The import of all the food products in India is organized by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The FSSAI has administered different controls and examples, which have to been taken into consideration while leading the way in food items. On the off chance that the food items are not according to FSSAI directions, the shipment will be dismissed and not permitted into India. The entire dealer, as well as the businesses that import food items into India, must realize about the FSSAI methodology and controls identifying with the import of the food products.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
• Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), is an self reliant body started under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, following the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006. This Act is responsible for forming the standards of products and the labeling legislation. It samples and controls each shipment arriving in India. If the food products are not as per FSSAI- regulations, the shipping will be denied and will not be allowed into India. Flemish businesses transport food products to India must be aware of the FSSAI procedures and regulations relating to food product import.
• Ministry of Agriculture, Department for Plant Quarantine Organization:
these department problems the Plant Quarantine Order. The Department is also responsible for the circulation of the import permits.
Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying & Fisheries
• Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying & Fisheries department is responsible for supply the requirements for the certificates essential for import
• Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Department of Consumer Affairs the Department is responsible for legal metrology. The Department represents the satisfying of the labeling, but for food and drinks, FSSAI-regulations replace this legislation. The legal metrology is only advance FSSAI for MRP (maximum retail price), consumer care articles and net weight.
Licenses & certification to import Food Products in India
It is principle to obtain these licenses or registrations earlier to importing any food shipping to India.
• Private Limited Company or LLP (Optional, however, it is suggested as it improves the interchangeability of business and limits personal liability).
• VAT certification (Required for exporting goods or products in India).
• International training Code from DGFT (Required for importing or exporting goods)
• Product Approval from FSSAI (if the product proposed to be carried is non-standardized therefore, it is not in accordance with the food standards prescribed under the FSS Act and regulations there under).
1. The business requirements to be registered as a proprietorship, partnership, private limited company or a public limited company.
2. Value Added Tax Registration with linked authority for private sale.
3. Importer Exporter Code (IE Code) communicated by the Director-General of Foreign Trade.
4. Product approval if the food product to be imported comes under a non-standardized product classification.
5. FSSAI has an automated Food Imports Clearance System (FICS). An importer may register the required submission under FICS or for customs authorization on his own or he may enroll a Custom Handling Agent (CHA) for the same.
The shipment must pass different phases for authorization and meet the private market:
• Custom Department should clear Application for Custom authorization.
• Application of NOC (No Objection Certificate) or Provisional NOC to Food Import authorization system (FICS) of FSSAI.
• Scrutiny of documents by an Authorized Officer of FSSAI or NOC.
• Observed inspection of the shipment and sampling thereof by the Authorized Officer of FSSAI.
• Laboratory analysis of samples collected.
• Issuance of NOC or temporary NOC by Food Import clearance system (FICS) of FSSAI.
• Issuance of NOC or temporary NOC by Food Import clearance system (FICS) of FSSAI.
Related: FSSAI Rules For Food License
Given below are the measures that are to be followed while importing the Food products in India:
Step 1: Custom Authorization
Earlier to the arrival of the food shipment through air or seaport in India, the importing food business operator must prepare an Authority Letter in approval of a Customs Handling Agent (CHA), addressing the FSSAI/ Authorized officer. However, while the arrival of shipment, the CHA based on the authorization letter will file an application for Authorization of shipment with the Department of Customs established on the Bill of Entry. Post this, a Government Customs Agent will verify the shipment and clear the same after authorization of customs procedures and payment of customs duty.
Step 2: Applying FSSAI authorization
However, after obtaining the Customs Department authorization, the CHA should file an application in the Food Import Clearance System (FICS) of FSSAI for obtaining the ‘No Objection Certificate’.
The documents required to be uploaded to the FSSAI portal for FSSAI Authorization are:
1. International training Code issued from the DGFT
2. FSSAI-Food Business permit
3. Bill of arrival
4. Examination Order generated by the EDI system of Customs, there in needed NOC from the FSSAI
Non compulsory Documents depending upon the type of Product being imported:
1. Import license issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India in case of primary agriculture produce/ horticultural produce;
2. Sanitary Import license issued by the Department of Animal Husbandry, Government of India in case of livestock products;
3. Registration of import agreements for poppy seeds with Central Bureau of Narcotics, Gwalior;
4. Registration of Origin issued by Authorised Person/ Agency at the place of manufacturing/ processing etc. of the food shipment. Certificate of Origin shall contain information on Country of begining etc. Hence if the vendor is from a different country;
5. Phyto-Sanitary Certificate issued by the Plant Quarantine Department of Exporting Country in case of primary agriculture/ horticulture produce with sterilization validation;
6. Certificate of Analysis with constitution (Ingredients). In the case of Wine & Whiskey – Test licence;
7. End-use announcement – The Food Importer has to clearly declare the end use of the imported food product;
8. Pumping Guarantee Certificate in case of food oil imported in bulk;
9. List of transit country, if the food shipment is trans-shipped through more than one country;
10. Temperature Chart / Report / Graph, if the food shipment trans-shipped under the Cold Chain Technologies (CCT) from the port of origin to the point of import;
11. filling list, Packing List;
12. Commercial invoice as specified in the Bill of Entry (BoE);
13. Bill of Lading as specified in the Bill of Entry (BoE) for sea shipment;
14. Air Way Bill as specified in the Bill of Entry (BoE) for air shipment;
15. In case of an aseptic package, an announcement by an undertaking from the manufacturer that the representative sealed sample is from the same batch of the shipment.
Step 3: Shipment Inspection & Sampling
Once an application is made in the FICS with the needed documents, an FSSAI Officer will verify the submitted documents. However, if the application is accepted, the importer will be requested to deposit fees for FSSAI authorization based on the number of samples.
The FSSAI Officer will fix a date and time for a observed inspection of the shipment during which the following parameters will be verified:
1. The physical condition of the shipment for visible insects and fungal infestation.
2. The valid remaining shelf life of the product is more than the 60% of its original shelf life at the time of import authorization.
3. Submission with the FSS (Packaging & Labeling) Regulations, 2011. The product-specific labeling requirements.
4. Improvement of labeling shortage, namely
5. Name and address of the importer
6. FSSAI logo and permit number
7. Veg / Non-Veg Symbol.
Step 4: Food Product approval
If the authorized lab issues an approved conclusion report affirming that the eatables shipment is in agreement with the FSSAI checks. Therefore, No Objection Certificate (NoC)/Non Conformance Certificate (NCC) is issued by the inspector. The food items would then be cleared for import in India and liberation from the Traditional Distribution Center.
Related: Steps to get FSSAI Product Approval
Items without FSSAI Approval to be imported in India
Specified below is a list of food products that can be imported in India without registering for an FSSAI Approval:
1. Export dismisses or re-imported food fills implied for re-trade.
2. Food articles or fixings or added substances which are being transported in Thus, for the assembling of 100% fares items.
3. Food imported by political Missions.
4. Import of Food for Quality Assurance, Research, and Development. It is transported in food which can’t be discharged into the household to advertise. Also utilized for test showcasing or statistical regarding purposes.
5. Food imported for the reasons for presentations and tasting, subject to specific conditions.
6. Food got encompassed by any fiasco/crisis circumstances.
7. Import of food for sports occasions, subject to specific conditions.
Related: Kind of Food Business which requires Food License
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