this Act and, in particular, such powers include the
power to:

a) frame policies and directives on standardization
and conformity assessment for promotion of
quality and international competitiveness of
goods and services;

b) establish, publish and promote in such manner
as may be prescribed, the Bhutan Standards,
Technical Specifications and Codes of Practices
in relation to any article or process;

c) constitute, as and when considered necessary,
such number of technical committees of experts
for the formulation of standards in respect of
articles or processes;

6

11.

d) undertake testing and research for the formulation
of Bhutan Standards in the interest of consumers
and manufacturers;

e) formulate policy for compulsory enforcements
of Bhutan Standards;

f) inspect and control the manufacturing plants,
processes and quality control facilities of
companies whose products and services are
required to conform to Bhutan Standards;

g) prohibit the import for sale in the kingdom of
products not conforming to mandatory Bhutan
Standards, except where the standards as per
which the products were manufactured are
higher than Bhutan Standards;

h) carry out inspections at sites, shops, factories,
go-downs or any such places to check the
conformance of products and services to Bhutan
Standards where ever such conformance is so
required;

7

i) specify a Standard Mark to be called the Bhutan
Standards Certification Mark and oversee its
operation and authorize inspection of any article
or process, in relation to the Standard Mark
which is required to conform to Bhutan Standard
by this Act or under any other law for article or
process in Bhutan or intended to be brought into
Bhutan from a place outside Bhutan as specified
in the regulations;

j) control the use of Standards mark and distinctive
marks operated by agencies in the country or out
sourced to other country(ies);

k) permit, coordinate and facilitate accreditation
of laboratories and certification bodies in the
country, and to foster cooperation with such
facilities in other countries;

l) establish conformity assessment procedures,
coordination of such measures and enter into

8

mutual agreements with country(ies) and
organizations outside Bhutan on this matter;

m) establish testing laboratories for quality control
of articles and processes and to check their
conformance to Bhutan Standards or any other
standards;

n) establish and maintain metrological referral
laboratory for providing calibration services
for weights and measuring devices and for
basic instruments/equipment used by testing
laboratories in Bhutan, and carry out monitoring
of weights and measures as may be prescribed;

o) grant, renew, suspend or cancel a license for
the use of the Standard Mark subject to such
conditions and on payment of such fees as may
be determined by regulations;

9

p) make such inspection and take such samples of
any material or substance as may be necessary to
see whether any article or process in relation to
which the Standard Mark has been used conforms
to the Bhutan Standard or whether the Standard
Mark has been improperly used in relation to
any article or process with or without a licence;

q) represent Bhutan in International and Regional
Standardization and Accreditation Bodies such
as ISO, IEC ,SARSO and APLAC to formulate
national view on issues affecting national
interest;

r) oversee implementation of regional and
international trade agreement provisions related
to standards including operation of TBT National
Enquiry Point;

s) recognize any institution in Bhutan or outside
which is engaged in the standardization of
any article or process and recognize standards

10

prepared by them as Bhutan Standards, in such
manner as may be prescribed ;

t) seek recognition of the Bureau and of the Bhutan
Standards outside Bhutan on such terms and
conditions as may be mutually agreed upon by
the Bureau with any corresponding institution or
organization in any country;

u) respect and recognize international and regional
standards and other national standards which are
based on international standards;

v) assist the Royal Government or any local Bureau
or other public body or any other person in the
preparation and framing of any specifications or
codes of practice;

w) assist any manufacturer or association of
manufacturers or consumers engaged in
standardization and in the improvement of
the quality of any article or process or in

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the implementation of any quality control
activities;

x) provide for the testing at the request and on
behalf of the Royal Government, of locally
manufactured and imported commodities with a
view to determining whether such commodities
comply with the provisions of this Act or any
other law dealing with standards of quality or
description;

y) appoint agents in Bhutan or outside Bhutan for
the operation of Standards Mark Scheme in other
countries, inspection and testing of articles and
such other purposes as may be prescribed;

z) establish in consultation with the Royal
Government, branches, offices or agencies in
Bhutan or outside;

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aa) provide a library of books and other materials
on matters relating to standards conformity
assessment and metrology;

bb) disseminate information and create awareness on
standards, metrology, testing and quality through
education programs and training courses; and

cc) perform such other related functions as may be
prescribed by the Royal Government.

