The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has decided to do away with the requirement for imported food consignments of blended edible vegetable oil products to carry AGMARK certification.

This decision comes after the food safety authority received representations from industry stakeholders seeking clarity on whether AGMARK certification will be required for blended edible vegetable oil products that are imported.

According to the regulations,food business operators must obtain AGMARK certification to sell blended edible vegetable oil products (BEVO) in the country in addition to obtaining a valid FSSAI license. AGMARK is a certification mark for agricultural produce that assures consumers that the product conforms to standards notified by the Directorate of Marketing & Inspection (DMI), which is part of the Agriculture Ministry.

Why the earlier advisory

In 2020, the FSSAI had raised concerns that a large number of blended edible oil manufacturers had obtained FSSAI licenses without the mandatory AGMARK certification. It had also observed that some food business operators were also selling blended edible oil products without the requisite FSSAI licenses. It had issued an advisory on requirement of AGMARK certification prior to import of blended edible vegetable oils. The food authority had also directed state food safety commissioners to initiate action against those manufacturers that were selling blended edible vegetable oils without AGMARK certification mark and FSSAI license. 

In its latest advisory issued on Thursday, the FSSAI said it received representations from various industry stakeholders on the issue of applicability of requirement of AGMARK certification in case of imported food products. “The matter was taken up with the DMI (Directorate of Marketing & Inspection) and it has been informed that foreign country/ overseas certification under Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking) Act 1937 is not carried out by DMI,” the FSSAI noted.

It added that it has therefore decided to “keep the requirement of AGMARK certification for imported food consignment in abeyance till further orders.”

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