The Food Authority has established the Food Import Clearance System ( FICS ) in order to ease the clearance of food imported into India. All stakeholders can access the FICS 24/7 since it is an online system. Stakeholder in the food import clearance process is food importers, custom house agents, food testing laboratories, customs wing of CBEC, Department of Agriculture, Government of India, Department of Animal Husbandry, dairy and fisheries, Government of India, seaports and airport authorities, container freight stations and inland container depots. The stakeholders can access this online system through any web browser.

Important preconditions:

  • The food importer shall possess a valid Food license under the FSS Act 2006, to import food articles into India. They shall also ensure that the intended imported food item has the valid remaining shelf life.
  • The food importer should have a valid Import-Export Code from the Directorate General Of Foreign Trade (DGFT).
  • Titis necessary for the Custom House Agent to have a registration under the online Food Import Clearance System.

The process of Food Import Clearance:

  • Apply online for NOC and pay the laboratory testing fees (Rs. 3000 per sample + service tax)
  • Provide clarification as sought by the authorized officer (AO) within the specified time period. Also, facilitate and assist the inspection team during food inspection and drawl of food samples
  • Facilitate rectification of any visual defects or labelling defects as directed by the authorized officer within the stipulated time in the Customs Area.
  • Obtain the signed copy of NOC or Rejection Report from authorized officer.
  • In the case of NOC, clear the consignment after completing the necessary formalities at the Customs desk.
  • In the case of Rejection Report, may prefer an appeal for retesting of the second sample stored with the authorized officer duly paying the required laboratory analysis fees.
  • On the final issue of the rejection report for a consignment, it shall be re-exported back to the source country or destroyed.

If you want to Apply Import Export Code, you can go with Apply IEC Online.

Documents to Submit to the Food Importer/ CHA:

  • The NOC application in the prescribed form.
  • Bill of Entry
  • Examination order from the Customs
  • Country of Origin Certificate
  • End-use Declaration
  • The declaration stating that the imported articles comply with the laws of India and meet the standards defined by the Food Authority
  • A declaration stating whether the food is genetically modified or not.

Related Article- How to register as Custom House Agent (CHA)