An FSSAI/Food License is the single most important license which is necessary for Food Business...
India imports a lot of food from all over the world but is only allowed to import the products that have been registered with the Health Ministry. For applying the FSSAI License for Importers it is mandatory to obtain Import export code.
In the Recent time period, FSSAI License for importers has been simplified and current FSSAI Central Licensing process is 100% online process. As we know every Business need to obtain an FSSAI License for importing every type of food item to the country to keep track of all the imports. FSSAI makes sure that License has been issued to after all verification about the business of FBO. Department has to ensure that FSSAI Central license has been issued which are good for health, high in quality, and would not damage the health of the people in the country. There are several FSSAI standards put in place to avoid any infringement that can be caused by the food items and affect the health of the citizens of India. Therefore, every item you import will go through a quality check and only then gets an FSSAI license for import.
The companies who are importing food to India need to apply for FSSAI License with a declaration which states that the item which FBO will import is not harmful and matches the quality standards of food in the country. To obtain the FSSAI Central license, the importer should take care of the following:
• It is required to register yourself with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.
• You should acquire a valid import-export code.
• You need to obtain a license from the Central Licensing Authority for importing food items.
• You should make sure that the food item has at least 60% shelf life remaining at the time of its customs clearance.
You can apply for the license online on the FSSAI’s official website and follow the steps that have been mentioned on the website. You need to register your company, obtain an import-export license, obtain a no objection certificate, get the approval for the food item, handle the shipping of the product, and then import the product into the country. It is a long procedure that needs to be set up for every food item that needs to be imported to India to take care of the health of the people living in the country.
Obtaining a NOC is very important to get the food items imported into the country as you will not be able to get a license or import food without a NOC. You need the following documents to apply for a NOC:
• Bill of Entry
• End-use Declaration- A declaration regarding food as not being GM food
• Country of Origin Certificate
• Importer Exporter Code (IEC) issued by the DGFT
• FSSAI Food Business License
• Besides this, other documents may be required depending on individual import items.
You have to apply for a NOC, pay the fees for the laboratory testing of the food samples, clarify all the queries that are raised by the Authorized Officer, and accompany the inspection team at the tasting of the food samples. The NOC is granted after all the requirements from FSSAI are met, such as:
• The samples should not have any visible insects and fungal infestation.
• The food item has at least 60% shelf life remaining at the time it is cleared by customs.
• The compliance with the FSS (Packaging & Labelling) Regulations, 2011, and the product-specific labeling requirements.
Once you have met all of the above requirements, you will be granted a NOC and can go ahead with obtaining the license for importing food items into the country.
While importing any food items to India, the labels of the items should be in a specific manner and should have certain details for them to be acceptable and sold in the market. They are as follows:
• The Labelling Language used must be as per FSSAI (Packaging & Labelling) Regulations, 2011, and the product-specific labeling requirements.
• The volume of contents and net weight
• The “Best Before” date declaration
• Nutritional facts and information
• The name of the brand, company, product, etc.
• The product description and the name of the ingredients used in the product
• Declaration or vegetarian and non-vegetarian by symbols
• Net weight
• Batch number, code number, lot number
• The name and address of the importer in India, and much more
These requirements have to be met by the company who is importing the food items to India to obtain an importing license. It is to make sure that the products are meeting the quality and health standards set by the Indian Health Ministry to protect their citizens and provide them with good food and health.
You can apply for these certificates online depending on the category in which the food item you intend to import is falling. The forms can be filled and submitted online and are therefore easily obtainable.
It is important to obtain IEC and is a must while importing or exporting any good to or from India. In this case, you need an IEC to import food items to India, and you need to apply for one well in advance as you will need it while obtaining the license for importing and the NOC. You can apply for the registration for the IEC code online and fill out the form on their website. The code is issued by DGFT and remains constant throughout the import and export activities. The code is needed to make challans, clear customs, obtain NOC, obtain licenses, and many more things and is, therefore, a requirement for starting an import-export business.
You should always check your eligibility for getting an FSSAI license for importers as they have strict rules regarding importing of food items due to the health of the citizens of the country. Only after you are eligible to apply for the FSSAI Central license should you pursue this further and get a license by following all of the above-mentioned steps.
Do you wish to register for FSSAI License? Are you looking for the Food License Advisory? Would you like to know about the FSSAI laws? Please feel free to contact Enterslice, India Leading online legal and tax advisory firm.