12. In the exercise of its functions under this section,

the Bureau shall maintain, so far as practicable, a
system of close consultation and cooperation with
any organization/agency or a body established by
the Royal Government having regulatory functions
relating to industrial or commercial goods and services
generally.

13. The Bureau shall perform its functions under this
section in accordance with, and subject to, such
rules and regulations as may be made by the Royal
Government.

14. Subject to any regulations made in this behalf, the

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12.

13.

14.

Bureau may, from time to time as and when it considers
necessary, constitute various advisory Committee(s)
for the efficient discharge of its functions.

CHAPTER IV
LICENCE

License

15. The Board may, by order, grant, renew, suspend or
cancel a license for the use of the Bhutan Standards
Certification Mark in such manner as may be
determined by regulations.

16. The grant or renewal of the license under section 15
shall be subject to such conditions and on payment of
such fees as may be determined by regulations.

17. Any person aggrieved by an order made under sections
15 and16 may prefer an appeal to the Appellate Board
comprising of such members representing industry,
scientific and research institutions, consumer interests,
law and other interests, appointed by the Chairperson
who shall possess knowledge of standards or other

14

15.

16.

17.

matters likely to be of assistance, within such period
as may be prescribed in the regulations.

18. No appeal shall be admitted if it is preferred after the
expiry of the period prescribed thereof:

Provided that an appeal may be admitted after the
expiry of the period prescribed thereof if the appellant
satisfies the Appellate Board that he had sufficient
cause for not preferring the appeal within the prescribed
period.

19. Every appeal made under section 17 shall be made in
such form and shall be accompanied by a copy of the
order appealed against and by such fees as may be
prescribed.

20. The procedure for disposing of an appeal shall be such
as may be prescribed in the regulations:
Provided that before disposing of an appeal, the
appellant shall be given a reasonable opportunity of
being heard.

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18.

19.

20.

CHAPTER - V
FINANCE, ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT

Finance

21. The funds of the Bureau shall consist of all fees,
charges and moneys received or recovered under the
provisions of this Act or the regulations by or on behalf
of the Bureau and any moneys, capital budget, grants
or loans provided for by the Royal Government.

22. The Head may, out of the funds of the Bureau, and
with the consent of the Chairperson authorize the:

a) payment of all such sums of moneys as may
be necessary to enable the Bureau to discharge
its functions under this Act and to give effect
thereto.

b) payment for meeting the expenses on objects and
for purposes authorized by this Act.

Accounts

23. The Bureau shall maintain proper books of account
and other books and records in relation to the funds,
and to all the undertakings, activities and property of

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21.

22.

23.

the Bureau and shall, within such period after the end
of each financial year as the Chairperson shall specify,
prepare and submit statements of account as may be
necessary to indicate the financial status of the Bureau
as at the end of that year.

Audit

24. The accounts of the Bureau shall be examined, audited
and reported upon annually in accordance with the
Audit Act of Bhutan in force.

CHAPTER - VI
MISCELLANEOUS

Information and Annual Report

25. The Bureau shall, submit to the Chairperson all such
information as he may from time to time require in
respect of the activities and financial position of the
Bureau.

26. The Bureau shall as soon as practicable after the end
of each financial year submit to the Chairperson an
annual report on its activities including a balance sheet

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24.

25.

26.

and a statement of income and expenditure audited in
accordance with Audit Act of Bhutan in force, and
such other particulars as the Chairperson may request,
and such report shall be presented by the Chairperson
before the Parliament.

27. The Annual report shall be published by the Bureau.

Restriction on the use of Name, Trade Mark or a Mark

28. Except in such cases and under such conditions as
may be prescribed, a person shall not use without the
approval of the Bureau:

a) any name which nearly resembles the name of the
Bureau so as to deceive or likely to deceive the
public or which contains the expression “Bhutan
Standard” or any abbreviation thereof; or

b) any mark or trade mark in relation to any article
or process containing the expressions “Bhutan
Standard" or “Bhutan Standard Specification" or
any abbreviation of such expressions.

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27.

28.

29. A person shall not use, in relation to any article or
process, or in the title of any patent, or in any trade
mark or design the Standard Mark or any colourable
imitation thereof, except under a license.

