Vertex food regulator, FSSAI has urged FBOs to complete mandatory filing of annual returns online wholly from the next fiscal. This came in the wake of relocation of the food licensing and registration system of the apex food regulator to the Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS).

FoSCoS is entirely a ‘cloud’ based online system that would be a one-stop ‘Compliance Portal’ for Food Safety and will incorporate modules for functional needs such as advanced MIS, integration with InFolNet and FICS; Hygiene Rating and Audits etc. along with annual return filing.

The order by the FSSAI reads, “It is decided that online submission of Annual Return on Food Safety Compliance System –FoSCoS, shall be made mandatory for the food businesses involved in manufacturing and importing of food products with effect from FY 2020-21.”

The order added that the window for annual return filing for FY 2020-21 will open from 1st April 2021 onwards.

FSSAI has addressed FBOs to do the returns online and asked to encourage the move and to refrain from physical mode of submission.

According to an official with the FSSAI, the online submission of the annual return by next fiscal will ensure the ease of doing business and help in making an online database at the national level along with targeted enforcement. Further, the FBOs involved in manufacturing of milk and milk products were also allowed to submit annual returns while the half yearly return shall be discontinued by next fiscal.

Under rule of the FSS –Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses Regulations, 2011, every manufacturer and importer who has been issued a license shall on or before 31st May of each year submit a return electronically or in physical form as may be prescribed by the concerned food safety commissioner to the licensing authority in respect of each class of food products handled during the previous fiscal.

Regarding the FBOs producing milk and milk products got an another bracket for half yearly returns from 1st April to 30th September and 1st October to 31st March of each financial year.

Under the previously formulated FLRS, the filing of annual returns had to be done physically while in COVID-19 imposed disturbances, FBos were asked to do it by mails which is now been modified to be completely online.

 

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