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FSSAI License in India

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Overview of FSSAI Registration

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) operates under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare within the Indian Government. All food business operators in the nation are regulated by the FSSAI, which collaborates with recognized organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The primary responsibility of the FSSAI is to regulate and supervise food safety practices, ensuring the protection and enhancement of public health. FSSAI Registration is a unique 14-digit number that is printed on food packages. This number provides information about the state of origin and the producer’s permit. The registration process aims to hold food business operators (FBOs) accountable and ensure the quality of food products. The regulations governing the licensing and registration procedure are outlined in the Food Safety & Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Business) Regulations of 2011. FSSAI registration is particularly essential for anyone planning to open a restaurant, bakery, hotel, or food stall in India. FSSAI operates as an autonomous body under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. It was established under the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006, which is a comprehensive law pertaining to food safety and regulation in the country.

Regulation Relating FSSAI Registration

Any individual employed in the manufacturing, production, processing, packaging, transportation, distribution, or storage of food products is required to complete registration with, or acquire a license from, the FSSAI. A genuine copy of the FSSAI registration must always be prominently displayed at the food establishment’s premises subsequent to the completion of the registration process.

All organizations operating in the food sector are obligated to possess a valid FSSAI registration or license. A “food business operator” refers to anyone involved in the management, fabrication, production, distribution, sale, service, storage, transportation, or importation of food (FBO). This term can also include individuals running food cart businesses. These businesses are strictly prohibited from engaging in food-related trading activities without proper registration.

Obtaining an FSSAI registration is an essential initial step for any enterprise in India operating in the food industry. To legally operate an online home kitchen business, it is necessary to possess a valid FSSAI license.

As per the FSSAI license regulation:

  1. This platform serves as a comprehensive hub for all legal and administrative regulations and controls.
  2. It acts as a centralized hub for addressing various matters pertaining to food safety, standards, regulations, and more.
  3. It serves as a unified licensing authority for one or multiple food products.

Eligibility of FSSAI Registration

FSSAI Registration is obligatory for small-scale food manufacturers or Food Business Operators (FBOs) with a turnover below Rs.12 Lakhs, unless they fall under the category of compulsory licensing. Petty FBOs, such as those involved in the manufacturing or sale of food items, hawkers, small retailers, itinerant vendors, temporary stall-holders, or small-scale food-related industries, must obtain an FSSAI registration certificate if they meet the following conditions:

  • Their annual turnover does not exceed Rs.12 lakh.
  • The production capacity of food products (excluding milk and milk products, meat and meat products) is limited to 100 liters or kilograms per day.
  • The procurement, handling, and collection of milk is up to 500 liters per day, or
  • The slaughtering capacity is two large animals, ten small animals, or 50 poultry birds per day or less.
  • They distribute food, including at religious or social gatherings, excluding caterers.

Benefits of FSSAI Registration

Acquiring an FSSAI license offers several advantages for a food business, including:

  1. Legal Compliance: The license ensures that the food business operates within the legal framework and meets the regulatory requirements set by FSSAI.
  2. Food Safety Assurance: Obtaining the license demonstrates a commitment to maintaining high standards of food safety, which can help build trust with customers.
  3. Goodwill Establishment: Holding an FSSAI license enhances the reputation and credibility of the food business, as it indicates compliance with quality and safety standards.
  4. Consumer Awareness: The license creates awareness among consumers about the business’s adherence to food safety practices, giving them confidence in the products they purchase.
  5. Regulation of Imported Food: The FSSAI license covers the regulation of manufacturing, storage, distribution, and sale of imported food items, ensuring their compliance with safety standards.
  6. Investor Attraction: Having an FSSAI license makes it easier for entrepreneurs to secure funding from investors, as it showcases the business’s commitment to quality and regulatory compliance.
  7. Quality Assurance: The presence of FSSAI logos on food products assures customers of the products’ quality and adherence to food safety standards.
  8. Hygiene and Quality Standards: The registration number prominently displayed on the food premises serves as an indicator that the premises comply with hygiene and quality standards set by FSSAI.

Types of Food License Registration

The types of FSSAI Registration are as follows:

  1. Basic FSSAI Registration: This category applies to small-scale manufacturers, storage units, transporters, retailers, marketers, and distributors. The issuance of the FSSAI Registration is carried out by the state government based on specific eligibility criteria.
  2. Central FSSAI Registration: Import-Export Oriented Units, large-scale manufacturers, Central Government agencies, airports, and ports fall under this category. To obtain a Central Food License, the units must have an annual turnover exceeding 20 Crores. The Central Government issues this license, which remains valid for up to 5 years.
  3. State FSSAI Registration: Small to medium-sized manufacturers, storage units, transporters, retailers, marketers, and distributors are covered under the State FSSAI Registration. A Food Business Operator with an annual turnover surpassing 12 lakhs is eligible to acquire the State License. The license remains valid for up to 5 years.

