The license issued by the FSSAI is valid for a time period of 1 to 5 years from the date of issuance. The license has to be renewed subsequently in order for the FBO to continue the business.
The FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India), incorporated by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, plays a vital role in regulating the quality of food items accessible to the public. The FSSAI provides licenses to the FBOs (Food Business Operators) depending upon their turnover and place of operation. All business owners dealing with food and food products, such as manufacturers or producers, those involved in the storage and transporting of edible products, etc have to obtain the FSSAI license mandatorily.
The license given by the FSSAI is basically of three types:
- FSSAI Basic Registration
- FSSAI Central License
- FSSAI State License
Validity of the FSSAI License:
The license issued by the FSSAI is valid for a minimum of 1 year to a maximum of 5 years. However, in order to continue the business, the FBO has to renew the license thereafter. If the license is not renewed the FBO will be subjected to penalties. The 14-digit license number should be displayed on food packages or in the place of business by the FBO.
Time Frame for License Renewal:
The Food Safety Standard (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011, state that the application for renewal must be made before 30 days of the expiry date as mentioned in the license. The application can be made as early as 180 days before the date of expiry.
Renewal Of License for Businesses That Were Affected During Covid Lockdown:
The renewal of the license enables the businesses to carry the same license number even after its expiry. Earlier the FSSAI had not provided an option for renewal. The FBOs had to make a fresh application for the license/registration after its expiry to business commencement again. During the COVID 19 pandemic, a number of businesses were unable to renew their license/registration within the allotted time. Many FBOs were pushed to pursue a new license to continue their food business. The FSSAI allowed the renewal of licenses for such businesses under the following conditions.
- The renewal of a license after the expiry is allowed for licensed FBOs that carry out online submissions of annual returns through the FoSCoS portal
- The renewal shall be allowed only until 180 days from the date of expiry
- The FBOs will be prohibited from conducting business in the period between the date of expiry and issuance of the renewed license. If an FBO operates during the said period, penalties will be levied on that business as per the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006
- Once the renewal of the license is accomplished a fresh validity date is devised.
Penalty for Non-Renewal of License:
In case the 30 days within which the renewal should be applied have passed, a late fee or penalty of ₹100 per day must be deposited along with the stipulated renewal fee. However, the late fee is not payable towards the basic registration of the FBOs.
Prerequisites to Renew License After the Expiry Date:
To enable the businesses to carry out their activities even after the expiry of the license, the authorities enabled the renewal of the license even after its expiry subject to the following penalties
- An amount equivalent to thrice the existing annual license fee is to be deposited when the renewal is pending from 1st to 90th day from the date of expiry
- An amount equivalent to twice the existing annual license fee is to be deposited when the renewal is pending from 91st to 180th day from the date of expiry.
Documents Required for Renewing an Expired License:
The FSSAI released a notification in March 2021, regarding the list of documents required for the renewal of the license. The list includes:
- FSMS (Food Safety Management System) Certificate
- Details of the nominee duly updated
- Details pertaining to the license that has to be modified
- Documents to corroborate the modification on the official letterhead
- Any such documents that may be required by the licensing authority in order to keep the safety of food in check
Procedure to Renew the License:
- The renewal of the license can be carried out by logging on to the FoSCoS portal and navigating to the “Renewal” section. The user can select Form A (Basic registration) or Form B (State or Central License) depending upon the license that is intended to be renewed
- The list of existing licenses/registration appears for renewal. The applicant can select the license/registration which has to be renewed and click “Proceed”
- It has to be noted that the list gets displayed only for 120 days before the expiry of the license. Once the license expires, the user cannot renew the license and can only make a new application
- The applicant can edit the details in Form B like Premises Details, and Product Selection and can upload the required documents and the payment can be made for the renewal of the license. It is pertinent to note that if the renewal is done prior to 90 days of the expiry of the license, only the renewal fee is charged. Post 90 days, a fine of ₹100 will be levied in addition to the renewal fee
- Once the payment is made, a receipt is generated with the license number
- The users can track the application through the FoSCoS portal.