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FSSAI State License vs Central License

The FSSAI provides 2 major types of licenses and a basic registration to the Food Business Operators. The two types of licenses are state and central licenses and differ significantly with respect to the annual turnover and place of operation of the businesses.

The FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) is the authorized body that maintains and supervises food safety in India. The organization plays a vital role in setting standards and regulations for various FBOs (Food Business Operators) across India. Manufacturers of food and edible items, operators engaged in packaging and transporting of food, retailers, wholesalers of various food items, hotel, and canteen owners, fast food outlets, and petty tea shops, come within the ambit of FBOs.   These FBOs are mandated to get registered and acquire a license from the FSSAI, failing which they will be penalized. The type of license the FBOs acquire is, however, dependent on various factors.

FSSAI State License vs Central License – Types

The FSSAI takes control of both registration and licensing for various FBOs. Depending upon the turnover

 and size of the business, the FSSAI license varies.  An FBO basically has three licenses to choose from:

The basic registration is for small-scale operators like manufacturers and vendors and is issued by the State government. The two main types of licenses issued by the FSSAI are the Central and State licenses. Once the license is issued, they are valid for a minimum period of 1 year to a maximum of 5 years.

FSSAI State License:

This license is required by medium-sized FBOs such as manufacturers, individuals, or organizations that are involved in storage, those in the retail business, transporters, distributors, and those handling the marketing of food-related items. Businesses of this kind are mandated to be operative at the state level only. Further, the turnover of these FBOs lies between 12 lakhs to 20 crores. These businesses should acquire a state license before commencing their operation. The validity of the license extends from a minimum of 1 year to a maximum of 5 years.

FSSAI Central License:

The Central license is for FBOs who have an annual turnover of more than 20 crores. Business owners like exporters, operators dealing with food items in central governmental agencies, airports, and those handling proprietary food businesses are required to hold this license. Businesses that have operations in more than one state are mandated to opt for a central license. They essentially have to file for the license with the documents required in the state where the head office is located. The license obtained is valid for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 5 years after which the license will have to be renewed periodically.

FSSAI State License vs Central License

The pivotal differences between a state and a central license are, the place of the business, the annual turnover of the businesses, and the nature of the business activity carried out. While a central license is given to those businesses that have an annual turnover of more than 20 crores and for those that operate in multiple states, a state license is awarded to those that have a turnover of Rs. 12 lakhs to 20 crores and operate within a particular state only.

Modification of the FSSAI License:

The FBOs can opt for a modification of a license, say from state to central license (or vice versa) if they start operating in other states or if their annual turnover exceeds 12 lakhs. The process is called modification of the license. The process is governed by the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 under the supervision of the authorities of the FSSAI.

However, the following has to be kept in mind:

  • The modification of the license can be carried out only by the FBOs that currently hold a license in the first place. If the application is canceled or rejected the FBO can apply again after 3 months.
  • When there is a change in ownership, a modification of the FSSAI license has to be applied.

The following categories are eligible to apply for a modification of license:

  • Registered FBOs already owning an FSSAI license
  • Food manufacturers and producers
  • Various food processing units
  • Repackers and re-labelers
  • Distributors

Procedure for Modification of FSSAI License:

Step 1: The modification of the license can be done online through the FoSCoS portal.

Step 2: The user is navigated to the dashboard. By selecting the modification option, the FSSAI license login can

 be modified.

Step 3: The FBO is drawn to a page wherein the products can be modified if required from the checklist

Step 4: The applicant views the terms of the existing license on proceeding further. The applicant can choose to 

add more products from the checklist.

Step 5: The applicant can thereafter check the option with respect to the license that needs to be modified. A confirmation window appears and after confirming the same, the application for modification of license is completed.

The application has to be accompanied by the requisite documents like the certificate for food safety management, fitness certificate of the workers, details of the technical personnel, and if there are any changes with the information that was previously provided for acquiring the state license, the same has to be supported by the necessary documents.

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