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MSME Sustainable Certification Scheme

Updated on :  

08 min read.

The MSME Sustainable Certification Scheme enables and facilitates the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to adopt Zero Defect Zero Effect (ZED) practices. This scheme also motivates and incentivises the MSMEs to obtain ZED certification, encouraging them to become MSME champions.

MSMEs can increase productivity, reduce wastage substantially, enhance environmental consciousness, optimally use natural resources, save energy, expand their markets, etc., through the journey of ZED certification.

The ZED certification enhances the competitiveness of an MSME through hand holding, assessment, managerial and technological intervention, etc. The MSMEs are motivated to adopt best practices in the standardisation of products, systems, processes, work culture, etc., in order to enhance their global sustainability.

Objectives of the MSME Sustainable Certification scheme

  • To enable and encourage MSMEs to manufacture quality products using the latest tools and technology and constantly upgrade their processes to achieve high productivity and quality with the least effect on the environment.
  • To promote the adoption of ZED practices and recognise the efforts of successful MSMEs.
  • To encourage the MSMEs to achieve higher ZED certification levels through graded incentives.
  • To create an ecosystem for ZED manufacturing in MSMEs to enable exports and enhance global competitiveness.
  • To increase public awareness of demanding ZED products through the MSME Sustainable (ZED) Certification.
  • To identify areas for improvement, thus assisting the government in investment prioritisation and policy decisions. 

Benefits Provided Under the MSME Sustainable Certification Scheme

Under the MSME Sustainable Certification Scheme, the MSMEs are provided with an incentive in the form of a subsidy to achieve ZED certification. The following subsidy is provided upon the cost of ZED certification to the MSMEs:

  • For micro-enterprises: 80% subsidy on the cost of ZED certification.
  • For small enterprises: 60% subsidy on the cost of ZED certification.
  • For medium enterprises: 50% subsidy on the cost of ZED certification.

Under the scheme, there is an additional subsidy of 10% for the MSMEs owned by SC, ST and women entrepreneurs. There is also an additional 10% subsidy for the MSMEs in the Himalayan region, North Eastern Region (NER), Left Wing Extremism (LWE), island territories or aspirational districts.

Further, there is an additional 5% subsidy for the MSMEs part of the Micro and Small Enterprises – Cluster Development Programme (MSE-CDP) or SFURTI of the MSME Ministry. Further, a limited purpose joining reward of Rs.10,000 is offered to every MSME once they take the ZED pledge.

Under the scheme, a provision of up to Rs.5 lakh per MSME is made available for consultancy support and handholding for the MSMEs under the ZED certification to assist them in moving towards Zero Defect Zero Effect (ZED) solutions. The MSMEs can avail many other incentives offered for ZED certification by states and UTs, financial institutions, etc.

Certification Levels Under the MSME Sustainable Certification Scheme

The MSMEs can attain MSME Sustainable (ZED) Certification in three levels after taking the ZED pledge:

  • Certification level 1: Bronze
  • Certification level 2: Silver
  • Certification level 3: Gold

All MSMEs registered with the Udyam registration portal are eligible to participate in the MSME Sustainable (ZED) Certification scheme and avail of the related benefits and incentives.

ZED Pledge

All MSMEs that embark on the journey of ZED will have to take a ‘ZED Pledge’ before certification level, i.e. applying for a ZED certification of bronze, silver or gold. Certificate on Workplace Assessment for Safety and Hygiene (WASH) standard and other capacity-building measures through MSME KAWACH will be available to the MSMEs immediately after taking the ZED pledge.

After taking the ZED pledge, the MSMEs can attain the certification level when they feel that they can fulfil the requirements mentioned for each level. The intention of taking a ZED pledge is to take a pre-commitment or a solemn promise by the MSMEs to uphold the Zero Defect Zero Effect values in their practices and help them move ahead on their journey of ZED.

MSME Sustainable Certification Application Procedure

The procedure to apply for obtaining the MSME (ZED) certification is as follows:

  • The applicant MSME needs to go to the official website of the MSME Sustainable (ZED) Certification.
  • On the homepage, click on the ‘Start with ZED’ option.
  • Click the ‘Register Now’ button for new user registration.
  • The applicant MSME must have the following to register for ZED certification:
    • Udyam Registration Number of the enterprise.
    • Mobile number associated with the Udyam registration.
  • If an enterprise is not registered under the Udyam registration portal, the MSME applicant must first register on the Udyam portal and then register for the ZED certificate.
  • Enter the ‘Udyam Registration Number’ and ‘Udyam Registered Mobile Number’ and click on the ‘Proceed’ button on the next page.
  • Select the ‘Plant Location’, its ‘Associated Plant Activity’, and click on the ‘Proceed’ button.
  • The ZED ID and password, along with the ZED pledge certificate, will be sent on the email ID of the applicant MSME.
  • Login to the MSME Sustainable (ZED) Certification portal by entering the ZED ID and password to apply for the ZED certificate.

