Do all vehicles used for food transport need a licence?

By Sidhartha Srivastava and Gurmeet Kainth, DH Law Associates

The deadline for food business operators to obtain a licence for their vehicles used for the transport of food under the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Business) Regulations, 2011, expired on 4 February, amid ongoing uncertainty on the requirement to obtain a licence for vehicles used for the transport of food.

Legislative provisions

Section 31(1) of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, states that: “No person shall commence or carry on any food business except under a licence.” It is thus clear that a licence is mandatory for carrying on food business in India. Further, section 3(n) of the act defines food business as “any undertaking … carrying out any of the activities related to any stage of manufacture, processing, packaging, storage, transportation, distribution of food, import and includes food services, catering services, sale of food or food ingredients”.

Sidhartha Srivastava
Sidhartha Srivastava

Therefore, section 31 read with section 3(n) shows that any undertaking carrying out the transport of food can be said to be doing food business and therefore must obtain a licence under the act.

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Sidhartha Srivastava and Gurmeet Kainth are partners at DH Law Associates.

(D.H. Law Associates)


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