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Introduction: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issues a crucial advisory (RCD-11004/1/2020) emphasizing the time-bound processing of license applications. With a focus on specific food categories, the advisory aims to streamline procedures and reduce delays in license issuance.

Detailed Analysis:

1. Background of Advisory: FSSAI previously introduced Risk-Based Inspections through order RCD-02001/9/2021, mandating pre-license inspections for categories like Milk, Meat, Fish, Fortified Rice Kernels, and Slaughter Houses.

2. Identification of Issues: The advisory addresses concerns about Designated Officers (DOs) frequently marking applications for pre-licensing inspections in non-mandatory cases, leading to delays in processing.

3. Advisory Guidelines:

  • FSSAI directs DOs to refrain from pre-license inspections in non-mandatory cases.
  • If inspection is deemed necessary, DOs must provide a written justification for their decision.
  • Inspections in non-mandatory categories should be completed within 15 days of marking; otherwise, the application must be recalled for expedited processing.

4. Commissioners’ Role:

  • Commissioners of Food Safety in States/UTs and Directors of Regional Offices are urged to monitor licensing application pendency through the FoSCoS Dashboard.
  • Strict adherence to timelines, as per regulations and FSSAI orders, is emphasized.

Conclusion: The FSSAI advisory serves as a strategic move to enhance the efficiency of license processing. By delineating guidelines and urging timely actions, it aims to create a smoother regulatory environment. This development showcases FSSAI’s commitment to fostering compliance and ensuring a robust food safety ecosystem.

***

RCD-11004/1/2020-Regulatory-FSSAI
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India
(A Statutory Authority established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006)
(Regulatory Compliance Division)
FDA Bhawna, Kotla Road, New Delhi — 110002
Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS) — https://foscosIssai.gov.in

Dated 21 Feb, 2024

Advisory

Subject: Time-bound processing of applications for Licenses marked for inspections — reg.

FSSAI has issued directions for Risk Based Inspections vide order number RCD-02001/9/2021- Regulatory-FSSAI dated 02nd May 2022 wherein Pre-License inspections have been mandated for the following categories of Manufacturer/Processor:

i. Milk & Milk products

ii. Meat & Meat products

iii. Fish & Fish products

iv. Fortified Rice Kernels(FRKs)

v. Slaughter Houses

In remaining categories of food business, it is already advised that no pre-licensing inspection is required and license may be granted based on the submission of mandatory documents for license.

2. It has come to notice that Designated officers are frequently marking licensing applications for pre-licensing inspection in non-mandatory cases which is delaying the processing of applications and hence grant of license. In some applications pertaining to non-mandatory category, once the scrutiny of documents is completed and application is marked for inspection by the DO, it is observed that inspection is not initiated even after 15 days of marking of inspection. Although, the pendency reflects on FoSCoS Dashboard of both DOs and FSOs, still DOs do not recall applications and reassign inspection for time-bound issuance of licenses.

3. In view of the above, it is advised to all Designated Officers that:

  • No pre-license inspections shall be conducted in cases other than mentioned in the Order for Risk Based Inspection [as mentioned above].
  • In the case where Designated officer believes that it is necessary to conduct inspection in non-mandatory categories, he/she shall record the reason in writing with clear justification.
  • Moreover, once an application is marked for inspection in non-mandatory categories, inspection should be done within 15 In case, inspection is not conducted within 15 days, DO should recall the application back to Document Scrutiny Stage in FoSCoS and grant the License.
  • In case where DO still believes that inspection is necessarily to be conducted prior to grant of license, he/she can reassign the inspection to another FSO or to himself/herself for immediately conducting the inspection without any further delay.

4. Accordingly, it is requested that Commissioners of Food Safety of States / UTs and Directors of Regional Offices, FSSAI shall monitor the pendency of licensing applications under their jurisdiction through FoSCoS Dashboard and instruct the concerned licensing authorities to strictly adhere to the timelines as prescribed under clause 2.1.4 of Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulation 2011 and orders issued by FSSAI from time to time.

(Inoshi Sharma)
Executive Director (Compliance Strategy)

To —

1. Commissioners of Food Safety, all States / UTs
2. Directors of all Regional Offices, FSSAI
3. CTO — with a request to upload on the FSSAI’s website and FoSCoS Announcement Section

Copy for information to

1. Sr. PS to CEO

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