Food License | Food License registration
Online Registration Process. Apply Now.FSSAI Online Registration is the basic and the must need for all the Food Business operators, whether they may be wholesalers, manufacturers, suppliers, traders, Re-packers, etc. There are different types of FSSAI Registration or FSSAI License & the type depends upon the annual turnover or the size of your Food Business.
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The full form of FSSAI is the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. It is a regulatory body established and governed by the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The Act empowers this legal authority to ensure the safety of food products delivered to the consumers.
Sometimes FSSAI is also called the Food Authority of India. It is a legal entity with headquarters in Delhi. The branch offices are located throughout India for ease of businesses in getting a Food License.
Its functions are specified by the Government of India and the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. Both these authorities also act as consultants for the FSSAI Food License. FSSAI is in charge of setting standards for food and its processes in India.
The government’s objective to incorporate FSSAI is to ensure that the food products that are being delivered to the consumers are wholesome and fit for human consumption. FSSAI is accountable for protecting and promoting public health. And the authorized body to penalize non-compliant businesses.
Role of Food License
FSSAI has been incorporated to ensure the safety of food. The vision was to ensure that the food being consumed by the public is adulteration-free, consumable and healthy. That the food that the final consumer is buying is value for money and, in no way, harmful to the health.
To achieve this purpose, certain standards have been laid down by FSSAI. They cover all stages such as manufacture, storage, distribution, packaging, sale, export, and import of food items. These standards have been implemented after conducting meticulous research, trials, and testing. The procedures are backed by science and technology.
- Framing of Regulations to lay down the Standards and guidelines in connection with the articles of food and defining an appropriate system of enforcing various standards thus notified.
- Laying down mechanisms and guidelines for accreditation of certification organizations engaged in certification of food safety management system (FSMS) for food businesses.
- Laying down system and guidelines for accreditation of laboratories and notification of these accredited laboratories.
- To provide scientific advice and technical support to Central Government and State Governments in the matters of drafting the policy and rules in domains that have a direct or indirect implication on food safety and nutrition.
- Collect and collate data about food consumption, incidence, and prevalence of biological risk, contaminants in food, and residues of various contaminants in food items. Identifying the emerging risks and introduction of a rapid alert system.
- Creating a network of information across the country so that the public, users, Panchayats, etc. receive rapid, reliable and objective information about food safety and other issues concerning it.
- Provide training programs for persons who are engaged or intend to get engaged in food businesses.
- Contribute to the development of worldwide technical standards for food, sanitary and phytosanitary standards.
- Promote general awareness about food safety and food standards.
Types of Food Registration
As per the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, any business entity, with operations associated with food. Working at any level or scale. Has to get itself registered and get an Food License. The Food Business Operator could be involved in one stage only or all steps of manufacturing, wholesaling, supplying, packing or re-packing, trading, labelling or re-labelling, importing or exporting, or even transporting has to go through the FSSAI registration process. Else it is liable to get penalized for non-compliance. Additionally, FSSAI is authorized to fine the business, shut the business down, prohibit it from operating further, or up to imprisonment of the involved persons or directors.
Whether your business needs an FSSAI License or an FSSAI Registration only, depends on a few factors. Annual turnover, installed capacity, area of operations, whether limited to one state, have branches, etc., are the key determinants.
The types of FSSAI are:
- Basic FSSAI Registration,
- State Food License,
- Central Food License.
Eligibility of Food Registration
The eligibility criteria for which type of registration has been listed below. To make it convenient for the FBOs to choose and apply for the correct certificate.
Basic FSSAI Registration
FBOs that have an annual turnover anywhere between Rs. 0 to Rs. 12 lakh are required to apply for a Basic Food Registration.
