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FOOD SAFETY AND QUALITY

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:

  1. 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/Technical requirements on labeling BMS: 12:2017. The minimum labeling requirements are as follows:

  1. Name of the Food
  2. Ingredient declaration
  3. Net content
  4. Name and address of Manufacturer
  5. Country of origin
  6. Lot identification
  7. Date Marking
  • Labelling of Organic Food
  1.  Label may be used for products wherein a minimum of 95% (wt) of the ingredients are of organic origin. 
  2. Where the ingredients of organic origin comprise less than 95% but not less than 70% (wt), products may not be called “organic”. 
  3. The word “organic” may be used on the principal display in statements like “made with organic ingredients” provided there is a clear statement of the proportion of the organic ingredients. 
  4. Where less than 70% of the ingredients are of organic origin, the indication that an ingredient is organic may appear in the ingredients list. Such products may not be called “organic”.
  5.  In the percentage calculations of organic ingredients, the water and salt that is added to the product shall not be included. The label for conversion products shall be clearly distinguishable from the label for organic products.
  6. Ingredients or products derived from wild production shall be declared as ‘products of wild production’.

2. Food Safety License

A person who intends to operate a food business shall obtain a food safety license from 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 for licensing of food businesses.

For details on Food Safety License issued to Food Business Operators by BAFRA as of 29 June 2020, please click HERE

The applicable fees for the services are as follows;

  1. Application Registration Fee: Nu. 100
  2. Food Safety Licensing Fee: Nu. 500

 

3. 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;

  1. Hepatitis A (Jaundice)
  2. Diarrhoea
  3. Vomiting
  4. Fever
  5. Sore throat with fever
  6. Visibly infected skin lesions (boils, cuts etc.)
  7. Discharge for ear, eye, and nose

Upon successful completion of the training, a food handler is issued with a Food Handlers’ License that is valid for five years. After five years, the food handler then has to undergo Refreshers’ Training and successfully complete it for the renewal of the food handlers’ license.
Any food handler required to undergo the Food Handlers Training or Refreshers’ Training should attend the training at the nearest BAFRA Dzongkhag office with the following:

  1.  Valid medical certificate (Form C of the occupational Health)
  2. CID copy
  3. Nu. 100 (nominal fee for printing the Food Handlers License)

 

4. 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.

5. Inspection and Monitoring

BAFRA carries out a range of activities to ensure that food businesses comply with legislative requirements laid in the Food Act of Bhutan 2005 and its Rule and Regulations 2017. The inspection and monitoring is done to ensure the ongoing compliances to the requirements set for operation of food business in the country. It includes inspection of hotels, restaurants, food processing units, bakeries and mass catering services.

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LINKS UNDER BAFRA

1. CODEX (Bhutan)
2. Bhutan Biosafety Clearing House (BBCH)
3. Regulated Plant Pests and Diseases
Database
4. Bhutan Biosecurity and Food Safety
System (BBFSS)
5. Laboratory Information Management
System (LIMS)
6. SPS Portal

Archives

 

Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Post Box: 1071, 

Thimphu, Bhutan, Tel: +975-02-327031/325790 Fax: +975-02-327032/335540