The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a new direction (Dated: October 23, 2019) for further extension in the date of compliance for the labeling of the Alcoholic Beverages; specifically for ‘Indian Brandy’. The food authority has stated that the old unused labels and the printed cans for the beverage category ‘Indian Brandy’ can now be used upto 31st March 2020.
FSSAI had issued a notification on March 29, 2019 regarding the implementation of the Food Safety and Standards (Alcoholic Beverages Standards) Regulations, 2018; implemented with effect from April 1, 2019. The food authority had allowed a time period of 6 months for employing unused labels and printed cans for Alcoholic Beverages. The food authority had also stated; Alcoholic Beverages manufactured prior to April 1, 2019 can be sold in the market upto March 31, 2020 or till the finalisation of the amendment regulations incorporating modification mentioned at para (i), whichever is later.
A new category ‘Indian Brandy’ was created under Brandy in the Food Safety and Standards (Alcoholic Beverages Standards) Regulations, 2018 in the directions issued on March 29, 2019 as follows:
3) Brandy: A new category ‘Indian Brandy’ is inserted under Brandy which shall be made either from neutral spirit or rectified spirit or a mixture of both. Such product shall be labelled as ‘Indian Brandy’ followed by a statement under bracket as ‘(Made from molasses spirit)‘ with a font size that is easily readable. The font size of the words ‘Indian’ and ‘Brandy’ shall be same.
In reference to the direction issued on March 29, 2019, the Food Authority received representations from various stakeholders for the difficulties faced with respect to labeling of Indian Brandy as “Indian Brandy (Made from Molasses Spirit)”. The stakeholders declared that they have already paid a huge amount of registration fee for their brand with Excise for a period of twelve months i.e. up-to March 31, 2020. The stakeholders stated that it would be heavy financial burden if they go for the modification of their labels hence requested for some extra time to comply with the labeling requirement.
The Food Safety and Standards (Alcoholic Beverages Standards) Regulations, 2018 can be accessed on;