As per the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), every food business operator (FBO) in the country must obtain an FSSAI registration or license. The FSSAI registration procedure is mandatory for every individual involved in the food business such as manufacturing, processing, storage, distribution, and sale of food products in India. The FSSAI creates more accountability on the FBO to maintain the quality of food products, thereby curtailing food adulteration and the sale of sub-standard products. In this blog post, we will discuss the FSSAI registration process, the documents required, eligibility criteria, and the benefits of obtaining an FSSAI license or registration.
Brief overview of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
If you’re in the food business in India, then you’ve probably heard of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). It’s an autonomous statutory body that maintains food safety and standards in India. The FSSAI was established in 2008 under the Food Safety and Standards Act, which aims to ensure the availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption. The FSSAI’s main function is to lay down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale, and import. It also provides scientific advice and technical support to central and state governments in matters related to food safety and nutrition. The FSSAI’s ultimate goal is to enhance consumer trust and awareness by ensuring food safety and quality. Whether you’re a small-scale food business or a large one, FSSAI registration is mandatory. FSSAI registration requirements, eligibility criteria, and the different types of licenses available are important to understand to ensure that you’re in compliance with FSSAI regulations.
Importance of FSSAI registration for food businesses in India
FSSAI registration is an essential component of running a food business in India. Obtaining a license not only ensures the quality and safety of food products but also builds goodwill and creates awareness among consumers. FSSAI helps to monitor the growing issue of food adulteration and mixing of additives in the food industry, providing a single point of reference for all aspects of food safety in the country. It regulates the production, distribution, storage, sale, and import of food enterprises, ensuring compliance through checks and fines. Having an FSSAI license helps businesses gain credibility, attract more customers, and even secure investment opportunities. Non-compliance with FSSAI rules and regulations could lead to civil liabilities, cancellation of registration/license, and tarnish the reputation of the business. Hence, FSSAI registration is of utmost importance for food safety, building trust among customers, and expanding businesses in India.
II. FSSAI Registration Process
Who needs to register for FSSAI
According to the regulations of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), any individual or entity that manufactures, stores, transports or distributes food needs to register for an FSSAI license or registration. This includes various types of food businesses such as manufacturers, repackers, retailers, distributors, suppliers, marketers, importers, exporters, e-commerce platforms, wholesalers, restaurants, canteens, messes, and food vending agencies. Even small-scale industries with annual turnovers up to 12 lakhs are required to register for an FSSAI license or registration. The FSSAI registration process aims to ensure that all food businesses adhere to the safety and quality standards set by the authority. It plays a vital role in facilitating business expansion and investment opportunities while also enhancing consumer trust and awareness. By registering for FSSAI, food businesses can reap numerous legal benefits while ensuring food safety and quality.
Types of FSSAI registration licenses (state and central)
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issues three types of registration licenses based on the ultimate business turnover. The FSSAI State License is the most suitable license for small to medium-sized businesses having an annual turnover of more than INR 12 lakhs and up to INR 20 crores. The FSSAI Central License is for large size businesses with an annual turnover of more than INR 20 crores. Companies dealing with import, export, or operating at airports, etc. are also in need of the Central License. The FSSAI Basic License, on the other hand, is for businesses whose annual turnover is less than INR 12 lakhs. The certificate is valid for 1-5 years, depending on the issuer, and is renewable thereafter. The government fees and types of documents required for each type of license also vary. It’s essential to select the appropriate FSSAI category based on the nature of your business and its annual turnover to ensure that you fulfill all legal obligations.
Eligibility criteria for FSSAI registration
The criteria for FSSAI registration vary depending on the turnover and business category of the food establishment. For entities earning annual revenue of less than 12 Lakh, FSSAI certification is mandatory. This legal certification allows business owners to conduct required activities without any hassle. For businesses earning between Rs. 12 lakhs and Rs. 20 crores per annum, FSSAI state licenses are mandatory. FSSAI central licenses are required for businesses making over Rs. 20 crores per annum. FSSAI certifications are accessible for micro and small business categories. Obtaining an FSSAI license can help regulate the manufacturing, storing, distribution, and selling of imported food and can provide food businesses with benefits like obtaining funds from investors, ensuring quality products for customers, and complying with hygiene and quality standards. FSSAI certifications are available online, and the FBO must apply for renewal 30 days before the expiry date
Documents required for FSSAI registration
Obtaining FSSAI registration is a necessary requirement for anyone who wants to operate a food business in India. To apply for FSSAI registration, you will need to submit a set of mandatory documents. The documents required will depend on the nature and size of your business, and whether you are applying for a basic registration or a license. The mandatory documents include a FSMS certificate, a document updating the details of nominee, and modification of license. Other documents required may include a copy of your PAN card, a proof of address for your business premises, a list of directors or executive members of your firm, and food safety and quality management details. These documents will be scrutinized by the Department before granting the FSSAI registration certificate. It is important to ensure that you have all the necessary documents in place and that they are uploaded online on the FoSCoS portal or submitted physically with the application.
