FSSAI revises guidelines for NOC from Central Ground Water Authority with respect to grant / renewal of FSSAI License
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (“FSSAI”) has revised the guidelines for obtaining ‘No Objection Certificate’ (“NOC”) from Central Ground Water Authority (“CGWA”) by a Food Business Operator (“FBO”) for grant / renewal/ product modification of FSSAI licence through a notice dated 2nd January, 2018.
The highlights of the revised guidelines are:
- FSSAI will not insist on NOC from CGWA while considering application for issuance of new licences, renewal of existing licences and product modifications for the applicant industries (extracting ground water) located in Safe, Semi-Critical, Critical areas.
- For applicant industries (extracting ground water) located in 872 over-exploited areas (other than 162 notified so far) seeking FSSAI Licence – renewal and product modification), the applications will be considered subject to acceptance of their applications for NOC by CGWA and meeting other eligibility criteria.
- For grant of FSSAI licence to new industries (extracting ground water) located in the 1034 overexploited (162 notified + 872 shortly to be notified as overexploited) the application will not be considered by FSSAI without NOC from CGWA. In case of existing industries seeking renewal / product modifications in these areas, FSSAI will consider applications of those industries which are purely seeking renewal or product modification within their existing capacity.
- In the 13 States / UTs where the States / UTs have their own legislations on groundwater and the same is managed through State Ground Water Authority or government orders, and CGWA does not issue NOC for groundwater withdrawal, applications must be made to the respective State / UT Governments by the FBOs in these States / UTs. NOC of the States / UTs shall be final in that case. These states include Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, West Bengal, Chandigarh, Puducherry and Lakshdweep.
For further details on the list of notified over-exploited areas and State wise categorization of areas as Safe, Semi-Critical, Critical, please refer to the attached document.