FOOD LICENSE IN INDIA

January 22, 2020

The above image is the logo of the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI).

In India, any individual or an entity proposing to begin with a food business must obtain a food license or a registration from the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI). Approximately 90% of food products have a prescribed specification by FSSAI. Only the sea products and the production involving fishermen and farmers are out of the scope of FSSAI. It generally takes two months to obtain the FSSAI License and approximately six months for the launch of product approval in the market.
IMPORTANCE:
1. Consumer confidence is the primary and the largest asset for gaining the point for the food authorities. A product’s packaging speaks volumes about the product quality and in a way informs the consumers about the food safety standards.
2. The primary focus is a public health

TYPES OF LICENSES:
1. BASIC REGISTRATION
2. STATE LICENSE
3. CENTRAL LICENSE

For Basic FSSAI Registration:
The petty and small-sized food business operators like manufacturers, transporters, storage units, distributer, marketers, retailers, etc. are required to acquire a Basic FSSAI Registration which is issued by the State Government for a minimum period of one year and a maximum of 5 years. It is mostly for the units having an annual turnover of less than 12 lakh. The rest depends on the eligibility, the FBO can thus fall under either the State FSSAI License or the Basic Registration.

Documents required for Basic FSSAI – Food License:
• Photo of Food Business Operator
• Document for Identity Proof like Ration Card, Voter ID Card, PAN Card, Driving License, Passport, Aadhar Card, Senior Citizen Card, Department Issued ID
• Supporting Documents (if any):- NOC by Municipality/Panchayat, Health NOC
Registration Procedure
1. FSSAI registration is initiated by submitting Form A (application) to food and safety department.
2. This application can be accepted or it may be rejected by the Department within 7 days from the application date and the fact has to be intimated to the applicant in writing
3. If the application is accepted, then the department will grant a registration certificate with the registration number and the photo of the applicant.
4. FBO should prominently display the certificate of registration at the place of business during the business hours.

FEES STRUCTURE:
1. new registration certificate – 100/year
2. renewal of registration certificate – 100/year
3. duplicate of registration certificate – 10% of the applicable certificate fee

Suspension and Cancellation of Food License
Under the below-mentioned circumstances, the food license can either be cancelled or suspended:
• Food poisoning outbreaks that are associated with the spread of the disease.
• Serious food complaints in cases where the consumer’s safety is affected.
• Food Business Operator’s non-compliant premises.
• Serious violations of the FSSAI rules and compliances.
• A violation in case there is a history of non-compliance of FSSAI safety rules and requirements.
• Non- compliance with an improvement or other legal notice without reasonable excuse.
• Interrupting an officer.
(WEBSITE: https://foodlicensing.fssai.gov.in/index.aspx)

For State FSSAI License
The authority has guided the food business operators, having an annual turnover of more than 12 lakh, like small to medium-sized manufacturers, storage units, transporters, marketers, retailers, distributors, etc to obtain the State FSSAI License. It is issued by the respective State Government having a minimum validity of one year and a maximum of 5 yrs.
Eligibility for State FSSAI License
The State FSSAI License can be taken by the following food business operators:
1. Meat Processing Units
2. Proprietary Foods
3. Slaughtering Units
4. Restaurants
5. Hotels
6. Food Processing Units including retailers and repackers
7. Dairy Units, including Milk Chilling Units that are equipped to handle and process.
8. Vegetable Oil Processing Units and the Units that produce vegetable oil through the process of solvent extraction and refineries, including Oil Expeller Unit.

Documents for FSSAI State License
The required documents for obtaining State FSSAI license are as follows:
• Form-B duly completed and signed by the Proprietor.
• Blueprint or layout of the area location.
• Proof of possession of premises.
• Partnership affidavit of Proprietorship.
• Contact details of the Directors.
• List and details of the types of equipment and machinery.
• Proprietor’s photo ID and Address Proof issued by the Government of India. In case of a company, the Directors photo ID and address proof.
• List of food category that has to be manufactured.
• Authority letter with name and address of the responsible person.
• NOC and Copy of License from the manufacturer.
• Food Safety Management System Plan or Certificate.

Registration Procedure
Procedure for State License Application
1. Before applying for a State FSSAI License it is important to check the eligibility criteria as mentioned by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.
2. After successfully checking the eligibility criteria the next step is to furnish the application form for obtaining the State FSSAI License. Every data provided to the department must be correct and appropriate.
3. Remember that the generic names must be mentioned for the products and not the brand names.
4. All the products as mentioned in the license must be approved as per the FSS Act, 2006.
5. At last, you will be asked for how many years you want to apply. You have to choose the appropriate period of time for which you wish to take the license.
6. Post-filing the form, the prescribed fees have to pay either through an online portal or by submitting the demand draft at the FSSAI state office.

For Central FSSAI License
Food business operators who have a turnover greater than 20 crores like large manufacturers, 100% export oriented units, importers, operators in the Central Government agencies, airports, seaports, etc are enforced to obtain a Central Food License issued by the Central Government. Also, the FBO’s are directed to obtain the Central License for their head office and if they operate in more than one state. The minimum tenure of this license is one year and the maximum is 5 years.

Eligibility for Central FSSAI License
The Central FSSAI License can be taken by the following food business operators:
1. Dairy Units, including Milk Chilling Units that are equipped to handle and process.
2. Slaughtering Units
3. Proprietary Foods
4. Food Processing Units that include retailers and repackers.
5. Vegetable Oil Processing Units and the Units that produce vegetable oil through the process of solvent extraction and refineries, including Oil Expeller Unit.

Documents Required for FSSAI Central License
The required documents for obtaining Central FSSAI license are as follows:
• Form-B duly completed and signed by the proprietor or owner.
• Blueprint or layout of the area location.
• Contact details of the Directors.
• List and details of the types of equipment and machinery.
• Proprietor’s photo ID and address proof issued by the Government of India. In the case of a company, the Directors photo ID and address proof.
• Analysis of water report from a recognized/public health laboratory.
• Proof of possession of premises.
• Pesticide residues report of water in case of units manufacturing mineral or carbonated water from recognized/public health.
• NOC and copy of the license from the manufacturer.
• Food Safety Management System plan or certificate.
• NOC/PA issued by FSSAI
• IE Code issued by DGFT for importers.
• FSSAI Declaration Form.
• Source of milk, if applicable.
• Supporting proof of turnover, if applicable.
• Source of meat and meat processing units, if applicable.
• NOC from the municipality and local body, if applicable.
• MCA Incorporation Certificate, if applicable.
• Certificate provided by Ministry of Tourism, if applicable.
• Supporting proof of turnover for vehicles, if applicable.

Procedure for Central License Application
1. If according to the eligibility criteria, one is directed to get a Central FSSAI License then they must fill out the application form according to the guidelines as prescribed by FSSAI. It must be taken care that every data provided must be correct, appropriate and authentic.
2. Remeber that the generic names must be mentioned for the products and not the brand names.
3. All the products as mentioned in the license must be approved as per the FSS Act, 2006.
4. At last, you will be asked for how many years you want to apply. You have to choose the appropriate period of time for which you wish to take the license.
5. Post-filing the form, the prescribed fees have to pay either through an online portal or by submitting the demand draft at the FSSAI state office.

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