III. Benefits of FSSAI Registration
Legal benefits for food businesses
Obtaining an FSSAI license provides numerous legal benefits for food businesses in India. First and foremost, it ensures that the business is compliant with all food safety regulations and standards set by the FSSAI, which can prevent costly legal penalties and fines. Additionally, having an FSSAI license helps build goodwill and enhances consumer trust and awareness by signaling that the business is committed to providing safe and high-quality food products. It can also facilitate business expansion and investment opportunities, as having a valid FSSAI license is often a requirement for obtaining loans and other financial support. Moreover, a valid FSSAI license can increase the credibility and reliability of a food business, thereby attracting more customers and boosting sales. Overall, obtaining an FSSAI license can provide various legal benefits that can help the business establish a strong presence in the food industry while prioritizing consumer safety and well-being.
Enhancing consumer trust and awareness
The importance of enhancing consumer trust and awareness cannot be understated in the food industry. With the introduction of FSSAI regulations, consumers have become more aware of the importance of food safety and quality. A FSSAI license serves as a certification that a food business complies with food safety regulations and prioritizes quality above all else. This certification helps to build customer trust and promotes a positive reputation for the business. By ensuring compliance with FSSAI regulations, businesses can provide clear and accurate information about the contents of their products, including nutritional information and ingredients. This shift towards transparency instills consumer confidence, and businesses that meet the demands of health-conscious consumers with specific dietary needs are likely to thrive in the current market. Ultimately, businesses that invest in FSSAI registration demonstrate a commitment to the safety and quality of their products, enhancing consumer trust and awareness.
Ensuring food safety and quality
Ens food safety and quality is crucial for any food business operator (FBO) in India, especially for those who sell products to consumers. FSSAI registration helps FBOs maintain the highest standard of hygiene and safety when it comes to food processing, handling, and storage. With FSSAI registration, FBOs are required to go through food testing, which ensures that their products are clean and safe to consume. Additionally, registration provides an opportunity to improve consumer trust and awareness regarding the safety and quality of products sold. This not only benefits the FBO but also creates a better consumer experience, which can lead to better sales, business expansion, and investment opportunities. With FSSAI registration, FBOs can benefit from enhanced legal protections and compliance with regulations, which ultimately leads to better safety, growth, and sustainability.
Facilitating business expansion and investment opportunities
Facilitating business expansion and investment opportunities is vital for any food business operator in India. FSSAI registration not only ensures food safety and quality but also helps businesses grow and scale upwards. By obtaining an FSSAI license, businesses can establish a reputation for themselves as trustworthy and reliable, which enhances consumer trust and awareness. Moreover, having FSSAI registration makes it easier for businesses to expand their operations to new locations or even explore investment opportunities. With the government’s push towards ease of doing business in India, obtaining FSSAI registration can be a breeze with the right guidance and documentation. This will also help businesses comply with the regulatory framework and avoid hefty penalties that could be imposed for non-compliance. Overall, FSSAI registration is a key step for food businesses looking to establish themselves in India and grow their operations.
IV. Renewal and Modification of FSSAI License
Validity period of FSSAI license/registration
The FSSAI license/registration is essential for food businesses in India. It is issued for a validity period of 1 to 5 years, depending on the preference of the food business operator (FBO). After the validity period, the FBO must renew the license to continue their food business. The renewal process must be initiated before 30 days of the expiry date, which can be done as early as 180 days before the expiry. The FBO can renew the license on FoSCoS with a form A or form B, depending on the license they wish to renew. The license number is a 14-digit number that must be displayed on food packages or at the place of business. Failure to renew the license will lead to penalties levied on the FBO. The FSSAI allows the renewal of licenses for businesses that were affected during the COVID-19 lockdown under certain conditions. The renewal process after the expiry date incurs a late fee or penalty along with the stipulated renewal fee.
Renewal process and timeline
Ren your FSSAI license is a crucial step in ensuring the continuity of your food business. To avoid any disruptions in your operations, it is advised to initiate the renewal process at least 30 days prior to the expiration date of the license. The renewal process is quite straightforward and can be done online through the FSSAI website. The timeline for renewal varies based on the duration applied for, ranging from 1 year to 5 years. Businesses should note that they will incur a late fee of Rs. 100 per day if they fail to initiate the renewal process 30 days before the expiration date. The renewal cost depends on the duration of the license applied for and can be paid online. The FSSAI department will verify your application, and the renewed license will be sent to your email ID. By renewing your FSSAI license, you not only adhere to regulations but also maintain consumer trust and ensure the safety and quality of your products.
