FSSAI- Food Safety And Standards Authority Of India- Legal Provisions
FSSAI- Food Safety And Standards Authority Of India- Legal Provisions

In India, the food business is regulated by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India with the acronym FSSAI. The food business is a lucrative business because nobody that can survive for days without food. Regardless of the area of the food chain, you decide to invest your money, you are sure of recouping a great ROI. 

All operators in the food business must possess a valid license issued by the FSSAI if they are into the following:

  1. Manufacturing
  2. Storage of food products
  3. Transportation of food products

Depending on the nature of food business and the size of the business, operators may require an FSSAI registration or FSSAI license. However, business owners may be confused on which one to approach FSSAI for. Fret not; this article will take care of the distinction between registering your business or applying for a license.

 

In view of the above, this article will take a look at the law establishing FSSAI, the procedures and requirements for registering or obtaining a license, as well as provisions of the law that are common for both registration and licensing.

WHAT IS FSSAI AND WHY WAS IT CREATED?

FSSAI is an agency of the Indian government created after the government passed a bill (Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006). The full meaning of the acronym FSSAI is- Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. The agency is under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and it’s saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that all food products sold, distributed, and manufactured in the country are safe for public consumption.

To achieve its statutory mandate, FSSAI requires all operators in the food business to either apply for a license or register the business with it irrespective of the size or nature of the business. Otherwise, the agency will impose sanctions on the defaulting business. FSSAI regulates the manufacture of food products, distribution, storage, importation, as well as the sale of food items for public consumption.

The essence of registering or obtaining a license from FSSAI is to ensure that you don’t compromise on the quality of your food, as well as it creates accountability on the part of the business owners. FSSAI will issue you with a 14-digit after a successful registration and license number after a successful licensing.

 

REGISTRATION OF YOUR FOOD BUSINESS WITH FSSAI-

Registration with FSSAI is required if you operate a small-scale food business or petty businesses. Under the law, a petty business falls under one of the following categories:

  • Trading of the food product by him/herself, hawker, petty retailer, owns a temporary stall or an itinerant vendor; or
  • Distribute food products during social or religious gatherings apart from a caterer; or
  • Any other food related businesses whose annual turnover is less than Rs 12 lakhs, as well as, those whose:
  • Daily food production capacity is less than 100 kg/ltr, except those into the production of milk and its products, and meat & its products; or
  • Handling, procurement, and collection of milk-related product is at most 500 litres a day; or
  • Daily slaughtering capacity of 50 poultry birds or 10 small animals or two large animals.

 

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED-

The following are the documents required when registering your food business:

  1. A completed and signed Form A
  2. Your photo ID
  3. Evidence of premises ownership or rental agreement
  4. Certificate of incorporation or partner deed or article of association
  5. Food products of interest
  6. A plan on how to manage food Safety

 

HOW TO REGISTER YOUR FOOD BUSINESS WITH FSSAI?

The following are the steps to follow when you want to register your petty business:

  1. Fill and Complete Form A (Form A is the application form)
  2. Your application for registration should be submitted to FSSAI’s Food and Safety Department
  3. The application may be accepted or rejected by the Food and Safety Department
  4. If your application has been accepted or rejected, the Department will communicate you through a letter conveying its acceptance or rejection of your application within 7 days from the date the application was lodged
  5. Once your application has been accepted, the department will issue you with a registration certificate conveying your registration number and your photograph.
  6. FBO (Food business operators) should then display their registration certificate at their business premises during official hours.

 

LICENSING OF FOOD BUSINESS BY FSSAI

Any food-related business that does not fall under the category of a petty business is required by law to obtain a license from the Indian Food Safety and Standards Authority. The license granted by the agency is categorized into two based on the nature and size of the business- State and Central FSSAI license. Those businesses that require a central FSSAI license are:

  • Large manufacturers of food; or
  • Large processors of food; or
  • Large transporters of food products; or
  • Large importers of food products.

 

As for a state FSSAI license, the above applies, only that the business capacity must be on a medium-scale level. The process required to obtain either of the licenses is extensive compared to registering a food-related business. The application to obtain a license should be completed using Form B and supported with all the required documentation.

 

FSSAI usually grants the license for the duration of one (1) to five (5) years based on a request by the operators of the business. The more the number of years, the higher the fee to be paid. A license obtained for a duration of two years can be renewed after payment of relevant fees 30 days before the expiration of the license.

