The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) issued the instructions on the requirements for the import of tea from Nepal as “Darjeeling Tea”. Darjeeling Tea is recognized for its unique flavor and qualities and has acquired a tremendous domestic and international reputation. The DoC is in receipt of various communications raising concerns regarding the import of tea from Nepal and the domestic sale of such imported teas as “Darjeeling Tea”, thereby adversely impacting the interests of the domestic Darjeeling Tea Planters.
“It is clarified that as per the Food Safety Standards (FSS) (Import) Regulations, 2017, clearance is required for import of food items into India. Further, the present trade treaty between India and Nepal allows mandatory sanitary and phytosanitary certificates, before products are allowed into each other’s country. As per the provisions of the Tea (Distribution & Export) Control Order, 2005, any importer importing tea from Nepal needs to have a license, as mandated under this order, and. should also have a clearance certificate issued by the Tea Council,” CBIC instructed.
The Board has requested that necessary action may accordingly be taken to ensure strict and mandatory compliance of the above mentioned FSS (Import) regulations and to also insist on a valid certificate issued by the Tea Board under the Tea (Distribution & Export) Control Order, 2005, besides the clearance certificate issued by the Tea Council of India, prior to allowing import of tea from Nepal.