The term E-Commerce stands for buying and selling products online. India's E-commerce Market is ranked 9th Globally and is expected to grow from 4% of the total food and grocery to 8% by 2025. Considering this surge in the market, FSSAI has directed all the FBOs operating online to have an FSSAI central license for Ecommerce to ensure food safety in India.
In recent years, many Delhi-based cloud kitchens have registered themselves with FSSAI in Delhi. The online Food industry has grown significantly because of consumers' online platforms and convenience.
India's Food Safety and Standard authority are solely responsible for food safety and standards, rules and regulations, and guidance of the e-commerce food industry in India.
According to FSSAI, those who carry out their businesses through online portals are classified as E-commerce food business operators in India, such as zomato, swiggy, grofers.
FSSAI has defined online business models as follows:
1. Inventory-based model:
It is a business model that manages the inventory themselves, i.e., they buy from manufacturers and sell it directly to customers. This model has an advantage as it gives complete control over product quality and delivery time.
2. Marketplace-based model:
An e-commerce marketplace model commonly used by big food and grocery stores. The platform will only provide essential services like payment, logistics, and customer support, while all other operations related to food products are managed directly by the vendors.
3. Hybrid model:
In this business model, you can sell your food products directly through your website without using third-party websites or platforms like Amazon or Flipkart. This business model provides full control over pricing and marketing strategies by which one can also set up their brand name in the market.
Ecommerce Food Business Operators
E-Commerce refers to the sale of food products online, but it can also be described as any commercial transaction that happens online.
Ecommerce businesses that provide storage facilities to their sellers for their food products, such businesses are required to have an FSSAI license.
Online businesses such as zomato and swiggy, which provide listing facilities to dhaba owners, hotels, or any such food manufacturers such online platforms are also required to have Fssai registration.
Individual food manufacturers sell their products on their online portals. Such businesses are also termed E-Commerce food businesses, such as BurgerFi.
Businesses that provide transportation facilities to their sellers and vendors, and manufacturers.
Requirements and Guidelines of FSSAI License for Ecommerce
All E-commerce food operators must get a central license irrespective of their limits and turnover.
Shall provide mandatory food information mentioned by FSS Act rules and regulations made thereunder be provided to the consumers without charging any supplementary cost.
Any food article delivered to consumers must have a shelf life of upto 30% or 45 days before expiry.
Online FBOs are required to comply with these guidelines.
E-commerce FBOs must take queries of their customers on an urgent basis if the consumers register any complaints regarding their services and Food product.
All the products must be printed with visible and readable license numbers.
All online FBOs, including catering businesses, dhabas, hotels, petty food sellers, hawkers, and vendors, must follow these guidelines of FSSAI for E-commerce businesses.
Maintain hygiene and standards laid down by FSSAI for E-commerce.
Food Business operators selling cooked or prepared food online shall display a notice board containing the nature of articles being exposed for sale.
E-commerce to make mandatory declarations Rule 10 of the Amended legal metrology rules requires e-commerce entities to make declarations mandatorily.
Food products offered for sale by Ecommerce FBO shall be liable to sampling at any supply chain point.
Ecommerce FBO must ensure that there must be no mislabelling or misbranding of the food product.
The Ecommerce entity shall immediately delist any food products listed on their platforms that are not in compliance with FSS Act.
Process of Obtaining FSSAI License for Ecommerce
To get an FSSAI food license for E-commerce businesses, you can directly apply on the FosCos web portal. Or you can apply with us for a hassle-free online process.
Step 1: Online Application
Click on the license/registration tab to apply
Select the State
Choose your kind of business(E-commerce) under the retail trade tab
Fill in the mandatory details of FORM-B
Upload all relevant documents
Submit the fee and complete the application process.
A 17-digit application reference number will be generated and given to you after submitting the fee to track the status of your application
Food safety management plan for E-commerce warehouse
List of companies' directors
Trade license certificate
FSSAI License Fees and validity For Ecommerce Business
Ecommerce FBOs fall under the FSSAI central authority because, irrespective of their turnovers and capacity, all FBOs must have a central license.
The fee for a central license for E-commerce businesses is Rs. 7,500 per annum.
The validity of the FSSAI Central license ranges from a minimum of 1 year to a maximum of 5 years.
The food safety and authority of India has levied 18% GST on FSSAI registration fees and penalties.
FSSAI License Renewal for E-commerce
Applicants can file for FSSAI renewal 180 days before the due date.
In the case renewal of a license is not filed till 30 days before the expiry date, a late fee of INR 100 per day is to be paid by FBO, along with the renewal fee.
In the case of FBOs filling for FSSAI renewal from the 1st to 90th-day after the day of expiry, then they shall be charged 3 times the original annual fee respectively and 5 times if they appear after the 90th day from the day of expiry.
FBOs who fail to renew their license shall be deemed void to carry any food business, to avoid such circumstances you can check the exact validity of your FSSAI registration using our FSSAI license status checker tool.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do I need a license to sell food products online?
As per FSS guidelines, all Food business operators need a Central FSSAI license for E-commerce businesses irrespective of their capacity.
What is the FEE for FSSAI food license for E-commerce FBOs?
E-Commerce FBOs require central FSSAI licensing, the fee for central licensing is Rs. 7,500 per year.
Is it mandatory to print FSSAI registration numbers on all food products for online food businesses?
Yes, under FSS regulations 2011, all online sellers are liable to print/display the FSSAI registration numbers and the FSSAI logo on their Food products.
What are the responsibilities of an E-commerce FBO?
All food products delivered by E-com must have at least a 30% shelf life before expiry.
What are the penalties for non-compliance with FSSAI
FSSAI penalties vary as per the degree of violation of the FSS ACT 2006 maximum penalty for non-compliance with FSSAI can leave for the cancellation of FSSAI registration or 3 months in jail or a fine upto 10 lakh rupees.
What is an E-commerce FBO?
According to FSSAI, any seller or manufacturer who sells his food products online either by himself or any third-party online service provider is termed an E-com FBO.
Are physical documents required to be submitted at Regional/State Offices for License after submitting an online application?
No, there is no need to submit physical documents at Regional/ State offices for Central/ State licenses.
Under what circumstances the application for an E-commerce FBO is rejected?
Licensing Officer can reject the application in the case when the required information is not provided within the stipulated time of 30 days or is convinced that the applied application is not tenable and cannot be granted.