The Food Safety and Standards Association of India (FSSAI) has recently announced new Regulations to amend the existing Food Safety and Standards (Import) Regulations, 2017. The Regulations came into force on November 06, 2021, and all the Food Business Operators (FBOs) must comply with all the Regulations from June 01, 2022.
The FSSAI has included a new chapter for the registration and inspection of Foreign Food manufacturing facilities, which includes:
Registration of Foreign Food Manufacturing Facilities
Based on the risk, the FSSAI specifies the categories of food products intended for export to India. All foreign food manufacturing facilities that fall under the specified categories must register their food products with the FSSAI before exporting to India. The manufacturing facility can apply for registration directly or via an authorized representative through “Form 16,” along with the documents specified in Annexure-1.
Application Processing for Registration of Foreign Food Manufacturing Facilities
Upon scrutiny of the application, the FSSAI may request additional information by providing thirty (30) days of notice. If the applicant submits the additional information, the Authority may process the application for inspection or reject the application. If the applicant fails to submit the required information within the stipulated time, the application shall stand rejected.
Inspection of Foreign Food Manufacturing Facilities
When deemed necessary, the foreign Food manufacturing facility/facilities may be inspected as per the FSSAI standards. The officials from FSSAI and relevant ministry/department/organization/recognized auditing agency shall be nominated by the Food Authority to inspect the Foreign Food Manufacturing Facilities. The FSSAI may prescribe the cost of inspection, which shall be borne by the Foreign Food manufacturing facility/facilities.
Issuance of Registration
If the facility is compliant with the regulations of the FSSAI, it shall be registered as a Foreign Food manufacturing facility for two (2) years. The registration number shall be communicated in 'Form 17.' And if the facility is not compliant with the standards of the FSSAI, the application shall be rejected. The applicant can take the necessary remedial action and apply for recognition again. Renewal of registration of Foreign Food manufacturing facility must be made through Form 16 at least thirty (30) days before the expiry date.
Suspension or Cancellation of Registration
If the Foreign Food manufacturing facility or their food products intended for export to India are found not compliant with the FSSAI regulations, their registration shall be suspended or canceled.
In October 2022, FSSAI released an order stating that the registration of foreign food manufacturing facilities falling under the food categories – milk and milk products; meat and meat products including poultry, fish, and their products; egg powder; infant food; and nutraceuticals, is mandatory effective from February 01, 2023.
In a nutshell, all foreign food manufacturing facilities must be compliant with the FSSAI regulations and register with the authority to market their food products in India. With the right strategy, FBOs can avoid the hassles in the registration process. Reach out to our experts at Freyr for the right-first-time registration of your food facilities.