The Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued an advisory directing food businesses importing packaged drinking water and mineral water to comply with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification as well as Food Safety and Standards Regulations (FSSR), 2011.
The advisory says that many food importers engaged in business of importing packaged drinking water were not complying with the BIS certification which was mandatory in case of packaged drinking water business in India.
In this regard, Dr Amit Sharma, director, food imports, FSSAI,stated that as per Section 31 of the FSS Act, 2006, FBOs have to obtain FSSAI licence before commencement of any food business and as per Regulation 2.3.14 (17) and (18) of the FSS (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulations, 2011, “No person shall manufacture, sell or exhibit for sale, packaged drinking water and mineral water except under the Bureau of Indian Standards certification mark.”
Sharmasaid, “In view of the reported import of the packaged drinking water without BIS certification, it is directed that the FSSAI licensed importers shall import packaged drinking water from foreign manufacturers who have obtained BIS certification, and a list of such manufacturers is provided by the BIS.”
According to him, the authorised officers of FSSAI have been directed by the Authority to ensure that packaged drinking water and mineral water imported without BIS certification shall not be cleared through their respective points of entries.
Not only that, the FBOs, the advisory says, also were found violating labelling norms prescribed under the FSS Act by importing packaged drinking water and mineral water under different brand names, tradenames, fancy names or as proprietary product.
The advisory says that the labelling of packaged drinking water or natural mineral water shall be as prescribed under the FSS (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, and fancy names or abbreviations of such products shall not be used while the names of the product should be in compliance with the FSS (Advertising and Claims) Regulations, 2018.