Mandatory certification puts packaged water units in a fix

Packaged drinking water units will need to continue getting product certification from two regulatory authorities till an issue on the mandatory certification by a single authority is sorted out.

The ongoing issue of regulation by a single authority has raised concerns about quality of drinking water manufactured and may weaken monitoring mechanisms.

According to sources in the Bureau of Indian Standards, Southern Regional Office, the authorities of Food Safety and Standards of India (FSSAI) recently wrote to the BIS seeking to bring the packaged drinking water units under its ambit. This would mean changes in regulation from mandatory licences to voluntary BIS certification.

FSSAI already had various beverages such as flavoured water and herbal water under its ambit. However, it has made it compulsory for manufacturers of packaged drinking water to get BIS as per FSSAI Act.

Sources said the necessary amendments had to be made in the FSSAI regulations before the BIS can take a decision on making licensing for packaged drinking water voluntary.

Meanwhile, members of the Greater Tamil Nadu Packaged Drinking Water Manufacturers’ Association have made representations to BIS and FSSAI authorities in New Delhi and BIS, Chennai. They sought that BIS licences must continue to be mandatory as they monitored the quality regularly. Otherwise, it would lead to mushrooming of units producing poor quality of water.

There are about 1,620 units in the State and of this, nearly 445 were in and around Chennai. Nearly three crore litres of water is being sold in Chennai alone daily.

Members said that periodical tests were conducted as per the requirements of the BIS and the FSSAI.

However, FSSAI authorities in Chennai said that the BIS mandatory certification was still required for FSSAI licence.

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Printable version | Sep 2, 2022 6:42:01 am |