Third session of Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary herbs (CCSCH3)

Chennai India, from 6th to 10th February, 2017

Host Government: India

Final report of CCSCH 1 Cochin,India

Final report of CCSCH 2 Goa,India

Final report of CCSCH 3 Chennai,India


The global food standard-setting body Codex Alimentarius Commission has adopted three standards for pepper, cumin and thyme in its fortieth session held in Geneva during 17-22 July, 2017. It is first time spices have been included as commodities having universal standards. This is an acquirement of spice sector for making a space for the spice commodity on international platform of Codex. The development could herald the entry of more spices and herbs in the list for universal trading of safe and quality commodities in various countries.

The Codex standards were adopted in the wake of India conducting three sessions of Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) at Kochi (2014), Goa (2015) and Chennai (2017). The Chennai session succeeded in achieving this consensus. Subsequently, these drafts were placed before the CAC, and it was adopted by consensus with an overwhelming support from the member-countries.

It was in 2013, the need for Codex standards for spices and herbs became a subject matter of increased concern owing to the increased level of issues in spice trade. At that time, there was no Codex committee exclusively for spices and culinary herbs. The first step in the development of Codex standards was taken with the establishment of a dedicated Codex committee for spices and herbs.

Adoption of the spice standards will bring harmony to the global spice trade and ensure availability of high quality, clean and safe spices to the world. It will also benefit the trade from universal agreement to identify good quality spices. Member-nations would now have reference points and benchmarks to align their national standards for spices with Codex.

Spices Board India, the flagship organization of the Central Government for export and promotion of spices from the country, has always been concerned about this aspect, and hence has taken keen interest in harmonizing the disparate standards for spices which exist all over the world.

Terms of Reference of CCSCH

(a) To elaborate worldwide standards for spices and culinary herbs in their dried and dehydrated state in whole, ground, and cracked or crushed form.
(b) To consult, as necessary, with other international organizations in the standards development process to avoid duplication.

The Session is open to Member Nations of Codex Alimentarius Commission and Associate Members of the Food And Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) and observers.


CCSCH Secretariat,
Spices Board India,
(Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India),
Sugandha Bhavan,
N.H.By Pass, Palarivattom.P.O
Cochin 682025
Kerala, India