Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (“FSSAI”) is registered under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. Food Business Operators (“FBO”) in India must obtain FSSAI registration for the manufacturing, processing, storage, distribution and sale of food products. FSSAI registration is done online on the FSSAI website through Food Licensing and Registration System (“FLRS”). FSSAI launched Food Safety Compliance System (“FoSCoS”) on 1st June 2020 replacing the existing online registration system of FLRS.
FSSAI has currently launched FoSCoS for the States/UTs of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Gujarat, Goa, Odisha, Manipur, Delhi, Chandigarh and Ladakh. Users of these States or UTs have to visit the FoSCoS FSSAI website now and log in through the same user ID and password of the old FSSAI website.
FoSCoS is an enhanced version of FLRS. It has evolved incrementally and organically with changing regulatory needs. Registration on the old FSSAI website through FLRS was outdated with no technical support. The users complained of the slow speed of FLRS. Thus for improvement, expansion and innovation in the licensing system, FSSAI launched cloud-based, new food safety compliance online platform, i.e. FoSCoS.
Currently, the FBOs having License or Registration of premises at Indian Railways and concerned authorities will continue to operate at FLRS, i.e. the old FSSAI website till FSSAI makes any further announcement. The Food Business Operators (pan-India) will also continue to receive consumer grievances, and they will respond to these grievances in a time-bound manner at FLRS only until the upgraded version of the Consumer Grievance Module is developed in FoSCoS.
FoSCoS FSSAI Website
The home page of the FoSCoS FSSAI website is as follows –
The top of the home page provides two search bars to search ‘Standardized Food Products’ and ‘Eligibility of your food business’ (as shown in the screenshot below). Below the search bars are the ‘View all FSSAI standardized Food Products’, ‘Clubbing of Variants of Products’ and ‘View all Eligibility Criteria Details’ buttons.
By clicking on ‘View all FSSAI standardized Food Products’ the food category name, food sub-category name, product name, and FSSR number can be seen. When clicked on ‘Clubbing of Variants of Products’, it opens a PDF file containing the list of Standardized Food Products having variants. The ‘View all Eligibility Criteria Details’ button opens the PDF containing the table of the kind of business, its criteria, type of license/ registration for the business and fee per annum.
The home page also has the ‘Track Application’, ‘Know Your Officer’, ‘FBO Search’, ‘How To Apply’ and ‘Application Processing’ options/buttons.
When clicked on the ‘Track Application’ option, it asks to enter the Application Reference Number and the Captcha Code in the home page itself. By entering the Application Reference Number and the Captcha Code, the FSSAI Application can be tracked.
The ‘Know Your Officer’ option asks to select the State and District from the dropdown list. Once, the State and District are selected, and the ‘Enter’ button is clicked, the details of the Officer Name of the jurisdiction, his designation, office email and type is displayed on the home page.
Any FBO can be searched by clicking the ‘FBO Search’ button and then entering the details of Company Name, License/Registration Number and Captcha Code in the box provided and lastly clicking the ‘Search’ button.
The ‘How To Apply’ option on the home page provides the steps for applying for the FSSAI license/registration.
The ‘Application Processing’ option on the home page shows the stages of processing of FSSAI application by the Licensing/Registration Authority.
The home page also has the ‘Apply License’, ‘Apply for Registration Certificate’, ‘Modification of License and Registration’, and ‘Renewal of License and Registration’ tabs at the bottom of the home page (below the above mentioned five options/buttons) through which the users can apply or modify their license/registration.
However, in the initial days, the users can access their issued FSSAI license/registration or the FSSAI applications under processing on the old FLRS website for viewing purpose only. The users will not be required to do anything immediately upon mitigation to FoSCoS except for verifying the correctness of details in their license/registration and applications under processing. But, all manufactures having valid FSSAI license will have to modify their license to choose from the available list of standardized products before 31st December 2020.
Objectives Of FoSCoS
- To transform from the present FLRS, which is only a licensing platform to a central food safety compliance regulatory platform.
- To build a technically advanced integrated application for achieving interoperability with other applications, capable of higher user traffic and potential for future upgrades and functionalities.
- To enhance the user performance of the application and make the application process effective and simple to promote ease of doing business amongst the FBOs.
- To achieve minimum physical documentation and to streamline business process flows for FBOs for online application.
- To enable the application to seed business-specific details such as CIN No., PAN No. and GST No. to ensure 360 degrees profiling and validation of FBOs. FoSCoS will also be integrated with the Government of India platforms of GST, PAN, MCA etc. for this purpose.
Features Of FoSCoS
FoSCoS is built using the latest technology with a vision to have modern on stop pan-India IT platform for food safety regulatory needs. FoSCoS is conceptualised as the umbrella system, which is integrated with the old FSSAI website’s existing IT platforms such as Food Safety Compliance through Regular Inspection and Sampling (FoSCoRIS) to ensure seamless operations.
It is also designed to integrate with Food Safety Connect-Complaints Management System, Food Import Clearing System (FICS), Indian Food Laboratory Network (InFoLNet), Audit Management System (AMS), adjudications and penalties, Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC), Food Safety Mitra (FSM) etc. These integrations will be done one by one in the future until FoSCoS evolves from a licensing platform to a unified compliance platform.
FoSCoS has a robust architecture capable of future extensions and enhancements. The Home page has been re-designed to make it more user friendly, intuitive, and a smart search option for standardised products and eligibility search for any food business.
While applying for a licence online in the old FSSAI website through FLRS, the manufacturer applicant has to type the name of the food product he intends to manufacture in the text box provided on the webpage. This feature has been changed in the FoSCoS website. Manufacturers will have to select the standardised food product only, out of the list provided on the website. The standardised product will have its classification as per food category system indicated for convenience.
In case the manufacturer’s food product does not fall under the list of the standardised products, the manufacturing FBO will apply under the category of Proprietary Food, Non-specified Food or Supplements/Nutraceuticals as the case may be. In these cases, the text box approach of the old FSSAI website will continue. But, this changed feature is only for manufacturers which include re-packer and re-labeller of the food products.
FoSCoS will have a new online feature for filing annual returns through FoSCoS application. FBOs will have access to inspection reports. There will be a rationalisation of the required documents KoB wise instead of the complete set of 29 documents which was there previously in the FLRS application. Many document-based declarations are revised to an online checkbox declaration. There is a clear segregation of KoBs in FoSCoS applications, for e.g., nutraceuticals and novel food categories have been added as a separate category of business under manufacturing.
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