These include all small scale operators, which are working from and within a single area, region, city or town have to be registered under FSSAI as Basic FBO. This kind of Basic certificate has to be applied to the State where the business is based. The provisions for eligibility to Basic Certificate are as follows:
- FBO (wholesaler, distributor, supplier, retailer, food vending establishments, hawkers, club, canteen, Dhaba, hotel, restaurants, storage) with an annual turnover of less than Rs. 12 lakh,
- Retailers selling food items, with limited operations,
- Petty producers manufacturing by itself,
- A makeshift stall selling food products,
- Businesses involved in selling food at a social or religious gathering, other than a caterer,
- Cottage industries associated with food products,
- Production and/or processing units of vegetable oil by the process of solvent extraction and/or refineries including oil expeller system. With a capacity to produce not more than 100 kg/litre per day (except milk or meat),
- Dairy units, involved in procurement/collection/handling/chilling of milk, having a capacity of not more than 500 litres per day, or up to 2.5 Metric Ton of milk solids annually,
- A slaughtering capacity of not more than 2 large animals or 10 small animals or 50 poultry birds per day.
State Food License
The basic criteria for applying for a State Food License is that the annual turnover of your business is falling somewhere between Rs. 12 lakh up to a maximum of Rs. 20 crores. You need to apply for FSSAI State License to the state government where your business is based in.
The rules governing this license are:
- FBO (supplier, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, food vending establishments or Dhaba, club, canteen, restaurants) with an annual turnover of between Rs. 12 lakh to up to Rs. 20 crores,
- Proprietary Foods,
- Production and/or processing units of vegetable oil by the method of solvent extraction and/or refineries including oil expeller unit. With a turnover between Rs. 12 lacs to Rs. 20 crores annually,
- Hotels of 4-star ratings or less,
- Storages having a capacity of less than 50,000 metric tonnes annually,
- Dairy Units (including milk chilling units), with a daily capacity to handle or process, between 500 to 50000 litres,
- A daily slaughtering capacity of more than 2 and up to 50 large animals. Or the capacity of handling more than 10 and up to 150 small animals. Or daily capacity of more than 50 to up to 1000 poultry birds,
- All food processing units other than the ones mentioned above, including re-packers, with a daily capacity of not less than 100 kg/litre to up to 2 metric tonnes.
Central Food License
The primary condition to become eligible for a Central FSSAI Registration is that the annual turnover is over Rs. 20 crores.
The Central Government is to be applied for this license.
Besides this essential rule, there are some other elements to be considered. Such as 100% export oriented units, importers, operators associated with the Central Government and related agencies.
The FBOs having more than one branch of restaurants or food joints need to apply for a Central Food License. FBOs operating in 2 or more states have to apply for one Central License for its Registered Head Office and separate license/registration for each branch as per the eligibility standards applicable to them.
Following Food Businesses need to apply for FSSAI central license by the regulatory authority:
- FBO ( restaurants, retailer, distributor, supplier) with an annual turnover of more than Rs. 20 crore,
- Manufacturing and/or Processing units of vegetable oil by the method of solvent extraction and refineries including oil expeller unit, with a capacity of over 2 metric tonnes per day,
- Dhaba, club, canteen, and other food vending establishments with branches spread in more than one state and an annual turnover of more than Rs. 12 lakh,
- Wholesalers that have an annual turnover of not less than Rs. 30 crores,
- Hotels that have been rated 5-star or more,
- 100 % export oriented units involved in food production or processing,
- All Importers (including the import of food ingredients or additives),
- Caterers working under Central Government or related agencies such as Railways, Airlines and airport, Seaport, Defence, etc.
- Storages with a capacity of more than 50,000 metric tonnes,
- Dairy Units (including chilling units), with a capacity to handle or process, over 50,000 litres per day,
- A slaughtering capacity of over 50 large animals or more than 150 small animals or more than 1000 poultry birds per day,
- All food processing units other than mentioned above including re-packers, (excluding the grains, pulses & cereals milling units) with a capacity of over 2 metric tonnes per day,
- All FBOs involved in producing an item of food, additive or its ingredient, using some new process or technology, and/or a combination thereof, whose safety has not been established yet by the FSSAI. Or they may not have a history of safe usage. It covers the food articles being introduced in the country, for the first time.
