On November 16, 2020, the apex regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India decided to make registration, inspection and audit mandatory for foreign food manufacturing facilities that export food products to India and issued the draft “Food Safety and Standards (Import) Amendment Regulations, 2020.”
The scope of the proposed document is to amend the 2017 regulations as follows:
- Food categories shall be specified based on the high risk.
- Foreign food manufacturing facility which requires mandatory audit shall get their facility audited by the auditing agency recognized by the Food Authority.
- Frequency of audit shall be specified by the Food Authority from time to time.
- Proposes suspension or cancellation of registration if foreign food manufacturing facility or their food products are found not to be in compliance of food safety law with conditions.
- The regulatory body will nominate officials from the FSSAI and relevant Ministry, organization or departments for inspection of these international food manufacturing facilities.
- Foreign food manufacturing facility if in compliance made under FSS Act rules and regulations shall be registered as Foreign Food manufacturing facilities for a period of five years.
- Foreign Food manufacturing facility found to not be in compliance of FSS Act rules and regulation made there-under, the application made for registration shall be rejected.
The regulation shall come into force with effective date for implementation to be either 1st January or July. It is subject to a minimum of 180 days from the date of their final publication in the official Gazette.