The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued a gazette notification enlisting Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) as an authorized airport for import of drugs and cosmetics, by amending the Drugs & Cosmetics Act (1940).

CIAL, thus became one of the 11 airports in the country enjoying this facility. Previously, life-saving drugs and other essential medications were only carried in limited quantities through the airport, that too, through special permission. However, now large stockists have the option to directly import drugs and cosmetics via Cochin Airport.

Until now, cosmetics from abroad were primarily imported by ship or through other airports outside Kerala. However, this scenario is set to change as Cochin airport received the central approval.

During 2023-24, CIAL managed a cargo volume of 63,642 tonnes, out of which 44,000 tonnes constituted international cargo. Previously, for the last 25 years, companies including CIAL’s subsidiary, Cochin Duty Free, relied on shipping for importing high volume consignments containing drugs and cosmetics.

CIAL represented the issue of not being enlisted among the authorized airports to the Union Government many times, and followed by which the authority has issued the notification.