Food Safety in Sri Lanka

Food Safety in Sri Lanka

Basic Acts, Laws & Regulations on Food Safety in Sri Lanka

  1. The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act (1996): It addresses the management, regulation, conservation and development of fisheries and aquatic resources in Sri Lanka. Part VI of the Act addresses aquaculture. Part X of the Act grants the Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources general power to make regulations with regard to all matters stated in the Act, including the management and regulation of aquaculture. Several regulations have been adopted under the Act, which have an impact on aquaculture and aquaculture products.
  2. The Fish Products (Export) Regulations (1998): prescribe the rules relative to hygiene and other requirements for fish processing establishments that are allowed to export fish products (including aquaculture products).
  3. Fish Processing Establishment Regulations (1998): According to the act, any fish processing establishment requires a licence to be issued by the Director of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. 
  4. Aquaculture (Monitoring of Residues) Regulations (2002): The recently adopted act require the licensee of an aquaculture enterprise or establishment to carry out its own checks (self-monitoring) to ensure that suppliers of fish observe the appropriate withdrawal periods and that fish for processing purposes does not contain residue levels, which exceed the maximum permitted limits, or traces of unauthorized substances, and has not been administered with any illegal treatment. 
  5. The Food Act (1980, as amended in 1991): prohibits the manufacturing, import, sale or distribution of food unfit for human consumption, as well as the labelling, packaging and advertising of food in a false or misleading manner, may be applicable. The Act contains a wide definition of food ("any article manufactured, sold or represented for use as food or drink for human beings and includes any article which ordinarily enters into or is used in the composition of preparation of food"). The Food Authority is the responsible authority under the Act. Whereas the Fish Products (Export) Regulations are applicable to aquaculture products intended for export, the provisions of the Food Act may be relevant for the production and processing of aquaculture products intended for domestic consumption.
  6. The National Aquaculture Development Authority of Sri Lanka Act (1998): It establishes the National Aquaculture Development Authority and regulates its functioning and constitution. The Authority has general policy responsibility for the development of the aquaculture sector in Sri Lanka.
  7. The Coast Conservation Act (1981, amended in 1988): It prohibits any person to engage in a "development activity" (which includes aquaculture) within the coastal zone, unless such person is authorized by a permit issued by the Director of Coast Conservation.

  8. The Marine Pollution Prevention Act (1981): It provides for the prevention, reduction and control of pollution in Sri Lanka waters. The Act establishes the Marine Pollution Prevention Authority to administer the Act. In case of pollution, the owner or the operator of a ship, offshore-installation or pipeline is liable for any damage caused by the discharge, escape or dumping of any oil or other pollutant into Sri Lanka waters, to the foreshore or any interests related thereto (including fisheries activities).
  9. The Export and Import of Live Fish Regulations (1998): It specify in the Schedule the species of live fish that cannot be exported (Part I), species of live fish that may be exported with a license issued by the Director (Part II), and species of live fish that cannot be imported (Part III).
  10. The Aquaculture Management (Disease Control) Regulations (2000): This regulation was adopted under the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act; establish various cleaning and disinfection requirements for aquaculture enterprises. The licensee of an aquaculture enterprise or establishment is obliged to inform the Director-General of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of any symptom that might constitute a ground for suspecting an outbreak of any disease listed in the Schedule.
  11. The Animal Disease Act (1992): It defines animals and animal products as to include "all varieties of fish, crab, prawn, lobster, and turtle, marine as well as fresh water fish, whether cooked, canned, dried, salted or smoked", may be applicable to aquaculture. This Act lists a number of measures that can be taken by the Director of Animal Production and Health in case of animal diseases, including sealing of infected premises and areas, power to close roads to animal traffic, disinfection and destruction and disposal of animal products. The Act also deals with the import and export of animals and animal products.
  12. The Control of Pesticides Act (1980, as amended in 1994): The licensing, import, packing, labelling, storage, formulation, transport, sale and use of pesticides are generally regulated in the Act. Furthermore, the Animal Diseases Act regulates the issuance of a licence for the manufacture of veterinary drugs and veterinary biological products (such as vaccines) as well as their import and export. 
  13. The Cosmetic Devices and Drugs Act (1980): This act prohibits the manufacture, preparation, preservation, packaging or storage for sale of drugs (including drugs for animals) under unsanitary conditions, and of adulterated drugs, may be applicable to veterinary drugs. The Act also prohibits the import, sale and distribution of drugs and addresses labelling, packaging and advertising requirements.
  14. The Animal Feed Act (1986): It regulates, supervises and controls the manufacture, sale and distribution of animal feed, may be applicable to aquaculture. The Act makes provisions relating to the particulars that must be stated on the print or label and prohibits manufacturing, preparing or storing any animal feed for sale, or sell or distribute and animal feed, which has been adulterated.




