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Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and its regulation in India.
FSSAI regulates and checks for safe food manufacture, storage and handling practices of Food Business Operators (FBOs). This body is also known as the Food Authority in India. FSSAI has been created for laying down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import in order to ensure the availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.
FSSAI registration and license is compulsory before starting any food business. It is a 14-digit registration or a license number which is printed on all the food packages. Every manufacturer and trader, who is involved in any kind of food business, and even restaurants, must obtain FSSAI registration or license.
This registration or license ensures the quality checks of the food products manufactured or traded by those businesses and thus increases the credibility of such businesses. This step helps in reducing the chances of adulteration in food products and substandard products.
FSSAI License is valid for a minimum period of one year and for a maximum of up to five years. Failing to obtain the license will bring legal consequences and would further deter the growth of the business.
These are some of the benefits of obtaining FSSAI registration and consequences of non-compliance for obtaining the FSSAI registration which calls out for the reasons why a food business operator must obtain FSSAI basic registration or license depending upon the nature and type of the business.
For obtaining FSSAI license or registration, you are required to compile and arrange certain documents. This depends entirely on the type of food license or registration, based on the turnover and area of operation.
Food Business Operators are required to apply for food license of different types based on their turnover, scale of business and the type of activity. There are some more criteria upon which the type of FSSAI registration depends - whether basic, state license or central license.
These businesses need to apply either for a simple registration or for a license (central or state). Whether a business needs registration or license (central or state) depends upon the following criteria:
FSSAI basic Registration
This is required for small businesses or startups which have annual turnover below Rs. 12 lakhs. These are petty retailers dealing in food products. It includes food sale done by any temporary stall holder or any person who manufactures or sells any food article by himself.
Also, small scale businesses and cottage industries are required to obtain FSSAI basic registration. Such basic registration can be upgraded to state license in case the turnover increases or such changes are made to the business for which either state or central FSSAI license is required.
FSSAI License: State
This license is applicable to mid-sized businesses which have annual turnover between Rs. 12 lakhs to 20 crores. Food business operators like medium-sized manufacturing units, storage, transporters, retailers, marketers, distributors, etc. need to take FSSAI Registration by the State Government.
FSSAI state license can also be upgraded to central license in case the turnover of the business increases or any such changes are made to the business for which central license is required.
FSSAI License: Central
This license is applicable to large businesses with an annual turnover above Rs. 20 crores. Central license is also required when supply is to be made at the government offices. Further, food business operators like — 100% export oriented units, large manufacturers, importers, food business operators in Central Government Agencies, airport, seaport, etc. need to obtain FSSAI registration.
It is given by the Central government of India. Although the latter mentioned food operators do not have an annual turnover above Rs. 20 crores, they still have to get FSSAI license from the Central Government by reason of being export or import oriented units or food business operators in Central Government Agencies, airport, seaport, etc.
This is the basic registration which needs to be obtained in case of small or petty businesses related to food. The number of documents required for obtaining basic FSSAI registration is comparatively lesser than the number of documents required for obtaining FSSAI central or state license. List of the documents required for obtaining basic FSSAI registration is given below:
Documents related to personal information of the food business operator
PAN Card - a copy of the Permanent Account Number Card is mandatory for the identity proof of the proprietor/partners/directors.
Copy of Aadhaar Card/Voter Identity Card/Driving License of the proprietor/ partners/directors (either of the three identity cards is required).
Passport size photograph of the proprietor/partners/directors (as the case may be).
Documents related to the registered office from where the food business is operated
Latest utility bill of the place of business (electricity/water bill). This document acts as a proof that operations related to the food business are taking place at the said registered office.
A copy of property paper (in case the property is owned) or copy of rent agreement (in case the property is rented). This document acts as proof of possession of the business premises by the proprietor/partners/directors.
Certain additional documents in case of the basic registration
Form A - it must be appropriately completed and signed by all directors/partners/ proprietor/ executive members.
Declaration regarding the Food Safety Management System (FSMS) on the letterhead of the firm or company.
Proof of income determining the annual turnover of the food business operator. This proof is required to ensure that the basic registration is suitable and enough depending upon the annual turnover of the business and no state or central food license is required.
The nomination of the person appointed by the company in Form IX and the copy of Board Resolution.
Self-declaration by the director.
Affidavit on non-judicial stamp paper.
