Implementation of Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS)
The Food regulator of India or FSSAI (Food Safety and Standard Authority of India) had recently declared that from 01.11.2020 onwards the Food Safety Compliance System or FoSCoS has become operational and effective in the entire country.
However, it shall be relevant to state that such a mechanism was already functioning in 9 States/UTs since June 2020. These states and union territories are
- Tamil Nadu
- New Delhi
Further, the statement stated that since the year 2011, FLRS (Food Licensing and Registration System) had been the most important factor of the online licensing ecosystem. It was operative in every State and had issued 70 lakh licenses or registrations till date, out of which, almost 40 lakh licensees or registrants are still actively transacting on it.
However, with the passage of time, FSSAI Central license has decided to start its cloud-based and upgraded new food safety compliance online platform, known as FoSCoS, which will act as the replacement for the ongoing Food Licensing and Registration System.
In this blog, we will discuss the concept of Food Safety Compliance System and how it is beneficial than the previous Food Licensing and Registration System.
Concept of Food Safety Compliance System
FoSCoS or Food Safety Compliance System is conceptualized to become one-stop destination for all the activities and concerns related to FBOs (Food Business Operator). Further, this online licensing platform was merged with FoSCoRIS (Food Safety Compliance through Regular Inspections and Sampling) mobile application and will be soon integrated with the other FSSAI IT platforms, such as INFOL Net, FICS, FoSTaC, and FPVIS, etc.
Also, there is a plan to phase wise enable some more activities, such as Sample Management, Adjudications, Improvement Notices, Audit Management System and many more other modules or activities in the coming period.
Moreover, it shall be relevant to mention that FoSCoS is a new approach that is initiated only for manufacturers of the standardised food products. That means the manufacturer of the non-standardised food products, proprietary food, supplements/nutraceuticals, and the substances added to the food products will continue to follow FLRS (Food Licensing and Registration System).
However, for all the other types of businesses, such as transport, catering, storage, etc., the licensing/ or registration will be based on the broad category approach.
Concept of Food Licensing and Registration System
The term FLRS or Food Licensing and Registration System is an online based licensing platform launched by the Food Safety and Security Authority of India (FSSAI) to facilitate registration or licensing of FBOs (Food Business Operators) functioning in India.
Further, this platform tracks the progress of the applications filed during the course of processing. Also, the latest version for this platform was version 3.0, which was launched in September 2014.
Why is FoSCoS better than FLRS?
Normally, FoSCoS(Food Safety Compliance System) is similar in approach to FLRS (Food Licensing and Registration System), so that the customers have convenience and ease in migrating to FoSCoS.
However, the main difference between the two is of the procedure followed for licensing manufacturers, as from now onwards the same will be based on the standardised product list.
Further, the main reason behind the implementation of FoSCoS was to grant licenses and eradicate errors. It shall be relevant to state that FoSCoS product selection-based procedure is applicable to manufacturers only. Also, the same offers the mode of filing online Annual Returns as well.
Moreover, the FBOs need to file their Annual Return online on the portal for the F.Y. 2019 – 2020.
One of the main benefits of filing Online Return is that it excludes postal delays. Also, an FBO requires to preserve the dispatch and receipt proofs in order to avoid future havoc and disputes.
Another benefit attached with FoSCoS online licensing platform is that after its implementation the documents required are now rationalized and the intricate paper-based declarations are replaced with tick-based declarations.
In a nutshell, the main aim behind the implementation of FoSCoS or Food Safety Compliance System was to improve the ease of doing business for FBOs(Food Business Operators)and to enhance the user interface experience for everyone.
Further, to build capacity building among the officers and FBOs, the states have been direction to make sure that FBOs are smoothly migrated from FLRS to FoSCoS.