FSSAI extends deadline for health certificate to accompany imported foods

>The Indian Food Safety Authority, FSSAI, has decided to further extend the deadline for its order on requirement of ‘health certificate’ with imported food consignments. The date for implementation of the order is now set for March 1, 2023.

The previous extension was until January 1, 2023. The food authority had issued an order in August 2022 and the subsequent clarification in September on the subject, wherein the FSSAI ordered that from November 1, 2022, the imported consignment of milk & milk products, pork & pork products and fish & fish products were required to accompany by a health certificate issued by a competent authority of the exporting country.

The food authority had also prescribed the format of the health certificate to accompany such imported food categories wherein attestations were required regarding sanitary and food safety related conditions and a general condition that the source animal shall not be fed with feed containing meat or bone meal including internal organs, blood meal and issues of bovine or porcine origin material except milk and milk products and has/have not been manufactured using animal rennet.

Also, in September, FSSAI issued a clarification that an integrated/single certificate incorporating food safety related requirement/attestations is also accepted by FSSAI at the time of import clearance and it may be ensured that integrated certificates shall incorporate all the information as per format notified by the FSSAI in August 2022 order.

Meanwhile, the FSSAI has stated that the decision to extend the implementation by two months until March 1 was taken after considering the request from the WTO members wherein it was conveyed to the Indian Food Authority that many trade partners were in process of adopting the requirement.

Earlier, comments were sought from the WTO members on the subject and after considering the comments received from the trading partners in respect of implementation time, it was decided that the date of implementation of the order shall be extended by two months until January 1, 2023.