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  • Manisha Singh

Understanding Regulatory Standards of Packaging Design (Indian Market)



In the dynamic regulatory compliances, staying updated with regulatory requirements is a crucial concern for packaging buyers operating in India. The never ending policies can be a head-ache for manufacturers and brand owners. However, adhering to those standards is important for ensuring product safety, preserving consumer trust, and complying with the legalities of the marketplace. In this post, I am going to list down a few key regulation which have to be kept in mind while designing the informations in the packaging:


Why Compliance is Important?


  • Consumer Safety: Ensuring that packaging materials and designs do not compromise client health by providing all critical information which is important for the consumer.

  • Legal Compliance: Adhering to guidelines to avoid penalties, fines, and legal challenges from the authorities.

  • Market Access: Compliance is a prerequisite for entering and operating in the Indian marketplace like Amazon, Zepto, Blinkit and other offline modern retail outlets.

  • Brand Integrity: Non-compliance can result in product recalls and harm to a brand's recognition.


Which are the Key Regulatory Standards in India:


  1. Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011: 

Overview:


  • Headed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (commonly known us FSSAI) It has the guidelines for packaging material and labelling to ensure safety and provide accurate information to consumers.


Key Aspects:


  • Material Safety: It specifies the types of materials that can be used for food packaging. The material used should be non-toxic and do not contaminate the food.

  • Labelling Requirements: If requires mandatory informations such as the product name, list of ingredients, nutritional information, vegetarian/non-vegetarian symbol, FSSAI logo and licence number, net quantity, and use by date etc. 

  • Allergen Labelling: Requires the declaration of common allergens (if present) in the product.

  • Special Labels: Additional labelling requirements for specific food categories like organic, genetically modified, and functional foods.


2. The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011:


Overview:


  • Governed by the Department of Consumer Affairs, these rules regulate the pre-packaged commodities to ensure that consumers are not misled regarding the quantity, price, and quality of the products.


Key Aspects:


  • Declaration of Information: Mandatory declaration of details such as the name and address of the manufacturer/packer/importer, country of origin (for imported products), common name of the commodity, net quantity, month and year of manufacture/packed/imported, and maximum retail price (MRP) inclusive of all taxes.

  • Packaging Standards: Sets standards for the measurement and declaration of the net quantity of the packaged goods.

  • Complaint Redressal: Mandatory declaration of manufacturers/brand’s contact details for redressal of any complaints by the consumers.


3. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS):


Overview:


  • BIS sets standards for packaging materials and products to ensure quality, safety, and conformity to regulatory requirements.



Information to Include in Packaging for Compliance:


  1. Product Identification: Name of the product, brand, and a clear description of the contents.

  2. Manufacturer Details: Name and address of the manufacturer or importer.

  3. Ingredient Listing: For food products, a complete list of ingredients is mandatory.

  4. Net Quantity: The amount of product in the package, typically by weight, volume, or count.

  5. Manufacturing Date and Expiry Date: Essential for perishable goods, these dates inform consumers about the product's shelf life.

  6. Maximum Retail Price (MRP): The MRP, including all taxes, must be clearly stated on the packaging.

  7. FSSAI License Number: For food products, the FSSAI license number of the manufacturer or importer must be displayed.

  8. Batch Number A unique batch number for traceability in case of recalls or quality issues.

  9. Recycling Information: Details about the recyclability of the packaging material as per the Plastic Waste Management Rules.


Conclusion


It is important to comply with these regulations and including important information in your packaging to safeguard customer health and guard your brand. Remember, to please consult with your legal consultant for a detailed compliance of regulations.


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