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COVID-19-Timeline Extended For Food Business Operators Return Filing
COVID-19 pandemic wave came as an unexpected challenge to mankind, forcing the majority of the world to stay indoors. It has affected many businesses, and the regulations’ business owners need to follow as per law. As businesses, including the food industry, juggle a range of new systems priorities and challenges – business continuity risks, sudden changes in volume, real-time decision-making, workforce productivity, and security risks – leaders must act quickly to address immediate systems resilience issues and lay a foundation for the future.
To help food business operators manage the impact of COVID-19, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) extended the timeline for half-yearly/annual returns, helping them to cope with the panic and run their businesses efficiently.
Highlights of the Notice for Returns by the Food Business Operators
- According to the FSS (Licensing and Registration of the Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011, all licensed Food Business Operators (FBOs) need to submit their yearly and half-yearly returns by the specified time every year. Those involved in manufacturing/ processing including relabeling/ repacking, and importing should submit returns of their individual businesses in Form D-1 for every preceding year by the 31st of May. And those FBOs dealing with milk and milk products need to submit half-yearly return to the concerned Licensing Authority in Form D2 within one month of the end of the preceding half-year.
- Looking at the nationwide lockdown in India due to the COVID-19 situation and the problems faced by the FBOs in filing annual or half yearly returns, the FSSAI exercised its power vested under Section 16(5) of the FSS Act, 2006 and extended the timelines for annual return for FY 2019-2020 and half-yearly return for October 2019-March, 2020, till 31 st July, 2020.
- FBOs need to submit their returns in D1/D2 format through physical copies or e-mails to the designated licensing authorities. The list of Licensing Authorities is given on the FSSAI website as below:
- Central License (100xxxxxxxxxxx): you can check the details of the Central Licensing Authorities at the link below https://fssai.gov.in/cms/designated-officer.php
- State License (1xxxxxxxxxxxxx): you can check the details of the State Food Authorities at the following link https://fssai.gov.in/cms/commissioners-of-food-safety.php.
- This consideration by the FSSAI is a logical step taken to ease the process of return filing by the food business operators.
- Order No. 15(6)2020/FLRS/RCD/FSSAI. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. Dated 11 th April, 2020.