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Kerala FSSAI Registration and License: Eligibility, Process and Requirements

Kerala FSSAI Registration and License: Eligibility, Process and Requirements
Shivi Gupta
| Updated: Jun 09, 2020 | Category: FSSAI

The food sector in India has become one of the most profitable and in-demand businesses. More food businesses are popping up across the country due to the rise in demand for quality food products and services. The increase in online food delivery marketplaces has also led to more people ordering food from the comforts of their homes or offices. Similarly, more people have started to dine out, leading to more fine-dining restaurants, food trucks, bars, lounges and cafés to launch. The number of small-sized, catering businesses and even home-based food production units have also increased owing to the high profits and low operational costs in the food sector. All these different kinds of food businesses may provide various kinds of food products or services, still, they are governed by a single Authority and require a food license to operate legally in India. This guide is dedicated to simplify the process of Kerala FSSAI registration and license for food businesses in Kerala.

Meaning of FSSAI

FSSAI is the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India[1], a government organisation which was established to regulate and supervise all the food businesses in India. The FSSAI operates under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India.

The Authority came into existence after the enactment of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The FSS Act consolidated different laws that existed earlier to regulate food safety and standards in India.

The main aim of FSSAI is to ensure that all food businesses that operate in India meet the product safety and quality standards for the consumption of the general public. FSSAI Authority also ensures that no food business is involved in any form of adulteration and sale of any sub-standard or unsafe food products.

With the enactment of the FSS Act, all entities that wish to run a food business in India are now liable to mandatorily obtain a food license from the FSSAI. The Authority has been granted the power of registering businesses and licensing them to operate as Food Business Operators (FBO) in India.

Advantages of FSSAI License and Registration

FSSAI license issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India acts as a sanction to a business to operate as any of the following food businesses in India:

  • Dhabha, restaurant, canteen, club, lounge, café, bakery, etc.
  • Hawker, food truck or food kiosk.
  • Businesses involved in storage, processing, wholesale, retail, distribution, marketing, transport or supply of food products.
  • Dairy units and milk-chilling units which can handle or process more than 50 thousand litres of liquid milk per day or 2500 MT of milk solid in a year.
  • Vegetable oil processing units and units that produce vegetable oil by solvent extraction and refineries like oil expeller unit which have an installed capacity of more than 2 MT per day.
  • All slaughterhouses equipped to slaughter more than 50 large animals; more than 150 small animals such sheep and goats; or more than 1000 poultry birds in a day.
  • Meat processing units which can handle or process more than 500 kg of meat in a day or 150 MT in a year.
  • Food processing units and re-labellers and re-packers having installed capacity more than 2 MT per day except for grains, cereals and pulses milling units.
  • 100% Export Oriented Units.
  • All Importers importing food items for commercial use.
  • Retail chains operating in 3 or more states.
  • Food catering services in establishments and units under Central government agencies like Railways, Air and airport, Seaport, Defence, etc.

A business which receives the FSSAI license to operate as an FBO is also eligible to avail numerous government benefits and schemes. Obtaining FSSAI license also comes with the following advantages:

Use of FSSAI Logo

A business that obtains the FSSAI license and registration can also use the FSSAI logo on its packaging and labelling, menu cards, pamphlets, billboards and media advertisements. This grants the business a mark of approval and assurance to the consumers that the food products are safe to consume. Nowadays, consumers are more aware of their rights and safety and prefer to buy their food products from businesses which have the food license from FSSAI to operate in India.

Goodwill and Trust

With consumers becoming more alert and educated about food safety and quality, it has become important for food businesses to get the certification from FSSAI. Changes in dietary needs and lifestyles have also made it important for food businesses to gain trust and goodwill of the public by marking their products as FSSAI-approved. Also, food products and packages having a FSSAI license logo can give the business a market advantage over its competitors.

Legal Protection

Many businesses try to avoid getting a food license thinking the process to be an additional expense for the business. However, food business may find itself in a legal conflict with a vendor, partner or customer over its operational processes. This makes it important for a business to obtain FSSAI license to get legal approval for its operations. The costs associated with non-compliance with the FSS Act and any legal dispute in a court would definitely turn out to be more than the costs associated with FSSAI license and registration.

