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FSSAI stands for Food Safety and Standards Authority of India which is an organization that monitors and governs the food business in India. It is an autonomous body that is established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.
The FSSAI has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSS Act) which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation in India. It ensures the food products undergo quality checks thereby curtailing the food adulteration and sale of sub-standard products. It is responsible for the registering and licensing of the Food Business Operators (FBO) in India and it lays down the rules and regulations for running the food business in India.
Every food business operator involved in the manufacturing, processing, storage distribution and sale of food products must compulsorily obtain FSSAI Registration or License.
FSSAI Registration is different from the FSSAI License in the sense that depending on the size and nature of the business, FBO should obtain the necessary registration or license.
It is a 14-digit registration or a license number that is printed on all the food packages. The 14 digit registration number gives details about the assembling state, producer’s permit. This registration procedure is aimed to create more accountability on the FBO to maintain the quality of the food products. The licensing and registration procedure and requirements are regulated by Food Safety & Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Business) Regulations, 2011.
The FBOs carrying on the following kinds of business are mandatorily required to obtain an FSSAI Registration/License:
The type of FSSAI license/registration required by each of the kinds of the above-mentioned businesses depends on their eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria for each kind of business and type of license/registration is provided on the FSSAI.
FSSAI registration is based on the business types, turnover and capacity of production. Depending upon the installed capacity and turnover, FBOs are eligible for license such as basic license, central license, and state license.
FSSAI Registration is a basic license and it is required for all the FBOs involved in the small-scale food business. This category covers the following businesses:
|1||Food production capacity (other than milk and meat)||Up to 100 kg/ltr per day|
|2||Procurement, handling and collection of milk||Up to 500 ltr per day|
|3||Slaughtering capacity||2 large animals or 10 small animals or 50 poultry birds per day or less|
For all other FBOs apart from small-scale businesses, the FSSAI license has to be obtained. FSSAI License can be classified into two categories i.e. State FSSAI License and Central FSSAI License based on the size of the business whether it is a medium scale or large scale business.
Generally, FBOs who are large manufacturers, importers, exporters dealing in large-scale food businesses need to obtain FSSAI registration from the central government and FBO with small to medium-sized manufacturing units, transporters, marketers, traders, etc., need to take FSSAI registration from the state government. To apply for State License the FBO must have a turnover between Rs 12 lakh to Rs 20 crore.
Other conditions include manufacturing units having a capacity of 2MT per day, dairy units handling business up to 5000 litres per day. 3-star hotels and above, repackers, relabelling units, clubs, canteens all catering businesses irrespective of their turnover need to apply for the license. The tenure of the license issued is a maximum of 5 years and a minimum of 1 year.
To apply for a central license the FBO must have a turnover exceeding Rs. 20 crores and needs to have operations in two or more states. All importers and exporters need to apply for this license. The maximum tenure is 5 years and the minimum is 1 year.
The following documents are required to obtain FSSAI basic registration, FSSAI state license and FSSAI central license:
Apart from the above-mentioned general documents, certain specific documents are required for obtaining the FSSAI state license and FSSAI central license. The specific documents required to obtain the FSSAI state license are:
Apart from the general license, the following specific documents are required to obtain FSSAI central license:
The applicant/FBO needs to pay the fees while submitting the FSSAI registration form. The FSSAI registration fee for different types of registration are as follows:
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An applicant is informed by SMS/Email alert at many stages of application processing by FSSAI. The applicant can also check the FSSAI registration status by entering the application reference number issued after submitting the application to FSSAI on the ‘Track Application Status’ tab on the FoSCoS website. Click here for detailed steps on tracking FSSAI application status.
The different stages of the FSSAI registration status can be viewed by tracking the application status. When the FSSAI registration status is displayed as ‘Application Reverted’, the FSSAI authorities have reverted back the application for necessary modification or clarification. The applicant needs to submit the response within 30 days from the reverted date to avoid the risk of application rejection.
The FSSAI registration status will be displayed as ‘Registration Certificate Issued’ when the FSSAI authorities issue the FSSAI registration certificate. The applicants can download the certificate by logging into the FoSCoS website.
One of the most popular food business ideas is cloud kitchen. A cloud kitchen is also known as a dark kitchen or ghost kitchen. It is a commercial kitchen where food is prepared only for delivery or takeout. It is fundamentally a restaurant that receives food orders through an online platform and delivers food at the customer’s place. It does not have physical premises where it serves food and they have a base kitchen from where the food is conveyed to the clients’ doorstep.
FSSAI regulates the food industry in India. It mandates the registration of all Food Business Operators (FBOs) including the cloud kitchen. Thus, the FSSAI license is mandatory for cloud kitchens. Depending on the annual turnover, cloud kitchens can obtain the FSSAI Basic Registration, FSSAI State License or the FSSAI Central License.
