04 Apr 2020Posted By: Mudit Handa


FSSAI makes Custom Clearance of Food-items Mandatory to Avoid Coronavirus infection

As we know that the whole world is trapped in the blight of Novel Coronavirus disease, also referred to as COVID-19. The overall cases of COVID-19 infection around the globe have increased alarmingly. Most parts of the world are now witnessing a total deadlock because of the intensity of the infection.

Many people have feared that the infection might spread through contaminated food or the food items that have been imported.

In order to mitigate the threat of COVID-19 infection, the apex food safety regulator FSSAI has now notified that import clearance of the imported food products and their examination at the government notified labs would now be mandatory during this lockdown period. 

 

1. What rule has FSSAI notified regarding imported food-items?

The topmost food safety authority FSSAI has now stated that the customs clearance of the food items and their testing at the notified food-testing laboratories (incl. the National Food Labs) is mandatory during the period of COVID-19 threat. The objective is to ensure that safe, pure & hygienic food is being at all the food outlets having FSSAI registration.


2. Who is responsible for customs clearance & testing of the food items?

The customs department is responsible for customs clearance of food items, whereas the notified food-testing labs are responsible for clinical examinations of the food items. 

  • The personnel assigned for these mandatory functions are supposed to be available at the office on all the working days from Monday-Friday, and their timings are 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM

  • These timings are set so as to facilitate the trade as well as to ensure the smooth operation of these services across the country.


3. How will FSSAI ensure proper fulfillment of the regulations?

During the lockdown period, the FSSAI department has its Offices operational at 6 key locations viz.:-

  • Chennai, 

  • Kolkata, 

  • Mumbai, 

  • Delhi, 

  • Cochin and 

  • Tuticorin.

These offices will remain fully operational during the lockdown period for the following functions:- 

  • To conduct proper scrutiny of the applications, 

  • Visual inspection of food items and 

  • Sampling food items for the purpose of import clearance and to make sure that timely processing of applications is done and NOC is issued in time.

  • The Apex Food regulator will also ensure that the food outlets possess the FSSAI registration or license, wherever mandatory.


4. How will FSSAI ensure that import clearance is properly being done?

The FSSAI is keeping a close vigil on the operation. Here’s how FSSAI will ensure that import clearance is properly being done:-

  • FSSAI will give the required assistance to the food importers throughout the process of customs clearance. 

  • It will ensure that regular supervision, as well as testing of the food products, is being done. 

  • The food regulator will take appropriate measures to ensure the hygiene & safety of the food products

Surely, this will definitely ensure that the required food safety measures are being followed properly. This will provide assurance that the purchased food items are 100% safe and hygienic and have no threat of coronavirus infection. Recently, FSSAI has also conducted the inspection of meat-shops to check COVID-19 infection. 

However, the consumers are always advised to look for the FSSAI registration or license number on the food packages, as to be assured of the safety & hygiene of the food products.

 
 

If you need any assistance regarding the procedure for obtaining the FSSAI registration, please feel free to call our business advisors at 8881-069-069.

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