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FSSAI extends ban on import of Milk & Milk products from China

Extension of ban on imports of milk and milk products from China

Back in 2008, when milk consignments are contaminated with melamine which is a toxic chemical used for making plastics and fertilizers, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT, Ministry of commerce and Industry) has imposed a ban on milk and milk products from China for three months vide notification No.46 dated 24.09.2008. This ban was extended from time to time, vide various notifications from FSSAI in conjunction with DGFT and the last being notified on 22nd June, 2017 which extends the ban till 23rd June, 2018.
As per the current notification, FSSAI has reviewed this matter in a meeting held on 11.06.2018 with the appropriate stakeholders from the Department/ Ministries of Government of India and it was recommended that the ban is extended to further 6 more months’ i.e. Till 23rd December, 2018 . Also, the notification indicates that the extension may be further extended until the milk & milk products safety is established on the basis of credible reports and supporting data. Although, there is no clarity on the grounds for extending the ban, it is implying form the notification that safety data of these products from China is not established till date.
Currently, the product and product categories that are within the purview of this prohibition are Milk , Dairy products, Chocolates and chocolate products, Candies, Confectioneries and also other food products prepared with milk & milk solids as ingredients . Hence, Importers should be watchful in importing these combinations from China and avoid financial losses.
Finally, considering this continued trade barriers since last one decade Food safety enforcing agencies of both countries should share credible data on product safety and come to a consensus. In doing so, the ban can be partially imposed on ingredients and its usage in food preparation. Further, this will also address challenges of spurious and grey market goods entry into India.
FSSAI original notification: Letter on ban of Milk imports from China

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