Types of Kerala FSSAI Registration and Licenses

Under the Food Safety and Standards Regulation, 2011, all food business operator or FBOs that wish to operate in India must obtain FSSAI registration or license. Therefore, any food business in Kerala must also compulsorily obtain Kerala FSSAI license to manufacture, store, transport, distribute or sell any food product.

Kerala FSSAI registration or license is categorised into 3 kinds of food license based on the turnover, activities, and nature of the business. The criterion to obtain any of the three licenses also depends upon the production capacity, including businesses like processing units, slaughtering units and meat processing units.

Kerala FSSAI License

Basic FSSAI Registration

Basic FSSAI Registration must be obtained by food operators such as food manufacturers, storage units, transporters, retailers, marketers and distributors. In Kerala, FSSAI Registration must be obtained from the Kerala State Government. Any Food Business Operator with an annual turnover of up to INR 12 lakh must obtain a basic Kerala FSSAI registration if it plans to operate within the state at a small level.

Kerala FSSAI State License

Kerala FSSAI State License must be obtained by small to medium-sized food business operators such as storage units, transporters, wholesalers, packers, labellers, retailers, marketers, distributors, etc. The Kerala FSSAI State License can be obtained from the Office of Commissioner of Food Safety in Kerala. The state FSSAI license allows the business to operate only within one state, and with Kerala FSSAI license, the business can only operate in the state of Kerala. A state license can be obtained by any business which has an annual turnover of more than INR 12 lakhs but less than INR 20 crores.

Kerala FSSAI Central License

Kerala FSSAI Central License must be obtained by food business operators including importers, 100% export-oriented units, large-scale manufacturers, food business operators in government agencies, airports, seaports, etc. A business also needs a central FSSAI license if it plans to operate in more than one state. The Central FSSAI license is issued by the Central FSSAI Authority from its head office. Any food business with an annual turnover of more than INR 20 crore must obtain a central FSSAI license.

Kerala FSSAI License and Registration Requirements

Every food business that wishes to operate in the state of Kerala must obtain Kerala FSSAI License or Registration as per the above-mentioned categories.

Kerala FSSAI License and Registration Process

The process and requirements involved in the FSSAI license or registration process are:

Filing of Application

Any applicant that wishes to obtain Kerala FSSAI license or registration must file an application with the FSSAI authority at the State or Central level as per their eligibility. The application must be filed along with the requisite documents and along with the provided fees. Once the application is received, a unique application reference number is allotted to the applicant.

Kerala FSSAI License/Registration Fees

The following fees must be paid along with the Kerala FSSAI registration or license application:

  1. If the production is more than 1MT per day: INR 5000
  2. If the production is less than 1MT per day: INR 3000
  3. If the production is 501 to 10,000 LPD of milk in a year: INR 3000
  4. If the production is 10.001 to 50,000 LPD of milk in a year: INR 5000
  5. If the FBO is a hotel having up to 4 Stars: INR 5000
  6. All other kinds of Food Business Operators: INR 2000

Verification by FSSAI

The FSSAI performs a detailed verification of the documents provided by the applicant as well as the place where the food business operator plans to undertake their activities. Upon complete assessment and verification, the FSSAI Registering Authority grants the Kerala FSSAI License or registration.

Rejection of Application

If the Authority rejects the application, it informs the applicant within 7 days from receiving the application, along with the reason for such rejection. The same is notified to the applicant in writing.

Grant of Kerala FSSAI License or Registration

When the application is accepted, the Authority grants a registration certificate to the application, which contains a 14-digit license number. The number must be displayed by the business at its registered place of business. The business must also print this 14-digit FSSAI number on the packages and labels of its food products.

Validity of Kerala FSSAI License

The Kerala FSSAI License is valid for a period of 1 to 5 years. The food business operator has the option to choose the number of years they wish to hold the license. The FSSAI license is also subject to renewal after the expiry of this period.

Renewal of FSSAI License and Registration

FSSAI license or registration can be renewed within 30 days before the expiry. In case the FSSAI license renewal application is not filed within these 30 days, a penalty of INR 100 per day is applicable.