30. A person shall not, use in relation to any article or
process the Standard Mark or any colourable imitation
thereof unless such article or process conforms to the
Bhutan Standard, notwithstanding that, a license is
granted.

31. Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for
the time being in force, no registering Bureau shall:

a) register any company, firm or other body of persons
which bears any name or mark; or

b) register a trade mark or design which bears any
name or mark; or

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29.

30.

31.

c) grant a patent, in respect of an invention, which
bears a title containing any name or mark.

If the use of such name or mark is in contravention

of sections 28, 29 and 30 of this Act.

32. If any question arises before a registering Bureau
whether the use of any name or mark is in contravention
of sections 28 to 31, the registering Bureau may
refer the question to the Royal Government whose
decision thereon shall be final.

Use of Compulsory Standards for an Article or Process

33. The Royal Government, after consulting the Bureau, if
it is of the opinion that it is necessary or expedient in
the interest of the public, by an order publish in the
newspaper;

a) a notification of any article or process of any
industry which shall conform to a Bhutan
Standard; and

b) a direction on the use of the Standard Mark
under a license as compulsory on such article or
process.

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32.

33.

34. The fact that any commodity complies or is alleged to
comply with a standard specification or a compulsory
standard specification or has been or is alleged to
have been manufactured, produced, processed or
treated in accordance with any such specification,
or that a distinctive mark or standardization mark
is used in connection with any commodity, shall not
give rise to any claim against the Royal Government,
or the Bureau, or any member or employee thereof.

Offence and Penalty

35. A person who is or has been engaged in the
administration of this Act, discloses, except for the
purpose of exercising his functions or when required
to do so by a court or under any law, any information
acquired by him in the exercise or purported exercise
of his functions under this Act to any other person
shall be guilty of an offence punishable under the
Penal Code of Bhutan.

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34.

35.

Notwithstanding section 35, the disclosure of any
information for purposes connected with the
administration of this Act shall not prejudice any
application made subsequently for registration of a
patent under the Industrial Property Act.

36. A person who willfully contravenes sections 28 to
32 shall be guilty of an offence punishable under the
Industrial Property Act.

37. Where an offence under this Act has been committed
by a company, every person who at the time the
offence was committed was in charge of, and was
responsible to, the company for the conduct of the
business of the company, as well as the company,
shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and
shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished
accordingly:

Provided that nothing contained in this section 37
shall render any such person liable to any punishment
provided in this Act, if he proves that the offence
was committed without his knowledge or that he had
exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission
of such offence.

38. Notwithstanding anything contained in section 37,

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36.

37.

38.

where an offence under this Act has been committed
by a company and it is proved that the offence has
been committed with the consent or connivance of,
or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any
director, manager, secretary or other officer of the
company, such director, manager, secretary or other
officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that
offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against
and punished accordingly.

Jurisdiction of the courts

39. A court of competent jurisdiction shall hear cases
and try any offence punishable under this Act.

40. Any court trying a contravention under sections 28
to 32 may direct that any property in respect of which
the contravention has taken place shall be forfeited
to the Bureau.

41. A court shall not take cognizance of any offence
punishable under this Act except on a complaint
made by or under the Bureau or by any officer
empowered in this behalf by the Royal Government

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39.

40.

41.

or the Bureau, or any consumer or any association
recognized in this behalf by the Royal Government.

Power to make regulations

42. The Chairperson, after consultation with the Board
may make regulations for carrying out the provisions
and purposes of this Act. Without prejudice to the
generality of this section, the regulation may include,
but not limited to, the following:

a) make provision for all matters in respect of
which fee shall be payable under this Act or the
regulation;

b) prescribe the amount of any such fees and the
persons who shall be liable for payment thereof;

c) prescribe forms to be used under this Act and the
regulations;

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42.

d) provide for matters connected with appeals under
this Act;

e) make provisions for licensing and appeals in
relation to the use of Standard Mark; and

f) make provision for requiring persons to supply
information relevant to the provisions of this Act
and the regulations.

Amendment

43. The amendment of this Act by way of addition,
variation or repeal shall be effected by a simple majority
of respective Houses or vote of no less than two thirds
of the total members of Parliament present and voting
on a motion submitted by one third of the members
of either House, provided that the amendment does
not undermine the functions and effectiveness of the
Bhutan Standards Bureau.