Documents required for applying for Food License Registration
Below is a list of documents to be submitted to the FSSAI offices to get an FSSAI License or Registration:
Common Documents required for all types of FSSAI Registrations:
The documents mentioned below are compulsory to be submitted by all Food Business Operators (FBOs). Whether they are applying for Basic Registration, State License or Central License, these proofs are necessary for all:
- Form A or Form B (Form – A for Basic FSSAI Registration & Form – B for State or Central FSSAI Registration) – complete and signed,
- 2 Passport Sized Latest Photographs,
- PAN Card of the Business Owner/Proprietor/Partner/Director,
- Proof of Possession of the Premises (Property Papers-if property is owned, Utility bills (Electricity or water) or Rent Agreement – if property is rented),
- Partnership Deed,
- Certificate of Incorporation or Articles of Association (AoA) for a company,
- A complete list of food items the business will be involved in,
- Caterers working under Central Government or related agencies such as Railways, Airlines and airport, Seaport, Defence, etc.
- A proper Food Safety Management System (FSMS) plan (applicable for State or Central Food License only).
Documents for State Food License:
You need below documents along with your application, other than the above-listed ones:
- A complete and signed Form – B,
- Details of the Owner/Proprietor, Partners or Directors. With their Photo ID, Photographs and Address Proofs,
- The layout of the proposed location, and the planned placement of the equipment,
- Possession Proof of that building/premises,
- No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the owners. Along with their details, such as name & address,
- Copy of License from the Manufacturers of the Equipment,
- List and Details of the Equipment already installed or proposed to be installed at the location,
- Each Food Product and its category that is planned to be produced,
- Planned Food Safety Management System (FSMS).
Documents for Central Food License:
In addition to the above listed Common Documents, you need below:
- A completed and signed Form – B,
- Details of the Owner/Proprietor, Partners or Directors. With their Photo ID, Photographs and Address Proofs,
- Proof of Annual Turnover,
- The layout of the proposed location, along with the planned installation and placement of the equipment,
- Possession Proof for the building/premises,
- No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the owners, along with their other details, such as name & address,
- Copy of License from the Manufacturers of the Machinery & Equipment,
- List and Details of Equipment already installed or proposed to be installed at the premises,
- Each Food Product and/or category that is planned to be produced,
- Planned Food Safety Management System (FSMS),
- Water Report Analysis by an accredited Laboratory,
- Source of procurement for Milk, Meat & its processing unit, as applicable,
- No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Local Authority, as applicable,
- If involved in Mineral or Carbonated water, then Pesticide Residual Report by a Government Accredited Laboratory,
- Import-Export Code (IEC), if applicable,
- Certificate from the Ministry of Tourism, if applicable,
- Proof of Turnover for Vehicles, as may apply to the line of business,
- (No Objection Certificate) NOC from FSSAI.
Food License Certificate Number
All the Food Business Entities, on getting registered with the FSSAI, are given an exclusive 14-Digit registration number. It is required by law that they get this printed on every package of the food item. Along with the FSSAI Logo. Restaurants, Hotels, and Eateries must keep this FSSAI Certificate on display at a prominent place. During all business hours. It shows to the customers that this business, eatery, etc. have gone through numerous safety checks, required as per the Act. And assures them of the safety of food items they are buying. That it is free from contamination and other risks.
Besides, all the e-commerce operators involved in the business of aggregation or delivery of food must display the FSSAI Food License number of the restaurant or eatery they are delivering for, on their App or website. Chief examples among them are Swiggy, UberEats, and Zomato. Failing to advise your FSSAI Registration number to these Apps will lead to your restaurant business being de-listed from the App.
Additionally, these apps have been also directed by the FSSAI, to provide the restaurant with a rating based on the level of hygiene maintained by them.
Display of Food Licence Number
As per the FSSAI Act Regulation, the display of FSSAI License/Registration Number at food premises is mandatory. Ordinarily, the FSSAI license number was kept hidden from the consumers. Hence, to improve the overall consumer perceptibility and to encourage food safety, FSSAI has introduced Food Safety Display Boards (FSDBs) for various food businesses. Henceforth, in addition to the existing compulsory requirement of displaying FSSAI License/ Registration Number, it has also become mandatory for the FBOs to display these Food Safety Display Boards (FSDB) at FBO premises.
The guidelines concerning it are:
- Only display color-coded FSDB specific to the kind of food business.
- Size not less than A4 size for FSSAI Registered food business and A3 for FSSAI Licensed Food Business.