Documents Needed for Basic Kerala FSSAI Certification

The following documents are required to obtain basic Kerala FSSAI certificate:

  • FSSAI registration Form B.
  • Photographs of the applicant.
  • Address Proof such as ownership documents or rental documents of the business premises.
  • Certificate of Incorporate, LLP Agreement or Partnership Deed.
  • List of food products in which the applicant will deal.
  • The applicant’s management plan regarding the food safety and security.

Documents Required for Central Kerala FSSAI License

The following documents must be attached with a Kerala FSSAI Central License application:

  • FSSAI registration Form B
  • Layout of the architecture of the processing unit clearly showing the dimensions and allocation of operational areas.
  • Information of all members like Proprietor, Partner, Directors such as their name, address, contact details, photo ID etc.
  • List of plant and machinery that would be used including the number and capacity of each plant and machinery.
  • List of food products.
  • Authority letter to nominate the authorised person of the applicant.
  • Sources of raw materials.
  • 100% EOU certificate from the Ministry of Commerce.
  • No objection certificate/PA issued by FSSAI.
  • Document with IE code provided by DGFT.
  • Form IX.
  • Ministry of Tourism Certificate.
  • Proof of ownership or premises or rental agreement.
  • Incorporation Certificate, LLP Agreement or Partnership Deed.
  • Affidavit in the case of Sole Proprietorship.
  • No Objection Certificate from the product manufacturer.
  • Management plan laying down the details of food safety.
  • NOC from municipal and local bodies
  • Proof of transportation.
  • Declaration form.

Documents Needed for Kerala FSSAI State license from Kerala Government

The following documents are needed to obtain the state FSSAI license in Kerala:

  • Registration Form B
  • Architectural layout of the processing unit.
  • Information of all members like Proprietor, Partner, Directors such as their name, address, contact details, photo ID etc.
  • List of plant and machinery that would be used including the number and capacity of each plant and machinery.
  • List of food products.
  • Authority letter to nominate the authorised person of the applicant.
  • Water analysis report.
  • Address proof such as ownership documents or rental agreement.
  • Incorporation Certificate, LLP Agreement or Partnership Deed.
  • Affidavit in the case of Sole Proprietorship.
  • No Objection Certificate from the product manufacturer.
  • Management plan laying down the details of food safety.
  • NOC from municipal and local bodies
  • Certificate’s copy obtained under COOP Act.

Penalty for Non-Compliance with FSSAI Requirements

If any food business operator that has obtained the Kerala FSSAI license or Central FSSAI license, it would be held liable of violation of the FSS Act, 2006. The business would suffer the penal consequences of such non-compliance in the form of heavy penalties and even the cancellation of FSSAI license.

If a food business is unable to meet the requirements laid down under the FSSAI laws and regulations, an improvement notice under Section 32 of the FSS Act 2006 may be issued. The following monetary penalties may be levied against a food business that fails to adhere to the FSSAI regulations:

  1. When the food quality is not in compliance with the FSS Act: INR 2 Lakh
  2. When the business is providing sub-standard food: INR 5 Lakh
  3. When the business is dealing with unbranded food items: INR 3 Lakh
  4. When the business is found to mislead consumers with false advertisements: INR 10 Lakh
  5. When the business is dealing with extraneous food items: INR 1 Lakh
  6. When the business has failed to adhere to the FSSAI Officer’s instructions: INR 2 Lakh
  7. When the business is operating in unhygienic manufacturing conditions: INR 1 Lakh

The process of Kerala FSSAI license and registration, and post-registration compliance requirements may become a daunting task for a business if all the processes are managed alone by the business without assistance. Swarit Advisors has a team of FSSAI experts who can help you with your Kerala FSSAI license and registration, or FSSAI certification anywhere in India.

Read our article:What Importance does FSSAI hold and how to go about its Registration?

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Shivi Gupta

Shivi holds extensive experience in content development and research in the finance, economics, legal and business domain. A stickler for detail, she curates her content putting her financial and legal acumen to use and conducting a detailed analysis of latest economics, business and financial trends.

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