The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued a “notice for operationalisation” of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Import) Regulations, 2016 for food importers, amending regulations for licensing, documentation, packaging and labelling.
It has also issued rules governing the suspension or cancellation of food importers’ licences.
Such companies will now need to submit recall plans and applications of clearance.
These documents must also include declarations that the the imports are permitted for human consumption in their country of origin, as well their regulatory status in the location of a parent company, if this is different to the location of manufacture.
Food importers will also have to submit the list of transit countries through which their products have transited before reaching India, as well as temperature profile reports when the refrigerated goods are shipped.
Inspection officers will now verify if special storage conditions are complied with. The regulations also offer a review process for aggrieved food importers, while all receivers will be required to be present at customs areas during inspection.
“In the event of the food importer or his custom house agent not being present to facilitate the inspection and sampling in spite of two opportunities having been granted, the authorised officer will refuse to grant further opportunity for inspection and sampling of the food consignment,” state the regulations.
“Any further appointment in this behalf may be granted by the chief executive or his authorised representative after the levy of a suitable penalty on the food importer as may be prescribed by the authority from time to time.”