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:
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:
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;
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;
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:
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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The Biosafety requirements are implemented as per the Biosafety Act of Bhutan 2015, and Biosafety Rules and Regulations 2018. The objectives of this Act is to protect, conserve and safeguard the biodiversity of Bhutan and also to promote the nation’s food and nutrition security and safeguard the animals and human health from unintended effect of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO). Read More…
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