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Guide to Start Shipping Agricultural Goods and Processed Foods From India


India is known for its diverse and rich food culture, and its food products have gained popularity worldwide. If you’re an Indian food manufacturer or supplier looking to tap into the international market, exporting your products can open up tremendous opportunities. However, navigating the complexities of export procedures can be daunting. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of exporting food products from India, ensuring that you are well-equipped to make your mark in the global marketplace.

Opportunities for Food Processing Industries to Export Food Products from India

India’s food processing industry has witnessed significant growth in recent years, presenting lucrative opportunities for exporting food products. With its vast agricultural resources and traditional culinary expertise, Indian food products are in high demand globally. 

Exporting food products allows Indian food processing industries to tap into international markets, diversify revenue streams, and enhance brand recognition. From spices and condiments to snacks, beverages, and ready-to-eat meals, there is a wide range of food products that hold export potential. Understanding these opportunities can help you identify the most promising markets and tailor your export strategies accordingly.

Steps to Export Food Products From India

Exporting food products from India involves a series of important steps that ensure a smooth and successful export operation. By following these steps, you can navigate the export process with confidence:

Step 1: Obtain Import Export Code (IEC)

To engage in export activities, it is essential to obtain an Import Export Code (IEC) from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). The IEC serves as a unique identification number for export businesses and is a mandatory requirement for exporting goods from India.

Step 2: Register with FSSAI

For exporting food products, it is crucial to register with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). FSSAI ensures that food products comply with safety standards and regulations, providing consumers with quality and safe food. Registering with FSSAI demonstrates your commitment to food safety and facilitates smooth export procedures.

Step 3: Identify the Export Product and Market

Conduct thorough market research to identify the export product(s) with high demand and market potential. Consider factors such as product uniqueness, target market preferences, and competition. By understanding the export market, you can tailor your products and marketing strategies accordingly.

Step 4: Understand Import Regulations of the Destination Country

Each country has specific import regulations governing food products. It is crucial to thoroughly research and understand the import regulations of the destination country. Familiarize yourself with labeling requirements, product restrictions, and any necessary documentation to ensure compliance and prevent any potential issues during customs clearance.

Step 5: Obtain Necessary Certifications

Ensure that your food products meet the required certifications and standards for export. This may include certifications such as FSSAI, organic certification, ISO 9001, or HACCP, depending on the nature of your products. Compliance with these certifications not only enhances the quality and safety of your products but also instills trust and confidence in international buyers.

Step 6: Packaging and Labeling

Adhere to packaging and labeling requirements as per international standards. Proper packaging helps protect the product during transportation and ensures its quality and integrity upon arrival. Labels should include accurate and comprehensive information about the product, including ingredients, nutritional facts, manufacturing details, and proper labeling language as required by the destination country.

Step 7: Logistics and Transport

Choose a reliable and efficient logistics and transport solution for exporting your food products. Consider factors such as cost, transit time, and the perishability of your products. Ensure that the transportation method maintains the integrity of the products and meets any specific requirements, such as temperature-controlled shipping for perishable goods.

Step 8: Customs Clearance

Prepare and organize all necessary export documentation, including invoices, packing lists, and shipping instructions. Work closely with customs agents or customs brokers to ensure smooth customs clearance procedures. Familiarize yourself with customs regulations and procedures of both India and the destination country to avoid any delays or complications.

By following these steps diligently and seeking professional assistance when needed, you can successfully export your food products from India and establish a strong presence in the global market.

Licenses Required to Export Food Products From India

Exporting food products from India requires compliance with specific licensing requirements. Here are the essential licenses and certifications you need to obtain:

Import Export Code (IEC)

The Import Export Code (IEC) is a unique identification number issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). It is mandatory for any individual or business involved in export activities. Apply for an IEC online and ensure its validity throughout the export process.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) License

To export food products from India, it is necessary to obtain an FSSAI license. FSSAI ensures that the food products meet quality and safety standards. Depending on the nature of your business, you may need either a Central or State FSSAI license. Complete the registration process and ensure compliance with FSSAI regulations.

Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) Registration

If you plan to export agricultural and processed food products, registering with APEDA is essential. APEDA promotes the export of specific products and provides necessary support and guidance. Obtain an APEDA registration to access export incentives and benefits.

Organic Certifications

For organic food products, acquiring organic certifications is crucial. Certifications such as USDA Organic, EU Organic, or India Organic ensure compliance with organic farming and processing standards. Obtain the relevant organic certifications from recognized certification bodies to export organic food products.

Quality Management System Certifications

Implementing quality management systems can enhance the credibility and competitiveness of your food products. Certifications like ISO 9001 (Quality Management System) or HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) demonstrate your commitment to product quality, safety, and compliance. Consider obtaining these certifications to gain a competitive edge in the global market.

Other Certifications and Registrations

Depending on the nature of your food products, you may require additional certifications. Examples include Halal certification for products targeting Muslim markets, Kosher certification for products adhering to Jewish dietary laws, or specific certifications for specialized products (e.g., gluten-free, non-GMO). Identify the certifications relevant to your target markets and comply with the necessary requirements.

By obtaining these licenses and certifications, you ensure that your food products meet the regulatory and quality standards required for export. This enhances your credibility and opens doors to international markets, giving you a competitive advantage in the global food industry.

Wrapping Up

Exporting food products from India is a promising opportunity for food processing industries to expand their horizons and access global markets. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this guide, you can navigate the complexities of export regulations, certifications, packaging, logistics, and customs clearance.

As you embark on your export journey, it’s important to stay up-to-date with market trends and regulations, and to foster strong business relationships. Leveraging technology can streamline your export operations and enhance efficiency.

At Shipyaari, we understand the intricacies of exporting food products from India. Our comprehensive logistics and supply chain solutions can help simplify your export process, from packaging to shipping and customs clearance. Our experienced team and advanced technology ensure that your food products reach their destination safely and efficiently.

So, seize the opportunity to export your delectable Indian food products to the world. With Shipyaari as your logistics partner, you can focus on growing your business while we handle the intricacies of international shipping.


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