Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is established to exercise the powers granted to, and to perform the functions assigned to, it under the Food Safety and Standards Act. It is called the Food Authority. The Food Authority is a body corporate, having perpetual succession and a seal with power to acquire, hold and dispose of property, both movable and immovable, and to contract and shall, by the said name, sue or be sued. The Head office of FSSAI is located at Delhi and other regional offices are located in other states. There are a no. of important guidelines made by FSSAI for Importers of food business.

FSSAI license is important to carry out Food business work in India legally. It is compulsory for a food business operator to first get an FSSAI license in India.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is India’s food regulator and has issued new rules for the import, labeling and packaging of imported products to India so to do away with the problems of sub-standard products coming in the country. On 14th January 2016, FSSAI came out with a notice for operationalization of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Import) Rules for food importers. However, the notice shall come into force from the date as may be notified by the Food Authority after the publication in the Official Gazette. FSSAI for Importers of food business is very efficient for growth.

The process of Licensing of Food Importers/FBOs

  1.  The food importer will have to register himself with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).
  2.  Import–Export code is compulsory for the food Importer.
  3.  Obtain an import license from the Central Licensing Authority for the import of food.
  4.  Shelf life must be 60% or more than 60% at the time of customs clearance. Conditions for cancellation or suspension of License:
  5.  Suspension or cancellation of the license can take place in accordance with the provisions of FSSAI (license and registration of food businesses), act 2011. There are some general guidelines by FSSAI for Importers of food business
  6.  If DO/AO 2 has reasons that the food importer has tried to import food which is unsafe, prohibited food or food from unknown or prohibited sources as is provided under the act.
  7.  If the food importer didn’t comply with the license, rules of intended end use.
  8.  Suspension, revocation or cancellation of License of Import-Export Code granted by Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) shall immediately and automatically render the import license canceled without further notice to the importer.
  9. Appoint Customs House Agent (CHA): Food importers must inform AO/DO about the particulars of their Customs House Agent (CHA) and the authority is given to him. Further, the importer will also have to inform about the modification or withdrawal of any authorized in respect of Custom house agents within 3 days of such modification. The application must tell that the Food importer and the CHA shall be jointly liable for any violation of (FSSAI) Act 2006 and its terms and conditions. The process for the appointment of the CHA is given under Section or Schedule 1.

It must contain the following details:

  1.  Importer’s name, address and contact no.
  2.  Importing food item
  3.  Country of origin of consignment
  4.  Bill of entry no.
  5. CHA’s Name
  6.  License No. of CHA.
  7. The application should be sealed or stamped along with the signature of an importer.

Related Article- Document Required to Import Food Products to India