The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was set up under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, in order to ensure quality of food items available in Indian markets, in terms of hygiene, safety and fitness for human consumption. Any commercial entity involved in food manufacturing, processing, packaging and/or distributing is required to obtain an FSSAI license or registration. FSSAI is an agency of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India with headquarters in New Delhi and 8 regional offices across India, 4 referral laboratories and 72 local laboratories located throughout India. Each food handling location is required to have a separate FSSAI license. Therefore, a firm may have to obtain multiple licenses if they are operating in multiple location.
Licenses are issued at State-level and Central-level. For an annual turnover below 12 Lakhs, a basic Registration will suffice. Small businesses like restaurants, having a turnover between 12 Lakhs to 20 Crores, can make do with state license, while large-sized food manufacturers making above 20 Crores, annually need a central license for operation. Hawkers, vendors, small-scale and cottage industries, temporary stallholders etc. are exempted from the requirement of an FSSAI license or registration. The license has to be renewed periodically as per its validity and requirements of business. However it can be applied for a maximum period of 5 years.
Types of FSSAI License
1. FSSAI Registration
FSSAI Registration is required for the units having turnover upto 12 lakh in a year. Registration is provided by the state Government. Food operators like small retailers, transporters, distributors or petty food manufacturers need FSSAI Registration.
2. FSSAI State License
State License is required for the small and medium sized vendors having turnover more than 12 lakh limited to 20 crore annually and operating in only 1 State.
3. FSSAI Central License
Central License is needed where the turnover increases more than 20 crore annually and is applicable for Large manufacturers, importers, 100% export-oriented units etc. Central license in issued by Central Detpartment.