|FSSAI extends deadline for use of pre-printed packaging by six months|
|The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), in an order, has extended the deadline for the use of pre-printed packaging material containing the old name, address or licence number of the food business operator (FBO) by six months at a nominal fee on receipt of a formal request.
“Since it is a common practice to print bulk packaging material, any change on the label in respect of change of name, address and licence number of the FBO would require destruction of pre-printed packaging material, which would incur a huge cost to the company,” the order added.
A source from FSSAI stated that big food companies have been requesting the apex regulator to extend the timeline for the use of pre-printed packaging materials to avoid waste.
Varun Tipnis, assistant manager, sales, Bossar Packaging Pvt Ltd, said, “Since December last year, we have been getting orders to reprint the labels and packaging of the products from small players in the market, but the big players placed their orders in the months of January and February for new packaging.”
“The big players in the industry are most affected, because they have to reprint the packaging of the product, which is usually manufactured in bulk. Smaller players are not affected as adversely, as they have a small manufacturing capacity. Thus, it is easy for them to replace their products from their restricted area of operation,” he added.
Narpinder Singh, former president, headquarters, Association of Food Scientists and Technologists of India [AFST(I)], said, “I welcome this decision of FSSAI to extend the timeline of using pre-printed packaging, which will be a breather for big entities. Also, the idea of paid extension is good, as only those FBOs can take advantage of this scheme if they are getting affected.”
Further, FSSAI also stated that the fees would be charged double for any further extensions as follows:
Meanwhile, according to Regulation 2.2.2 of the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, the labels on pre-packaged foods are required to mandatorily contain the FSSAI licence number and the name and address of the manufacturer.