The Indian Food Safety Authority, FSSAI, has decided to extend the deadline for its order on requirement of ‘health certificate’ with imported food consignments. The date for implementation of the order is now set for January 1, 2023.

The FSSAI has stated that the decision was taken after considering the request from the WTO (World Trade Organization) members.

“Comments were sought from the WTO members. Considering the comments received from the trading partners in respect of implementation time, it has been decided that the date of implementation of said order shall be extended by two months and the order will be effective from 1st January 2023,” reads the order.

The food authority had issued an order in August 2022 and the subsequent clarification in September on the subject.

In the August order, the FSSAI has ordered that from November 1, 2022, the imported consignment of milk and milk products, pork & pork products and fish & fish products would be required to be accompanied by a health certificate issued by a competent authority of the 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.

Further, the September clarification stated, “It is clarified that an integrated/single certificate incorporating food safety related requirement/attestations is also accepted by FSSAI at the time of import clearance.”

The clarification added that it may be ensured that integrated certificates shall incorporate all the information as per format notified by the FSSAI in August 2022.