For Food Business Operators (FBO) it has become necessary to include the food license number/FSSAI registration number on every invoice. From October 1, 2021, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has required food business operators to include the 14-digit FSSAI license number on receipts/invoices. According to the order dated June 8, 2021, FSSAI mentioned that providing the license number will make it easier for consumers to complain about complaints to the FBO.
This article aims to analyze the practical approach of the above arrangement regarding the provisions of the FSS Regulation (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses), 2011.
License Under the Act, Section 3 (za) defines “License” as a license granted under Section 31 and Section 31. Nobody is allowed to start or operate a grocery store without a license. Street vendors and touring vendors do not need a license, but they must register with the official appointed by law. If the annual sales of the FBO are more than Rs. 12.00 lakhs then it is required to obtain a license. If the FBO operates in more than 2 states, a central license is required. Generally, the license is issued after examination and if the license is not rejected within 2 months, it is considered a license. The FBO can commence its work after the approval has been granted or after 60 days from the submission of the application if there is no written notice of rejection. The license is issued on a location-specific basis and can cover more than one food category. The license is valid for at least one year and the FBO can choose for a maximum period of 5 years. The license can be terminated for non-compliance with the law.
Penalty for doing business without a license:
Section 63 of the law stipulates that if a person or a food business operator himself or on his behalf who must obtain a permit manufactures, sells, stores or distributes or imports food without a permit, is punished with imprisonment for a term of up to six months and also with a fine of up to five lakh rupees.
The food company submits a mandatory application in the Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCos), which came into effect after the Food Licensing and Registration System (FLRS) was replaced. After the application has been processed, the authority that issues a 14-digit food license number is generated via the FoSCos system. According to FSS Packaging and Labeling 2011, each prepackaged food must have a certain mandatory declaration on the packaging according to the regulations, which includes the license number and logo of the FSSAI. The FSSAI logo and food license number must appear on the food packaging label in a contrasting color to the background.
License number on the Invoice:
Order dated June 8, 2021, FSSAI has instructed all FBOs to indicate the license or registration number on receipts/invoices/memos with effect from October 1, 2021, and to take advantage of the existing tax and regulatory requirements the license number and registration number on the existing invoice for the sale are sufficient for FBOs according to GST. FSSAI has stated that without a license or registration number it is difficult to trace online complaints and many complaints remain unsolved due to a lack of coordinates from the FBO. If the food license number is mentioned it will help identify the FBO and this will also raise awareness of food law compliance.
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