MSME Sustainable Certification Process

The process for obtaining a bronze ZED certificate level is as follows:

  • Obtain the ZED pledge by registering on the MSME Sustainable (ZED) Certification website.
  • Login to the MSME Sustainable (ZED) Certification website and certify that the MSME complies with all relevant and applicable regulatory and statutory norms or licenses on the functioning of the MSME unit.
  • The applicant MSME should upload the following documents for verification:
    • Photos of product
    • Photos of the shop-floor
    • Photos of product labelling or product description
    • Photos of fire safety systems
  • The applicant MSME should sign an online self-declaration stating that the uploaded information is true and fulfils the requirements.
  • Recommendations for award of certification will be made upon verification of the uploaded documents, and a certificate will be issued. 
  • The certificate will be valid for three years. The applicant MSME will have to apply for a fresh certificate as per the validity of the scheme after the expiry of the certificate.

The process for obtaining a silver ZED certificate level is as follows:

  • Obtain the ZED pledge by registering on the MSME Sustainable (ZED) Certification website.
  • Login to the MSME Sustainable (ZED) Certification website and certify that the MSME complies with all relevant and applicable regulatory and statutory norms or licenses on the functioning of the MSME unit.
  • The applicant MSME should upload the following documents for verification:
    • Photos of product
    • Photos of the shop-floor
    • Photos of product labelling or product description
    • Relevant quality or product certifications
  • Once the relevant information is provided and documents are uploaded and verified, the remote assessment will take place.
  • Recommendations for award of certification will be made after all the requirements are complied with, and a certificate will be issued. 
  • The certificate will be valid for three years. The applicant MSME will have to apply for a fresh certificate as per the validity of the scheme after the expiry of the certificate.

The process for obtaining a gold ZED certificate level is as follows:

  • Obtain the ZED pledge by registering on the MSME Sustainable (ZED) Certification website.
  • Login to the MSME Sustainable (ZED) Certification website and certify that the MSME complies with all relevant and applicable regulatory and statutory norms or licenses on the functioning of the MSME unit.
  • The applicant MSME should upload the following documents for verification:
    • Photos of product
    • Photos of the shop-floor
    • Photos of product labelling or product description
    • Photos of fire safety systems
  • After the documents are uploaded and verified, the on-site assessment of relevant parameters that need to be assessed will be undertaken.
  • Recommendations for award of certification will be made after all the requirements are complied with, and a certificate will be issued. 
  • The certificate will be valid for three years. The applicant MSME will have to apply for a fresh certificate as per the validity of the scheme after the expiry of the certificate.

MSME Sustainable Certification Scheme Components

  • Industry Awareness Programmes or Workshop: The MSMEs are made aware of the MSME Sustainable (ZED) Certification through nationwide awareness programmes (online or face-to-face) with the assistance of stakeholders like implementing agencies, industry associations, MSME-Development Institutes (MSME-DIs), large enterprises/OEMs, district industries centres (DICs) and Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).
  • Training Programmes: Stakeholders like the assessors, consultants and MSME officers will be trained on the MSME Sustainable (ZED) Certification to enable effective implementation by partners like the Quality Council of India (QCI), Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and National Productivity Council (NPC).
  • Assessment and Certification: The MSMEs will be assessed through remote assessment, desktop verification or on-site assessment and awarded the appropriate certification level for which they have applied after fulfilling the requirements of that level.
  • Handholding: The MSMEs are provided handholding to help them achieve higher ZED certification levels and towards technology upgradation for zero effect solutions, pollution control measures or cleaner technology.
  • Benefits/Incentives: The Ministry of MSME will announce graded incentives for MSMEs to motivate them to achieve higher ZED certification levels. These incentives will include assistance to MSMEs in their response and preparedness to the COVID-19 pandemic, known as the MSME KAWACH (Knowledge Acquisition through WASH for an Accelerated COVID-19 Handling) based on the WASH standard.
  • PR Campaign, Advertising and Brand Promotion: A nationwide publicity will be done for the brand promotion of ZED and to popularise MSME Sustainable (ZED) Certification.
  • Digital Platform: The MSME Sustainable (ZED) Certification process is e-enabled through minimum paper use and a single-window digital platform.

Implementation of MSME Sustainable Certification scheme

The ZED certification will be implemented in two phases. The first phase of this program would focus on manufacturing MSMEs, while the second phase would focus on service sector MSMEs.

Phase 1 – Manufacturing MSME

The first phase will be implemented for the manufacturing MSMEs with Udyam registration. This phase focuses largely on maximising the inclusion of manufacturing MSMEs and taking them through the journey of ZED.

Phase 2 – Service Sector MSMEs, ZED exports

The second phase will be implemented for Service Sector MSMEs, ZED export. This phase would also strive to integrate those MSMEs (service and manufacturing sectors) registered under a state government protocol or system but not under Udyam registration.

Additional information regarding MSME performance or preparation may be collected from the second phase onwards to create a National MSME competitiveness index. It also envisages providing funding to the ZED certified MSMEs to obtain international certifications like CE and others necessary for the international market and make provisions to align ZED certification with the international certifications for its global acceptance.

Disclaimer: The materials provided herein are solely for information purposes. No attorney-client relationship is created when you access or use the site or the materials. The information presented on this site does not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes or used as a substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your state.

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