Written By - Aditi Kulshrestha Posted on - 30 Sept'2023

How to Get an FSSAI License: A Step-by-Step Guide

Introduction

Food safety is a top priority for consumers, and the Indian government has taken significant steps to ensure the safety and quality of food products through the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). If you're in the food business in India, obtaining an FSSAI license is not just a legal requirement but also a mark of credibility and trustworthiness. In this blog, we will walk you through the process of getting an FSSAI license step by step, ensuring your food business is compliant with the law and meets the highest standards of food safety.

Table of Contents:
1. Understanding FSSAI
2. Types of FSSAI Licenses
3. Why is an FSSAI License Essential?
4. Documents Required for FSSAI Registration
5. Inspection and Verification
6. Validity and Renewal of FSSAI License
7. Conclusion

1. Understanding FSSAI

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. It was established to regulate and supervise food safety and ensure the quality of food products sold and consumed in India.

2. Types of FSSAI Licenses

FSSAI offers different types of licenses based on the scale and nature of the food business. These licenses are categorized into three main types:

a) FSSAI Basic Registration :
This is suitable for small food businesses such as small-scale manufacturers, hawkers, and petty retailers. Basic registration is typically valid for one to two years and is ideal for businesses with an annual turnover of up to ₹12 lakh.

b) FSSAI State License :
Medium-sized businesses, including distributors, retailers, and manufacturers, fall under this category. State licenses are valid for one year and are required for businesses with an annual turnover of more than ₹12 lakh but less than ₹20 crores.

c) FSSAI Central License :
Large food businesses and those engaged in import and export of food products need to obtain a central license. It is valid for one year and is required for businesses with an annual turnover exceeding ₹20 crores.

Before applying for a license, determine which category suits your business best based on its scale and nature.

3. Why is an FSSAI License Essential?

Obtaining an FSSAI license is not just a legal requirement but also crucial for various reasons:

a) Legal Compliance :
The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, mandates that anyone involved in the food business must obtain an FSSAI license. Non-compliance can result in penalties, fines, or even imprisonment.

b) Consumer Trust :
Having an FSSAI license builds trust among consumers. It signifies that your products meet the prescribed quality and safety standards.

c) Business Expansion :
If you plan to expand your business, having an FSSAI license is often a prerequisite for obtaining loans, grants, or partnerships.

d) Export Opportunities :
If you wish to export food products, an FSSAI license is essential, as it assures foreign buyers of the quality and safety of your products.

e) Quality Assurance :
FSSAI standards ensure that the food you produce or sell is of high quality and safe for consumption, reducing the risk of health hazards.

4. Documents Required for FSSAI Registration

Before you start the application process, gather all the necessary documents. Here's a list of documents commonly required for FSSAI registration:

a) Form-B :
This is the application form for food license/registration.

b) Identity Proof :
A copy of your PAN card, passport, voter ID, or Aadhaar card.

c) Passport-sized Photographs :
Recent photographs of the proprietor/partner/director.

d) Address Proof :
A copy of your electricity bill, water bill, rent agreement, or any other valid address proof.

e) Proof of Ownership :
If you own the premises, provide a copy of the property papers. If it's rented, provide a rent agreement.

f) Food Safety Management System Plan :
Required for state and central licenses. It includes details of the quality control process, recall plan, etc.

g) List of Directors/Partners/Proprietors :
For companies, provide a list of directors/partners/proprietors along with their contact details.

h) List of Food Products :
Mention the food products you intend to manufacture or sell.

i) NOC from Municipal Corporation or Local Authority :
This is necessary for the food business operating from a municipal area.

j) Authority letter :
An authorized signatory's declaration for the food safety management system.

k) Supporting Documents :
Any additional documents specific to your business type or location.

Ensure that all these documents are complete, up-to-date, and duly signed before submitting your application.

5. Inspection and Verification

The inspection and verification process is a crucial step in obtaining an FSSAI license. During this phase, FSSAI officials will visit your food premises to ensure that you are complying with food safety standards. Here's what to expect during the inspection:

a) Infrastructure :
Officials will inspect your premises to verify if they meet the necessary hygiene and sanitation standards. This includes checking the cleanliness of the kitchen, storage areas, and equipment.

b) Food Safety Management System :
For state and central licenses, the officials will review your food safety management system plan to ensure it meets the required standards.

c) Documentation :
They will examine your records and documents, including food testing reports and quality control processes.

d) Product Sampling :
Random samples of your food products may be collected for testing in accredited laboratories.

e) Compliance :
Ensure that you and your staff cooperate with the officials during the inspection. Address any issues or recommendations they provide promptly.

Once the inspection is completed, the officials will provide a report, and if everything is in order, your FSSAI license will be issued.

6. Validity and Renewal of FSSAI License

FSSAI licenses are typically valid for a specific duration, which can range from one to five years, depending on the type of license. It's essential to keep track of your license's expiry date and renew it in a timely manner. Here's how to renew your FSSAI license:

a) Application for Renewal :
Start the renewal process at least 30 days before your current license expires. You can do this online through the FSSAI portal.

b) Verification :
Similar to the initial application, the renewal application may be subject to verification and inspection by FSSAI officials.

c) Payment of Renewal Fee :
Pay the renewal fee online as per the fee structure applicable to your business category.

d) Renewal Approval :
Once your renewal application is approved, you will receive an updated FSSAI license.

Failure to renew your license on time can result in penalties and legal consequences. Therefore, it's crucial to stay compliant and keep your license up to date.

7. Conclusion

Obtaining an FSSAI license is not only a legal obligation but also a significant step towards ensuring the safety and quality of the food products you manufacture or sell.

By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can navigate the application process smoothly and efficiently.

Remember that food safety is paramount, and having an FSSAI license not only demonstrates your commitment to quality but also builds trust among consumers and potential business partners. This will not only help you avoid legal issues but also contribute to the success and reputation of your food business in India.

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