Module 2. Plant operations

Lesson 4

4.1 Introduction

To meet a country’s sanitary and phyto sanitary requirements, food must comply with the laws and regulations to gain market access. These laws ensure the safety and suitability of food for consumers, in some countries; also govern food quality and composition standards.

The requirement of food regulation may be based on several factors such as whether a country adopts international norms developed by the Codex Alimentarius Commission of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization; Good agricultural and manufacturing practices; or a country may also have its own suite of food regulations.

4.2 Food Safety and Standards Act

It has been established under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which consolidates various acts and orders that have handled food related issues in various Ministries and Departments. FSSAI has been created 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.

The Indian Parliament has passed the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 that overrides all other food related laws. It was followed by Food safety and Standards Rules 2011 & Food safety and Standards Regulation 2011. It will specifically repeal eight laws:
  • The Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947.
  • The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954.
  • The Fruit Products Order, 1955.
  • Essential Commodities Act, 1955 relating to food.
  • The Solvent Extracted Oil, De oiled Meal, and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967.
  • The Meat Food Products Order, 1973.
  • The Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992.
  • The Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1998.
4.3 Functions of Food Safety and Standard Act

All food imports will therefore be subject to the provisions of the Act and any rules and regulations made under the Act. FSSAI has been mandated by FSS Act, 2006 for performing the following functions:
  • Framing of regulations to lay down the standards and guidelines in relation to articles of food and specifying appropriate system of enforcing various standards thus notified.
  • Laying down mechanisms and guidelines for accreditation of certification bodies engaged in certification of food safety management system for food business.
  • Laying down procedure and guidelines for accreditation of laboratories and notification of the accredited laboratories.
  • To provide scientific advice and technical support to central Government and State Governments in the matters of framing the policy and rules in areas which a direct or indirect bearing of food safety and nutrition.
  • Collect and collate data regarding food consumption, incidence and prevalence of biological risk, contaminants in food and residues of various contaminants in food products, identification of emerging risks and introduction of rapid alert system.
  • Creating an information network across the country so that the public, consumers, panchayats etc receive rapid, reliable and objective information about food safety and issues of concern.
  • Provide training programmes for persons who are involved or intend to get involved in food business.
  • Contribute to the development of international technical standards for food , sanitary and Phyto sanitary standards
  • Promote general awareness about food safety and food standards
4.4 Other Important Acts

4.4.1 Prevention of food adulteration Act

A basic statute (Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA) of 1954 and the PFA Rules of 1955, as amended) protects India against impure, unsafe, and fraudulently labeled foods. The PFA standards and regulations apply equally to domestic and imported products and cover various aspects of food processing and distribution. These include food color, preservatives, pesticide residues, packaging and labeling, and regulation of sales. All imported products must adhere to the rules specified in the Act and its regulations, including those covering labeling and marketing requirements.

4.4.2 Weights and measures

Standards for weights and measures are administered by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution under the Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976 and related rules and notifications. All weights or measures must be recorded in metric units and certain commodities can only be packed in specified quantities (weight, measure or number). These include baby and weaning food, biscuits, bread, butter, coffee, tea, vegetable oils, milk powder, and wheat and rice flour.

4.4.3 Essential commodities Act, 1955

The main objective of the Act is to regulate the manufacture, commerce, and distribution of essential commodities, including food. A number of Control Orders have been promulgated under the provisions of this Act.

4.4.4 Standards of weights and measures Act, 1976 and the standards of weights and measures (packaged commodities) rules, 1977

The Act governs sale of packaged commodities and provides for mandatory registration of all packaged products in the country.

4.4.5 Consumer protection Act, 1986

The Act provides for constitution of District Forum/State/National Commission for settlement of disputes between the seller/service provider and the consumer.

4.4.6 The infant milk substitutes, feeding bottles and infant foods (regulation of production, supply and distribution) Act, 1992 and rules 1993

This Act aims at promoting breast feeding and ensuring proper use of infant milk substitutes and infant food.

4.4.7 The insecticide Act, 1968

The Act envisages safe use of insecticides so as to ensure that the leftover chemical residues do not pose any health hazard.

4.4.8 Export (quality control and inspection) Act, 1963

The Act aims at facilitating export trade through quality control and inspection before the products are sold to international buyers.

4.4.9 Environment protection Act, 1986

This Act incorporates rules for the manufacture, use, import and storage of hazardous microorganisms / substances / cells used as foodstuff.

4.4.10 Pollution control (ministry of environment and forests)

A no-objection certificate from the respective State Pollution Control Board is essential for all dairy plants.

