This issue of LexCognito, which in Latin means 'awareness about law', seeks to provide you an insight into significant legal and regulatory developments that have taken place very recently in India.
Date: 18 January 2019
India's Food Regulator has issued new packaging norms to be effective from 1 July 2019
On 24 December 2018, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India ("Food Regulator") has issued the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging) Regulations, 2018 which seeks to replace the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, in so far as they relate to the packaging regulations. The new packaging regulations shall come into force from July this year.
These Regulations have been issued under the Food Safety and Standards Authority Act, 2006 which is an Act to consolidate the laws relating to food and establish the Food Regulator for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import, to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.
Amongst others, here are the key highlights of the new norms:
1. Packaging materials used for packing, preparing, storing, wrapping, transportation and sale or service of the food items should confirm to the Indian Standards specified in the Schedules. Such packaging materials includes paper and board materials, metal and metal alloys and plastic materials. These Indian Standards are issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards ("BIS"). BIS is the national Standards Body of India working under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India. It has been established under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986. The regulations further provides that where Indian Standards are not available, then relevant International Standards may be complied with.
2. Packaging materials should be of food grade quality which is suitable for the type of product and should be compatible with their intended use as a packaging material so as not to alter the quality and safety of the food product. Food products should be packed in clean, hygienic and tamper-proof package and container.
3. New norms gives a suggestive list of packaging materials which may be used for packaging of the specified categories of food products. The specified categories includes as milk and milk products, fats, fruit and vegetable products, sweets and confectionery, oils and fat emulsions, cereals, meat, fish, honey, spices, beverages, etc.
4. Newspaper or any such material shall not be used for storing and wrapping of food.
5. Products made of recycled plastics, including carry bags, shall not be used for packaging, storing, carrying or dispensing articles of food.
6. Plastic materials and articles shall not release the substances in quantities exceeding the specific migration limits prescribed in the regulations. Migration is the transfer of chemical substances from food contact materials into food.
CRI Comment: The Food Regulator has issued the new packaging norms amid rising importance of packaging of food items in order to ensure that food items remains safe for human consumption. The corporates engaged in food business in India will be directly impacted and will be required to ensure that they confirm to the new requirements. The other entities which will be impacted would include entities who are carrying on food business through franchisee or other arrangements, entities who runs marketplace model for delivery of food items, etc. For such entities, it is imperative to ensure that their contractual documents contains suitable clauses to require the relevant parties involved to confirm to the revised norms as may be applicable to them.
Chambers of Rajan & Indraneel
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Chambers of Rajan & Indraneel is a premier full service law firm headquartered at New Delhi, India. The Firm represents amalgamation of vast experiences and practices of two eminent lawyers. Indranil Ghosh is highly reputed as a disputes lawyer. He was a senior partner and head of litigation practice in one of the oldest Indian law firm Fox Mandal for several decades before setting up his own practice. Rajan D Gupta is a rank holder Chartered Accountant turned Corporate Lawyer. He is also a licensed Insolvency Resolution Professional. He has been associated with internationally renowned big law firms in past and has held senior level positions in firms like PwC, Fox Mandal, Khaitan & Co. and SRGR Law, etc. before starting the Firm.
We have a team of experienced Lawyers, Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries and Insolvency Resolution Professionals with access to network of high quality experienced lawyers in all major commercial cities of India.
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We have set up a Japan Business Desk (JBD) in order to serve our Japanese clients in a better way. The endeavour of the JBD is to act as a bridge between our professionals and clients from Japan so as to ensure that there are no barriers as to linguistic and cultural differences. This will indeed facilitate Japanese corporates doing business in India.
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