The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India established under the Government of India is an autonomous body which regulates and ensures that the food is safe for human consumption. It conducts safety checks relating to the manufacture, storage, sale, and distribution of food products. It also ensures that the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 are duly followed by the food business operators. Just like in any other industry you require to obtain a FSSAI license before commencing your business, in the food industry, you must possess an FSSAI Licence to function. The food license or the FSSAI Licence is issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. Let's understand more about it in detail. This article describes the FSSAI License for food dealer. Meaning of FSSAI Licence The Food regulatory authority issues a 14 digit Licence number to the operators in the food business that satisfies the rules and regulations under the FSSA, 2006. Such License number can be found imprinted on the food products with the logo of FSSAI. The FSSAI provides for two kinds of Licenses that are the Central FSSAI License and State FSSAI License. The food business operators who fulfill the eligibility for acquiring such licenses are granted the appropriate license by the FSSAI. Apart from this License, there is another concept called the FSSAI registration that is granted to the eligible petty food retailers. I. Central FSSAI License The Central FSSAI License for a food dealer is issued by the FSSAI regional offices that are working all across the nation. It is required by the food dealers trading in food business on a large scale or having an annual turnover of Rs. 20 Crore and above. Who must obtain a Central FSSAI License? For obtaining a Central License of FSSAI through the regulatory authority, the following food business owners are eligible: Dairy units, including the milk chilling units who are equipped in the collection, procurement, or handling of milk with a production of 50,000 litre milk.The vegetable oil processing unit naturally or through solvent extraction involved in the production and manufacturing; and refineries that involves expelling unit with a capacity of 2 metric tonnes daily.Hotels that are Five stars or aboveMeat processing units with 50 kg or 150 metric tonnes or more on a daily basisSlaughtering units with 50 large animals, 150 small animals, or dealing with 1000 poultry birds on a daily basis.Food processing units, including re-labellers and re-packers involving the capacity of 2 metric tonnes, excluding cereals, grains, and pulses.Proprietary food manufacturers100% export oriented unitsFood business operators who involve in business as a retailer, wholesaler, distributor, and food vending establishments having an annual turnover of Rs. 20 crore or more.Wholesalers with an annual turnover of over 30 crore Rs.Catering service which comes under the establishments or Central government agencies.Importers including food ingredients and additives for commercial purposes. Documents for obtaining Central FSSAI License The list of documents for obtaining an FSSAI Central License by a food dealer is mentioned below: Form B filled and signed duly by the proprietor, partner or the authorized signatory.The blueprint and the layout of the location of the processing unit, which reveals its measurements and allocation of operational and manufacturing units.In the case of a private company, the record of all directors along with their full name and address proof.In case of a partnership company, a record of all partners along with their full name and address proof.Records with respect to the type of machinery being used for the purpose of business and mention its details like number, capacity, etc.The identity proof issued by the government and the address proof of the proprietor, trustees, partners, etc. in case of a company, the identity proof and the address proof of the company’s directors.Report on the water analysis conducted by a recognized or public health laboratory.Address proof in the form of rent agreement, electricity bill, sale deed etc.Non-objection Certificate and copy of the license from the manufacturer.Management system plan of food safety or certificate.Source of milk, only if applicable.In the case of meat and meat processing units, Source of raw materials.In the case of units manufacturing mineral or carbonated water, pesticide residues report of water from a recognized public health laboratory.No-objection Certificate from the municipality or issued by the local authorities.Supporting proof of turnover, if applicable.NOC or PA papers issued by FSSAI.IE code for importers issued by DGFT.Form IXCertificate issued by the Ministry of Tourism, only if applicable.If applicable, supporting evidence of the turnover of vehicles.Declaration form of FSSAI The above-mentioned documents are necessary for a successful grant of Central FSSAI License by the food dealer without which the application for such a license may be cancelled. Also, Read: FSSAI Registration for Restaurant Business in India. Fee structure of Central FSSAI License In order to obtain a new FSSAI Central License, the amount is Rs. 7500, and the renewal fee for FSSAI Central License is Rs. 7500. To do any modification in FSSAI Central License, the fee is Rs. 7500, and for obtaining a duplicate central license, the fee is 10 % of the applicable license fee. II. State FSSAI License An FSSAI State License is issued by the concerned state authority in each state. The FSSAI state License is required by the manufacturers, transporters, retailers, marketers, distributors, etc. It is required by the food dealers trading in food business having an annual turnover between Rs. Twelve lakhs and Rs. 20 Crore. The limit of turnover is the same in the case of FSSAI state trading License and FSSAI state manufacturing License. Who must obtain an FSSAI State License? For obtaining a State License of FSSAI, through the regulatory authority, the following food business owners or the food dealer are eligible: Dairy units that are involved in collecting, procuring, chilling of milk having a capacity of 500 litres to 50000 litres or up to 50000 metric tonnes on a yearly basis.Hotels having a 4-star ratingProcessing units of vegetable oil and such units that produce vegetable oil through the solvent extraction process and