The FSSAI is a government body tasked with ensuring food safety in India. The Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006 introduced to improve the hygiene and quality of food has brought tremendous changes in the food industry. The Food Safety & Standards Authority of India is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India which regulates and supervise food safety in India. The FSSAI is also responsible for making and implementing the rules and measures to eliminate hazardous elements and ensuring food safety for the consumers. One of the primary roles of FSSAI is to issue license and registration known as FSSAI license to entities indulged in any kind of food business.
FSSAI License and Registration:
All business entities that come under the ambit of ‘Food Business Operators’ need to obtain FSSAI license or registration to undertake any kind of food manufacturing, packaging, storing, distributing or selling business in India. FSSAI registration is a simple certificate that validates that the business is operating as per the FSSAI rules and regulations. A FSSAI license is a 14 digit license number that is printed on the packaging and labeling of a food product authenticating that the product complies with the food safety and standards.
Why FSSAI License or Registration is important?
FSSAI registration act as a sign of goodwill and trust as the customers can rely on the quality of food served to them. Obtaining a FSSAI license or registration is the primary step in starting any food business in India, whether it is to start a restaurant, a food truck business, a food delivery business, or any food manufacturing business. Without FSSAI registration or license, one cannot operate a food business legally in India.
Types of FSSAI License:
FSSAI issues three types of food license or registration depending upon the scale of the business which include the following:
Basic FSSAI Registration: Basic FSSAI registration is suitable for a business with an annual turnover of up to Rs. 12 lakh.
State FSSAI License: A medium scale business with an expected annual turnover of more than Rs. 12 lakh and up to Rs. 20 crore can go for State license.
Central FSSAI License: It is an option for large scale business with an expected annual turnover of more than Rs. 20 crore.
Basic FSSAI Registration Procedure:
Food business operators having an annual turnover of upto Rs. 12 lakh can file the FSSAI registration form with the state government along with the requisite documents. Petty food manufactures and small sized manufacturing, processing, distributing, selling or storage units, restaurants, units, canteens, caterers, wholesalers etc. are covered under this category. A FSSAI registration certificate is issued if the application is accepted. License number is not allotted in case of basic FSSAI registration.
FSSAI State License Procedure:
Food business operators like small to medium sized manufacturing, processing, distributing, selling or storage units, restaurants, hotels, canteens, caterers, wholesalers etc. having an annual turnover of more than Rs. 12 lakh and less than Rs. 20 crore need to obtain a FSSAI State License. A 14 digit FSSAI license number is issued when the application is accepted. In case the business has operations in more than one state, separate FSSAI State License must be obtained in every state.
FSSAI Central License Procedure:
Food business operators such as importers, export oriented units, large scale manufacturing, processing, distributing, selling or storage units, restaurants, hotels, canteens, caterers, wholesalers etc. having an annual turnover of more than 20 crore, operators in the central government agencies, airports, seaports etc. are required to obtain a Central FSSAI License which is issued by the central government.
Documents required for FSSAI registration:
The common documents required for basic registration include the following:
- Latest passport size photos of the applicant.
- Identification proof for e.g. Votor ID card, Aadhaar Card, Driving License etc.
- PAN card of the applicant.
- Address proof for e.g. electricity bill, gas bill, telephone bill or mobile bill.
- Copy of property papers if the property is owned by the applicant.
- Copy of rent agreement and landlord’s non-objection certificate if the property is not owned by the applicant.
Additional documents required for FSSAI State/Central License:
Other documents required to obtain a FSSAI State or Central License include the following:
- The list of food products to be manufactured, in case of manufacturing.
- NOC obtained from the manufacturer, in case of re-labelers.
- Food safety management system plan.
- Details of source of the raw material for meat and meat processing units.
- List of equipment and machinery.
- Layout plan of the processing unit.
- In case of company, list of directors and their relevant information.
- Partnership deed, in case of a partnership firm.
- Analysis report of the water to be used as an active ingredient.
- NOC from local authorities and State Pollution Control Board.
Consequences of not obtaining FSSAI License and Registration:
A food business must comply with the FSSAI Act rules and regulations in order to smoothly operate their business. Food business operators are subject to inspection by food safety officers to ensure that the FSSAI rules and regulations are adhered to. In case of non-compliance and failure to obtain a FSSAI License or registration, the business will be liable to pay heavy penalty fine and can even face cancellation of the license or registration.
FSSAI registration plays an important role in formulating the controlling procedures for maintaining the food quality levels in order to ensure safety and catering satisfaction to each consumer. Majority of the food products have a prescribed specification by FSSAI. Only the sea products and the production involving fisherman and farmers are out of the scope of FSSAI. It is thus responsible for promoting the public health among the masses by keeping a regular check.
Associate at Aggarwals & Associates, S.A.S. Nagar, Mohali