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FSSAI frames regulations for regn of foreign food manufacturing facilities
Friday, 20 November, 2020, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
In a major move in line with the US FDA, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has decided to frame new regulations related to inclusion of registration and inspection of foreign food manufacturing facilities.

In this regard, the apex food regulator has issued a Draft on Food Safety and Standards (Import) Amendment Regulations, 2020, on November 16, and sought comments from stakeholders within 60 days. 

In the Import Regulations of 2017, the FSSAI proposed to add a new ‘Chapter XIV' on registration and inspection of foreign food manufacturing facilities, wherein based on specific risk, categories of food products imported into India will be decided for which inspection or audit of foreign food manufacturing facilities producing such categories of foods shall be mandatory.

According to the draft, the facilities falling under such categories and desirous to export such articles of food to India should register with the food authority before exporting to India.

“Foreign food manufacturing facilities either directly or through importer may apply for registration,” reads the draft.  The draft also prescribes processing of applications for registration of foreign food manufacturing facilities.

It says that the food authority will nominate officials from FSSAI and relevant ministries or departments for the purpose of inspection under these regulations. FSSAI will also prescribe the manner in which the inspection will be done.

“Foreign food manufacturing facility found to be in compliance with FSS Act Rules and Regulations made thereunder shall be registered as foreign food manufacturing facilities for a period of five years,” reads the draft.

Further, the draft lays provisions for audit of foreign food manufacturing facility wherein a foreign food manufacturing facility which requires mandatory audit shall get it audited by an auditing agency recognised by the food authority.

According to the draft, frequency of audit shall be specified by the Food Authority from time to time and if “the foreign food manufacturing facility or their food products are found not to be in compliance of FSS Act Rules and Regulations made thereunder, their registration as foreign food manufacturing facilities shall be suspended or cancelled. However, the Food Authority may review the same after giving opportunity for hearing or clarification, as deemed fit,” reads the draft.
 
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