Through an earlier notification the FSSAI had added a new category under the Food Safety & Standards (Licensing & Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011 which was to be called ‘Exporting FBOs.’ FSSAI had clarified that those exporters falling in this category were not required to submit a certificate of conformity as per the Indian Food Products Standards nor do they require to seek Product Approval. These food products manufactured for 100% export are required to conform to the standards and regulation requirements of the importing countries. Now the Import Division of the FSSAI has made clarifications regarding the import of food products, ingredients and additives for 100% export or re-export.
FSSAI had clarified that if the importer has to informed the officials that such items are meant for 100% export or re-export then such food items should not be subjected to the same treatment as given to the import of food items for the domestic consumption. They should be allowed to be imported without the conditions that are applicable if such imports were meant for the domestic market. However, the Custom Authorities are still referring the consignments of food articles/ additives/ ingredients that are meant for ‘value addition’ for 100% exports for testing according to standards of the imported food meant for domestic consumption. FSSAI has now informed all Custom Authorities that
- Food manufactures in the food manufacturing / processing industry, who export 100% of their items, manufacture/process foods as per the standards and specific requirements of the importing entities/ countries. Since these exports are allowed from India by the importing countries as per the standards and regulations and laws of the importing countries/ entities there is no need to test them foods according to the parameters which are applicable for food items meant for domestic consumption. In the same way FSSAI has clarified that food that is being imported into India for ‘value addition’ in foods that are meant for 100% export or re – export will not come under the scope of the Food Import Clearance System (FICS) of FSSAI as they are not meant for domestic consumption.
- This will also hold true for consignments of food items, ingredients or additives imported by the firms and companies for use of their sister or subsidiary companies if they have a defined relationship agreement between them that the items are meant for 100% export.
- This guideline is also applicable to re-imported food that is exported again
- Any importer who is importing food items for “captive use” would have to submit an undertaking or declaration to the Customs Department, at the time of filing the bill of entry, that the imported item is meant for “captive use” as the food article will be used only for
- 100% export or
- re-import of food for export again
- that no part thereof will be supplied for domestic consumption
However, these guidelines are not applicable for importers and traders who do not fall under the “captive use” category. The will be subjected to testing according to Indian standards as otherwise problems could arise which are associated with traceability of the end use of such items.