FSSAI is an abbreviation used for Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. The Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006 introduced to improve the hygiene and quality of food has brought about tremendous changes in the food industry. This step is taken by governments’ food licensing & registration system to ensure that food products undergo certain quality checks, thereby reducing the instances of adulteration, substandard products and improve accountability of manufacturers by issuing food service license.
FSSAI license is mandatory before starting any food business. All the manufacturers, traders, restaurants who are involved in food business must obtain a 14-digit registration or a license number which must be printed on food packages. FSSAI registration or license is required for all entities involved in the production, distribution and transportation of food products. As per the Act, no person shall commence or carry on any food business except under a FSSAI license or FSSAI registration. Therefore, any food manufacturing or processing or packaging or distributing entity is now required to obtain a FSSAI License or Registration.
FSSAI License is issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Ministry of Family Health & Welfare, Government of India. Application to commence a food business must be made to the FSSAI in the prescribed format. Based on the application and supporting documents, FSSAI will accord approval.
FSSAI License can be divided into two categories State level License and Central License.
FSSAI Basic registration: This is required for small business or start-ups which have annual turnover below Rs.12 lakhs. Basic registration can be upgraded to state license as your sales graph increases.
FSSAI State registration: This license is applicable to mid-sized companies which have annual turnover between Rs.12-20 crores.
FSSAI Central license: This license is applicable typically on large business with annual turnover above Rs.20 crores.
It is also required in cases where you need to supply at the government offices or import / export food products.
A separate FSSAI Registration or License required and issued for each location where food is handled. Therefore, an entity may have to obtain multiple FSSAI licenses if it operates multiple locations. Typically you will need a Central License for the registered office of your company and individual state licenses for each manufacturing unit in particular states.
Once a FSSAI License is issued, it is valid for one or two years. Before end of its validity, the license can be renewed for a further term based on the requirements of the business.
HAWKERS & COTTAGE INDUSTRIES
Petty retailer, hawker, itinerant vendor or a temporary stallholder or small scale or cottage or such other industries relating to food business or tiny food business operator are exempt from obtaining FSSAI Registration or License.