In The FSSAI had made amendments to the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Business) Regulations 2011 and the amendment regulation 2018 was framed and has been approved by the Food Authority in a meeting held on 21 September 2017. These regulations contain amendments in respect of the following sections
- Section I Licensing and Registration of E-Commerce food business operators
- Section II: Documents to be enclosed for a new application for a license to State/Central Licensing Authority for restaurant
- Section III: Conditions of license for a restaurant
- Section IV: Part-II of Schedule 4 relating to general requirements on Hygienic and sanitary practices to be followed by all food business operators applying for a license
- Section V:- Part IV of Schedule 4 relating to establishing a small slaughterhouse
- Section VI: Part V of Schedule 4 relating to good hygienic and manufacturing practices to be followed by licensed food business operators engaged in catering or food service operation
These regulations were operationalized with effect from 15 February 2018. The Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Business) Regulations 2011 are still under comprehensive revision. Since this is likely to take some more time the FSSAI has decided to re-operationalize Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Business) Amendment Regulations, 2018
Section I: Licensing and Registration of E-Commerce food business operator
In Chapter 1 under Definitions (1.2), the definitions related to e-commerce have been included which are
- “Digital and electronic network” means the network of computers, TV channels any other internet applications used in an automated manner such as web pages, extranets, and mobiles etc.
- E-commerce means buying and selling of goods and services over a digital and electronic network.
- “E-commerce FBO” means any Food Business Operators carrying out any of the activities in Section 3(n) of the Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006 through the medium of e-commerce.
- “Inventory based model of e-commerce FBOs” means an e-commerce activity where an inventory of food products and food services is owned by e-commerce FBO and is sold to the customers directly.”
- “Marketplace based model of e-commerce FBO” means providing of an information technology platform by an e-commerce FBO on a digital and electronic network to act as a facilitator between the buyer and seller/brand owner/ manufacturer. E-Commerce marketplace includes entities providing support services to sellers/brand owners/product manufacturers in respect of warehousing, logistics, order fulfillment, payment selection, facilitator of delivery and other services.
In Chapter 2 Licensing and Registration of Food Business, a new regulation has been added
- LICENSING of E-COMMERCE FOOD BUSINESS OPERATOR
Licensing of E-Commerce Food Business (2.2.1)
- E-commerce FBOs shall obtain a license from the concerned central licensing authority Provided that the E-commerce entities providing listing/ directory of FBO/food products may not be required to obtain license under the Act, and the Regulations made thereunder, subject to the condition that they are not covered under the definition of food business as per section 3(n) of the FSS Act
- Provided that the E-commerce entities providing the listing/directory of FBO/food products and also facilitation orders/transaction on their website shall require the central license
Responsibilities of E-commerce Food Business Operators (2.2.2)
- The sellers/brand owners/manufacturers on the E-Commerce platform shall be required to display their FSSAI License/Registration obtained under the FSS Act and Regulation and hygiene grading as may be assigned by FSSAI
- All E-Commerce FBOs are required to sign an agreement with the sellers/brand owners/ manufacturers averring that the said seller/ brand owner/ manufacturers are compliant with the FSS Act Rules and Regulations made thereunder and liabilities shall rest with the FBOs
- The sellers/ brand owners/ manufacturers who display or offer any ‘pre-packed food’ for sale to the customers either on their own e-commerce platform or on the marketplace based model of e-commerce shall ensure that a legible and clear picture of the ‘principal display panel’ of such pre-packed food is made available for viewing by the customers; except batch number/lot number, best before, expiry date, date of manufacturing/packing and MRP.
- Any food article delivered to consumers by e-commerce FBO shall have a shelf life of 30 percent or 45 days before expiry at the time of delivery to the consumer.
Provided that in the case of caters or restaurants receiving the order through electronic media only fresh food item shall be delivered to the consumer.
- The sellers/ brand owners/manufacturers dealing in fresh produce will provide an indicative image of the same product to the e-commerce FBOs for displaying on their platform to enable the consumers to recognize the product.
- Mandatory food information mentioned in the FSS Act, Rules and Regulations made thereunder shall be provided to the consumers without charging supplementary costs. The relevant mandatory food information should also be available before the purchase is concluded
- The food products offered for sale by e-commerce FBO shall be liable to sampling at any point of the supply chain.
- It shall be ensured by the E-commerce FBOs that the last mile delivery is undertaken by trained delivery personnel and the safety of the food product is not compromised at the time of the delivery.
- E-commerce FBOs shall ensure that no misleading information/false claims to the product or misleading images of food products are made available or shown on their platform.
- E-commerce FBOs shall immediately delist any food products listed on their platform, which are not in compliance with the FSS Act or Rules or Regulations,
- All the FBOs i.e. sellers/brand owners, vendors, importers, manufacturers, restaurant, hotel etc. shall comply with the basic hygiene and sanitary practices mentioned in the Schedule 4 of Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses), Regulations 2011.
- Complaints relating to products efficacy, quality, or any other such issues shall be communicated immediately by e-commerce FBO to the sellers/brand owners/ importers/manufacturing company concerned for expeditious resolution.
- E-commerce entities providing the listing/directory of FBO/food products on their platform shall list the rating/ranking of FBO, voluntary or mandatory, as may be specified by Food Authority.
E-commerce FBO includes, but is not limited to the following
- Entities providing listing services to sellers/brand owners/manufacturers/restaurants on their platform, thereby providing a platform for commerce to the sellers, manufacturers, restaurants etc.
- Sellers/brand owner/manufacturer, vendors, importers, processors, packagers or manufacturers who display or offer their food products, including food services, catering services, a sale of food or food ingredients for sale to the customers, through either the market-based model or the inventory based model of e-commerce.
- Operating and providing storage and/or distribution services to the sellers/brand owners, vendors, importers or manufacturers of the food products listed in their marketplace.
- Providing transportation services to the sellers/brand owner, vendors, Importers or manufacturers of the food products and/or providing last mile delivery transportation to the end consumers.
The term ‘seller/brand owners/manufacturers ‘ means seller /brand owner/restaurant/ vendor/ importer/processor/packager/manufacturer responsible for the listing of their product/offering on the e-commerce platform and will be visible to the end consumer as the ‘seller’ of the said product/offering.
Here only the amendments related to E-Commerce FBO has been detailed for the rest you can log on to https://fssai.gov.in/dam/jcr:9a216a62-f67c-4ba1-93e4-9ba1ec749ca3/Direction_License_Registration_13_12_2018.pdf