FSSAI says import clearance and testing services of labs are essential services

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on April 20, 2021

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), on Tuesday, clarified that import clearance and testing services of notified laboratories are essential services during the prevailing Covid pandemic conditions.

It added that it has taken several measures to facilitate the continuity of food business operations as the country battles with the second wave of the pandemic.

To enable quick expansion of logistic supply chains, warehouses, retail outlets and food service establishments, it has allowed food business operators to temporarily operate their businesses on the basis of a valid receipt of FSSAI licence or registration application based on the 17- digit Application Reference Number (ARN) generated during online application and fee payment on FoSCoS.

“New businesses can start operating once they successfully file a complete application on FoSCoS. This is an interim relief measure, the licence/ registration will need to be secured before the expiry of the relaxation,” it added.

FSSAI said that packaged food and food-processing companies can also increase their manufacturing capacity on the basis of a valid receipt of FSSAI licence or registration application having the 17- digit ARN.

“No routine inspections are required to be done, except in case of high-risk food products, which include milk and milk products, slaughter houses, meat and meat products. However, food safety authorities can conduct inspections in case of select cases on the basis of risk profiling or in case of any food emergency/ incidents and complaints. Where feasible, inspections can be done by e-inspection,” he added.

Annual returns

FSSAI has also extended the deadline for annual returns for 2020-21 till June 30, 2021. It alo said that no penalty will be charged for late filing of application for renewal of licenses.

“FSSAI has written to all States to ensure no disruption of food supply chains and that regulatory compliance requirements are not an impediment for operation of any food business,” it added.


Published on April 20, 2021

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