India Announces New Food Packaging Regulations

On January 3, 2019, The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) announced new regulations with respect to food packaging. The Food Safety and Standards (Packaging) Regulations, 2018 replace the packaging provisions of the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011. New labeling regulations were published separately. Food businesses will have until July 1, 2019 to comply with the new regulations.

The new regulations include both general and specific requirements for packaging materials. In particular, they prescribe an overall migration limit of 60 mg/kg or 10 mg/dm2 and specific migration limits for certain contaminates in plastic packaging materials. The regulations also specify that food packaging materials must now comply with Indian Standards (IS) listed in Schedules I, II, and II for paper and paperboard materials, metal and metal alloys, and plastic materials, respectively. Previously, compliance with the standards was voluntary. They are available for purchase through the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

In comments on the draft Food Safety and Standards (Packaging) Regulations (notified to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on November 6, 2017), the European Union requested that BIS make the standards available free of charge, noting that non-Indian companies are required to pay higher prices than Indian companies. The EU also pointed out that the Standards are “not very recent” and requested that the Indian authorities permit newer materials if they can be shown to have an equivalent or better safety profile, as compared to materials permitted by the Standards. In addition, the EU requested information on the mechanism for submitting requests to BIS to establish new specifications. The final regulations allow the use of relevant International Standards where Indian Standards are not available.

India’s new packaging regulations ban both the use of recycled plastics in food packaging and the use of newspaper and such other materials for packing or wrapping of food articles. They also reference specific Indian Standards for printing inks for use on food packages. Schedule IV of the regulations is a list of suggested packaging materials for different food product categories.

In announcing that the new regulation had been notified, Pawan Agarwal, CEO of FSSAI, stated that “the new packaging regulations would raise the bar of food safety in India to the next level.” He added that stakeholder consultation and mass awareness building amongst consumers more  

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Big question, Who will monitor it ?
What if not comply with new regulation ? more  
It is good to note that overall migration limit of 60 mg/kg or 10 mg/dm2 and specific migration limits for certain contaminates in plastic packaging materials. The regulations also specify that food packaging materials must now comply with Indian Standards (IS) more  
Newspapers and other printed papers from magazines etc. must be permitted for making carry bags. It poses no health hazards and will also help to recycle waste paper and reduce the requirement of pulp for manufacturing new paper. Coloured plastics must also be banned for packaging since coloured plastics contain inferior quality of plastics / recycled plastics that contain lead which gets absorbed by food items and causes toxicity in food items. more  
Hope the industries and retailers follow it. Why not use the same materials for carry bags so that it also serves the food industry for parcels. more  
Being A novice to the Packaging material , May I some one explain what is
" overall migration limit of 60 mg/kg or 10 mg/dm2 and specific migration limits for certain contaminates in plastic packaging materials. " more  
Sure. All plastic material raw material contains many additives, which are called process aids, acid scavengers, slip additives, microbuses silica , antioxidents- primary, secondary, n tertiary. Some additives like slip additives which is primarily oleamide, which is used for easy opening of two surface of plastic film layers. This oleamide has tendency to migrate to the surface in time so that it helps easy opening of plastic bags, pouches. The limit is prescribed for such chemicals, n it may react with the food item packed in it. This can cause health problems if consumed regularly above the THRESHOLD LIMS which is called TLV. For chemicals such limits are there. But who will check all such details once the product is in the market.

Hope, this information may be useful for primary understanding. more  
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