refineries that have oil expeller system with a turnover of Rs. 12 lakhs to Rs. 20 crore.Meat processing units.Slaughtering units that have more than two to fifty large animals and that has the capacity of 50 to 1000 poultry birds or has 10 to 150 small animals on a daily basis.Food processing units that involve re-labellers and re-packers having the capacity of more than 100 litres to 2 metric tonnes on a daily basis.Proprietary foods Documents for obtaining State FSSAI License The list of documents for obtaining the FSSAI State License by a food dealer is mentioned below: Form B filled and signed duly by the proprietor, partner or the authorized signatory.The blueprint and the layout of the location of the processing unit, which reveals its measurements and allocation of operational and manufacturing units.Contact details of the directors.Records with respect to the type of machinery being used for the purpose of business and mention its details like number, capacity, etc.The identity proof issued by the government and the address proof of the proprietor, trustees, partners, etc.Details with respect to the list specifying the category of food to be manufactured.The letter of the authority and the name along with the address of the person responsible.Non-objection Certificate and copy of the license from the manufacturer.Management system plan of food safety or certificate.The evidence of the possession of premises.Affidavit of the partnership (Proprietorship) Government Fee structure of State FSSAI License The fee related to FSSAI state License depends from case to case. An amount of Rs. Five thousand shall apply on productions that are beyond one metric tonne and an amount of Rs. Five thousand shall apply on hotels ranging up to 4-star rating. In the case of all food service providers like the restaurants, canteens, etc. and other FBO (Food Business Operators), a fee of Rs. 2000 is applicable. On which food dealer does FSSAI registration apply? In addition to the FSSAI License, there is also something called FSSAI registration that is applicable to petty food retailers. It is a basic license and is required for the small scale food businesses. It covers food businesses that have an annual turnover of an amount not exceeding Rs. 12 Lakhs. Any person who sells or manufactures food products himself, where food is sold on a temporary stall, small scale or cottage industries involved in the food business needs to have FSSAI registration. A business which is equipped with selling, procuring, or handling milk with a capacity of 500 litres per day must obtain FSSAI registration. Apart from this, a slaughter shop having the slaughtering capacity of 2 large animals or 50 poultry birds per day or ten small animals should also have FSSAI registration. What are the steps to obtain an FSSAI License? The procedure for obtaining an FSSAI License for a food dealer is as specified hereunder: An application form is submitted by the food business operator to the Licensing authority through the online process of registration in Form B with the prescribed fees.Thereafter, the applicant receives a Unique Application Reference Number.The application should contain all the required documents like the affidavit, annexure, and any other relevant information.A Unique Application ID is received by the applicant.The authority may conduct an inspection after the receipt of the application and may issue an inspection report.Once the formalities are fulfilled, the license is granted within 60 days of such fulfillment. What is the importance of FSSAI Licensing? Every food business operator must mandatorily obtain FSSAI registration or the License, who are involved in the manufacturing, processing, sale, or distribution of food articles. Its significance is paramount, considering the fact that the consumers are now very conscious about the quality of food products that they consume. The FSSAI licensing shall ensure loyalty among the customers. The Licensing provides a legal advantage to sell food articles without compromising with the quality of food and other things. When a food business operator is granted the FSSAI License, it helps the consumers to believe that the food is fit for consumption; thus, the operator gets public acceptance. An FSSAI certificate on a food product instils the confidence in the customers to buy the food item with the FSSAI mark as it denotes the approval of the Government. One may easily identify that a particular food product is safe and healthy by checking on the FSSAI logo and its License number imprinted on it. It stamps the validity of such a product and allows people to consume food without being circumspect about it. The importance of the FSSAI License can also be deduced by the fact that having such a license helps an FBO to expand its business in other outlets or areas. It adds to ones repute and also qualifies them to lead their business in a new direction. The License may also help a person in getting loans from a bank in order to expand their business. The consumers would also feel safe to buy food from you if you possess a valid License, thereby helping you to facilitate the growth of your business. Apart from this, if you are a consumer, then you may also benefit because of various inspections on the food article, which guarantees that the FBO provides quality food products. Penalty for a food dealer operating without an FSSAI License Non-compliance with the provisions of FSSAI may invite some strict penal actions. Under section 63 of the FSSA, 2006, in case a person or an FBO who must obtain a license but manufactures, sells, distributes, imports, or stores any article of food without the License amounts to non-compliance with the regulations of FSSAI. Such person shall be punished under the provisions of FSSA, 2006 with imprisonment that can extend to six months and a fine which may extend to Five Lakhs Rs. Conclusion The legislation on food safety is one of the crucial legislations that have evolved the standards of food products across the nation. So in order to properly channelize the functioning of the whole system, the Licensing was considered necessary for food dealer. The registration and licensing process shall create more accountability on Food Business Operators, thereby ensuring the quality of the food products. Read, Also: Major Difference Between Registration and License from FSSAI.