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FSSAI- All You Need To Know About The Food License For Your Business

FSSAI- All You Need To Know About The Food License For Your Business

In India, every food business or food-related business needs a mandatory licence to operate. However, often businesses have a number of questions relating to FSSAI and their applicability, eligibility, type of license needed, procedure to apply etc. Let us answer all the what, who, why, how queries related to FSSAI food license.

What Is FSSAI?

FSSAI is an acronym that stands for Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. The FSSAI has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation in India, under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.

The FSSAI food license acts as an authorisation allowing an institution to sell food commercially and also reguating the quality of food being sold. When a business registers with the FSSAI, they are given a unique 14 digit registration number which serves as a unique license number for the restaurant or the food related business.

Why Is FSSAI Required?

FSSAI food license is mandatory for any food business operator in the business of manufacturing, processing, storing, distributing, and selling food. The scope and applicability of the FSSAI food license go above and beyond restaurants. 

FSSAI is required for these businesses because, apart from serving as a legal certificate, an FSSAI food license is a mark of a benchmark for food quality. 

What Does The FSSAI Regulate?

The chief responsibility of FSSAI is to protect and promote public health via the regulation and supervision of food safety. 

The aim of FSSAI is to – 

  • To regulate the manufacture, storage, distribution, import, and sale of food
  • To lay down science-based standards for articles on food
  • To facilitate the safety of food
  • To ensure the availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption

As per its regulations, the FSSAI has prescribed standards for the following food categories- 

  • Dairy products and analogues
  • Fats, oils and fat emulsions
  • Fruits and vegetable products
  • Cereal and cereal products
  • Meat and meat products
  • Fish and fish products
  • Sweets & confectionery
  • Sweetening agents including honey
  • Salt, spices, condiments and related products
  • Beverages, (other than dairy and fruits & vegetables based)
  • Other food product and ingredients
  • Proprietary food
  • Irradiation of food
  • Fortification of staple foods i.e. vegetable oil, milk, salt, rice and wheat flour/maida

Who Needs To Obtain FSSAI Food License in India? 

fssai food license

The following individuals or businesses entities need to obtain FSSAI food License mandatorily as per the rules and regulation of the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006:

  • All types of food manufacturers
  • Wholesale food business operators
  • Food traders
  • Food product retailers
  • Online food business operators
  • Caterers or raw food material suppliers to hotels
  • Exporter and importer of food products
  • Food packaging unit
  • Food storage units
  • Transporter and distributors

What Are The Types Of FSSAI License? 

The FSSAI food license is divided into 3 types.

  • FSSAI Central License
  • FSSAI State License
  • FSSAI Registration

The eligibility of a business for the type of FSSAI food license depends on the annual turnover of the food or food-related business and the nature of the food business. Other criteria such as the location of the business, the number of retail stores, the distribution and geographic reach of the business, the scale of operation of the business also need to be considered when deciding on the nature or type of licence a business needs to apply for.

  • An FSSAI Registration is issued for businesses with turnover less than Rs. 12 lakh annually.
  • An FSSAI State Licence is issued for businesses with an annual turnover of Rs. 12 lakh to Rs. 20 crore.
  • An FSSAI Central Licence is issued for businesses with a turnover above Rs 20 crore annually.

FSSAI Central License

The eligibility criteria for specific businesses to apply for FSSAI Central License is as follows-

  • It is eligible for all manufacturers of proprietary foods.
  • It is for all 100% export oriented units.
  • The central licence is for food catering services at seaports
  • The units that have premises in Central Government Agency are eligible for Central FSSAI licence
  • All the food processing units under the Central Government Agency are also eligible for Central licence.
  • The other eligibility factor is that the annual turnover of the business must be above Rs 20 crores.
  • Dairy units including milk chilling units that are equipped to handle or process more than 50,000 litres of liquid milk per day or 2500 MT of milk solid per annum
  • Vegetable oil processing units and units producing vegetable oil by the process of solvent extraction and refineries including oil expeller units that have a capacity of processing more than 2 MT per day.
  • Slaughtering units which handle more than 50 large animals or 150 small animals or more than 1000 poultry birds per day.
  • Meat processing units that are processing more than 500 kg of meat per day or 150 MT per annum.  
  • All food processing units including re-labellers and repackers that are processing more than 2 MT per day except grains, cereals and pulses milling units.  
  • All importers who are importing food items including food ingredients and additives for commercial use.  
  • Storage units other than those having controlled atmosphere and cold environment having capacity of more than 50,000 MT. Cold or refrigerated storage units having a capacity of more than 10,000 MT and controlled atmosphere + cold storage having a capacity of more than 1,000 MT.
  • Wholesalers having a turnover of more than 30 crores per annum.
  • Retailers, distributors, suppliers and caterers having an annual turnover of more than Rs.20 crores.  
  • Hotels that have a five-star rating and above.  
  • Restaurants having a turnover of more than Rs.20 crores per annum.
  • Transporters having more than 100 vehicles or turnover of more than Rs.30 crores per annum.
  • Marketers having turnover of more than Rs.20 crores per annum.  
  • Storage or Wholesalers or Retailers or Distributors having premises in Central Government Agencies.  

