The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has directed regional directors and authorised officers to clear imported consignments of pulses and edible oils in a timely manner at the country’s ports.

This comes after it received a reference from the Agricultural Ministry and Consumer Affairs Ministry for the facilitation of timely processing and clearance of imported consignment of food grains including pulses and crude oil of edible grade.

In an order released on March 7, FSSAI said, “All Authorised officers are directed to facilitate and carry out food import clearance process of all such imported consignments without delay.”

It also directed authorised officers to issue a provisional no objection certificate after visual inspection for imported food consignments.

Also read: India’s agriculture exports jump 10% in Apr-Jan FY23; rice shipments surge 16%

“Authorised Officers are directed to carry out a visual inspection and upon satisfactory visual inspection, shall draw samples and issue Provisional No Objection Certificate (P-NOC) without waiting for the analysis report from the laboratory. On receipt of the analysis report from the laboratory, the Authorised Officer shall issue the final No Objection Certificate, if product conforms to the FSSAI standards,” the order added.

In December, the Center decided to extend the free imports of urad and tur daals by one year till March 31, 2024. Earlier this month, it also decided to remove basic customs duty on whole tur daal. These are part of the various measures being taken by the government to augment the domestic availability of lentils and keep the prices stable of these essential food commodities.

Importers will need to submit a declaration that the imported food consignments will be kept in a storage facility and not released in the market prior to issuance of a no objection certificate.