Requirement for the Food License Registration

Food Business Operators (FBOs) engaged in the following types of food businesses must obtain an FSSAI License/Registration:

  • Small retailers, retail shops, snack shops, confectionery or bakery shops, and similar establishments.
  • Temporary stalls, fixed stalls, or food premises involved in the preparation, storage, distribution, and sale of food products.
  • Hawkers who sell packaged or freshly prepared food while moving from one location to another.
  • Dairy units, including milk chilling units, small-scale milkmen, and milk vendors.
  • Slaughtering houses.
  • Fish and meat processing units.
  • All food manufacturing units, including those involved in repacking food.
  • Vegetable oil processing units.
  • Producers of proprietary food and novel food.
  • Cold or refrigerated storage facilities.
  • Transporters of food products using specialized vehicles such as insulated refrigerated vans/wagons, milk tankers, food wagons, food trucks, etc.
  • Wholesalers, suppliers, distributors, and marketers of food products.
  • Hotels, restaurants, and bars.
  • Canteens and cafeterias, including those serving mid-day meals.
  • Food vending agencies and caterers.
  • Dhabas, PG accommodations providing food, banquet halls with catering services, home-based canteens, and food stalls at fairs or religious institutions.
  • Importers and exporters of food items and ingredients.
  • E-commerce food suppliers, including cloud kitchens.

Documents Required in FSSAI Registration

The necessary documents for obtaining a license or registration from the FoSCoS are outlined below:

Documents for New FSSAI Registration Certificate:

  • Applicant’s Photograph.
  • Government-issued photo identification documents such as AADHAAR card, PAN card, Voter ID, etc.
  • Proof of address for the business activity if it differs from the address mentioned in the Photo ID Card.

Documents for Renewal/Modification of License:

  • Any changes in the documents or information provided during the previous food business license application.
  • Certificate demonstrating the adoption of a Food Safety Management System.
  • Medical fitness certificates for all workers employed in the firm.
  • Complete details of the technical personnel responsible for the operation.
  • Documents required for the renewal of registration/license.
  • Any changes in the documents or information provided during the previous registration application.

Identification forms required by FSSAI:

  • Identification documentation for individuals involved in business promotion.
  • Verification of the business’s address.
  • Official establishment documents of the organization, such as the LLP agreement for LLPs or the MOA and AOA for companies.
  • Comprehensive list of food items.
  • Implementation plan for ensuring food safety.
  • Completion of either Form-A or Form-B.

Process of Getting Food License Registration

The detailed process for obtaining an FSSAI License and Registration through the FoSCoS portal is explained below:

Step 1: Access the official webpage of the Food Safety and Compliance System (FoSCoS) and click on the signup option.

Step 2: On the signup page, provide all the necessary details such as Name, Email ID, Mobile Number, Login ID, and Password. Then, click on the “Signup” button.

Step 3: A verification code will be sent to the registered email and mobile number. Enter the verification code in the provided box and click on the “Submit” option to verify the details.

Step 4: After successful signup, enter the portal using the provided username and password.

Registration of Petty Food Business Operators:

Once logged into the portal, click on the “Apply for Registration Certificate (Petty Food Business Operators)” option. After verifying the OTP, select the application for the New Registration option. A new application page will open, where you need to provide all the required details for the registration of a Petty FBO. Finally, submit the application.

Procedure for Central Registration:

  • Small-scale Food Business Operators (FBOs) are required to complete FORM A along with the necessary documentation on the designated official website. A Registration fee of Rs. 100 must be paid during the application process.
  • Upon submission of the online form, the applicant will receive a Unique Application Reference Number (UARN) for identification purposes.
  • Within 7 days of form submission, the Food and Safety Authority will review the application and either grant or reject the FSSAI registration. In the case of rejection, the authority is obligated to provide a recorded explanation for the decision.
  • An inspection of the premises is conducted by the relevant authorities to ensure compliance with standard health and safety guidelines. This inspection typically takes place within 30 days following the online form submission.
  • Once the premises inspection is successfully completed, the Registering Authority issues the FSSAI Registration Certificate to the applicant.

Validity of FSSAI Registration

The FSSAI License / Registration validity for the Basic, State and Central License is usually for a period of one to five years.

FSSAI registration plays an important role in ensuring the legal operation of a food business. To maintain compliance and avoid penalties or cancellation, it is essential to renew the registration before it expires. The renewal process should be initiated before 30 days of the expiry of the license that is indicated on the registration certificate.

Renewing the FSSAI registration in a timely manner is vital for the uninterrupted functioning of your food business. Failure to do so can have serious consequences. Penalties may be imposed, and in severe cases, the registration could be cancelled altogether.

Renewal of FSSAI License

The process for renewing an FSSAI license is comparable to the initial application process and typically takes approximately 45-60 days to complete. Once renewed, the license remains valid for up to 5 years before requiring another renewal.

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