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FSSAI: New Licenses/Registrations & its instant renewal

FSSAI Licenses and Registrations are granted for 1-5 years based on the selection and payment made by the Food Business Operators (FBOs) in the application. Thereafter, FBOs are required to renew their License/ Registration by submitting the application, along with necessary documents as per the FSSAI order dated 19th March 2021, which is then required to be scrutinized by the concerned Licensing and Registering Authority for granting renewed License/ Registration. This scrutiny requires additional time and effort, which is increasing with time as the number of licensed/ registered FBOs are increasing.

In view of the above and to further streamline the process of licensing/ registration and its renewal, FSSAI, vide its order dated 11th January, 2023, has decided the following:

a. Renewal of license/ registration upon submission of the application by the FBO shall be granted instantly, without requiring the scrutiny/approval of the concerned authority, subject to the following conditions:

i. No change: No change in the existing details of the license/registration shall be allowed;

ii. Validity: Validity of the Renewal:

  • For License: This renewal of the license shall be for 1 year only.
  • For Registration: Renewal shall continue as per existing provision i.e., for 1-5 years, based on the selection and payment made by the FBO in the application;

iii. Suspension/ cancellation: FBOs whose licenses/ registrations have been suspended/cancelled, shall not be allowed to renew their license/registration.

iv. Filing of annual return by FBOs: Further, w.e.f., 10th November, 2022, the FosCoS system ensures that FBOs (Manufacturers and Importers) shall file annual returns with penalties (if any), before renewal, for F.Y. 2021-22 onwards;

v. Declaration: A declaration to be submitted by FBO (tick in the checkbox) has been added in FoSCoS as follows:

  • I/We have complied with all the permissions/rules, which are applicable to my food business and the premises of the food business such as CGWA NOC etc.
  • I/We do not possess more than one active license/ registration for any other food business(es) at the same premises;

b. Validity of the new License and Registration:

i. For License: The validity of the new license is now restricted to only 1 year instead of the existing provision i.e., “Clause 2.1.7 of the FSS (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulation, states that Registration or license granted shall be valid for a period of 1-5 years, as chosen by FBO, from the date of issue of the registration/license”

ii. For Registration: Validity will be continued as per existing provision i.e. for 1-5 years, based on the selection and payment made by the FBO.

c. Late fees:

Now as the grant of renewal of license and registration is instant and without the scrutiny of licensing and registration authority, there shall be no late fee of Rs. 100 per day levied if the renewal application for the license is filed in the last 30 days prior to expiry. However, the penalties levied for applying renewal of expired license/ registration up to 180 days after the date of expiry shall continue.

d. Declaration regarding the FSMS plan:

Declaration regarding the FSMS plan has also been automated in FoSCoS and now FBOs are required to self-declare the compliance regarding the points in the inspection checklist at the time of the renewal.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

1. Instant renewal of licenses and registrations subject to fulfilment of certain conditions.

2. FBOs (Manufacturers and Importers) are not allowed to renew unless annual return is filed for F.Y. 2021-22 onwards.

3. Shortening of period of obtaining State/ Central License from 1-5 years to only 1 year.

4. Removal of late fees of Rs. 100 per day levied if the renewal application for the license is filed in the last 30 days prior to expiry.

5. Automation of declaration regarding the FSMS plan.

FSSAI: Instant modification of License

As per Regulation 2.1.9 of the FSS (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulation, 2011 “(1) Food Business Operators shall ensure that the Registering or Licensing Authority always has up-to-date information on their food business establishments and shall inform the relevant Authority of any modifications or additions or changes in product category, layout, expansion, closure, or any other material information based on which the license was granted and such information shall be conveyed before the changes occur.”

– At present, all the modification applications have to be scrutinized by the concerned Licensing Authority/Designated Officer for issuance of the modified license in a similar manner, as that of new license applications with similar processing time.

– It was noted that generally the modifications in a license are related to changes in company details such as address, name, communication details, product details, addition of new products in the license, etc. Among the various modification applications, there are various applications wherein the Manufacturer wishes to add only Standardized Products [non-high risk] in the already existing license.

– The matter was examined by the FSSAI during its 40th meeting and for ease of doing business and streamlining the process of modification of license, the FSSAI vide its order dated 29th December, 2022, has decided that subject to fulfillment of the following conditions, the license shall be instantly modified:

i. Instant Modification of license in case of modification applications for the addition of any of the standardized food products under the Vegetable Oil and Processing Units KoB and General Manufacturing KoB except the High-Risk Food Categories 01, 08, 09, 13 and 99;

ii. The provision will be available only for existing Licensed Manufacturers only;

iii. The modification fee shall be same i.e., Rs. 1,000/- [plus any differential fee due to change in fee slab within the same category of license].

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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.

The author can also be reached at cstanveersaluja@gmail.com.

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