Food regulator issues new rules for imports
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued new rules for importing products, seeking to address concerns over the entry of sub-standard items and simplify the process by setting shelflife norms and relaxing labelling guidelines. According to the new rules, no food article will be allowed unless it has 60 per cent of its shelf life remaining when it is learned from custom.
Companies must register with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade and possess a valid importexport code, apart from an FBO license to import food. This is a new clause in the regulations that have been uploaded on the website of FSSAI. The Food Safety and Standards (Import) Regulations, 2016, will come into force when they are notified by publication in the Official Gazette, the FSSAI said.
The regulator has addressed two key issues raised by the food industry by easing labelling requirements and introducing a redressal procedure. “Any food importer aggrieved by one or more of the following orders of the authorised officer may file a review application to the review officer against such order,” according to the provisions.
Importers will be allowed to affix a single, non-detachable sticker to rectify labelling errors related to the name and address of the importer, the FSSAI logo and license number, and the symbols for nonvegetarian and vegetarian food items. The earlier rules did not allow such errors to be corrected.