Health Certificate for Export of Food Products
Health Certificate for Export of Food Products
The Government of India developed a scheme for issuing Health Certificates to certify the quality of food commodities. As part of this scheme, the Export Inspection Council of India (EIC) gives the Health Certificate on a Consignment basis. A health certificate certifies that the food product is fit for human consumption and meets safety standards and other required legislation for exporting. In this article, we will look at the Health Certificate for Export of Food Products in detail.
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Importance of a Health Certificate
According to the Export and Import Policy of the Government of India, each export consignment is subjected to obligatory microbiological and other tests by the Government laboratory and has to be accompanied by Health Certificate. The importance of a Health Certificate in Export / Import Transactions is explained in detail below:
- Health certificate certifying that the Governmental body of the exporting country has examined this particular goods consignment.
- This certificate also certifies that the food of animal origin or non-animal origin subject to exporting is fit for human consumption.
- The health certificate is evidence of the food consignment produced according to the required food legislation.
- This certificate confirms that the food consignment has been produced by one of the legitimate manufacturing units.
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Basis of issuance of Health Certificate
Health Certificate will be issued for consignments that conform to the following:
- Importing Country Requirements
- Relevant National standards
- Buyers’ requirements
The health certificate is required for the following type of trade business:
- European Union approved seafood processing organizations for the Marine Products (Fish and collagen) consignments meant for export to the European Union only.
- European Union & Non- European Union approved seafood processing firms for the consignments of Marine Products meant for export to the Russian Federation, P.R. China, Iran, and other non-EU countries.
- E.U.-approved processing firms for the consignments of Animal Casings meant for export to European Union.
- Exporters of peanut products to the E.U. and Malaysia.
- Exporters for Non-Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) certification
- Approved processors and exporters under the voluntary food certification scheme
FSSAI mandates Health Certificate for Imported food consignments
FSSAI has been taking various steps to maintain the quality of food manufactured or imported in India to live by the tagline “Ensuring quality standards of goods manufactured and imported into the country.”
To achieve the above-stated objectives, on 3rd August 2022, FSSAI issued an order regarding the requirement of a Health Certificate for imported food consignments, vide its order F.No.1829/Health Certificate/FSSAI/Imports/2021. It will be a form of certification that ensures that food is fit for consumption and that toxic elements are not present.
Categories of food items, import of which will mandatorily require the issue of Health Certificate:
- Milk and Milk Products
- Pork and Pork Products
- Fish and Fish products
The export Inspection Council is the prescribed authority for issuing the Health Certificate. The EIC or its sub-office will issue a health certificate after the consignment has been found to meet the relevant requirements.
The exporter has to furnish the following documents for issuance of the Health Certificate for the Food Products consignment meant for export.
- Application for issuance of Health Certificate
- Copy of Invoice
- Copy of Purchase Order
- Letter of Credit
- Bank draft of the requisite fee
- Test report of Food Products intended for export issued by EIA labs or EIC-approved labs
- Test report from the EIA-approved unit, as per importing countries’ standards or National Standard
- Contractual Specification as agreed between Importer and Exporter.
Condition for Issuance of Health Certificate
The food product sample will be drawn from one in ten consignments for testing as per the importing country’s requirement for maintaining an exporter-wise database. A health certificate will be issued only after satisfactory test reports.
Note: The exporter will bear the cost of the testing.
In case of rejection, violation, or complaint received against the exporter for the consignments exported from the importing country, the following three consecutive consignments will be tested in Export Inspection Council labs before issuance of the health certificate.
Note: The exporter will also bear the cost of the testing
Application Fee Details
The fee for obtaining the Health certificate from the EIC is tabulated here:
|FOB value in Rs||
Application Fee Details
|Up to 5 lakh||1500|
|Above 5 lakh and up to 10 lakh||2500|
|Above 10 lakh and up to 25 lakh||
|4||Above 25 and below 40 lakh||
|5||Above 40 lakh||
An amount of Rs.10 per M.T. will be charged for Agricultural Bulk Commodities for issuance of Health Certificate subject to a minimum of Rs. 2500 per consignment.
Health certificates will be issued based on the test report submitted by the exporter.
Validity of Health Certificate
The Health Certificate will be valid for 90 days from the date of its issuance.
Application Procedure – Health Certificate for Export of Marine Products
Applications for the original Health Certificate can be submitted online. The manual application must be submitted for an in-lieu or duplicate certificate. The application procedure to get the original health certificate for the Export of Food Products is explained in detail below:
Get Onetime User Name and Password
The exporter who wishes to obtain the Health Certificate for Export of Food Products has to obtain a one-time Username and Password from the concerned EIA office.
- Upon receipt of the request, EIA shall obtain the User name and Password from EIC, which will be communicated to the exporter through the email id.
- The merchant exporter has to do the one-time registration through the official website of the EIC health certification system. The username and password will send to the email id.
- The approved exporter must fill out an application form online using the User Name and Password whenever the health certificate is required.
Access e-health certification system
- All the processing establishments or merchant exporters can access the e-health certification system using the login details. After logging in, the applicant can fill-up the application form.
- The processing establishment’s application will be furnished to the nearest office of EIA. The merchant exporter can apply to any office of EIA as of their wish.
- On submission of the application form, the system will generate an application reference number, which the exporter can use for further correspondence with the concerned EIA office.
Get Health Certificate
- The concerned officer of EIA will process the application and issue the original health certificate for the export of food products.
Note: The approved establishments can avail of health certification facilities until the validity of the approval. The username and password will be disabled automatically, which will be activated after the license renewal.
- To collect the original health certificate, the exporter needs to approach the concerned EIA office along with the requisite fee and documents.
Application Procedure – Health Certificate for Export of Meat Products
Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) offers a service to the registered processing firms to apply for Health certificates through Meat.Net Online System for each export consignment of meat products.
- To apply Health Certificate for the export consignment of meat products, the firm on registration with APEDA will be provided with a one-time Username and Password.
- The registered processing establishment can submit the application form online and then approach the concerned State Animal Husbandry Office to which the unit belongs, along with a requisite fee, copies of the invoice, packing list, and test reports, for collecting the health certificate.
- The Veterinarian officials in the State Animal Husbandry Office will process the Health Certificate application and issue the health certificate. The format of the health certificate is enclosed here:
Procedure for the Duplicate Health certificate
The applicant who wishes to obtain a duplicate Health Certificate for Export of Food Products needs to furnish an application in the prescribed format along with all required documents and fees to the nearest Head Office/sub-office of the Export Inspection Agency, under whose jurisdiction the exporting unit is situated.
The application for a Health certificate is enclosed here for reference: