India liberalises food imports from EU
India has adopted guidelines which effectively relax food imports from the European Union. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has adopted ad-hoc guidelines consequent to meetings held by EU’s representatives with Indian officials.
Imported food items with a very short shelf life of less than 7 days can now be conditionally released by Customs. This will reduce the time taken for clearance of perishable goods like fresh fruits and fish as one need not wait for test results regarding compliance with relevant regulations.
Requirements on size of test samples have also been relaxed. As per the new guidelines, samples included in the consignment by the manufacturer will be accepted without insisting on larger samples. According to EU, the new regime will limit the sampling costs which can be significant, particularly in the case of highly priced food.
The new guidelines allow for rectification of certain labelling deficiencies in customs bonded warehouses like affixation of vegetarian/non-vegetarian logo and indicating the name and address of the importer on the label.