Amid Fssai order on mandatory health certificate on milk and milk products, US urges to delay it

As reported by The Economic Times, the United States has asked India to postpone mandate for health certificate on food imports like pork, milk and milk products, and fish by 6 months.

On 19 March 2024, fssai mandates that all imported milk and milk products, pork and pork products, and fish and fish products must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by the exporting country’s competent authority.

This requirement is essential to ensure that milk is processed at required temperature and kills the undesired organisms which causes diseases such as tuberculosis, Q fever. And also the import should be free from any impurities like heavy metals, residues.

As per the said O.M., the imported consignments of milk and milk products having bill of lading/ date of issuance of VHC from exporting countries after 30th June, 2024 will only be considered for post- import clearance based upon integrated veterinary Health Certificate for import of Milk and Milk Product into India.

The United States has expressed disapproval of this legislation on the grounds that it restricts trade, citing the issue of duplicate certificates. In an effort to minimize trade disruptions, Washington said that it “greatly values” market potential in India and is looking forward to an accelerated bilateral conversation on the import certificate requirements between the relevant technical authorities.

The report quoted the US government as stating, “Given the complexity of the issues, the US requests that the implementation of the new certificate be delayed by at least six months or until we can reach a mutually agreed solution.”

“Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures that are necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health and are least trade restrictive should be the only ones that India implements based on research and risk assessment” US government said, as quoted by the report.

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