FSSAI License for Export of Food
India exports a lot of products outside the country and is known widely in the world market for the products that it sends to foreign markets and countries. It is very famous for exporting food items that are produced in the country and is a specialty of a particular region in India. There are many food items that get exported from the country and they all need to be registered and licensed under the FSSAI and health ministry in order for them to be sent out of the country. They need to obtain an FSSAI License for export every type of food item to the country in order to keep track of all the exports. The FSSAI makes sure that the companies obtain a license and provides licenses only to those products which are good for health, high in quality, and would not damage the health of the people outside the country and bring the country to shame. The standards are set in place to protect the best interest of the people and to maintain health decorum outside the country as well.
You need to obtain an export license in order to export food outside the country and you need to get the approval for your food product under the health ministry and from FSSAI. This would prove that the item is not harmful and can be consumed by people without causing damage to their health. To obtain the license, an exporter must do the following:
- Get a valid import-export code.
- Register yourself with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.
- Get a license from the Central Licensing Authority for exporting food items outside the country.
- Make sure that the product being exported has shelf life remaining and is packaged well to reach its destination.
It is very easy to apply for the export license on the website of FSSAI and follows the simple steps that are mentioned on the web page. 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 export the product into the country. You need to register every food item that you intend to export and it should take a long time for the approval and the license to come and therefore, advance planning must be done. You also need to have the required turnover in order to export the products outside the country under the laws stated by the FSSAI. You are not allowed to export all types of food products but only the ones that have been approved by FSSAI and do not fall under the prohibited category.
No Objection Certificate:
You need to get a NOC before exporting the food items and this is a very important step as it will allow you to further obtain a license from the FSSAI to export your items. Without a NOC, doing further formalities for export of food items will not be possible. You need the following documents to apply for a NOC:
- Country of Origin Certificate
- Importer Exporter Code (IEC) issued by the DGFT
- FSSAI Food Business License
- Bill of Entry
- The end-use declaration, a declaration that food is not GM food
- Besides this, depending on individual import items, other documents may be required.
You need to apply for a NOC, pay the fees for the laboratory testing food the food samples, clarify all the queries that are raised by the Authorised Officer and accompany the inspection team at the time of tasting of the food samples. You need to meet all the requirements from the FSSAI in order to get the NOC, such as follows:
- The sample should be free from fungal infestation and visible insects.
- The food item should have a healthy remaining shelf life at the time of clearance.
- Compliance with the FSS (Packaging & Labelling) Regulations, 2011, and the product-specific labeling requirements.
Once you have cleared all of the requirements, you will be granted a NIC which will help you in attaining the license in order to export the food items outside the country.
Labeling Requirements for Food Exports:
When you are exporting the food into foreign markets, you need to make sure that you have enough information and contents listed on the packaging of each food item in order for them to be acceptable in the foreign markets. The labels and content requirements needed for exporting food items are as follows:
- 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.
- The volume of contents and net weight.
- The Labelling Language should be as per FSSAI (Packaging & Labelling) Regulations, 2011, and the product-specific labeling requirements.
- The “Best Before” date declaration.
- Net weight.
- Declaration of vegetarian and non-vegetarian by symbols.
- The name and address of exporter in India.
- Batch number, code number, lot number, and many more.
These food labeling requirements have to be met by the company that is exporting food outside India into the international market in order for the item to be accepted by the international standards and sold in the market outside. The Health Ministry makes sure that the companies that are exporting the food items abide by these rules in order for them to be proudly export the specialty foods of India into foreign markets and not attract any complaints.
There are many other documents required as well in order to get the license to export food items outside India, such as follows:
- IE Code License
- FSSAI License
- Product Approval Certificate
- Ministry of Agriculture Permit
- Ministry of Animal Husbandry permit
- Narcotics Certificate
Getting the Import-Export code is very important for export as it needed during the export activities as well as in obtaining the certificate and license from FSSAI. You can apply for the registration for the IEC code online and fill the form on their website. The code is issued by DGFT and remains constant throughout the export activities.