FSSAI Issues New Guidelines For E-Commerce Food Operators

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has mandated a license for e-commerce food business operators to run a business according to new guidelines.

In the guidelines for ‘Operations of E-Commerce Food Business Operators’, the FSSAI stated, “E-commerce FBOs shall be covered under schedule-I of the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulation, 2011. These e-commerce FBOs have to obtain a license from the Central Licensing Authority for the entire supply chain.” And a notification that was issued last week stated that e-Commerce FBOs have to obtain a license from the central licensing authority for the entire supply chain – which includes the head/registered office, manufacturers, transportation, storage, distribution, etc.

According to the guidelines, the delivery should also be undertaken by trained delivery personnel to ensure the safety of the food product and that it is not compromised at the time of delivery. The guidelines also state that companies that are providing listing/directory services may not be required to obtain a license/registration under the Act. And they should ensure that no misleading information/false claims pertaining to the sellers/brand owners, vendors, importers or manufacturers.

fssai-new-guidelines-ecommerce

And these entities should clearly specify on their platform (website or app) that liability of any violation of the FSS Act and applicable rules and regulation would be with sellers/brand owners, vendors, importers or manufacturers of the food products.

In March last year, the FSSAI launched a mobile app that would allow consumers to raise concerns related to food safety. Not only consumers raise concerns and report issues, they could also learn of food safety tips and safety laws as prescribed by the regulator.