The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) vide its Order dated 23rd June, 2021 [File No. 15(6)2020/FLRS/RCD/FSSAI] has passed the following decisions:
Extension of various relaxations granted vide Order dated 20th April, 2021:
The FSSAI has extended the following relaxations up to 31th August, 2021:
– Submission of annual return through FoSCoS.
– Waiver of late fees for renewal of license.
Cessation of various relaxations granted vide Order dated 20th April, 2021:
The FSSAI has ceased the following relaxations w.e.f. 30th June, 2021:
– Permission to temporarily operate food business (other than manufacturers) on the basis of 17-digit application reference number.
– In case of manufacturers, to operate their food businesses with higher capacity, on the basis of application for modification of license.
– Limited inspection and e-inspection: non-requirement of pre-inspection except in case of manufacturing of high-risk food products.
Reference: Order dated 20th April, 2021:
Directions under section 16(5) of FSS Act, 2006 regarding giving relaxations to the FBOs during the prevailing COVID-19 conditions
To ensure uninterrupted food services/supply during the present prevailing COVID-19 conditions across the country, FSSAI has decided to facilitate the FBOs and ensure ease of doing business by providing following relaxations:
1. Permission to temporarily operate food business (other than Manufacturers) on the basis of 17-digits Application reference number: All FBOs except Manufacturers are allowed to temporarily operate their food business on the basis of application. This may be for new licence/ registration or modification of existing licence /registration to add a kind of business (other than manufacturer). Such FBOs shall be required to apply by making online application with prescribed fee through online mode on FoSCoS and possess a valid receipt of application having seventeen-digit application reference number. FBO shall be required to inform by email to the concerned Licensing / Registration Authorities/ Commissioner of Food Safety about commencing his food business enclosing a scanned copy of the application in Form M enclosed. The same needs to be signed by proprietor/director/partners or a senior employee of the applicant. The contact details of Commissioner of Food Safety is available at https://www.fssai.gov.in/cms/commissioners-of-food-safety.php while the details of Licensing and Registering Authorities are available under ‘Know Your Officer’ utility on the homepage of FoSCoS (https://foscos.fssai.gov.in). The said relaxation is available to only those applicants who have the requisite permission from State/ relevant local authorities to operate in the lockdown/ restrictions/ curfew etc. The FBO shall cease his operations at the premises related to food unless he has obtained a valid FSSAI licence/ registration as applicable, within 30 days after the expiry of this relaxation.
2. In case of Manufacturers, they are allowed to operate their food businesses with higher capacity, on the basis of application for modification of License: Such FBOs shall be required to apply for modification of FSSAI license by making online application with prescribed fee through online mode on FoSCoS and possess a valid receipt of application having 17-digits application reference number.
3. Limited Inspections and e-inspections allowed: No pre-inspections are required for issuance of new FSSAI license/registration except in case of manufacturing of high-risk food product viz. Milk and milk products, slaughter houses, meat and meat products etc. Similarly, no routine inspections are required to be done. However, food safety authorities can conduct e-inspections in case of select cases on basis of risk profiling e.g., milk and milk products, slaughter houses, meat and meat products etc or in case of any food emergency/ incidents and complaints as per the existing provision of FSS Act, 2006, rules and regulations made thereunder.
4. Extension for timeline for submission of online Annual Returns through FoSCoS: The timeline for submission of online annual yearly returns (D-1) for the period 2020-21 due for submission on or before 31st May, 2021 has been extended till 30th June, 2021. The same has to be filed mandatorily through online mode i.e., through Food Safety Compliance System, FoSCoS (for detailed instructions, refer FSSAI order number 15(31)2020/FOSCOS/RCD/FSSAI dated 18th December, 2020).
5. Waiver of late fee for renewing the license: It has been decided to waive off the late fee, in case, renewal of license is not applied as early as 30 days before the expiry of license [refer Regulation 2.1.7(2) and 2.1.7(4) of FSS (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011]. This late fee ranges from Rs. 100 to Rs. 3000. No late fee for renewal of Licenses shall be charged till 30th June 2021, i.e., no late fee for renewal application (as stipulated under the said regulation) will be charged for licenses, if filed on or before 30th June, 2021. As the process for renewal of license and registration is completely online and renewals can be filed as early as 180 days prior to expiry of license and registration, food businesses are advised to file the renewal application well in time to avoid expiry of their licenses and registrations and causing unnecessary hassle to themselves. It is clarified that the late fee applicable on renewals applied after 30th June, 2021 will be charged as per the provisions in FSS (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations 2011.
The above relaxations shall cease w.e.f. 30.06.2021 irrespective of the status of lockdown/ curfew/ containment at any location.
Disclaimer: The author is based in Jabalpur and is a Practicing Company Secretary dealing in Corporate, Legal & Taxation services. The information contained in this write up, as provided by the author, is to provide a general guidance to the intended user. The information should not be used as a substitute for specific consultations. Author recommends that professional advice is sought before taking any action on specific issues.
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