Main areas of responsibility

1.  Ministry of Livestock & Rural Community Development- The Ministry of Livestock & Rural Community Development is the apex organization responsible for the implementation of policies, plans, programmes and the relevant statutory provisions for the management and development of the livestock sector. Also, creation of rural employment, livelihood improvement of rural communities, poverty reduction and nutrition enhancement of vulnerable groups through livestock production activities are the other objectives of livestock development.

Department of Animal Production and Health

The Department of Animal Production & Health is the apex government institution responsible for providing the leadership in the technical functions of animal health, animal breeding, livestock research and human resources development for livestock development activities.

National Livestock Development Board

The NLDB is presently managing 30 livestock & integrated farms, covering a total extent of around 14,000 ha, for maintaining livestock and coconut plantation with training centre.

2.  Ministry of Agriculture- Committed to achieve national prosperity by formulating and implementing policies and legislation, providing guidance and coordination of the stakeholders in a timely and professional manner for efficient and effective performance of the food, spices and allied crop sector.

Department of Agriculture

The major functions of the DOA include research, extension, production & distribution of quality seeds and planting material, regulatory services related to plant quarantine, soil conservation and pesticides.

Institute of Post Harvest Technology

Operates under the Ministry of Agriculture, functions as the main Institution in Sri Lanka engaged in improving the Post Harvest Technology of rice/other grains, field crops, fruits and vegetables, Spices through research, training & extension, consultancy, advisory and other development activities such as providing & creating opportunities for rural sector.

3.  Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development- Its main function is minimization of post-harvest losses and improves quality and safety of fish products to acceptable standards. Also, conservation of the aquatic environment is the other objective of the ministry

Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources


National Aquaculture Development Authority of Sri Lanka

Promotes the farming of high valued fish species including ornamental fish for export, facilitates optimum utilization of aquatic resources through eco- friendly aquaculture practices and Facilitate optimum utilization of aquatic resources through eco- friendly aquaculture practices

4. Ministry of Health-

Department of Health

Department of Health is the apex government institution responsible for regulating policies and programme for Genetically Modified Foods and Pharmaceuticals.

5.  Ministry of Co-operatives and Internal Trade- Regulate the market to protect the rights of consumers, promote setting up of institutions and fair trading, Implement Tariff policy as an instrument to control market behaviours in safeguarding interests of local producers and consumers, Ensure implementation of measurements and standards for the benefit of business community as well as consumers.

Department of Food Commissioner

Department was established with the purpose of making available essential food items such as Rice, Wheat Flour and Sugar to the nation meeting qaulity standards and without shortage.

Consumer Affairs Authority

Protect consumers against hazardous and substandard goods and services, Protect consumers against deceptive conduct and unfair and restrictive trade practices and Implement Government Policy relating to consumer protection and furtherance of fair trading.

6. Ministry of Industry and Commerce- Facilitating the industry to adhere to international conventions and regulations within the overall framework of sustainable development and ensures product standards for bottled water, baby food, etc..

Sri Lanka Export Development Board

As the national body responsible for promotion, development & facilitation of Sri Lanka's exports and provides know-how & assistance & facilitates the effective co-ordination of all state & private sector organisations, associations, industries & manufacturing enterprises & individuals involved in exporting our high-quality products & services to markets all over the world.

Department of Commerce

Develop and promote Sri Lanka’s foreign trade relations by the effective implementation of government trade policy, with a view to raising the standards of living and realizing a higher quality of life.

7.  The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources- The Ministry is executing National Bio safety Framework Development Project with an overall objective is to ensure that the risks likely to be caused by modern biotechnology and its products will be minimized and biodiversity, human health and environment will be protected in a maximum way regulating the transboundary movements through formulation of relevant policies, regulations, technical guidelines and establishment of management bodies and supervisory mechanisms.

Marine Pollution Prevention Authority

Marine Pollution Prevention Authority contribute to protect the marine environment from ship based and shore based maritime related activity, to comply with International and national obligations.

Central Environmental Authority

Makes provision for the protection, management and enhancement of the environment, regulation, maintenance and control of the quality of the environment and prevention, abatement and control of pollution. Also, carries out extensive tests in water and food quality.

8. Ministry of Technology and Research- Formulates policies, programmes and projects in regard to the subjects of Biotechnology and establishes and control the standards.



Related Content