FSSAI Hookah Bar License India
If you are an existing restaurant owner who is looking to have hookahs in his outlet or a new restaurant owner seeking to open a new hookah lounge, you would know that there many guidelines to follow. Hookah or Sheesha (as it is known in many places) is a water pipe which has tobacco in it and comes in various flavors like apple, cinnamon, and mint. This pipe is smoked just like cigarettes by various people. Everyone is aware of the side effects of tobacco. It is quite harmful to health for the smokers as well as non-smokers. Hookah Bar license is needed from the government before one can start a hookah bar because it has tobacco in it.
On May 30th, 2017, the FSSAI Indian government has amended anti-tobacco laws which bar service of food and beverage in a designated smoking zone. So now it becomes important for the restaurant’s owners to follow these guidelines and obtain or renew the FSSAI license for their hookah bars.
How to Obtain Hookah Bar License?
Every state of India has a different set of guidelines with regards to getting a license for alcohol and tobacco. But some of the common guideline to which all states adhere to. All the hookah bar owners have to follow COTPA Act which was effective on 2nd Oct 2008. COTPA Sec 4 states that no person will be allowed to smoke in any public place. It further states that “Provided that in a hotel having thirty rooms or a restaurant having a seating capacity of thirty persons or more and in the airports, a separate provision for smoking area or space may be made.”
According to the Supreme Court, trade license is enough for running a hookah bar. Trade license is the most important document needed for a hookah bar. One needs to get a hookah bar license from the Police Commissioner of that particular city or town.
- An application needs to be made and send to Police Commissioner.
- The Commissioner of Police will grant the license if the following conditions are met:
- Tobacco products are not allowed to be sold to a person who is under 18 years.
- No school or hospital or place of worship should be in the vicinity of 100 yards from the hookah bar.
- Ingredients in the hookah should be permissible and should not be used in anti-tobacco law.
Shops and Establishment Act and Trade license from Municipal Corporation
The license is needed from a local municipal corporation or gets registered under Shops and Establishment Act. Shops and Establishment Act comes under the department of labor’s purview. It regulates the working conditions of commercial establishments, trusts, societies, educational institutions working for a profit and establishments where banking, a transaction of stocks and insurance is carried out. It determines the working hours, leaves, minimum wages, maternity leaves, holidays, etc.
The price of getting a trade license by a municipal corporation for every city differs. An application for Trade License can be made at the Citizen Service Bureau (CSB) or online. Application submitted by CSB can be obtained by paying Rs.25. In the case of the internet, the application can be downloaded and then it is submitted to nearest CSB. Once the application along with processing fees is submitted, then a G8 receipt is given. This G8 receipt has a unique registration number. Then inspection of the site from the license inspector happens. After the inspection is complete and license inspector approves it, a unique registration number is released. The unique registration number then is presented to the CSB operator. The Health trade license is then printed. License fees and processing charges are then paid to the operator. After this, the municipal corporation official will sign the trade license. There are documents which need to be presented. They are as follows:
- Site plan
- Key plan
- A Copy of sanction plan or completion plan from a registered architect.
- Water / Sewer connection
- Indemnity bond
- Affidavit and a copy of partnership deed
There are some of the other things one needs to keep in mind is that a restaurant is a must for the hookah lounges to operate. The government has decided that hookah lounges cannot work on their own. So, one needs to also apply to FSSAI for a Food License. FSSAI or Food Safety Standard Authority of India issues food licenses in India. This license is a must for restaurant owners. This is to ensure and maintain a good quality of the food in any food outlets. Every restaurant owner should be registered with FSSAI. To get the license, one needs to first ascertain whether he is eligible for basic, state or central licenses. After that, the application is then submitted to regional offices or online as well as requisite documents. After this, the restaurant owner would pay the fees and then a verification is done. If all the conditions are met which are listed by FSSAI, then it issues a food license to that restaurant. To get more information, visit the website. (www.fssai.gov.in)
Few of the other conditions to get the trade license is smoking it should be designed in such a way that it is separate from the main restaurant and majority of the restaurant space should be used for eating. Also, as discussed earlier, there cannot be any service of food and beverage in the smoking zone. A NOC from the neighbors is also important. Then another important license which is needed by fire safety department. Fire safety department inspects the establishment and ensures the all the firefighting arrangements are in order. After checking, then it issues NOC to the restaurant owner.
The hookah license fees differ from state to state and it depends on the place where the hookah is being served. It could be a stand-alone restaurant, five- star hotel or a club and thus the hookah bar license fees are determined by the location of the lounge. With all the open conditions met, then the restaurant owners can open a hookah lounge in their restaurants.