According to a notification dated 12 March, 2018 the FSSAI has issued directions regarding permission to use pre-printed packaging material for foods that come under the ambit of Food Safety and Standards (Food or Health Supplements, Nutraceuticals, Foods for Special Dietary Uses, Foods for Special Medical Purpose, Functional Foods, and Novel Food) Regulations 2016. This Regulation had been notified by the FSSAI on 23 December 2016. FBOs were required to ensure compliance with their existing and new products with all provisions of these regulations by 1 January 2018. Subsequently, FSSAI had issued directions regarding the inclusion of other ingredients and additives in these regulations since several ingredients and products containing these ingredients were already in the market. Separate timelines had been given for the use of these additional ingredients and additives.
The FSSAI has now received representation from stakeholders about using pre-printed packaging material for labeling products that come under these regulations. After due consideration, the FSSAI has decided to permit the FBOs to use their existing labels up to 30 June 2018 for the following foods
- Proprietary foods
- Health Supplements
- Foods for Special Dietary Use
- Food for Medical Purposes
- Specialty Food containing plant or botanicals
- Foods containing probiotics
- Foods containing prebiotics
- Novel foods
While the pre-existing labels on these products can continue to be used till 30 June 2018 the FBOs will however, have to comply with the standards that have been prescribed in the Food Safety and Standards (Food or Health Supplements, Nutraceuticals, Foods for Special Dietary Uses, Foods for Special Medical Purpose, Functional Foods, and Novel Food) Regulations 2016.
According to the Directions issued on 29 December 2017 FSSAI had drawn up a timeline with respect to compliance with these regulations. Accordingly, FBOs will have to follow the timelines given for
- New ingredients and additives approved by the Scientific Panel
- Ingredients not approved by the Scientific Panel because of inadequate data
- Ingredients not approved by the Scientific Panel because of safety concerns
- Ingredients not approved by the Scientific Panel because they exhibit the properties of a drug
However, products that have already been manufactured or imported are allowed to be sold until 30 June 2018.