FSSAI strengthens standards for global companies importing food to India

To ensure the import of safe food products, FSSAI has notified a new regulatory framework for foreign facilities bringing food into India.

Under the regulations, foreign food manufacturing facilities that manufacture products in certain categories for export to India will need to register with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and may also be subject to a inspection by Indian food safety officials. The first amendment to the Food Safety and Standards (Import) Regulations 2021 will come into force on June 1.

This is similar to the protocols followed by international food safety agencies such as the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Registration, a must

The FSSAI said it will from time to time specify categories of food products based on its risk assessment for which international factories will need to register with the regulator.

“Foreign food manufacturing facilities falling into these categories and wishing to export such food products to India must register with the Food Authority before exporting to India,” the regulation added. .

Registration will be given for two years. “Foreign food manufacturing facilities may be inspected if necessary … Officials from FSSAI and the relevant ministry, organization or department or recognized audit agency shall be appointed by the Authority. food for the purpose of inspecting foreign food manufacturing facilities, ”the notification added.

The inspection can be carried out even after obtaining the registration by these manufacturing facilities.

The FSSAI has said that registration of foreign food manufacturing facilities that fail to comply with food safety regulations can be revoked or suspended. The regulations were notified after a year-long consultation process with industry stakeholders.

Increased compliance

Amit Lohani, Founder and Director of the Indian Importers Forum, said: “We are eager to read the fine print as the regulations state that the FSSAI will from time to time publish a list of high risk products. FIFI members are working diligently to bring food safe compliant products to Indian consumers and also understand the intention behind this decision. However, we hope that this will not result in a non-tariff barrier to trade and, furthermore, that imported goods will not be subject to a separate requirement compared to products of similar categories made in India.

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