The Indian government has enacted a number of laws and acts to regulate imported food products and ensure that Indian consumers consume nutritious and safe food. The government collaborates with numerous agencies and departments on this project. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, or FSSAI, is one of the major agencies responsible for developing a variety of standards to ensure the quality, regulations, and control measures of imported food products.

What if the imported foods fail to meet FSSAI standards?

If imported foods fail to meet FSSAI’s stringent regulations and standards, or if the prescribed procedures for importing these products into the country are not followed, the entire consignment may be rejected and returned. It is not permitted to be traded in any way in the country. As a result, any company planning to import food products from other countries must become familiar with and knowledgeable about the various FSSAI regulations and procedures. We will go over the registration and licenses that are required before importing food products in this section.

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Before importing food products, licenses are required.

Certain licenses are required if you intend to import food products. Here are the details.

Vat Registration- Obtaining Vat Registration from the relevant authority in charge of product sales in the country is critical.

Business Form (LLP or Company)- Although not required, a credible business form with limited liability is recommended.

Product Approval- If the imported product is not standardized, this is required.

Importer Exporter Code (IE)- This is a mandatory code issued by the Director-General of Foreign Trade.

Formalities for Customs Clearance

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In relation to the food import clearance system and FSSAI customs clearance, the importer must complete and comply with a slew of formalities. These procedures can be completed with or without the assistance of a Customs Handling Agent.

Consignment Clearance Stages After Arrival

  • After an imported food consignment arrives in India, the product goes through several consignment clearance stages before reaching the domestic market. This section contains information about various stages.
  • Customs Clearance Application must be submitted to the Customs Department for a No Objection Certificate, or a Provisional NOC Application must be submitted to the FSSAI’s FICS or Food Import Clearance System.
  • Documents Examination by the FSSAI’s Authorized Officer
  • An FSSAI-authorized officer inspects the consignment visually and collects samples.

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Customs clearance is done in stages.

  1. Following the consignment’s arrival in the country, the CHA or the importer applies to the relevant authorities to have the consignment cleared. The application is received by the Department of Customs, and the necessary documents pertaining to the consignment are filed with the Department of Customs. As a result, a Bill of Entry is created and an examination order for the relevant consignment is received. This examination order is generated by Customs’ EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) system and necessitates a No Objection Order from FSSAI.
  2. Following the generation of the Bill of Entry and receipt of the examination order, the CHA or Importer applies to FSSAI’s FICS or Food Import Clearance System for a Provisional NOC or NC. An IE Code issued by DGFT, a Bill of Entry, an FSSAI License, an EDI System generated Examination Order, a Product Approval, an Import Permit issued by the Indian Government’s Ministry of Agriculture (horticultural and agricultural produce), a Sanitary Import Permit (livestock products) issued by the Animal Husbandry Department, and a Product A are the supporting documents required for the purpose.

The FSSAI’s Authorized Officer thoroughly examines all of these documents. Every document presented to them by the importer is checked. If the officer is unsure, he or she may seek clarification from the importer. If all documents are found to be in order after thorough examination and verification, the authorized FSSAI Officer issues a demand for the fee based on the number of samples submitted for clearance.

  1. An authorized officer of the FSSAI conducts a thorough visual inspection and sampling of the consignment. This stage occurs after the CHA or importer has deposited a fee. The importer has informed the importer of the date and time of the inspection, which the importer must acknowledge. In the presence of the importer, the authorized officer takes two samples. It is then sealed and labeled before being sent to laboratories for additional testing.
  2. As part of the next stage, FICS, or the Food Import Clearance System of the FSSAI, issues a provisional NOC or a No Objection Certificate. This Certificate is based on a laboratory report that concludes the non-conformance or conformance of parameters and standards as specified by the FSSAI Act 2006. As a result of this report, a Non-Conformance Certificate or a No Objection Certificate is issued.

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