 

ELIGIBLE BUSINESS TO OBTAIN A STATE FFSAI LICENSE

The following are the FBO eligible to apply for a State FSSAI license:

  1. Daily food production capacity between100 kg/liter to 2 MT
  2. Handling, procurement, and collection of milk-related product between 50 liters to 50,000 liters a day or businesses with a capacity of 2.5 MT of solid milk on a yearly basis.
  3. Daily slaughtering capacity of between 50 to 1000 poultry birds or between 10 to 50 small animals or between 2 to 50  large animals.
  4. Processors of Vegetable oil with a capacity of 2 MT or a turnover of 12 lakhs and above per annum.
  5. Meat processors with a capacity of 150 MT per annum or 5001m daily.
  6. Wholesaler with a turnover above 30 Crore
  7. A retailer with a turnover above 20 Crore
  8. A Distributor with a turnover above 20 Crore
  9. A supplier with a turnover above 20 Crore

 

ELIGIBLE BUSINESS TO OBTAIN A CENTRAL FFSAI LICENSE

The following are the FBO eligible to apply for a Central FSSAI license:

  1. Daily food production capacity of more than 2 MT.
  2. Handling, procurement, and collection of the milk-related product of more than 50,000 liters a day or businesses with a capacity of more than 2.5 MT of solid milk on a yearly basis.
  3. Daily slaughtering capacity of more than 1000 poultry birds or more than 50 small animals or more than 50 large animals.
  4. Processors of Vegetable oil with a capacity of more than 2 MT per day
  5. Meat processors with a capacity of more than 150 MT per annum or more than 5001m daily.
  6. Wholesaler with a turnover above 30 Crore
  7. A retailer with a turnover above 20 Crore
  8. A Distributor with a turnover above 20 Crore
  9. A supplier with a turnover above 20 Crore

 

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR A STATE FSSAI LICENSE

The following are the required documents to be eligible to apply for a state FSSAI license:

  1. A duly completed Form B
  2. Business plan showing the areas of operation
  3. A list, photo ID, and contact details of the directors or proprietors or partners
  4. Equipment name and capacities
  5. Food products to be manufactured
  6. A Letter of authority from the manufacturers nominating someone with his/her name and contact details
  7. Water analysis report
  8. Evidence of ownership of premises or rental agreement
  9. Affidavit of proprietorship or a deed of partnership
  10. Manufacturer’s copy of license or NOC
  11. A plan on how to manage food Safety
  12. Copies of credentials obtained under the Multistate Coop Act 2002 or Coop Act 1861

 

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR A CENTRAL FSSAI LICENSE

The following are the required documents to be eligible to apply for a central FSSAI license:

  1. A duly completed Form B
  2. Business plan showing the areas of operation
  3. A list, photo ID, and contact details of the directors or proprietors or partners
  4. Equipment name and capacities
  5. Food products to be manufactured
  6. A Letter of authority from the manufacturers nominating someone with his/her name and contact details
  7. Water analysis report
  8. Meat/Milk raw material sources
  9. A recall plan
  10. Certificate of EOU by the Ministry of Commerce
  11. PA or NOC certificate from FSSAI
  12. DGFT’s IE code document
  13. Form IX
  14. Ministry of tourism certification
  15. Evidence of ownership of the premises
  16. Partnership deed
  17. Manufacturer’s copy of license or NOC
  18. A plan on how to manage food Safety
  19. Local body’s NOC
  20. Evidence of Transportation and turnover
  21. Declaration form

 

HOW TO OBTAIN A FSSAI LICENCE-

  1. Fill, complete, and sign Form B
  2. Apply to the licensing authority
  3. Attached all the supporting documents as listed above as applicable to your category
  4. The Authority will assign an officer to physically verify the applicant’s premises
  5. The licensing authority will consider the officer’s inspection report and then accept or reject the application via a letter to the business operator(s) within 30 days
  6. If accepted, the licensing authority will issue the applicant with an application number for correspondence purposes
  7. The Authority within the 30 days period will issue the applicant with a license in Form C.
  8. The applicant is expected to display the license on his/her business premises.

 

 PROVISIONS COMMON WITH REGISTRATION AND LICENSE-

The following are the provisions that are common for both license and registration:

Renewal and Validity:

Both license and registration are valid for a duration of 1 to 5 years based on the holders’ request. Renewal application can also be made 30 days before the expiration of the license or registration.

Cancellation or suspension:

in the interest of public health, a license or registration certificate can be canceled or suspended by writing if FSSAI believes that the business operators didn’t comply with laws granting same.

Premises change/Modification/Expansion:

FBOs shall always keep the agency updated with premises change or a change in business model or business expansion before implementation.

Transfer of registration certificate or a license in case of death:

If the holder of a registration certificate or a license dies, the document will remain valid for his/her family members or lawyers for a period of 90 days from the date of the holder’s demise. The beneficiary may then apply to FSSAI for a transfer of the document in his/her favor. Pending when the Authority will approve the application, the document will subsist.

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