FSSAI Draft Norms for E-Commerce FBO’s
There is a sudden rise of e-commerce food business operators (FBOs) in India due to digitalization. E-commerce FBOs includes any kind of sellers, vendors, importers, manufacturers, processors, packagers, restaurants, hotels who market their food products online either in the market based or inventory based business models. They are selling food products through their online platform and making available at the doorstep of the consumers. In order to ensure safety, FSSAI has come out with draft norms for the e-commerce food business players in the market. The norms made it mandatory to obtain a license for online FBOs for its entire food supply chain. This act has been made after taking suggestions and comments from all the stakeholders in the e-commerce food business market.1
According to the section 18(1) (a), 29(2) and 29(3) of the Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006 following important facts are taken into consideration by FSSAI for e-commerce business.1
REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS FOR E-COMMERCE FOOD BUSINESS
|S. No.||E- Commerce Food Business Requirements||E- Commerce Food Business and Product Compliance Requirements||Brief of Requirements|
|1||Registration & Licensing requirements||License||E-commerce FBOs need to obtain license or registration from the central food authority-FSSAI, for the entire supply chain.|
|2||Supply chain compliance requirements||E-commerce food supply chain||FBOs need to ensure the safety of the food products they are selling in their online platform.
E-commerce FBOs should make agreements with all the sellers. The agreement should be compliant with FSS Act & Regulations.
|3||Food Product Listing & Information Requirements||Product Listing||Proper image of the “Principal display panel” of the pre-packaged food product or fresh products for the consumers is required.|
|4||Requirements for Display of food product||Product Display||FBOs shall comply with basic hygiene and sanitary practices.|
|5||Consumer Complaints Handling||Consumer Complaints||There need to be a proper consumer complaint cell of the e-commerce business who will immediately deal with all the complaints related to the product like efficacy, quality, etc.|
|6||Responsibility of e-commerce FBOs towards recall of their products||Product Recall||E-commerce FBOs should immediately delist products that are not compliant with FSS Act & Regulations.|
Quick Facts for the E-commerce food operators in India
- The food product sellers in e-commerce need to display their license or registration obtained from FSSAI under FSS Act & Regulations.
- Moreover, E-commerce businesses need to ensure that false claims and images about the food products are not displayed in their platforms. They should clearly specify that the liability on the violation of FSS Act will be with the claimers.
- Display of the condition of storage of the food items, warnings, disclaimers, etc related to the products is1
E-commerce food business industry is a rapidly growing sector with high growth annually. Safety and compliance of the brands in the food industry will be maintained if the Food Business Operators maintain the standards and follow guidelines by FSSAI. For assistance related to the e-commerce and online food regulations, you can seek advice from CliniExperts, New Delhi. Please feel free to contact (91-11-40536928) and (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Draft Consideration for e-commerce Food Business Operators. Available at: http://fssai.gov.in/Portals/0/pdf/Draft_E_Commerce_FBO_20_09_2016.pdf. Accessed: 5.10.16.