- A minimum of one FSDB has to be displayed. More than one can be displayed when the outlet is big in size and FSDB displayed is not visible to all the consumers and food handlers from one specific place.
- Text, icons, and content of FSDB must be very clear, not get blurred or faded over time.
- There is a set format for displaying.
Renewal of Food License or Registration
An FSSAI Registration or License is valid for anywhere from 1 year to 5 years, as per the application filed by the FBO. Thereafter, you need to get your certificate renewed. This FSSAI renewal application must be filed at least 30 days before its expiry.
Below is the process involved:
- Form number – A or B, as applicable
- Form – C
- Declaration by the Owner/Proprietor, Partners or Directors, that they will comply with the Rules, Regulations and other Provisions as laid down by the FSSAI, as updated from time to time,
- Photo ID proof of the Owner/Proprietor, Partners or Directors.
FSSAI officials will examine the details provided in the application form. They might also visit and carry a physical inspection of the premises and/or examine the machinery, equipment or premises. They’ll verify the performance and efficacy of the Food Safety Management System (FSMS). And whether it is still relevant. They will probe whether the documents and details provided in the Application Form are authentic or not.
Renewal of your Food License
If the FSSAI officials are satisfied with their inquiries and investigations, that the provisions of the FSSAI are being met. Your FSSAI certificate will be renewed.
The duration of the validity of the renewal will, again, be between 1 to 5-years, as filled in the application form by the FBO.
Things You Must Know
- FSSAI License or Restaurant License is a statutory obligation that is mandatory for all FBOs.
- The Name mentioned in the Application Form (A or B) will be the name on the Food License Certificate. So make sure it is clearly and accurately spelled.
- You will receive all further communication on the mobile number and e-mail ID supplied in the Application Form. Make sure these are working.
- After applying, a unique reference ID will be generated. This ID will be used during all further communications and processes for obtaining the FSSAI certificate.
- If the operations of the FBO, e.g. a restaurant or hotel, expand to more than one state, a Central FSSAI license has to be procured for the main Branch/Head Office. And a State License or Basic Registration for each branch, as per their eligibility.
- The Central License Certificate will be issued to the importers only on the address mentioned on their Import Export Code (IEC).
- A single unit needs a single certificate only. Whether it is handling/producing different varieties or various processes. Just make sure that the Form (A or B) includes all the Food Items and the Processes.
- Fee payment, as per the application.
All Food Business Operators (FBOs) have to be compliant to the rules, regulations and other provisions, as laid down and updated from time to time, by the FSSAI. These are statutory necessities. FSSAI conducts checks, investigations, and tests of the product or the process, at random. During the inspection, a Food Safety Official or an agency would inspect the premises, safety, quality of the food product or process, as well as maintenance of hygiene. He is authorized by the FSSAI to examine the working conditions along with the techniques of food handling by the operators, associates, and staff.
Consequently, he determines a level of compliance for the business, based upon the regulations set by the Food Authority, using a checklist. The Official marks a level for the FBO, going by the checklist, as:
- Compliance (C),
- Partial compliance (PC),
- Non-compliance (NC), or
- Not applicable/Not observed (NA).
Additionally, the Food Official or the inspecting agency might issue an Improvement Notice, explaining the operations, steps or stages that need to be refined. And it mentions a time for these alterations to be completed by. If the FBO fails to amend these, within the stipulated time, a Show Cause Notice is sent.
This Show Cause Notice provides a date of hearing by which the FBO has to prove why it could not undertake the amendments or alterations. The proof must be supported by documentary evidence. If the evidence is rejected, or the FBO fails to respond to the Improvement Notice, by the set date of hearing, its FSSAI certificate will get canceled.
If the aggrieved FBO feels that the improvement notice is biased or untrue, it can choose to file an Appeal with the State Commissioner for Food Safety.
The decision by the State Commissioner is also not final. It can be challenged by appealing to the Food Safety Appellate Tribunal or the high court.
