The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued a letter/notification/order/circular on January 7, 2021. This is a policy revision for the Auto Generation of FSSAI licenses as well as for the auto rejection of registration applications (case of non-response) and they wanted it to be implemented with immediate effect.
What does this policy change imply?
This policy implies that if a food business has applied for license or registration renewal and if the authorities do not respond on time, said license/registration will be auto renewed. Essentially, FSSAI has resolved the timeline issues surrounding the renewal of licenses/registrations for food businesses.
It also implies that when an applicant submits his application for renewal of his food license to the licensing authority, the latter has a time of 60 days during which they must renew the license. In case of inadequacy detected, they will need to notify the business owner within this time frame. Failure to do so will lead to the auto renewal of said license. However, in the case of a potential rejection, the query from the licensing authority and simultaneous response from the food business must take place within a time frame of 30 days, otherwise the application is auto rejected.
For registrations, the time frame is 7 days.
The main objective of the policy revision is to ensure auto generations and issuances do not occur since these applications will be deemed as ‘unattended by the food authority’ and will be considered as a negative mark for them.
This policy implies that if a food business has applied for license or registration renewal and if the authorities do not respond on time, said license/registration will be auto renewed.
How will food businesses benefit from FSSAI’s move?
This move will prevent hindrance of food businesses due to lack of timely action on the part of the authorities.
Food businesses will no longer face delays regarding license or registration renewals and do not need to take it up with FSSAI anymore.
Why timely license and registrations are key for start-ups?
Timely generation of licenses and registrations is key for start-ups since food businesses need to commence at the most opportune moment to meet market trends and consumer demands. Long-pending applications hamper the operations of the food premises and getting back on track becomes difficult. Due to non-response from food authorities, stakeholders lose out on crucial business.
What’s in it for me?
The policy is valid for the following Kinds of Businesses (KoB); manufacturers, standardised food products’ processors under general manufacturing, dairy processing, and vegetable oil processors.
Food service businesses like Caterers and restaurants will benefit from the policy. If you are a retail meat shop, the policy will apply only for the retail part of your business and not for the slaughtering/processing of meat.
Slaughterhouses and meat processing units are not covered under the policy since they are considered high-risk businesses with any potential impact associated with their operations extending across the country.
The policy revision will protect petty food businesses from pausing due to failure on the part of authorities. Business must not be hampered for these businesses due to the incompetence of food safety authorities. The food business operator will be allowed to continue to operate his/her business without high wait times.