Food Labelling serves as a primary link of communication between the manufacturer or the packer of food on the one hand and the distributor, seller, and the user or consumer on the other hand. The way the manufacturer does labeling, introduces his product to his distributor or the seller and in order to the target consumer or the user of his product by providing all the information regarding his product on the label.
The manufacturer can thus impress the consumer or its target user with the fact that it is the product of his choice, which suits him/her according to his/her needs. Thereby, correct and required labeling would undoubtedly help to promote the sale of his product.
As per Food Laws, every packaged food article is mandatorily labeled and also it has to be labeled in accordance with the law which is applicable in the country of the user. Every packaged food article for the domestic use is required to be labeled in accordance to the related Indian Food Law i.e. Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, which is notified by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
Thus , keeping this in mind, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI License), India’s food regulator has issued new some new norms for the import, packaging, and the labeling of products that are imported to India so as to address the concerns of the sub-standard products that are entering to the country.
The imports have to meet the following labeling standards:
- The lettering of the graphic material should be in a color contrast with the background of its label.
- Labels cannot use words in any way implying recommendations by medical professionals.
- No statement or pictorial device causing confusion and misleading the public about the nature, origin, and composition of the food should be there.
- Any fruit product not containing the prescribed amount of fruit pulp, fruit juice, or fruit content should not be described as fruit product and should be marked as (name of the fruit) flavored or added (name of the fruit) flavor.
- Each and every statement made on the product should be prominent, legible and clear. The declaration style and lettering should be bold, clearly visible and only in English or Hindi (Devnagri Script).
- The height of the letters in the declaration should not be less than 1 mm and the width of the letters should not be less than one-third of its height.
Minimum labeling requirements for pre-packaged or pre-packed food:
- Food including multi-piece package
- Generic or common name of the food
- List of ingredients (not required in case of single-ingredient)
- Name and address of the manufacturer
- Name and address of the Indian Importer
- Net quantity/ Net content/ Net weight in terms of standard units of weights and measures.
- LOT/ Code/ Batch Number
- Date of manufacture
- Best Before/expiry date/use by in date, month and year format
- Vegetarian/ Non-vegetarian declaration in green or brown logo
Special privileges on labeling for information on name and address of the importer, FSSAI Registration logo, Non-Veg/Veg logo can be attached by the importer on the arrival of imported food consignment in the custom bonded warehouse. The AO shall pass an order commanding the food importer to perform the permissible labeling rectification within a prescribed time in the customs area without remodeling or concealing the original Label information. Such deficiency shall be rectified by binding a single non-detachable sticker or by any other non-detachable method. Upon such rectification by the food importer, AO shall carry out a re-inspection.
If food importer fails to rectify the permissible defects within the prescribed time, the AO can refuse the clearance of such imported food by passing an order and issue an NCC.