Import Duty on Health Supplements in India

Posted by enterslice on April 16th, 2018

The term Health Supplements refers to a varied group of products which is basically, consumed for the purpose of supplementing the diet and enhancing health. These products contain ingredients from natural resources, which are not meant to prevent, treat or cure the symptoms of medical diseases or conditions. These basically come in a dosage form such as capsules, tablets etc.

How to become a Smart Consumer?

The following things need to be taken care before purchasing health supplements:

Role of FSSAI in terms of Health Supplements

In India, FSSAI regulates the health supplements through the Food and Safety Standards Act, 2006 and Regulations i.e Food Safety and Standards (health supplements, Nutraceuticals, food for special dietary use, food for the special medical purpose, functional food and novel food) Regulations, 2016 framed thereunder. As per this regulations, it should be marketed in Single-use packaging as appropriate, in order to maintain the integrity and quality of the product.

It does not include any food products or categories of articles of food for which specific standard has been laid down in any other part of these regulations. The number of nutrients added to the articles of food shall not exceed the recommended daily allowance as specified by the Indian Council of Medical Research. The food business operator shall apply to the Food Authority for the inclusion of any new nutrient or other substance with a nutritional or physiological function, which has no history of use in India.

It is mandatory as per the regulations, that every package of health supplement should carry the following information on the label:

  • The words “Health Supplements”;
  • It should be prominently written an advisory warning “NOT FOR MEDICAL USE”;
  • A statement that it should not be used as a substitute for a varied diet;
  • The quantity of nutrient, as required must be expressed in terms of percentage of the relevant recommended daily allowances;
  • A statement that it should be stored out of the reach of children;
  • A warning or other precaution to be considered while consuming known side effects, if any contradictions as applicable;
  • An advisory warning for recommended usage, where a danger may exist with excess consumption;

Food business operator is not authorized to use food additives to health supplement except as specified in the regulations.

Demand a driver which has resulted in the need for health supplements:

Role of Import duty in the context of Health Supplements

On daily basis number of food products are being imported into India from the various countries. Therefore, in order to provide safe and hygienic food, FSSAI has framed the certain regulations in this regard.

As per FSSAI, no person shall import any article of food without obtaining an Import Export Code Registration from the Central Licensing Authority in accordance with the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011. The shelf life of an article should not be less than 60 % at the time of import for the clearance.

Import Duty

It is mandatory to pay import duty and all kind of cess taxes before picking the imported goods from the port of arrival on the estimated cost of your product, not on the actual cost of your product and it is known as total CIF value.

However, no sales tax is charged upon the imported items and there is also no prescribed minimum threshold which means that all imports regardless of their value are subject to taxes and duties.

In the context of Health Supplement, it is mostly imported under HS Code 21069019, 21069099.

Customs Duty of HS Code 21069019

Description - Import duty on other

Basic Custom Duty-150%

Integrated Goods & Services tax-12%

Compensation cess -       0%

Total duty – 180%

In case of Customs Duty of HS Code 21069019

Description - Import duty on other

Basic Custom Duty- 150%

Integrated Goods & Services tax- 12%

Compensation Cess - 0%

Total duty – 180%

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