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Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS) to be launched for the entire country with effect from November 1st. It has been operational in 9 States/UTs viz. Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat, Odisha, Chandigarh, Goa, Manipur, Puducherry, and Ladakh from 1st June 2020.
Since 2011, the FSSAI’s online licensing platform FLRS (Food Licensing and Registration System) has been the soul of the licensing ecosystem with 100% India (all State and UTs) coverage, 70 lakh licenses/ registrations issued till date, over 40 lakhs licensees/ registrants actively transacting on it.
FSSAI’s cloud-based, upgraded new food safety compliance online platform called Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS, URL – https://foscos.fssai.gov.in). It will replace the existing FLRS (URL – https://foodlicensing.fssai.gov.in). FoSCoS would provide one point stop for all engagement of an FBO with the department for any regulatory compliance transaction. It has also been integrated with FoSCoRIS mobile app and will soon integrate with present IT platforms of FSSAI such as INFOLNet, FoSTaC, FICS, etc. Sample management, improvement notices, adjudications, audit management systems, etc activities/ modules will be enabled in a phased manner in the future.
Technologies such as GPS location tagging, picture capture etc will be utilized in the future to ensure transparent and accountable extension field services such as inspections and sampling. In the future, it will be integrated with other platforms of the Government of India such as GST, PAN, MCA, etc. to ensure 360-degree profiling and validation of businesses. A single regulatory platform will enable pan India integrated response system to any food fraud and ensure an advanced risk-based, data-driven regulatory approach. For the start, FoSCoS will be offering licensing, registration, inspection, and annual return modules.
FoSCoS essentially has flows similar to FLRS, so that users have convenience in migrating to FoSCoS. The paradigm change is the shift of methodology of licensing for manufacturers which now shall be based on a standardized product list. This will help in a quicker grant of licenses and eliminate any errors. The new approach is only for manufacturers of standardized food products. For manufacturers, in case of non-specified food, supplements/nutraceuticals, proprietary food, and substances added to food – the approach continues to be as in FLRS. For all other kinds of businesses such as catering, transport, storage etc the licensing/ registration shall be based on a broad category approach, as earlier.
Along with FoSCoS, the module for filing an online annual return shall also be available. The return for the financial year 2019-2020 may also be filed online. Delayed returns due to postal delays, need to preserve dispatch/receipt proofs and disputes regarding submission of returns resulting in harassment of food business operators will be eliminated. Mandatory documents have been rationalized and many paper-based declarations have been replaced with a tick-based declaration. The central theme is to enhance the ease of doing business for the food business operators and enhances the user experience for users.
Once launched, all data related to licenses/ registrations will be available on FoSCoS and the FLRS data shall be disabled for taking any action. However, for initial days, users can access their issued licenses/registrations or applications under processing on FLRS for viewing purposes only. Users will not be required to immediately do anything upon migration to FoSCoS apart from verifying the correctness of details in issued licenses/registrations and applications under processing.
However, all manufacturers holding valid FSSAI license shall be needed to modify their license to choose from the available list of standardized products before a prescribed date. Steps to be taken upon migration from FLRS to FoSCoS, FAQs, and other user-oriented material have been made available on the homepage of FLRS and FoSCoS both.
States/UTs have been given directions for capacity building among the officers and Food Business Operators, to ensure a smooth transition from FLRS to FoSCoS. FSSAI has been constantly conducting training/workshops on the key features of the system. Further, a training version of FoSCoS (https://fcstraining.fssai.gov.in) has been made available so that users of the system get acquainted with the upcoming system. The Guidance Document, PPT, Video Tutorials, and User Manuals have been made available under the User Manual Section on the homepage of the system.
Directions have been issued to all States/UTs to establish a ‘Licensing Help Desk’ at State HQ level for addressing queries of users. An officer(s) needs to handle this desk whose telephone number and email needs to be disseminated to stakeholders in the State.
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