The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued new rules for importing the products in India. Striving in order to deal with concerns over the entry of sub-standard products and also to simplify the process by setting its shelf life norms and for relaxing the labeling guidelines. Requirement for food imports as per guidelines.

The main clause, in line with the new rules, is that no food article will be given the permission unless it has 60% shelf life which is remaining on the clearance from customs. The Food Safety and Standards (Import) Regulations, 2016, will thus come into effect when they are announced by publication in the Official Gazette, the FSSAI said.

The main highlights of such kind of regulation are:

  • Food Items which are not having the required 60%  are remaining shelf life at the time of clearance shall not be cleared from the customs area.
  • Also, no FBO shall be allowed in order to import the food items without an import license which is issued by the central authorities. The Food Business Operator (FBO)’s shall also possess an FSSAI license, and a valid Import Export Code (IEC), which is issued by the  Directorate of Foreign Trade. Owning an import-export code for food products is mandatory by FSSAI. The requirement for food imports is need to be fulfilled.
  • Licenses can also be canceled in the event of incidences such as importing of unsafe food, ban foods and also importing of such foods for the motive of re-packing and also re-channeling and also in the cases of non-compliance with the prescription of the license.
  • Revisable components of a food label such as
  1. Name and address of the importer,
  2. FSSAI logo,
  3. and vegetarian / Non–vegetarian symbols,

which may be affixed by the importer/CHA in the customs bonded warehouse. These shall be affixed to the area which is next to the principal display panel in a non-detachable method.

  • Consignments may, however, be declined after the visual inspection by the FSSAI authorized officer if it is found that it is not complying with the rules and standards of the Labelling and Packaging Regulations, 2011.

The clearance of food items by the food authority is not required for:

  1. Export as per the Government orders and the export which is rejected/re-imported food intended for re-export
  2. The food articles/ ingredients/ additives which are imported by the manufacturers/ processors for their production of the value-added items for 100% exports
  3. Consignments of the food items/ ingredients/ additives which are   imported by the companies which are to be used by their subsidiary companies, and also  to be used for 100% export production

However, another important update is that the importers will be allowed to append a single and non-removable sticker in order to correct the labeling errors related to the name and the address of the importer, the FSSAI License, and the license number and also the symbols for non-vegetarian and the vegetarian food products. The previous rules were strict and thus didn’t allow such errors to be rectified. The requirement for food imports is need to be fulfilled.

According to the authority, the new regulations except the packaging and the labeling requirements which will also be applicable to the export consignments from India are not approved by the foreign countries and are returned.

Related Article- Licenses and Documents Required to Import Food Products to India