In recent times there has been an introduction of the Indian Food Safety and Standard rules and guidelines in August 2011. We give below an overview:-
Overview of current tips and rules and laws of FSS Act that are relevant in matters of import of food and food products into India.  In his address, Mr. Guha gave a presentation on FSSAI Food Safety Clearance System. The presentation dwelt on the purpose of the FSS Act 2006, the Foot Import Clearance System method, and other important issues. Testing food imports is every important aspect of Food Safety. The Food Import Clearance system is governed by the following sections of Section 25 (1) of the FSS Act 2006:

No person shall import into India:
i) any unsafe or misbranded or sub-standard food or food containing extraneous matter.
ii) Without a proper FSSAI license, as per the rules and regulations.
iii) Any article or food in contravention of any other provision of this Act provided or of any rule or regulation made thereby under or any other Act.

The system provides the following functionality:
• Application submission by CHA/importer for the no-objection certificate (NOC)
• Online payment of fees for testing of samples by CHA/importer
• Assignment of FSSAI inspector and provide an appointment for CHA/importer
• Field visit by the appointed FSSAI inspector for physical inspection and collection of samples
• Selection of laboratory for testing and dispatching of a sample by FSSAI authorized officer
• Reporting of test results by laboratory
• The issue of NOC/rejection report by FSSAI authorized officer.

Stakeholders in food import clearance process are food importers, custom house agents, food testing laboratories, customs wing of CBEC, Department of Agriculture, Government of the Republic of India, Department of Animal Husbandry, dairy and fisheries, Government of India, seaports and airport authorities, container freight stations and inland container depots. Food importers are required to register online with the FSSAI food Import Clearance System for availing online food import clearance services from the FSSAI. Food importers will directly register FSSAI online by providing IEC number and furnishing additional information in the registration form. Testing food imports are essential for effectiveness in food safety.

The process of Food Import Clearance Process:
• Apply online for NOC and pay the laboratory testing fees (Rs. 3000 per sample + service tax)
• offer clarification as sought-after by the approved officer inside time amount stipulated and
facilitate and accompany the inspection team during food inspection and draw of food samples
• Facilitate rectification of any visual defects or labeling defects as directed by the approved
officer within the stipulated time in the Customs Area.
• Obtain the signed copy of NOC or Rejection Report from authorized officer.
• Shut in of an intelligence agent, clear the consignment once finishing necessary formalities at the Customs
desk.
• In case of Rejection Report, one may prefer to appeal for retesting of the second sample stored with the approved officer punctually paying the needed laboratory analysis fees. If not preferring an associate
The appeal shall re-import or destroy the rejected food consignment as the case may be.
Submission of documents by Food Importers / CHA is mandatory:
• the food importers or CHA to submit the NOC application in the prescribed form
• Bill of entry
• Examination order from the customs
• Country of origin certificate
• A declaration stating that the imported food articles comply with the laws of India and meet the
standards defined by the food authority.
• Declaration of end-use.
• Declaration indicating whether the food is genetically modified or not
The importer might choose to provide the following papers as an option also:
• Laboratory Analysis Report from an authorized laboratory in the country of origin
• Pumping Guarantee Certificate in case of edible oil
• Import permit from the Ministry of Agriculture in case of Primary agriculture produce
• Phytosanitary Certificate from exporting country in case of primary agriculture produce
• healthful import allow from the Department of Animal Husbandry in case of farm animal
product
Labeling requirements:-
• Every declaration made on the package should be legible, prominent and unambiguous.
• The declaration vogue and written material ought to be daring, clearly visible and in English or Hindi (Devanagari Script).
• The height of the letters in the declaration should not be less than 1mm and width of the letter of numeral shall not be one-third of its height.
• The lettering of the graphic material ought to be in color contrast with the background of the label
• Labels not to use words implying recommendations by a medical profession
• No statement or pictorial device that might produce confusion and mislead the public concerning nature, origin, composition, and properties of food.
• Any fruit product which will not contain the prescribed amount of fruit juice or fruit pulp or fruit content shall not be described as fruit product and should be marked as (name of the fruit) flavored or added (name of the fruit) flavor. Minimum labeling requirements for pre-packaged food or pre-packed. Testing food imports is an essential step.
Food including multi-piece package.
• Generic or common name of the food
• List of ingredients (not required in case of single-ingredient)
• Name and complete address of the manufacturer
• Name and complete address of the Indian importer
• Net quantity/net content / net weight in terms of the standard unit of weights and measures
• Lot/code/batch number
• Date of manufacture
• Best before / expiry/use by date, month and year format
• Vegetarian / non-vegetarian declaration in green or brown logo
Issuance of NOC and rejection report:
•an approved officer is needed to issue an intelligence agent based mostly on documentation (without sampling and
laboratory analysis) for the following categories of food imports
• Food foreign for quality assurance, analysis, and development by recognized scientific
agencies or institutions
• For display in international trade fairs and exhibitions
• For consumption by the participating teams in special international sports events
• The authorized officer is required to issue a NOC in the format prescribed in Form G, under his seal and signature for permitting import of food and shall communicate such order to Customs and the food bourgeois / CHA. The approved officer shall conjointly send the laboratory analysis report to customs and the good importer. Testing food imports is an important step for Food Safety. Testing food imports should be done very carefully.

The recent ban on Maggi noodles puts a lens on the deficiencies of the food regulator to check product created in the Asian nation. The matter is combined for food product from different countries: the Food Safety and Standards Authority of Asian nation (FSSAI) fails in its own expressed objective to check each import consignment.

Import coverage

The expressed objective of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of Asian nation (FSSAI) is to check each import consignment. however, in 2013-14, matching FSSAI take a look at information with food imports shows that, at 7,246 tons of consignment volume, FSSAI tested solely regarding zero.004% of food product coming into the Asian nation. Compared, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) physically examined one.9% of its food import lines in 2011-12.

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Funding

Despite a clear have to be compelled to build testing infrastructure, FSSAI isn’t victimization the complete funds obtainable with it. It’s currently trying to maneuver towards random- and risk-based inspections just like the United States of America, that has an automatic system that, in line with the USDA’s annual report, “uses information analytics from the complete lifecycle of a product to raised determine and target insecure. Funding plays an important role in testing food imports.

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Testing

Part of the explanation is the presence. In step with FSSAI, it’s a presence in precisely sixteen of the 673 entry points into India; in addition, it works with sixty-eight registered laboratories. In 2013-14, FSSAI examined fifty-three,692 consignments of food product consideration seven,246 tones. It rejected 371 consignments, amounting to zero.21% of the number sought-after to be foreign.

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Sampling

Then, the sample sizes drawn by it area unit while not reference to consignment size. “For example, if 10,000 SKUs (stock-keeping units) area unit being foreign and in another case, one hundred thousand SKUs area unit being foreign, a number of samples drawn for testing ought to differ, that isn’t happening,” says Ashwin Bhadri, chief government of Equinox Labs, a registered laboratory. Testing food imports is an important step.

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You may also like to read:

  1.  Clearance of Imported Food by the Food Authority | Learn FSSAI |
  2. How to Convert Your FSSAI Food License?