The cloud kitchens need to get FSSAI Basic Registration when their annual turnover is less than Rs.12 lakh by applying Form A. They need to get FSSAI State License when their annual turnover is more than Rs.12 lakh but less than Rs.20 crore by applying Form B. They need to obtain FSSAI Central License when their annual turnover is more than Rs.20 crore by applying Form B.
Cloud kitchens can apply for FSSAI Licenses/Registration through the FoSCoS portal. They need to select the type of food business, annual turnover, fill out either Form A or Form B, upload documents and make an online payment to submit the license/registration application.
Upon submission of the license/registration application, the respective department will verify the application and scrutinise the documents submitted. When the department is satisfied that the cloud kitchen meets all the required criteria, it will grant an FSSAI registration certificate with the registration number to the applicant’s email ID.
Obtaining a license can provide the food business with legal benefits, build goodwill, ensure food safety, create consumer awareness, and assist in business expansion. Also, it helps regulate, manufacture, storage, distribution and sale of import food. It is easy to obtain funds from investors when an FBO has FSSAI registration.
The FSSAI logo on the food products ensures the quality of food to the customers. The FSSAI registration number displayed on the food premises indicate that the premises comply with the hygiene and quality standards.
Any registered or licensed person under the FSSAI has to adhere to the rules and regulation under the FSS Act, 2006. Food safety officer generally conducts the inspection of the food business operator’s facility and identifies the level of compliance with the regulation using a checklist. Based on the compliance level, the food safety officer marks it as:
Based on the above, the food safety officer might issue an improvement notice where ever required per Section 32 of the FSS Act, 2006. If the business operator fails to comply with the improvement notice, the officer after giving the licensee an opportunity to show cause may cancel his license. Any food business operator aggrieved by an improvement notice can appeal to the State Commissioner of Food Safety. The decision thereon can be challenged through appealing to the Food Safety Appellate Tribunal/High Court.
Listed is the penalty for various type of non-compliance:
|1||Food quality not in compliance with act||2 Lakh Petty manufacturer – 25,000/-|
|2||Sub-standard food||5 Lakh|
|3||Misbranded Food||3 Lakh|
|4||Misleading advertisement or false description||10 Lakh|
|5||Extraneous matter in food||1 Lakh|
|6||Failure to comply with Food safety officer direction||2 Lakh|
|7||Unhygienic processing or manufacture||1 Lakh|
The FSSAI license is essential to commence the food business, similarly, it is imperative to renew the license. The license is issued for a validity of 1 year or 5 years, so the business must apply for renewal 30 days prior to the expiry of the current license.
When the FSSAI authorities issue the FSSAI registration certificate, they will send the certificate on the mail ID of the FBOs. The FBOs can also download the FSSAI registration certificate by logging into the FoSCoS website and clicking on the ‘Issued’ tab on the dashboard.
The FSSAI registration certificate details will be displayed on the screen. Click on the FSSAI registration number and the FSSAI Registration certificate will open with the download button on the screen. Click here for detailed information on how to download FSSAI registration certificate.
The FSSAI registration certificate will contain the name and address of the FBO, address of the food business premises, kind of business and the period of validity.
An FSSAI license can be acquired for a period ranging anywhere from 1 year to 5 years. The FSSAI has prescribed different validity periods for different licenses and food products. Your fee also varies according to the food license and the validity period.
You need to renew your FSSAI Registration/license before the expiry of its validity period. In case you end up missing the date of renewal of the application, you will have to apply for a fresh FSSAI license if you wish to continue your food business operations.
Yes, you can convert a manually issued license to an online one during the renewal process. You can approach the concerned designated officer of that area. A designated officer can then create a User id and issue a system-generated license number which can be renewed through an online process to you.
The FSS (Licensing & Registration) Regulations, 2011, licenses and registrations are granted to Food Business Operators in a 3 tier system based on the turnover and food manufacturing capacity limit. The three licenses are – FSSAI Basic Registration, FSSAI State license and FSSAI Central License.
All Food Business Operators and, including medical stores, have to get FSSAI license/registration. It is mandatory, and non-compliance may result in heavy penalties.
If you intend to make changes to your license, you can do so. If you wish to make changes to the information in the FSSAI license, you can do so by filing the application for modification. A modification fee may apply which is equal to a one-year license fee. There are no charges levied for changes to other parts of the license.
An improvement notice is if a Food Business Operator fails to comply with the food regulations set in the FSS Act, 2006. An improvement notice can be issued by a Designated Officer (DO) of the food safety department.
If the food business operator has failed to comply with an improvement notice, his/her licence can be suspended by the FSSAI Designated Officer (DO), after allowing him/her to show cause.
Yes, any Food Business Operator (FBO) can appeal to the State Commissioner of Food Safety, if he/she is aggrieved by the improvement notice or suspension/cancellation of licence. The decision of the Food and Safety Commissioner shall be final. Alternatively, an FBO can also approach the Food Safety Appellate Tribunal/ High Court of their respective States/UTs to challenge the notice.