Pakistan - Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards

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Pakistan’s food imports are generally regulated by the federal government and food standards are regulated by the provincial governments. Pakistan does not have an integrated legal framework but has a set of laws, which deals with various aspects of food safety. Food standards were established in the Pakistan Pure Food Laws (PFL) of 1963. The PFL is the basis for the existing trade-related food quality and safety legislative framework. It covers 104 food items falling under nine broad categories: milk and milk products, edible oils and fat products, beverages, food grains and cereals, starchy food, spices and condiments, sweetening agents, fruits and vegetables and miscellaneous food products. These regulations address purity issues in raw food and deal with additives, food preservatives, food and synthetic colors, antioxidants, and heavy metals.
Pakistan’s Hotels and Restaurant Act of 1976 applies to all hotels and restaurants in Pakistan and seeks to control and regulate the rates and standard of service(s) by hotels and restaurants.
The Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority, under the Ministry of Science and Technology, is the national standardization body. In performing its duties and functions, PSQCA is governed by the PSQCA Act, 1996. PSQCA is a member of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and is the apex body to formulate or adopt international standards.
PSQCA also serves as:

  • Focal point for national, regional and international organizations & institutions such as ISO, IEC, Codex Alimentarius and WTO.
  • National Enquiry Point (NEP) for WTO Agreement on Technical Barrier to Trade (TBT).
  • Introduce measures through standardization regarding consumer safety and health.
  • Establish procedure to conformity assessment compliant with national & international standards.
Asmat Raza