Office Location

Delhi:

E-5, 2nd Floor, Defence Colony
New Delhi - 110024
Tel : 011-24336744

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Mumbai:

Office No. 1410, 14th Floor, Maker Chamber V, Nariman Point, Mumbai
Tel : +91 22-22873499

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Gurgaon:

Level 18, One Horizon Center, Golf Course Road, DLF Phase 5, Sector 43, Gurgaon 122002, India
Tel : +91 124 668 8146 / +91 124 668 8147

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Mumbai (Entertainment and Media Practice)

Office No. 213, 2nd Floor, A-wing, Crystal Plaza, Andheri Link Road, Andheri (W), Mumbai.
Tel : 022-62360762

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Mumbai (Corporate and Transactional Practice)

909/A, Capital Building, Bandra Kurla Complex, East Mumbai- 400098

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Bangalore:

21/2, 1st Main Road,
Opp Indian overseas Bank,
Gandhinagar,
Bengaluru - 560009

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Kanpur:

77A, Cantt., Kanpur - 208004

E-COMMERCE FBO’S UNDER FSSAI NET

By Ms. Divya Sharma, Head - Food Law Practice

Through a recent order dated 2nd February 2017, FSSAI issued guidelines covering all e-commerce food business operators (FBOs) to regulate the digital industry dealing in food products. The guidelines come into immediate effect from the date of their publication.

Accordingly, there have been two business models identified:

  1. Marketplace based model of e-commerce FBO: where e-commerce FBO’s provides an information technology platform on a digital and electronic network and acts as a facilitator between the buyer and the seller/ brand owner/ manufacturer. This shall also include provision of support services to these entities;
  2. Inventory based model of e-commerce FBO: where e-commerce FBO’s maintain inventory and own the inventory of food products and food services and sell it to customers directly.

All e-commerce FBO’s shall now have to obtain license from the Central Licensing Authority for the entire supply chain i.e., Head Office/ Registered Office, Manufacturers, Transportation, Storage, Distribution etc.

The e-commerce FBO will be required to display the principal display panel of the pre-packaged food product. The guidelines further ensure that last mile delivery of food products shall only be done by trained delivery personnels and the safety of the food should not be compromised at the time of delivery. In addition, e-commerce FBO’s shall ensure that no misleading information/ false claims pertaining to the sellers / brand owners, vendors, importers or manufacturers or any misleading information relating to the food product or food service has been displayed on their platform. This casts an additional responsibility on the e-commerce FBO’s who hitherto had been advertising/ displaying information without carrying out a basic due diligence. A safeguard to the e-commerce FBO’s has been provided by mandating them to provide on their digital platform that liability relating to violation of the FSS Act or FSS Regulations shall lie with the sellers / brand owners, vendors, importers or manufacturers.

E-commerce FBO’s are further required to provide a dedicated consumer complaint cell where complaints pertaining to product efficacy, quality or other issues can be registered. This complaint shall then be notified to the sellers / brand owners, vendors, importers or manufacturers. The consumer shall also be redirected to the consumer call center of the manufacturer so that consumers can directly pursue the matter further.

This move by FSSAI has been a response to various suggestions and representation sent by consumers to regulate the digital market selling food products and related food services online. This will ensure that highest standards of hygiene and safety are ensured by such e-commerce FBO’s.