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Government Plans To Do Away With Multiple Certification For Food Products


The Government plan to remove multiple certifications for food products and has approved various amendments to streamline food safety and standards regulations.


GS II- Governance, Facts for prelims

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Streamlining food certification process
  2. About BIS
  3. FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India)

Streamlining food certification process:

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has approved various amendments to streamline food safety and standards regulations.
  • The amendments aimed to do away with Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) or AGMARK certification for food products.
  • Once the amendments are finalised, food businesses would not have to go to different authorities for mandatory certification with only FSSAI certification being made mandatory for food products.
  • The Food Authority also approved a first-of-its-kind and comprehensive manual of methods of analysis for ensuring regulatory compliance of the food products.
  • The Food Authority is also going to set standards for ‘Haleem’ as part of standards for meat products.
    • Haleem is a dish made of meat, pulses, grains, and other ingredients, which currently don’t have any set standards.

About BIS

  • The Bureau of Indian Standards is the national Standards Body of India working under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India.
  • It is established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986 which came into effect on 23 December 1986.
  • The Minister in charge of the Ministry or Department having administrative control of the BIS is the ex-officio President of the BIS.
  • The BIS Act, 1986 provides for the establishment of a Bureau for the harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods and for connected matters.
  • BIS has its Headquarters at New Delhi. 
  • The Vision of BIS is to be the leader in all matters concerning Standardization, Certification and Quality.
  • BIS thereby plays a very important role in the economic development of the country.
  • BIS also operates Certification Schemes that assure quality, safety and reliability to the users.
  • The BIS Product Certification Scheme is one of the largest in the world .
  • BIS gives utmost thrust for safeguarding and protecting consumer interest.
  • BIS has well laid down mechanisms and procedures to address public grievances related to consumer complaints against BIS services and ISI marked products.

Statutory Framework of BIS

  • The Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016, has been implemented since 12 October 2017.
  • The highlights of the new BIS Act are as follows;-
  • Allows multiple conformity assessment schemes in line with global practices.
  • Enables the Government to authorize any agency apart from BIS to certify and enforce conformity to a standard.
  • Enables the Government to include products under mandatory certification on grounds of health, safety, environment, national security and prevention of deceptive practices.
  • Enables the Government to bring Hallmarking of precious metal articles under mandatory certification.
  • Provides consumer protection measures like recall of non-conforming standard marked products, compensation to the consumer and more stringent penal provisions.

FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India):

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is a legal entity established by the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006.
  • Objectives:
    • Establishing scientifically sound food standards
    • To govern the production, storage, distribution, import, and sale of food.
    • To improve food safety.

FSSAI’s Role/Functions:

  • Development of regulations to establish standards/guidelines for food articles.
  • Establishing mechanisms/guidelines for accreditation of certification bodies involved in food safety management system certification.
  • Establishing a national information network to ensure that the public receives reliable and objective information about food safety and other issues of concern.
  • Help develop international technical standards for food, sanitary, and phytosanitary standards.


  • The FSSAI is made up of a Chairperson and twenty-two members, one-third of whom must be women.
  • The FSSAI Chairperson is appointed by the Central Government
  • The Food Authority is assisted in setting standards by Scientific Committees and Panels, and in coordinating with enforcement agencies by the Central Advisory Committee.
  • Ministry Concerned: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

At the state level:

  • The FSSAI appoints state-level food safety authorities.
  • The State Food Safety Commissioners are primarily responsible for enforcement.

-Source: All India Radio

March 2024