India’s Food Safety Regulator Eases Business Policies

To facilitate ease of doing business, state-owned Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) put in place procedures to simplify licensing and registration processes:

  • It developed an online Food Licensing and Registration System in all states, (except in Nagaland) as also at airports, seaports and in India’s railway systems.
  • Working in collaboration with the national Center for Good Governance, FSSAI developed forms  that are now much simpler than before.
  • Inspection of premises before issuing licenses has been waived by the authority.
  • FSSAI will strengthen its customer care cell and make it available throughout the day for consumer complaints, food import clearance issues, food registration and licensing issues, and any other related queries.
  • FSSAI approved a policy to accept Codex standards where there are no government guidelines in place, while concurrently initiating the exercise of aligning its standards with Codex.
  • FSSAI simplified food import clearances: It integrated its Food Import Clearance System with the Indian Customs and Central Excise gateway, enabling a food importer to file an application on the Single Window Interface to Facilitate Trade or SWIFT System.

Food Import Clearance Process:

File Application on SWIFT ->Document Scrutiny->Inspection & Sampling->Samples to Lab->Lab Test Report-> No Objection or Non Conformance Certificate ->Transmit NOC/NCC online to SWIFT->Authorities decide on release of consignment

  • For importing food into India the importer must have a valid FSSAI License and the Import-Export Code from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.
  • Currently FSSAI is present at 6 places in India: Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Cochin and Tuticorn.
  • In the case of food items with a very short shelf life, (such as fresh fruit and processed cheese) FSSAI will issue a Provisional No Objection Certificate immediately.
  • To eliminate the current practice of multiple sampling and testing from the same cargo, and to facilitate import clearance, FSSAI now allows one homogeneous sample to be drawn from commingled cargo of pulses, cereals and oils for multiple importers at the first port of discharge. The analysis report of the sample at the first port of discharge will remain valid at other ports of discharge.

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Posted on by Gunjan Bagla
Gunjan Bagla
California-based management consultant Gunjan Bagla runs Amritt, a consulting firm helping American companies to succeed in India. Amritt is the trusted advisor for India market research, India business development, India market entry, Global Engineering, Global Technology Scouting, India R&D and Open Innovation. Gunjan is author of "Business in 21st Century India: How to Profit Today from Tomorrow’s Most Exciting Market" (Hachette Book Group, 2008), Amazon's top rated title on the subject. He has appeared as the India Expert on BBC Television, Bloomberg TV, Fox Cable Business and has been quoted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Hollywood Reporter and Business Week for his expertise on India.

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