To ensure food safety, several activities are carried out to enhance good hygienic and manufacturing practices and vigilance along the food supply chain. The cooperation of all parties in the food chain (farmers, manufacturers, food handlers, retailers, consumers, and all their service providers) are required to deliver the consumption of safe food.
The biosecurity requirements must be fulfilled for importation of food products of plant and animal origin through the system of obtaining import permits prior to the importation of the consignments of food. The food business operators must manufacture/process and retail foods as per regulatory requirements and the standard requirements for hygienic and manufacturing practices of BAFRA.
Some of the general requirements are:
- Food Labelling
A prepackaged food shall be labeled as a means of passing on information to purchasers and consumers. The manufacturer, importer, producer, distributor, or retailer shall ensure that the prepackaged food placed in the market is labeled in accordance with the mandatory standards/requirements on labeling. The minimum labeling requirements are as follows;
- Name of the Food
- Ingredient declaration
- Net content
- Name and address of Manufacturer
- Country of origin
- Lot identification
- Date Marking
- Food Safety License
A person who intends to operate a food business shall obtain a food safety license to BAFRA to operate the food business. A food business that complies with BAFRA GHP/GMP Criteria for Licensing of food business will be issued food safety license. The operator shall apply to BAFRA for licensing of food business by filling in the application form.
- Food Handlers License
Any person wishing to assume the responsibility as operator of a food business requires a food handler’s license that is issued by BAFRA. BAFRA issues food handlers license after a health interview, training on food safety, and signing an undertaking that the food handler and all those under their supervision restrain themselves from handling food under certain conditions of illness as listed below;
- Hepatitis A (Jaundice)
- Sore throat with fever
- Visibly infected skin lesions (boils, cuts etc.)
- Discharge for ear, eye, and nose
- Food Import
Food imported into Bhutan shall meet the applicable standards for that particular food established in Bhutan, failing which the food shall be rejected at the point of entry. Food imported into Bhutan shall be subject to inspection by a Food Inspector to verify its compliance. A person who wishes to import food commercially into Bhutan has to obtain an import permit prior to importation of food (forms available HERE). The food to be imported shall fulfill the import requirements prescribed in the import permit. Food must be imported into Bhutan through an officially designated entry point.
- Food Export
A person wishing to export food commercially from Bhutan has to obtain an export certificate after presenting the food for export inspection. The containers, packaging material, labelling and ingredients of food exported from Bhutan are subject to inspection by a food inspector. The exporters wishing to export food from Bhutan shall inform the BAFRA of any inspection, analysis or documentation required by the relevant importing country. Food must be exported from Bhutan through an officially designated exit point.