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The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) recently announced an extension for the submission of Annual Returns for the financial year 2023-24 due to technical issues encountered on the Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS) portal.

In compliance with Clause 2.1.13 of the FSS (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011, food manufacturers and importers are required to submit their annual returns by 31st May of each year. However, due to heavy user traffic causing load issues on the FoSCoS portal, some users faced difficulties in meeting the original deadline of 31st May 2024. Consequently, FSSAI decided to extend the submission deadline to 30th June 2024.

The FSSAI directive emphasizes that only online submissions through the FoSCoS dashboard will be accepted, in accordance with the order dated 18th December 2020. This mandate aims to streamline the submission process and enhance compliance with regulatory requirements.

The decision to mandate online submission of annual returns offers several benefits to food business operators (FBOs). It eliminates the need for maintaining physical records, reduces the risk of inadvertent penalties, enables digital reminders for submission, allows for country/state-wise data analysis, and ensures updated data availability for regulatory purposes.

Additionally, the revised format of the Annual Return, integrated into FoSCoS, facilitates compliance with license conditions and regulatory clauses, enhancing targeted enforcement activities with limited staff.

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File No.: 15(31)2020/FoSCoS/RCD/FSSAIpt1-Part(4) (E-7909)
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India
(A Statutory Authority established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006)
(Regulatory Compliance Division)
FDA Bhawan, Kotla Road, New Delhi -110002

Dated, 03rd June, 2024

Subject: Extension of last date for filing Annual Return for FY 2023-24- reg.

Reference is drawn to the Clause 2.1.13 of FSS (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011 which specifies the condition for submission of annual returns by manufacturers and importers by 31st May of every year for the food business activities being handled by them during the previous financial year.

2. As, Food Safety Compliance System [FoSCoS] portal has encountered load issues due to heavy user traffic, some users may have faced issues in submitting Annual Return by last date i.e. 31st May 2024. Accordingly, it has been decided to extend the last date for submission of Annual Return till 30t11 June, 2024.

3. Further, as per order dated 18-12-2020, it is reiterated that only online mode of submission of Annual Return through FoSCoS dashboard [https://foscosfssai.gov.in] will be accepted.

4. This issues with the approval of the Competent Authority.

(Inoshi Sharma)
Executive Director (CS)
Email: ed-office@fssai.gov.in

To:

1. All Food Business Operators

2. Commissioners of Food Safety of all States/UTs

3. Directors of all Regional Offices, FSSAI

Copy for information to:

1. PPS to Chairperson, FSSAI

2. PS to CEO, FSSAI

3. CTO – for uploading on FSSAI website

No. 15(31)2020/FoSCoS/RCD/FSSAI
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India
(A Statutory Authority established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006)
(Regulatory Compliance Division)
FDA Bhawan, Kotla Road, New Delhi – 110002

Dated, the 18th December 2020

Subject: Mandatory online submission of Annual Return by Food Businesses wef FY 2020-21 – reg.

Clause 2.1.13 (1) of Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011 mandates —

“Every manufacturer and importer who has been issued a license shall on or before 31st May of each year,

submit a return electronically or in physical form as may be prescribed by the concerned Food Safety Commissioner, in ‘Form D-1’ provided in Schedule 2 of these Regulations to the Licensing Authority in respect of each class of food products handled by him during the previous financial year.

Provided however that every licensee engaged in manufacturing of milk and/or milk products shall file half yearly returns for the periods 1st April to 30th September and 1st October to 31st March of every financial year in the form D-2, as provided in Schedule-2 of these regulations. Such returns will be filed within a month from the end of the period.”

2. In the absence of any online provision for Food Business Operators to file returns online, presently, the returns (whether annual or half-yearly) are being submitted physically to the authorities. In the Covid pandemic phase, the same has been facilitated by allowing the submission by email and the last date has been extended till 31St December 2020 vide FSSAI order number 15(6)2020/FLRS/RCD/FSSAI dated 31st July 2020. However, FBOs are required to maintain the record of submission of returns. An inadvertent lapse of non-submission or loss of submission proof renders FBOs liable for hefty penalties.

3. The revised format of Annual Return has already been incorporated in Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS) and utility for online submission of Annual Return is being used by food business voluntarily. The provision of mandatory online submission of returns would not only facilitate the food business operators but also ensure ease of doing business and help in creation of national level database. It would further lead to other benefits such as:

  • The food business need not maintain receipts and records of physical nature.
  • FBOs shall be saved from inadvertent penalties [laid down under clause 2.1.13 of existing FSS (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011.
  • Reminders for submission of annual returns would be sent digitally.
  • Country/State-wise analysis of data would be possible.
  • Updated data would be available, as till now all analysis is based on the data provided by the food businesses at the time of obtaining of license.
  • For food businesses involved in manufacturing of milk and milk products, the half-yearly return

(Form D2) shall be discontinued. They shall be required to file the annual return for manufacturers as per the revised format online.

  • The new returns are compliance specific and based on the conditions of license and clauses as laid down in the existing Food Safety and Standards Regulations. This would help in targeted enforcement activities with limited staff.

4. In view of the above, it is decided that online submission of Annual Returns on Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS — https://foscos.fssai.gov.in) shall be made mandatory for food businesses involved in manufacturing and importing of food products, wef FY 2020-21 (window for return filing for FY 2020-21 will open wef 1st April 2021 onwards). All licensing authorities are directed to refrain from insisting physical submission of returns and ensure that FBOs are well informed and facilitated to file the returns online on FoSCoS.

5. This issue with the approval of the Complete Authority.

To

1. Commissioner of Food Safety of all States/UTs and all Central Licensing Authorities

2. CITO, FSSAI — for uploading on FSSAI website.

Copy for information to –

1. Head (RCD)

2. PPS to Chairperson, FSSA1

3. PS to CEO, FSSAI

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