Vide Circular dated 22nd November 2019, the Regulatory Compliance Division of the FSSAI brought it to the Notice of Licensing Authorities throughout the Country to insist on only relevant Documents to be submitted by the Food Business Operators (FBOs) along with their Applications for Licensing and Registration.
Cases had arisen in the past when Documents sought by the Authorities had no relevance to the nature of Business eg asking for in-house laboratory in food business even though it was not mandatory as per Rules.
To avoid inconvenience to FBOs and to reduce unnecessary delays in processing of applications, the following Directions were issued :
- Licensing Authorities to insist only on the Documents listed in the Food Licensing and Registration System (FLRS). If additional documents are still found to be necessary, the reasons for the same to be submitted to FSC/Director Regional Office for review.
- Piece-meal queries to FBOs to be avoided and instead all deficiencies found in the applications to be raised in one lot to avoid delays in processing. Where possible, solutions to be suggested to the FBOs to enable them to make their choices in resolving issues.
- In the cases of auto generated licenses, the Authorities to issue Notices to the FBOs if Documents are not in order and to continue with further processing.
- Monthly Meetings to be held by the Food Safety Commissioners and Directors of Regional Offices to monitor and review the following ——
-Cases where queries have been raised more than two times
-Cases where additional documents have been called by DO/FSO
-Cases of auto generated licenses pending due to non-attendance by Licensing officers.
- All cases of multiple queries and undue delays to be dealt with seriously and explanations called from the concerned Officers, where necessary. IT Division of FSSAI to share details of such queries on a monthly basis.
The Circular requested that Instructions be issued to Licensing Authorities accordingly, warning of strict action in cases of repeated delinquencies.