Imported consignments to be accompanied by health certificate issued by exporting country

Imported consignments of milk and milk products, pork and pork products and fish and fish products will be required to be accompanied by a health certificate issued by a competent authority of the exporting country.

The FSSAI, in this regard, has issued an order regarding requirement of a health certificate to be accompanied with the import of food consignment beginning November 1, 2022. The order reads, “In exercise of the provisions of FSS (Import) Regulations, 2017, it has been decided that imported food consignments of following food categories as specified in FSS (Food Product Standards and Food Additive) Regulations (milk and milk products, pork and pork products and fish and fish products), shall be accompanied by a health certificate issued by a competent authority of exporting country.”

The food authority has also prescribed the format of the health certificate to be accompanied with 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 another order, the FSSAI has said that the imported food article which requires microbial parameters testing, shall be sampled and sealed by authorised officer or its representative in aseptic condition only as per the sampling guidelines for microbial analysis.

According to the FSSAI, there were a number of food articles in which testing of microbial parameters was required and it was necessary to retain the character of the article of food while sampling. Further, the FSSAI has directed the labs carrying out analysis (primary/referral) of the imported food article that these samples should be accepted only in aseptic conditions, otherwise the labs were asked to return the sample. Labs shall not carry out analysis on incomplete parameters, i.e., without microbial parameters in any such imported food article, reads the order.