For State Licence

The eligibility criteria for specific businesses applying for State FSSAI licence include-

  • Dairy units, including milk chilling units that are equipped to handle or process milk from 501 litres per day (LPD) to 50,000 LPD or 2.5 million tons (MT) to 2,500 MT of milk solids per annum.
  • Vegetable oil processing units and also units that vegetable oil by the process of solvent extraction and refineries, which include oil expeller units that produce up to 2 MT per day or have an annual turnover of Rs 12 lakh and above. 
  • Slaughtering units that have a capacity, in case of large animals, of more than 2 and up to 50; and for small animals capacity more than 10 and up to 150 and for poultry birds capacity more than 50 and up to 1000 per day.  Meat processing units that have a capacity of upto 500 kg of meat per day or of 150 MT per annum.
  • All food processing units which even includes relabellers and repackers that have a capacity of more than 100 kg per ltr and up to 2 MT per day and includes all grains, pulses and cereals milling units.  
  • Storage businesses excluding that which have controlled atmosphere and cold, that have a capacity of up to 50,000 MT. For storages that are cold and refrigerated, the eligibility criteria is a capacity of more than 10,000 MT and for storages that have cold and controlled atmosphere too, the eligibility capacity is more than 10,000 MT.  
  • Wholesalers that have an annual turnover of up to 30 crores.  
  • Retailers, distributors, suppliers as well as caterers with a turnover of up to 20 crores per annum.  
  • Dhaba owners, or owners of other food vending establishments as well as clubs and canteens that have an annual turnover of 12 lakhs.  
  • Hotels that have a minimum of 3 star rating and below 5 star.
  • Restaurants that have a turnover of up to Rs 20 crores.  
  • Marketers that have a turn over annually of 20 crores.  
  • Transporters that have a minimum of 100 vehicles or wagons, or an annual turnover of up to 30 crores.

How To Obtain FSSAI Licence

In order to obtain the FSSAI food license, business owners need to apply via the online portal. However, before applying it is vital to know the documents needed and the information to be presented in order to procure the FSSAI license registration.

First, some important pointers regarding obtaining FSSAI Licence-

Important Points To Note

  • The fee and procedure for obtaining an FSSAI License is more extensive when compared to an FSSAI Registration. 
    • FSSAI License application should be made in Form B to the appropriate Licensing Authority along with the necessary self-attested declaration, affidavit and annexures, as applicable.
    • The issuance of FSSAI License is for a period of 1 to 5 years as a request by the food business operator.
    • A higher fee would be applicable for obtaining FSSAI license for more years.
    • If obtaining registration for one or two years, then the applicant can apply for renewal of license by making an application, no later than 30 days prior to the expiry date of the FSSAI license.

Businesses can apply for the FSSAI food license most appropriate for their business through the FSSAI Registration service offered by deAsra.

fssai food license

Documents Required To Apply for FSSAI Registration

The documents required by a business while applying for an FSSAI license registration include-

  • An identity proof, which could either be a Voter ID Card, PAN Card, Driving License, Passport, Aadhar Card, Senior Citizen Card, or ID issued by the Government department.
  • A declaration stating that the food business proposed to be conducted shall conform to the Food Safety and Standards Act, Regulation and all applicable by-laws.
  • A scanned copy of the photograph of the applicant.
  • A scanned copy of the signature of the applicant.

Information Required While Applying For FSSAI Registration

The information required to be furnished by business owners when applying for FSSAI food license include-

  • Name of the business
  • Type of business entity 
  • Contact details of the business (email address, number)
  • Address of the business
  • Brief description of business activity
  • Annual quantity of production of the business
  • Date of commencement of business
  • In case of a seasonal business, the duration of business (that is, the number of months during which the business will be operating)

fssai food license

Food business owners can further know the step by step procedure to apply for FSSAI food license through the FSSAI Registration checklist.

What Does FSSAI Mandate To Be Mentioned On Food Labels?

fssai food license

The FSSAI has made it mandatory for food businesses to show food labels mentioning the following details for customer satisfaction and to maintain a regulatory standard-

  • FSSAI logo with its license
  • Vegetarian/non-vegetarian mark
  • Ingredients
  • Nutritional value in percentage
  • Hallmark
  • Manufacturing date
  • Best before a period/date

What Is The Validity Of An FSSAI License?

The validity of an FSSAI food license is anywhere between 1 to 5 years. The licenses usually get renewed yearly upon payment of the license fee.

Can The FSSAI License Be Transferred?

The FSSAI food license can be transferred or passed on to a legal representative or a family member in the event of the death of the FSSAI license holder. The FSSAI license will only survive or remain valid if the legal agent or any family member applies for the transfer of that certificate. If the FSSAI certificate is not transferred within 90 days after the expiry of the holder of the registration certificate/license then it expires. 

All of the above questions will help answer any doubts business owners might have regarding FSSAI license registration and even after this, if they have any queries or require assistance, they can approach deAsra Foundation for their expert guidance.

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