Extending the relief to FBOs (Food Business Operators) during the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced lockdown upon the country, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has pushed further the grace period for applying for renewal of licence or registration expired or expiring from March 22 to July 31, 2020. The extension is given until July 31 and the FBOs can renew their licence or registration without thinking of a penalty in this period. Previously the grace period was given until June 30 for FBOs to renew their licences/registration which have expired or were about to expire during the period – March 22 to June 30. The FSSAI, in this regard, issued an order stating that after reviewing the situation it has been decided to extend the grace period till July 31 for applying for renewal of licences/registration for those FBOs whose licences/registration are expiring in the period until July 31. “All such FBOs are allowed to apply for renewal of their licences/registration till July 31, 2020, without any late fee as per clause 2.1.7(4) of the FSS (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations 2011. The order will apply prospectively,” the order says while adding that no claim of refund of late fee paid of an already applied renewal application shall be admissible while the existing FSSAI licence/registration shall be deemed valid in the interim. The FSSAI, in a statement, has said that it was engaged with state food safety departments, communicating the emerging priorities in the food safety landscape. The priorities communicated include expediting work related to licensing on the online portal; establish licensing helpline in each state with a dedicated number and email id; create robust complaint handling mechanism; conduct only essential inspections and so on. The need for facilitating food business has been strongly emphasised by FSSAI to the state food authorities.
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