The FSSAI has issued directions dated 31 March,2020 regarding permission to Food Business Operators to temporarily operate their food businesses, on the basis of application for license/registration, during the period of lockdown.
The FSSAI has issued this direction as it is necessary to ensure uninterrupted food services/supply during lockdown in the country due to COVID – 19 Pandemic. The FSSAI has decided to allow Food Business Operators (FBOs) other than Manufacturers to temporarily operate their food business under FSS Act, subject to compliance with the FSS Act, 2006 and Rules and Regulations, and on the basis of a valid receipt of FSSAI licence/registration application having 17-digit Application Reference Number (ARN) generated on Food Licensing and Registration System (FLRS). (URL: https://foodlicensing.fssai.gov.in/index.aspx)
FBOs will be required to have applied/apply for FSSAI License/Registration by making online application, with prescribed fee, through online mode on FLRS, and must possess a valid receipt of application, having 17-digit Application Reference Number (ARN). Further, FBOs shall be required to inform by email to the concerned licensing/registering authority/ Commissioner of Food Safety about commencing his food business. The FBO must also enclose a scanned copy of the application in Form-M which has been given below. The form needs to be signed by Proprietor, Director, Partner or a senior employee of the applicant. List of Commissioner of Food Safety is available at https://fssair.gov.in/cms/commissioners-of-food-safety.php
Such FBOs shall respond to the queries on application, if raised by the authorities and shall be bound to follow all the instructions as given by the authorities. Further, FBO shall stop all of his food business activities immediately, if his application is rejected by the licensing/registration authority, even in the lockdown period itself.
The said permission is available to only those applicants who are allowed to operate in the lockdown. The FBO shall cease his operations related to food at the said premises within 30 days after lockdown ends, unless he has obtained a valid FSSAI licence/ registration as applicable by that time.
In case of State/UT specific lockdown, this permission shall be limited to the respective State/UT only. The State/UT Governments (Commissioners of Food Safety) may restrict this permission to certain kinds of businesses/food categories depending upon the exigencies during the lockdown. It is again clarified that this permission is not for FBOs applying for FSSAI License/Registration for Manufacturer Kind of Business (KoB). In other words, FBOs applying for FSSAI License/Registration for Kind of Businesses other than Manufacturer are allowed to temporarily operate their food business immediately after submission of their application for license/registration during the lockdown period.
Commissioners of Food Safety are advised to supervise the scheme which is for facilitation of the food business operators in public interest, during the period of lockdown. Once, the lockdown ends, Commissioners of Food Safety must ensure that the FBOs who have availed the permission of operating (without FSSAI license/registration) on the basis of 17-digit Application Reference Number (ARN) generated on FLRS, shall cease operations within 30 days from the end of lockdown period, unless FSSAI license/registration has been obtained by them. Commissioners of Food Safety shall also ensure that the applications shall be processed on priority and approvals granted expeditiously for the licenses/ registration (s) applied. In case required, the approvals shall be subject to inspection either physical or e-inspection (through videos/images) and FBOs shall be required to comply with the observations of the inspection.
FORM – M
Subject: Intimation and declaration regarding commencing of food business activities during the lockdown period by possessing the valid receipt of application having __________________________________ (17-digits) Application Reference Number (ARN) for FSSAI license/registration – reg.
I am in business of _________________________________ (nature of business) and the details of my business are as below:
- Name of entity:
- Type of entity:
- Address of premise of food business operations:
- Details of responsible person
iii) Alternate mobile/landline
iv) Email ID:
E. Kind of Business:
F. Category (as per Food Category System) of food being handled:
G. Application Reference Number (ARN) generated from FLRS (17-digits)
General declaration and undertaking:
- I hereby undertake that I shall maintain all hygiene requirements in my operation including extra precautions required to prevent spread of COVID 19. I shall follow all requirements of Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 and Rules and Regulations made therein. I shall only handle food which is permissible under the FSS Act, 2006.
- I hereby declare that I have the requisite permission to operate in the lockdown and my operation shall be limited only for essential items and supplies, as permitted by authorities.
- I shall be responsible for the compliance of the FSS Act 2006 and Rules and Regulations made therein, at the said premises.
- I shall not undertake any manufacture of food products in the said premises, without a valid FSSAI license or registration.
- I understand that the said permission is only for a period of lockdown. I shall cease my activities at the premises related to food, unless I have a valid FSSAI license/registration as applicable, within 30 days of the end of lockdown.
- I understand the permission being availed does not in any way grant any approval to operate in lockdown. I am liable for violation of the directions regarding lockdown if found culpable. The permission shall also not be construed as waiver/compliance of any other requirement by any other government agency/department or law required for operations.
(Signature of Authorised Signatory)