One of the criteria for applying for Product Approval was that Food Business Operators had to submit a notarized ‘Affidavit’ on non-judicial stamp paper as part of the documentary process that supported their application for Product Approval.
However, to make the application process for product approval easy and convenient FSSAI has now decided to substitute the ‘Affidavit’ with an‘Undertaking by way of Self Declaration’. FSSAI has also taken this step because there is a Government of India order O.M. No. Z.17015/1/ 2014-CDN I dated 17th October, 2014 with regard to abolition of affidavits. Since the government is discouraging the use of affidavits and encouraging self declaration undertakings FSSAI following on the governments order has thought it fit to promote self declaration undertaking too. Accordingly FSSAI has passed an Order on 31st December 2014, which states that Food Business Operators are now required to give an ‘Undertaking by way of Self Declaration’ on plain paper as a supporting document for Product Approval.
FSSAI has further said that since an ‘Affidavit’ is no longer mandatory FBOs can just give an ‘Undertaking’ according to the format FSSAI has published for this purpose. The ‘Undertaking’ will be required to be submitted from now onwards along with the application for Product Approval.
FBOs who wish to apply for Product Approval have been requested to enclose an ‘Undertaking.’ This ‘Undertaking’ will be a self declaration and will replace the earlier notarized ‘Affidavit.’ The Order is to be followed with immediate effect and the FSSAI Product Approval Division will not be accepting applications that have a notarized ‘Affidavit’ after 1st March 2015. It is important that FBOs have a copy of the format as all Product Approval ‘Undertakings’ have to be made according to the format that FSSAI has outlined.
Product Approval is a process by which a product gets approved by the FSSAI in which the ingredient/ingredients or additive/ additives are not as per Food Safety Act, Rules & Regulations. All food products, food ingredients and additives for which there are no standards notified by FSSAI require product approval. There are many documents that are required by FSSAI from the FBOs when they apply for product approval which FSSAI then scrutinises before giving PA/NOC. Only after the PA/NOC has been granted can FBO use the ingredients or additives in their food products for further sale in India. Similarly for an importer, a person/company is only allowed to sale/distribute a non-standardized food product, once approved by the food authority.