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:

Key Highlights

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. 

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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.

The Firm offers a wide range of expert legal services in the areas of corporate and commercial laws and specializes in representing major foreign and domestic corporations with diverse business interests in India. The Firm is professionally equipped to handle large sized and complex corporate transactions like Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Restructuring, Joint Ventures, Inbound & Outbound Investments, Private Equity and Venture Capital Investment Transactions, Real Estate Transactions, Infrastructure Projects, Project Finance, Power Projects, Non-Conventional Energy Projects, Highways & Road Projects and Corporate Taxation as well as GST, etc. The Firm also offers proven capabilities in litigation and dispute resolution practice areas, especially in handling international and domestic arbitrations as well as litigation in Supreme Court, various High Courts of India and various judicial and quasi-judicial tribunals/forums including at National Client Law Tribunal, Appellate Tribunals, Tax Tribunals, Competition Commission, Electricity Tribunal, Telecom Disputes Tribunal, Designated Authorities and other adjudicatory bodies.

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. 
This newsletter contains general information available in public domain at the time of its preparation. It is intended as a general news update and is not intended to be comprehensive nor to provide specific business, financial, investment, legal, tax or other professional advice or opinion or services. This newsletter is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, and it should not be acted on or relied upon or used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser and refer to the source pronouncement/documents on which this business alert is based. It is also expressly clarified that this newsletter is neither a solicitation nor an invitation of any sort whatsoever or a source of advertising from our firm or any of its partners or lawyers or other professionals to create any adviser-client relationship. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this news alert, this cannot be guaranteed, and neither our firm nor any related person/entity shall have any liability to any person or entity that relies on the information contained in this publication. Any such reliance is solely at the user's risk.
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