Foreign food production facilities that export certain “high-risk” categories to India must be registered with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) by February 1, 2023. Milk and milk-based goods, meat and meat products, chicken and fish, children’s vitamins, nutraceuticals, and egg powder are among the categories approved for mandatory registration.
In November of last year, the FSSAI modified its food import rules to establish a regulatory framework for the licensing of overseas food manufacturing facilities that export to the country. However, the food safety agency had not specified which categories would necessitate registration.
The FSSAI issued its most recent directive. According to the law, these global food factories may be inspected, and their registration may be terminated or stopped if they are found to be non-compliant with Indian food security criteria.
The FSSAI has asked authorities in exporting countries to provide a list of current producers who intend to export items in these categories to India. The registration of such manufacturing facilities would be done by the FSSAI at its portal based on the list provided by the competent authority of the exporting nation, the ruling admitted.
“While exchanging information is never a problem for the trade,” said Amit Lohani, Founder and Director of the Forum of Indian Food Importers (FIFI), “we strongly urge the government to ensure that obligations of this nature do not impair the ease of doing business.” Indian business leaders are in frequent contact with international players, and they hope that this condition will not stall existing trade talks.
“We also hope that a rule of this sort does not apply to low-risk category products such as candy, cookies, or highly-processed food products, as no serious food safety event has been documented attributable to the same in the past.” Businesses are finally resuming some optimistic trade outlook following the tremendous impact of pandemic-related uncertainty, and a procedural duty of this sort could render operations unviable for them. We will continue to interact with the FSSAI and will emphasize the industry’s concerns, “he added.