The existing Food Licensing and Registration System (FLRS) is getting replaced with the new Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS) throughout India. The system was initially enabled for nine States and Union Territories (UT) including Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Odisha, Goa, Manipur, Puducherry, Chandigarh and Ladakh. The main purpose of shifting to FoSCoS is self-compliance. Currently, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) inspectors enforce the compliance. It is a part of the plan for streamlining of the processes under the Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011, which lays down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage and distribution import.
On October 20, the FSSAI announced: “It is informed that the launch of the second phase of FoSCoS in remaining 27 States/UTs is planned on 1st November 2020 and to enable the same, FLRS shall be closed for remaining 27 States/UTs w.e.f 21st October 2020, 11:00 PM.”
One of the main difference between the two systems is that the FLRS had a text box approach for writing the name of the products to be manufactured, while in FoSCoS has a product selection based methodology for the selection of standardised food products. All existing manufacturing licence holders have to log in an modify their details confirming to the FoSCoS system.
If a food business manufacturer doesn’t modify their license and if the renewal of license gets due, then the renewal would only be allowed only for a year. There is no cost for modification till the prescribed period. After the prescribed period, the modification will be allowed after payment of a fee and the Food Business Operators might have additional penalties determined by FSSAI.
In case an item or category is unavailable in the list of products in FoSCos, the FBO has to apply for it separately. “There may be a case where food business was given the license for a product which does not have a name or nature as mentioned in FSSR. If the product does not feature in the list, the food business is required to apply for Proprietary or Novel Food as the case may be (which are under Central License),” says the FSSAI guidelines for migration.
FLRS will still be available for food business operators having License and Registration of premises at Indian Railways and concerned Authorities will continue to operate. ” Food Licensing and Registration System will be again made live on 22nd October 2020, only for the purpose of licensing and registration pertaining to Indian Railways and handling consumer grievances filed till date,” said the FSSAI statement.
In the new system, many mandatory documents have been rationalised and paper-based declarations have been replaced with tick-based. This will also help the businesses to apply for FSSAI licence directly instead of using agents.