Why Obtaining FSSAI Registration is Pivotal for Repackers and Relabellers in India's Food Sector
Many businesses are involved in procuring wholesale quantity of packaged foods like grains, flours, condiments etc. and breaking them down into smaller consumer packs for retail sale. This repackaging and relabelling activity requires special FSSAI registration as per regulations. This extensive guide will discuss what precisely constitutes repackaging, why FSSAI compliance is mandatory for repackers, registration process, documents required and the overall significance of this certification for both repackers and consumers.
What Activities are Categorized as Repackaging and Relabelling?
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) defines repackaging and relabelling as:
- Opening large wholesale packs, sacks or pouches of food products and dividing contents into smaller retail-sized packs.
- Transferring bulk quantities of commodities like grains, spices, salt etc. from large containers into smaller retail bags or pouches.
- Any change to retail pack size, type or label design involving repacking bulk-procured finished products.
- Removing a packaged product from its original brand retail pack and putting it into a new outer package without altering inner label.
- Affixing a secondary label indicating repacked status over the original brand label.
- Any food business that engages in such repacking activities requires FSSAI certificate before commencing operations.
Types of Businesses Requiring Repacker and Relabeller Registration
- Grocers repacking rice, dal, flour etc. from wholesale sacks.
- Outlets selling spices and condiments after repackaging bulk quantities into small retail packs.
- Retail stores creating multi-packs by bundling individually packed items into an outer package.
- E-commerce sellers/retail chains repacking into smaller units for distribution logistics.
- Manufacturers changing retail pack size of their own packaged foods.
Importance of Obtaining Repacker Registration
1. It is mandatory by law under the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations, 2018.
2. Certifies adherence to protocols around packaging material, food safety, weight and measures, labeling accuracy etc. during repackaging activity.
3. Enables traceability to the source business if issues arise with repacked product.
4. Gives consumers assurance that content integrity and compliance is maintained after repackaging.
5. Allows seamless inter-state sale of repacked items.
6. Registration process acts as a governance mechanism for this unorganized activity.
Application Process for Repacker and Relabeller Registration
- Assess eligibility. Only currently FSSAI-registered businesses can apply.
- Prepare premises layout, photos, food safety procedures being followed.
- Fill required information and submit application form online along with documents.
- Make the registration fee payment online through fee challan.
- Ensure premises meet food safety, sanitation and equipment standards during inspection.
- Obtain 14-digit registration number after application approval.
- Print certificate prominently displaying registration details on premises.
Obtaining repacker and relabeller registration brings this largely unregulated activity under the oversight of food safety laws. It builds consumer trust that repacked foods meet quality compliance. For repackers, registration boosts reputation, prevents disruption and enables business expansion - making it a pivotal certification.