In a bid to regulate e-commerce food business, Food Safety regulator FSSAI has issued draft norms under which online food business operators will have to obtain license from it for the entire supply chain. However, e-commerce entities providing listing/ directory services to sellers, restaurants, vendors, importers or manufacturers of food products may not require obtaining license/registration under the Food Safety and Standards Act. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has come out with draft guidelines for ‘food business activities through e-commerce’ after a meeting with the stakeholders in March. It is now seeking public comments. Also Read - Zomato IPO share allotment status: How to check IPO allotment status online
“E-commerce FBOs will be covered under schedule-I of the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulation, 2011. The e-commerce food business operators (FBOs) will have to obtain license from the Central Licensing Authority for the entire supply chain,” the FSSAI said in the draft norms. The FSSAI has also defined e-commerce FBO as those entities which carry out any of the activities of section 3(n) of FSS Act through e-commerce platform. It has also defined the marketplace-based model of e-commerce FBO and inventory-based model of e-commerce FBO. “No food business operation by himself, or by any person on his behalf, manufacture, sell or distribute any article of food which is unsafe; or misbranded or substandard, or contains extraneous matter; or for which a license is required,” the draft said. Also Read - Zomato IPO: How to invest via bank, Zerodha, and Paytm Money
That apart, the e-commerce FBO/entities should immediately delist any food products listed on their platform, which is not in compliance with the FSS Act, it added. The move comes amid series of consumer complaints against e-commerce companies offering poor quality products and services. Even the Consumer Affairs Ministry is planning to regulator e-commerce through the proposed new consumer protection law.