In India, food safety and quality are of utmost importance to ensure the well-being of the population. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) plays a pivotal role in regulating and supervising food safety standards in the country. The FSSAI Central Licence is a critical aspect of this regulatory framework, which is required for food business operators (FBOs) involved in large-scale food operations. In this article, we will delve into the nitty-gritty of the FSSAI Central Licence, its importance, the application process, eligibility criteria, and other essential aspects.
Understanding FSSAI Central Licence:
The FSSAI Central Licence is a mandatory requirement for FBOs engaged in manufacturing, processing, storing, distributing, and selling food products at a national or international level. It is applicable to businesses with an annual turnover of more than Rs. 20 crores or those operating in more than one state in India. This license is designed to ensure that food businesses adhere to the prescribed safety and quality standards, thus safeguarding public health.
Importance of FSSAI Central Licence:
- Compliance with Regulations: Obtaining the FSSAI Central Licence ensures that your food business complies with the regulations set forth by the FSSAI. It demonstrates your commitment to maintaining food safety and quality standards.
- Consumer Trust: The FSSAI logo and license number on food products instill confidence in consumers, as they are assured of the safety and quality of the products they consume.
- Legal Protection: The license serves as legal protection against any action taken by regulatory authorities in case of non-compliance with food safety standards.
- Market Access: The FSSAI Central Licence is often a prerequisite for participating in national and international trade. It opens up new business opportunities and market access for your food products.
To be eligible for the FSSAI Central Licence, your food business must fulfill the following criteria:
- The business must have an annual turnover of more than Rs. 20 crores.
- The business must operate in more than one state in India.
- The business must be involved in manufacturing, processing, storing, distributing, or selling food products at a national or international level.
The application process for the FSSAI Central Licence is straightforward and can be completed online through the FSSAI’s Food Licensing and Registration System (FLRS). Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:
- Visit the FLRS website and create an account by providing your email address and mobile number.
- Log in to your account and select “Apply for License/Registration” from the dashboard.
- Choose the “Central License” option and fill in the required details, including the business name, address, and contact information.
- Upload the necessary documents, such as the food safety management system plan, a list of food products, and proof of premises ownership or lease agreement.
- Pay the prescribed application fee online.
- Submit the application form and wait for the FSSAI to process it. The processing time may vary depending on the completeness of the application and the supporting documents provided.
- Once the application is approved, you will receive the FSSAI Central Licence, which is valid for a period of one to five years, depending on your preference.
The following documents are required to be submitted along with the FSSAI Central Licence application:
- Form B duly completed and signed by the authorized signatory.
- Blueprint/layout plan of the processing unit.
- List of directors/partners/proprietor with full address and contact details.
- Name and list of food products to be manufactured or processed.
- Authority letter with the name and address of the responsible person.
- Analysis report of water to be used in the food process, from a recognized laboratory.
- Proof of possession of premises (sale deed/rent agreement, etc.).
- Partnership deed/Affidavit of Proprietorship.
- Food Safety Management System plan.
- NOCs from local municipal authorities and other relevant approvals.
Renewal of Licence:
The FSSAI Central Licence is valid for a period of one to five years, depending on the preference of the FBO. It is essential to renew the licence before its expiry to continue the operations seamlessly. The renewal process is similar to the application process and can be done online through the FLRS website.
The FSSAI Central Licence is a critical requirement for food business operators involved in large-scale food operations in India. It ensures compliance with food safety and quality standards, builds consumer trust, provides legal protection, and facilitates market access. The application process is simple and can be completed online through the FSSAI’s Food Licensing and Registration System. It is essential to renew the licence timely to avoid any disruptions in business operations. By obtaining and maintaining the FSSAI Central Licence, food businesses contribute to ensuring the safety and quality of food products in India, thereby protecting public health and promoting economic growth.