If an FBO is found Non-Compliant to the rules and regulations of the FSSAI, it will get penalized. The penalty structure is uniform for everyone and is followed strictly. Below is a brief list of FSSAI penalties for a non-compliant FBO:
- If the business is operating an establishment without applying for the FSSAI certificate, the act is punishable under the Act. It may face imprisonment and/or a fine of up to Rs. 5 lakh for the same.
- If the FBO is selling food articles of sub-standard quality, it may be charged for an amount up to Rs. 5 lakhs. In such a situation, the person responsible for selling the sub-standard food items, either himself or by a person working on his behalf, would be held accountable.
- The FBO selling misbranded goods, either himself or by a person acting on his behalf, may be fined up to Rs. 3 lakh.
- For all the FBOs involved in selling, packing, storage, distributions, or importing of Food Articles containing superfluous or extraneous matter, a penalty may get levied of Rs. 1 lakh.
The penalties listed above may differ, according to the circumstances.
In extreme cases, where there is a mortality loss due to consumption of that particular Food Article, the punishment on the concerned FBO may extend to Rs. 5 lakh or even imprisonment, depending upon the severity and aggregate of the harm caused.
Why You Should Get Food License Registration
- The buyers, nowadays, are more alert and informed about the quality of the food which they utilize. Due to multiple options of good and healthy food availability, the consumers want to know as to the contents of what they are taking in. Whether it is safe, adulteration-free and of really good quality? Besides, recent controversies of some well-known brands producing and delivering inferior food or using harmful ingredients, the consumers are taking seriously the standards of food safety. In such cases, the FBOs with a Food License have an added benefit of a solid and loyal customer base.
- If you think that getting an FSSAI registration would be a waste of time, efforts and money. That this is only another certificate. And you have been avoiding to get the license. You must consider it again. You would realize that the ends justify the efforts. The expense is tiny as compared to the penalties that can get imposed upon for not going by the law.
- On getting the certificate, you can use the FSSAI logo to enhance sales and goodwill. You can promote and publicize the superior quality of your product over others. This gives you an advantage over those operating without an FSSAI registration. The FSSAI logo is a mark of validity and an assurance to the consumers. Careful and aware customers prefer to buy only those products that possess the FSSAI logo.
- An FSSAI Registration or License will help in the process of applying for and getting bank loans that boost your business growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
If the directions are not followed, and the concerned area or steps not revised, within the given timeline, the FSSAI Registration may get suspended.
(c) Partial Compliance,
(d) Not Applicable/Not Observed (NA).
If not satisfied by the decision by the State Commissioner, you can further appeal to the Food Safety Appellate Tribunal or the High court.
The decision of this tribunal or court would be deemed as final.
There is a certain time frame attached to filing against the decisions. The Appeal against the notices needs to be filed within 15 days of the issue of the Notice.
To ensure that their product is safe and free from contamination, FBOs should implement a valid Food Safety Management System (FSMS) based on HACCP and suitable prerequisite arrangements. It will assist them in actively checking and controlling hazards throughout the food chain. At all stages in their business operations.
All employees, staff, and associates of your FBO must be clear about the objectives and the advantages of implementing the HACCP system. Incorporating an efficient Quality & Environment Management System may require some modifications or changes to be done in the business operations. And all the stakeholders must be prepared for it.
The employees must be well-explained of what is expected of them, to achieve HACCP Certification.
(a) Fruits & Vegetables,
(b) Meat & Meat Products,
(c) Fish & Fishery Products,
(d) Dairy Products,
(f) Spices & Condiments,
(g) Nuts & Nut Products,
(h) Bakery & Confectionary,
(i) Fast Food Operations,
(j) Hotels & Restaurants, etc.
If you are not located in Delhi and certain other states, you’ll have to submit a hard-copy of the application duly signed with a copy of the fees paid, after filing of the online application.
(1) M/s. Export Inspection Council of India, Delhi,
(2) M/s. Indian Register Quality Systems, Mumbai,
(3) M/s. INDOCERT, Kerala,
(4) M/s. TUV SUD South Asia, Mumbai,
(5) M/s. Det Norske Veritas, AS, Mumbai,
(6) M/s. One Cert Asia Agri Certification Pvt. Ltd., Jaipur,
(7) M/s. National Productivity Council, Delhi.