With the changes in government policies and norms, significant business opportunities are being diverted to India, thus enabling it to carve out its place in the global market. Bing a country of food lovers, India has become a host to various global food brands and many others are joining in the process to become a favourite recourse to the Indian customers.
In order to monitor the commercialization of the food and its products in India, the Government enforced the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”). The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (hereinafter referred to as “FSSAI”) is the authority responsible for laying down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import, to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The Act and the Food Safety and Standards (Import) Regulations, 2017 (hereinafter referred to as the “Regulations”) set a regulatory framework for the food products imported from other countries for sale in India.
Import of Food Products
Some of the considerations which an importer in required to taken into account before import food products in India are laid down as under:
- Obtaining an import license from the Central Licensing Authority
- Possession of a valid importer-exporter code
- No article of food shall be cleared from the custom unless it has a valid shelf life of not less than 60% at the time of import.
- Upon arrival of the food consignments at the port, the importer or Custom House Agent shall file an Integrated Declaration Form specified by the Customs.
- The food product should adhere to the standards for packaging and labelling provided under the Act and the Rules
Owing to the sensitivity of the nature of the products being brought into its market, India has formulated their health safety guidelines. The products being imported in the country are mandated to abide by such compliances to ensure their reliability and safety in terms of human consumption.