KATHMANDU: Indian Food Safety and Standard Authority, (FSSAI) has decided to recognize the standard certificates issued by the National Food and Feed Laboratory (NFFL) of Nepal.
The Indian food safety and regulation body is ready to acknowledge the NFFL-issued quality certificates on 21 food, fruit and vegetable items. They include juice, jam, jelly, pickle, candies, instant noodles, biscuit, infant food, milk, skimmed whole milk powder, condensed milk, ice-cream, sweet curd, processed meat and meat products, ginger, cardamom, turmeric, tea, coffee, honey and fresh vegetables.
Both the authorities had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during the Nepal-India Joint Commission Meeting on Wednesday.
Both the labs are internationally accredited. The decision will have positive impact on Nepal’s export of food and other agricultural goods.
In absence of such recognition, Nepali agricultural goods were facing non-tariff barriers in the name of lab testing and quality.
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS) said that the southern neighbor had decided to recognize Nepali lab certificates as per the Indian Food Safety and Standard Regulation, 2011.
Nepal had proposed the FSSAI to acknowledge the NFFL certification of more than four dozen products, including processed food items, fruits, vegetables and medicinal herbs.
Spokesperson of the MoICS Nabaraj Dhakal said that the Indian authority enlists the products to its Plant Quarantine List after it was satisfied about the pesticides risk analysis (PRA). The PRA is necessary to check the pesticide residue and to find out whether it was under the level to be good enough for human consumption.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development and Ministry of Forest and Environment are in the process to create the PRA of the proposed goods.
The Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) has welcomed the Indian decision and expressed satisfaction over the bilateral understanding. “The decision will help in trade facilitation between the two countries,” it said.
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