The time limit for renewal of FSSAI License has been extended due to the various exigencies faced in 2020. A year of Pandemic, Covid-19 became the year of lockdown and the coming of difficulties with it. Hence the government extended the time limit for renewal. Renewal of FSSAI license was also considered. The Hotel and Restaurant Association of India has relied on the Central and State Government, for extending the renewal period during the crisis. Food operators in India are demanding for the renewal of licenses, or registrations without taking any penalty in this period. The grace period was given up to 31st July 2020. As quoted by the President Mr. Surendra Kaushal of HRANI & Vice President of FHRAI, that the decision of extension of time limit for renewal of FSSAI license will ease our industry. They said FSSAI supports the Food Business Operators in India, in this crucial time of Covid -19 Pandemic. What is the difficulty for FBO- Food Business Operator? FBO’s were finding it difficult to file the applications for the renewal of licenses. As the hotel industry has been severely affected. Due to the shutdown of their operations and closure of hotels in most parts of the country, renewal of FSSAI License extension was required. Notification- Extension of Period till 31st December 2020 for Renewal of FSSAI License The Notification gives the previous reference to the Notification dated 13th April 2020 and 18th January 2020. The Notification of 31st July 2020 says that the period is extended for Renew Your FSSAI License. This is the third Notification by the Food Safety Authority of India, favoring the Food Business Operators at PAN India level. Before the Notification 31st July 2020: The Food Business Operators, whose license was expired during the period 22nd March 2020 to 31st May 2020 were given the grace period to apply for renewal of their registration till 30th June 2020 without any late fees. This Notification was already in force. The Notification mentioned the deemed approval of FSSAI Licenses. The Notification clarifies: According to the prevailing situation, it has been decided to extend the grace period, till 31st December 2020, for making a renewal of FSSAI License to those FBO’s who are covered in the above orders and also to those FBO’s whose FSSAI License shall be expiring on the 1st August to 31st December 2020.The aim of the Notification is not to provide any late fees under Clause 2.1.7(4) of the FSS (Food Licensing & Registration of Food Business) Regulations, 2011.The order shall apply prospectively.There will be no claim or refund of late fees paid of already applied renewal applications, shall be admitted.For this interim period, FSSAI registration or License shall be deemed to be valid. Measure took by FSSAI in Covid The various measures which have been taken by the FSSAI in this Covid -19 pandemic to support the Food Business Operators in India: Permission to continue Business in lockdown Food businesses can only survive when it is allow to operate. The FSSAI allowed continuous business operations without renewal of FSSAI license during this exigent period. Deployment of the practice of E-Inspection This practice involves the feature of E-Inspection where the food operators could go for the application. In this process, the applicants were asked to upload the photos of their premises for inspection. Extension for the period of Tax Filing Here the food business operators were relieved from filing tax returns. The time limit was extended for them till 31st July 2020, to file tax returns for the previous assessment years. The Notification was released on 11th April 2020. Extension for the timeline for the FSSAI License Renewal The benefit was given to the food business operators in India, that time limit were extended for FSSAI License renewal or registration. By the time, food operators were deemed to continue to hold the licenses. Major Causes for Renewal of FSSAI License The following are the reasons for renewal of FSSAI License: Non-Continuance of work of Food Business Operators The impact of the Pandemic was witnessed by the aviation and hotel industry. The people’s movements were restricted during the lockdown. Business like hotel runs on the regular operations, which was limited. Hence, most of the Food Business Operators came to a standstill with barely any income. After assessing the situation, it was difficult for them to go for renewal of FSSAI License. This is the main reason from extending the time limit for renewal of registration. A lot of documents are required for the registration. The necessity for FBO’s of Jammu & Kashmir & Ladakh The licenses for the food business operators in India in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh shall be expiring on 1st August 2019 to 31st May 2020 would be granted extension to 31 December 2020. Abandonment of late fees The late fees on the submission of renewal of FSSAI License shall be removed. The interim period of the FSSAI Licenses shall be assumed to be valid Conclusion It can be concluded that the outbreak of the Covid-19 has affected industries in different sectors. This has led to slowing down of the economy. India has sustained well during these tough times. The initiatives brought out by the FSSAI to support FBO’s are commendable. Read our article:What is the Process for FSSAI License Renewal?