The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a press release on April 20, 2021, wherein they have issued directions for facilitating food businesses during the prevailing COVID-19 conditions.
Directions for facilitating food businesses during the prevailing COVID-19 conditions
- Import clearances of food items and testing services by FSSAI’s notified laboratories (including both public and private laboratories) will come under the category of Essential Services.
- FSSAI has allowed the Food Business Operators (FBO), other than manufacturers, to temporarily operate their businesses on the basis of a valid receipt of FSSAI license/ registration application having 17- digit Application Reference Number (ARN) generated upon online application and fee payment on FoSCoS.
- New businesses can also start operating once they successfully filed the complete application on FOSCOS. Please be advised that this is an interim relief measure, the licence/ registration will need to be secured before the expiry of the relaxation.
- Manufacturers are allowed to increase/ enhance their capacity, on the basis of a valid receipt of FSSAI license/ registration application having 17- digit Application Reference Number (ARN) generated upon online application and fee payment on FoSCoS. This will enable immediate upscaling of production facilities without waiting for regulatory approvals.
- No routine inspections are required to be done except in case of high risk food product viz. Milk and milk products, slaughter houses, meat and meat products etc. However, food safety authorities can conduct inspections in case of select cases on basis of risk profiling or in case of any food emergency/ incidents and complaints. Where feasible, inspections can be done by e-inspection.
- The deadline for returns for 2020-21 has been extended till 30th, June 2021. All returns are required to be filed online on FOSCOS.
- No penalty is payable for late filing of application for renewal of licenses.