A Guide to FoSCoS- An Upgrade to FLRS by FSSAI

A Guide to FoSCoS

FoSCoS(Food safety compliance system) is a cloud-based online platform, gestated as the umbrella system, which is integrated with FSSAI’s other existing IT platforms to provide a one-stop center for all engagement of a food business operator (FBO) for any regulatory compliance transaction. FoSCoS was launched on 1st June 2020 across 9 states/UTs to test the ability for FoSCoS and to rectify any shortcomings.

1. What is FoSCoS?

FoSCoS is an online platform launched by the government to ease out the application filing process by the FBOs. This is a one-stop digital center for document filing, registration, and licensing; It also provides compliance services. The FoSCoS replaced the FLRS system by FSSAI, the primary registration, and licensing system for the past 11 years.

The primary objective of FoSCoS is to create a transparent food safety and verification platform for reducing the time of the Inspection process and action initiated. The most striking feature of this portal is that it can handle a higher degree of traffic and FBOs can choose from a standardized list in the drop-down menu rather than entering the details manually and in each box.

2. Goals of FoSCoS

  1. To design a state and district wise food safety compliance system.
  2. Build a platform for authenticating inspection reports on time and ensuring transparent inspection.
  3. Creating a mechanism under FoSCoS for quick response and action under Food Safety Emergencies.
  4. To ensure that the inspection is free from any deviations.

3. Highlights of FoSCoS

FSSAI has brought in multiple updates and introduced many new features in FoSCoS that were missing earlier in FLRS. Some of the features are

  1. A well-designed, easy home page with smart search options for checking standardized products and registration eligibility
  2. Responsive, quick, and advanced portal with the ability to handle maximum traffic.
  3. A new system for filing annual returns.
  4. Improved menu list, check box, drop-down menu, and increased processing speed.
  5. Inspection reports and “know your business” sections are introduced for seamless operations.
  6. Defined segregation of the different sections and sub-sections for better navigation.
  7. FoSCoS application form captures PAN Number, CIN Number, and GST Number which can provide authentication and 360-degree profiling of FBO’s in the future.
  8. GPS and location tagging will also capture photos in near future.
  9. A mobile app completely dedicated to FoSCoS will be designed and launched shortly.
  10. Helpdesk, customer support number, and customer support email address are also available on the portal.
  11. Petty FBOs like roadside hawkers and vendors can register their business under FoSCoS.

4. FoSCoS- An Integrated IT Umbrella

FoSCoS will soon integrate the following IT sectors in the future-

  1. INFOLNet
  2. FosTaC
  3. FICS
  4. FPVIS

Sample management, improvement notices, adjudications, audit management systems, etc activities/ modules will be enabled in a phased manner in the future. 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.

5. A spectrum of Services under FoSCoS

FoSCoS offer a range of services that can be availed by the FBOs, it will cover license, registration, inspection, and FSSAI annual return filing. Some of the other services undertaken are-

  1. Issue, renewal, and modification of licenses owned by Food Manufacturers
  2. Issuance of license to food proprietors, restaurants, and registration for petty FBOs.
  3. Transfer and surrender of license
  4. Endorsement of organic products.
  5. License for mid-day meals, food exporter and importer, and business head offices.

6. Second Phase of FoSCoS launch

FSSAI issued a Public Notice on 12th October 2020, informing the FBOs about the implementation of FoSCoS in the remaining 27 states and Union Territories w.e.f 26th October 2020.

It further informed the FBOs that the launch of the second phase of the Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS) in the remaining 27 States/UTs i.e covering the entire country. The process is planned to be completed on 1st November 2020, and enabling the new system will come into force. 

FLRS shall be closed for the remaining 27 States/UTs w.e.f 21st October 2020, 11:00 PM.

Fssai has further issued 6 points related to the launch and implementation of the Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS) across the country by the end of 2020.

  1. The first phase of FoSCoS was launched in 9 states/UTs (Delhi, Gujarat, Odisha, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Manipur, Ladakh, Chandigarh, and Puducherry) to remove the existing Food Licensing and Registration System (FLRS) w.e.f 1st June 2020. The problems faced and suggestions from the stakeholders shall be taken into account to make the system more robust and user friendly.
  1. The notice added that all user manuals, guides, tutorials, flyers about key features, training videos, and FAQs are made available under the manual section on the homepage of the official website https://foscos.fssai.gov.in/user-manual
  1. Food Licensing and Registration System (FLRS – https://foodlicensing.fssai.gov.in) will be again made life on 22nd October 2020, only to license and registration pertains to Indian Railways and handling consumer grievances filed till date. 

Since the year 2011, FSSAI’s online licensing platform(FLRS) has become a vital part of licensing and registrations. As per FSSAI, over 70 lakh licenses and registrations have been issued to date, and over 40 lakh registrants are active on it. 

  1. A new and updated version of the consumer grievances portal i.e. Food Safety Connect for addressing the queries related to FoSCoS will be launched on or before 1st November 2020.
  1. SOPs, documentation, and the trial procedure is made available on the homepage of the website. To get acquainted with the features of FoSCoS, FBO can visit https://fcstraining.fssai.gov.in.
  1.  For any query or assistance, FBOs may contact the concerned State Helpdesk. The details of State-wise Licensing Helpdesk and dedicated helpline number at State Head Quarter level are available at https://fssai.gov.in/cms/commissioners-of-food-safety.php

7. Conclusions

FoSCoS has been integrated with FoSCoRIS mobile application and will integrate with present FSSAI platforms such as Indian food laboratories network (INFoLNeT), Food Import Clearance System (FICS), and Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC), and more, in the coming days. FoSCoS plans to integrate with other Government platforms as well, such as MCA to ensure 360-degree profiling and validation of businesses. 

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are strictly of the author and VJM & Associates LLP. The contents of this article are solely for informational purpose. It does not constitute professional advice or recommendation of firm. Neither the author nor firm and its affiliates accepts any liabilities for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of any information in this article nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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