(i) Industrial Licenses: No license is required for setting up a dairy plant in India. Only a memorandum has to be submitted to the Secretariat for Industrial Approvals (SIA) and an acknowledgement obtained. However, a certificate of registration is required under the Milk and Milk Products Order (MMPO), 1992.

4.4.11 Indian Boiler Act

Indian boiler regulations are the standards in respect of materials, design and construction, inspection and testing of boilers and boiler components for compliance by the manufacturers and users of boilers in the country. These regulations are being updated regularly by amending them in line with fast changes in boiler technology by the Central Boilers Board. The current version of these regulations is known as the Indian Boiler Regulations, 1950 with amendments up to 22nd February, 2005.

4.5 Voluntary Standards

There are two organizations that deal with voluntary standardization and certification systems in the food sector. The Bureau of Indian Standards looks after standardization of processed foods and standardization of raw agricultural produce is under the perview of the Directorate of Marketing and Inspection.

4.5.1 Bureau of Indian standards (BIS)

The activities of BIS are two fold the formulation of Indian standards in the processed foods sector and the implementation of standards through promotion and through voluntary and third party certification systems. Manufacturers complying with standards laid down by the BIS can obtain and "ISI" mark that can be exhibited on product packages. BIS has identified certain items like food colors/additives, vanaspati, and containers for packing, milk powder and condensed milk, for compulsory certification.

4.5.2 Directorate of marketing and inspection (DMI)

The DMI enforces the Agricultural Products (Grading and Marketing) Act, 1937. Under this Act, Grade Standards are prescribed for agricultural and allied commodities. These are known as "Agmark" Standards. Grading under the provisions of this Act is voluntary. Manufacturers who comply with standard laid down by DMI are allowed to use "Agmark" labels on their products.

4.5.3 Management systems for quality and food safety

ISO-9000 Quality Management Systems. The ISO-9000 system is looked at as a system with minimum quality requirements. It builds a baseline system for managing quality. The focus, therefore, is on designing a total quality management system, one that complies with external standards, but includes the specific requirement of industry and integrates elements of competitiveness.

4.5.4 Export (quality control and inspection) act, 1963

The Export Inspection Council is responsible for the operation of this Act. Under the Act, a large number of exportable commodities have been notified for compulsory pre-shipment inspection.

4.6 Other Government Regulations

4.6.1 Industrial license

No license is required for setting up a Dairy Project in India. Only a memorandum has to be submitted to the Secretariat for Industrial Approvals (SIA) and an acknowledgment is to be obtained. However Certificate of Registration was required under the Milk and Milk Products Control Order (MMPO) 1992 earlier, but now from FSSAI.

4.6.2 Foreign investment

Foreign Investment in dairying requires prior approval from the Secretariat of Industrial Approvals, Ministry of Industry, as dairying has not been included in the list of High Priority Industries. Automatic approval will be given upto 51% Foreign Investment in High Priority Industries. In case of other Industries, proposals will be cleared on case to case basis. Government may allow 51% without enforcing the old limit of 40% applicable under Foreign Exchange Regulations Act at its discretion.

4.6.3 Legal Metrology Act-2009 and Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities Rules -2011)

Legal Metrology Act-2009 and Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities Rules -2011) have been passed under Ministry of Consumer affairs, Food and Public Distribution. It replaces Standards of Weights and Measures Act -1976 and Standards of Weights and measures. (Packaged Commodities Rules-1977), with effect from 01-04-2011.

4.6.4 Foreign technology agreements

Foreign Technology Agreements are freely allowed in high priority industries under the following terms: Lump sum payment of Rs 10 million royalty payment of 5% on domestic sales and 8% as exports subject to total payment of 8% on sales turnover, over a 10 year period from the date of agreement or 7 years from commencement of production. Foreign Technology Agreements in dairying also need prior approval. Foreign Exchange required for payment of royalty will have to be purchased at market rates. Foreign Technicians can be freely hired.

4.6.5 Import of capital goods

Import of capital goods is automatically allowed if it is financed through Foreign Equity. Alternatively, approval is needed from the Secretariat of Industrial Approvals.

4.6.6 Import of second hand capital goods

Import of Second hand goods is allowed subject to the following conditions: Minimum residual life of 5 years. The equipment should not be more than 7 years old. A certificate from the Chartered Engineers of the country of origin certifying the age and the residual life is to be produced.

4.6.7 Dividend balancing

Remittances of dividend should be covered by earnings from exports recorded in the years prior to the payment of dividend or in the years of the payment of the dividend.

Last modified: Friday, 5 October 2012, 5:58 AM