For central/state food license, the documents related to the personal information of the food business operators and the documents related to the registered office from where the food business is being operated are almost the same as what is required at the time of FSSAI basic registration.
Hence, the same is not being mentioned repeatedly. However, in addition to those documents, certain other documents are also required for obtaining central/state food license and these documents are not required at the time of basic FSSAI Registration. These documents are:
Duly filled Form - B must be correctly and appropriately completed and signed (in duplicate) by the directors/partners/proprietor/executive member of society.
List of Partners/Proprietor/Directors/Executive Members of Society/Trust with complete address, contact details and their identity proof (mandatory for companies only).
Blueprint plan/layout design of the manufacturing or processing units. This plan shows the dimensions in metres/square metres and operation-wise area allocation (mandatory for manufacturing and processing units only).
Name and list of all the equipment and machinery along with their number, installed capacity and horsepower used (mandatory for manufacturing and processing units only).
Photo ID and address proof issued by Government Authority of Proprietor/Partners/ Directors/Authorized Signatory (optional)
List of food category desired to be manufactured (in case of manufacturers only).
Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association towards the constitution of the firm. For Memorandum of Association, three pages need to be uploaded; the first page will be the certificate of incorporation, the second page will be the authorization of the food business activity and the third page will be the list of directors with their addresses.
Partnership Deed/Self-declaration or Affidavit of Proprietorship (in case the business is operated in other premises or in case of a partnership firm). Self-declaration for proprietorship can be obtained in pdf format here.
Food Safety Management System plan or certificate (if any). This can be obtained from the nearest notary or even can be downloaded online here.
The nomination of the person appointed by the company in Form IX and the copy of Board Resolution. This can be obtained online.
NOC from the Municipal Corporations or local authorities (optional).
NOC and Copy of license from the manufacturer (mandatory for re-labellers and repackers only). Declaration and undertaking for Repacker/Repackagers can be obtained here.
NOC/PA document issued by FSSAI (In case of multiple documents, they can be merged into one document and then can be uploaded while submitting the documents required for obtaining a license).
Source of milk or procurement plan for milk including the location of the milk collection centre, etc. in case of milk and milk products processing units (wherever applicable).
Source of raw material for meat and meat processing plants (wherever applicable).
Pesticide residues report of water in case of units manufacturing packaged drinking water, packaged mineral water and/or carbonated water from a recognized/public health laboratory.
Authority letter with name and address of responsible person nominated by the manufacturer along with alternative responsible person indicating the powers vested with them viz assisting the officers in inspections, collection of samples, packing and dispatch (mandatory for manufacturing and processing units only).
Analysis report (Chemical and Bacteriological) of water to be used as an ingredient in food from a recognized/ public health laboratory to confirm the portability (mandatory for manufacturing and processing units only).
Proof of possession of premises (sale deed/rent agreement/electricity bill).
Recall plan wherever applicable, with details on whom the product is distributed (optional).
Supporting documentary proof of income determining the annual turnover of the food business operator. This document is necessary to ensure that the central/state FSSAI license is essential on the basis of the turnover requirements.
IE code (i.e. Import Export Code) document issued by DGFT (The Directorate General of Foreign Trade) which is an agency of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Government of India, responsible for the execution of the import and export policies of India.
Certificate provided by the Ministry of Tourism (HRACC)(applicable in the case of Hotels only)
Ministry of Commerce Certificate for 100% EOU (for obtaining a central license only).
Copy of certificate obtained under the Coop Act, 1861/ Multi-State Coop Act, 2002 in case of co-operatives (wherever applicable).
For transporters, supporting documentary proof for turnover or self-declaration of the number of vehicles (Mandatory for transporter only).
Kitchen layout plan.
Medical certificates of employees.
A production unit photograph is also needed to be uploaded.
Declaration form. This can be downloaded here.
Any other document which may be demanded by the authority granting the FSSAI central or state license on the basis of the requirement of each business.
Anyway, among all of these documents, there are certain documents which need not be submitted by every food business operator and only some of the businesses are required to submit those documents such as manufacturers, processing units, hotels, etc.
Also, submission of each document, apart from certain common documents required in all the cases, is subject to the type of license which a business would like to obtain i.e. basic FSSAI registration, FSSAI central license or FSSAI state license. Thus, before obtaining FSSAI registration or license, these details must be kept in mind.