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43.

Authoritative Text

44. The Dzongkha text shall be the authoritative text, if
there exist any difference in meaning between the
Dzongkha and English text.

Definitions

45. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires:

a) “Accreditation” means third-party attestation
relating to a conformity assessment body
for conveying formal demonstration of its
competence to carry out specific conformity
assessment tasks.

b) “Accreditation body/board” means an
authoritative body/board that performs
accreditation.

c) “Article” means (as respects standardization
and marking) any substance, artificial or natural,
or partly artificial or partly natural, whether raw
or partly or wholly processed or manufactured.

26

44.

45.

d) “Bureau” means the Bhutan Standards Bureau
established under Section 3 of this Act.

e) “Bhutan Standard” means the standard
(including any tentative or provisional standard)
established and published by the Bureau, in
relation to any article or process indicative of
the quality and specification of such article or
process and includes any standard recognized by
the Bureau.

f) “Certification” means third-party attestation
related to product or article, processes, systems
or persons and is applicable to all objects of
conformity assessment except for conformity
assessment bodies to which accreditation is
applicable.

g) “Code of Practice” means a set of rules relating
to the methods to be applied or the procedure to
be adopted in connection with the construction,

27

installation, testing, operation or use of any
article, apparatus, instrument, device or process.

h) “Compulsory Standard Specification” means
a specification which has been declared to be a
compulsory standard specification under section
33 and 34 of this Act.

i) “Company” means a body incorporated under
the Companies Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan.

j) “Conformity assessment” is a demonstration
that specified requirements relating to an article,
process or system are fulfilled.

k) “Object of assessment” or “object” means
any particular material, installation, process,
system, person or body to which conformity
assessment is applied.

l) “Consumer” means a consumer of any good or
service/article or process.

28

m) “Head” means the Head of the Bureau
appointed under section 7 of this Act not
below the rank of a Director General or Joint
Secretary.

n) “Inspection” means examination of an article
design, article, process or installation and
determination of its conformity with specific
requirements or, on the basis of professional
judgment, with general requirements.

o) “License” means a license granted to use the
Bhutan Standards Certification Mark in relation
to any article or process or management system
which conforms to the Bhutan Standard.

p) “Chairperson” means the person for the
time being responsible for matters relating to
Bhutan Standards Bureau.

29

q) “Person” means any individual, partnership,
company, un-incorporated organization,
government, governmental agency or any
other entity recognized by law.

r) “Process” includes any practice, treatment
and mode of manufacture of any article.

s) “Registering Authority” means any Bureau/
Authority competent under any law for the
time being in force to register any company,
firm or other body of persons, or any trade
mark or design, or to grant a patent.

t) “Regulations” means regulations made by
the Bureau under this Act.

u) “Sampling” means a provision of a sample
of the object of conformity assessment,
according to a procedure.

v) “Sell” includes barter and exchange, and
exposure or offer for sale, and export for or

30

in pursuance of sale, and have in possession
for any purpose of sale, export, trade or,
manufacture.

w) “Specification” means a description of any
commodity by reference to its nature, quality,
strength, purity; composition, quantity,
dimensions, weight, grade, durability, origin,
age or other characteristics, or to any substance
or material of or with which, or the manner in
which, any commodity may be manufactured,
produced, processed or treated.

x) “Standard” means a document, established
by consensus and approved by the Bureau that
provides, for common and repeated use, rules,
guidelines or characteristics for activities or their
results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum
degree of order in a given context.

y) “Standardization” means an activity of
establishing, with regard to actual or potential
problems, provisions for common and repeated

31

use, aimed at the achievement of the optimum
degree of order in a given context.

z) “Standard Mark” means Bhutan Standards
Certification Mark specified by the Bureau to
represent a particular Bhutan Standard under
section 11 (i) of this Act.

aa) “Testing” means determination of one or
more characteristics of an object of conformity
assessment, according to a procedure and it
applies to materials, articles or processes.

bb) “Third-party conformity assessment
activity” means conformity assessment activity
that is performed by a person or body that is
independent of the person or organization that
provides the object and of user interests in that
object

32