The Food regulator FSSAI recently had stated that its Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS) shall become operational in the entire country from 1st November 2020.
The system is already functioning in 9 States/UTs since June which includes Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat, Odisha, Chandigarh, Goa, Manipur, Puducherry, and Ladakh.
The statement also stated that since 2011, its online FLRS (Food Licensing and Registration System) is the most important factor of the licensing ecosystem. It is operational in every State and 70 lakh licenses/ registrations were issued to date whereas almost 40 lakh licensees/ registrants are actively transacting on it.
The statement said that FSSAI is starting its cloud-based, upgraded new food safety compliance online platform which is known as FoSCoS. It is going to replace the present Food Licensing and Registration System.
What is FoSCoS?
FoSCoS is conceptualized towards providing one point stop for all activities of a food business operator (FBO) with the department for any regulatory compliance transaction. FoSCoS was integrated with the FoSCoRIS mobile application and soon it is going to be integrated with the present IT platforms of FSSAI like INFOLNet, FoSTaC, FICS, FPVIS, etc. However, sample management, improvement notices, adjudications, audit management system, and many more activities/ modules shall be enabled in a phased manner in the upcoming times.
FoSCoS is a new approach that is initiated only for manufacturers of standardized food products. For manufacturers, for non-specified food, supplements/nutraceuticals, proprietary food as well as substances added to food – the approach remains to be as in FLRS. All the other type of businesses which includes catering, transport, storage, etc the licensing/ registration would be based on a broad category approach.
How FosCOS is better than FLRS?
FosCOS is similar in the scheme as to FLRS so that customers have convenience in migrating to FoSCoS. The main change is the shift of procedure of licensing for manufacturers which now will be based on the standardized product list. This would help in a faster grant of licenses and eradicate the errors. The Foscos product selection-based procedure is only for manufacturers of standardized food products. Also, it offered the module for filing an online Annual Return. The return for the FY 2019-2020 is going to be filed online. Now the FBO could file the online returns which exclude postal delays, require to preserve dispatch/receipt proofs as well as disputes relating to the submission of returns resulting in harassment of food business operators. With the start of this approach, mandatory documents were rationalized and several paper-based declarations were replaced with tick-based declarations.
The main theme is to improve the ease of doing business for the food business operators as well as improves the user experience for users. The States/UTs had been given directions for capacity building amongst the officers and Food Business Operators, to make sure the smooth transition from FLRS to FoSCoS.
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