Recently, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) confirmed that its clearance is not required for food imported by manufacturers or processors for captive use or production of value-added items for export, provided that the importer submits a declaration in the prescribed format. Regulation 7(3) of the Food Safety and Standards (Import) Regulations, 2017, expressly states that such imports need not be referred by the customs authority to FSSAI for clearance.
The Authority considered it necessary to issue this advisory in light of delays cited by importers in the clearance of imported food consignments. Under the 2017 regulations, a declaration has to be submitted in FORM-8, specifying that the imported articles of food are meant to be used for 100% export or re-export. It should also confirm that no part of the product would be supplied for domestic consumption. This form is required to be submitted at the time of filing the bill of entry in the Indian Customs Electronic Gateway (ICEGATE).
If the bill of entry does get forwarded to the food authority, it is specified that the concerned FSSAI official could do away with the inspection requirements by issuing a “Not in Scope” certificate.