Deadline extended: Import of drugs with residual shelf life less than 60%

This has been done because C-19 pandemic situation has led to disruption in freight movement causing delays in delivery of imported drugs.

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Air Cargo Import Export
Picture: Pixabay

Last Updated on December 28, 2020 by The Health Master

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has extended the deadline till April 30, 2021 for allowing import of drugs with residual shelf life less than 60 per cent.

This has been done because C-19 pandemic situation has led to disruption in freight movement causing delays in delivery of imported drugs. There are lots of drugs which are losing their shelf life stuck at the ports due to shortage of manpower and the lockdown situation in parts of the country.

It had earlier extended the deadline till October 31, 2020 for allowing import of drugs with residual shelf life less than 60 per cent following representations from importers on delay in clearances at port offices due to shortage of staff in the wake of C-19 pandemic.

CDSCO FDA

Earlier on April 17, 2020 CDSCO had granted importers permission to import medicines having residual shelf life under 60 per cent on the condition that they give an undertaking that the drug would be consumed before the expiry date in the light of the pandemic situation.


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The DCGI move came after representations of industry associations that clearance of consignments at port offices has taken a hit due to C-19 outbreak and several drugs are losing their shelf life and getting below the threshold of 60 per cent.

As per Rule 31 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, no drug shall be imported unless it complies with the standard of strength, quality and purity, provided that the licensing authority shall not allow the import of a drug with a less than 60 per cent residual shelf life as on the date of import.

However, in exceptional cases, the licensing authority may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, allow the import of any drug with a lesser shelf life, but before its expiry.


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