Modification process and fees
The process of modifying an FSSAI license or registration is quite simple and can be completed online through the FoSCoS website. First, the licensed food business operator (FBO) must fill out an application and submit it along with the necessary supporting documents. The type of modification needed will determine the fee structure, with Form C modifications costing Rs.1000 plus any difference in the license fee due to changes in production capacity. Non-Form C modifications do not require any fee. It’s important to note that any modification application is subject to scrutiny by the licensing authority, who may request clarification or even inspect the premises before granting approval. Additionally, any change in pre-printed packaging materials must be requested and approved separately by the FSSAI headquarters, with a fee and certain conditions for use. Overall, the process is designed to ensure that licensed FBOs keep their information up to date and comply with food safety standards.
V. FSSAI Compliance System (FoSCoS)
Introduction to FoSCoS
FooS is the new online platform introduced by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to streamline the process of FSSAI registration for food business operators (FBOs) in India. The platform replaces the old online Food Licensing and Registration System (FLRS) and aims to simplify and speed up the registration process. The FoSCoS portal provides an end-to-end solution for all FBOs who need to register and obtain necessary licenses like basic license, state license, or central license. With FoSCoS, FBOs can easily fill out the registration forms online and submit the required documents. The platform also enables the FSSAI to monitor and regulate the food industry with greater efficiency as all information is stored in a central database. This helps to ensure food safety and quality, enhance business expansion and investment opportunities, and increase consumer trust and awareness. The introduction of FoSCoS demonstrates the FSSAI’s commitment to improving the food safety and standards in India while keeping up with the latest technological advancements.
Replacing the existing online Food Licensing and Registration System (FLRS)
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) recently launched a new Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS) to replace the existing online Food Licensing and Registration System (FLRS) in selected states and union territories. This new system is intended to provide Food Business Operators (FBOs) a one-stop-shop for regulatory compliance transactions with the department. Through FoSCoS, FBOs can easily modify their FSSAI license and registration certificate by selecting from a list of standardized products to replace the previously used text box method. FoSCoS will also feature sample management, improvement notices, adjudications, and audit management systems in the future. While FoSCoS initially launched in select states and union territories, it will eventually cover all license/registrations for all FBOs in the country. The launch of FoSCoS helps streamline the process for FBOs, ensuring better food safety and quality for consumers and facilitating business expansion and investment opportunities for FBOs.
VI. Documents required for FSSAI Registration in India
1. Form A: This is the application form that needs to be filled by the applicant.
2. Photo ID proof of the applicant: This could be any government-issued ID such as Passport, Voter ID, Aadhaar Card, or Driving License.
3. Address proof of the applicant’s premises: This could be any government-issued document such as Rental Agreement, Electricity Bill, or Telephone Bill.
4. Ownership proof of the premises: This could be any government-issued document such as Property Tax receipt, NOC from the landlord, or Sale Deed.
5. Food category list for the business: This includes the list of food products that will be manufactured, processed, or sold.
6. Food safety management plan: This is a document that outlines the safety measures that will be taken to ensure the quality of food.
7. Partnership Deed/Memorandum of Association (MOA) and Articles of Association (AOA): This is required for companies and partnerships.
8. List of equipment used for food processing.
VII. Advantages of FSSAI Registration in India
1. It is mandatory for businesses dealing with food products to obtain FSSAI registration, which ensures that the food is safe for consumption.
2. FSSAI registration helps build credibility and trust among customers, as it is a mark of compliance with food safety standards.
3. FSSAI registration helps businesses in expanding their market, as it is often a prerequisite for trade licenses and permits.
4. FSSAI registration provides access to specialized training and resources related to food safety.
VIII. Disadvantages of FSSAI Registration in India
1. The process of obtaining FSSAI registration can be time-consuming and complex, especially for small businesses.
2. The cost of obtaining FSSAI registration can be high, which can be a burden on small businesses.
IX. Process of FSSAI Registration in India
1. Fill the FSSAI Registration Application form.
2. Submit the application along with the required documents.
3. The authority will inspect the premises, and issue a registration certificate.
X. Types of FSSAI Registration in India
1. Basic FSSAI Registration: For businesses with an annual turnover of up to Rs. 12 lakhs.
2. State FSSAI Registration: For businesses with an annual turnover between Rs. 12 lakhs and Rs. 20 crores.
3. Central FSSAI Registration: For businesses with an annual turnover exceeding Rs. 20 crores.
XI. Frequently Asked Questions about FSSAI Registration in India
1. Who needs FSSAI Registration?
-Any business involved in the manufacturing, processing, packaging, or sale of food products needs FSSAI registration.
2. What is the validity of FSSAI registration?
-FSSAI registration is valid for up to 5 years.
3. Is it mandatory to renew FSSAI registration?
-Yes, FSSAI registration needs to be renewed every 5 years.
4. Can FSSAI registration be obtained online?
-Yes, FSSAI registration can be obtained online by visiting the FSSAI website.
5. What are the consequences of not obtaining FSSAI Registration?
-Non-compliance with FSSAI registration can result in penalty, closure of the business, or even imprisonment.