FSSAI has issued a letter to all Regional Directors of the FSSAI, dated 02 September, 2021 with regard to exempting fish and fishery processing units from being inspected under mandatory audits, in cases where they have already been inspected by the Export Council of India (EIC)
In its letter, the FSSAI has drawn reference to its previous communications dated 13/8/2019, 24/9/2019, 29/11/2019, 12/6/2020 and 28/9/2020 regarding the mandatory audit of food businesses holding Central Licenses and which fall under the high-risk categories as approved by the FSSAI. The last date for the mandatory audit of such FBOs was till 31 December 2020.
FSSAI further states that Regional Directors vide communication dated 14 July 2021 were directed to ensure completion of Third-Party Audits (TPAs) for the Food Business Operators (FBOs) holding Central License and falling under the six high risk categories latest by 20 August 2021. All efforts should be made for the completion of the audits by these FBOs.
Recently Sea Food Exporter Association of India (SEAI) has sent a request to FSSAI related to the exemption of inspection by FSSAI. The SEAI has stated that since fish and fishery processing establishments, which are approved by EIC for export purposes, are regularly monitored by Export inspection Agencies (EIAs) covering all the aspects covered under the Food Safety and Standards Regulations, therefore these establishments may not be subjected to additional inspection by FSSAI.
This matter has been examined in detail and it has been decided by the Competent Authority at FSSAI that discussions and consultations with EIC are needed before forming any future course of action. While these consultations are taking place, the fish and fishery processing units inspected by EIC shall be exempted from Third Party Audits until 30 November 2021, if they are able to provide a copy of the EIC inspection report to FSSAI.