Policy

Imported packaged drinking water must have BIS Certification: FSSAI to trade

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on November 29, 2019 Published on November 29, 2019

Move after FSSAI received complaints from BIS on noncompliance

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has directed importers to ensure that all imported packaged drinking water and mineral water products have Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification. It also directed them to ensure that brand names are in compliance with the regulator’s advertising and claims regulations.

As per regulations, packaged drinking water and mineral water products need to have both, the FSSAI licence number as well as the BIS Certification mark, on their labels.

“It is directed that FSSAI licensed importers shall import packaged drinking water/mineral water only from foreign manufacturers who have obtained BIS certification,” FSSAI stated in its direction.

On complaints from BIS that a large number of food importers are bringing in packaged drinking water and mineral water without BIS certification “under different brandname/tradename/fancy names or as proprietary product,” an FSSAI advisory to all State food safety commissioners and authorised officers at entry points said that “the labelling shall be as prescribed under FSS (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011. Fancy name or abbreviation of such food products shall not be used and names of products shall be in compliance with FSS (Advertising and Claims) Regulations, 2018.”

As per the advertising and claims regulations, words or phrases such as natural, fresh, original, traditional, authentic, or genuine cannot be used except under specific conditions set by FSSAI. If a trademark or brand name contains adjectives, the product label needs to carry a disclaimer in 3mm size stating,”This is only a brand name or trademark and does not represent its true nature.”

The FSSAI also directed officers tasked with giving clearance to imported food products at notified entry points, to be cautious about clearing consignments without BIS certification and other FSSAI requirements.

Published on November 29, 2019
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