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Handicraft exports from India: A guide for Indian sellers

With the Government of India working towards strengthening the handicraft industry and promoting its export, Amazon Global Selling is making handicraft exports from India easier for the MSMEs.
export handicraft from India
India is known for its intricate design and quality of handicraft. Thanks to globalization, more customers from across the world are now able to buy and sell handicrafts, taking this product category to global markets. Due to growing exports from India, many handicraft exporters have evolved from small-scale sellers to international exporters. Many such sellers have been able to take their handicraft products across the world and sell on Amazon international marketplaces.

Top countries to export handicraft products from India

Some of the top countries that export handicraft products from India are1:
• USA
• UK
• Germany
• The Netherlands
• France
• Australia

Overview of handicraft exports from India

As more and more customers are recognizing and appreciating Indian handicrafts globally, the industry has been growing rapidly. From pottery, wooden carvings, embroidery works to bamboo work and hand paintings, a long list of products from home décor and kitchen, etc have become popular. The industry offers over 35,000 handicraft products across top clusters including Agra, Varanasi, Bareilly, Lucknow, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Surat2.

Future scope of handicraft exports

With the vision of strengthening the roots of Indian handicraft and establishing a platform to empower handicraft exporters worldwide, the Government of India launched the National Handicraft Development Programme (NHDP) to empower NGOs and central and state handicraft corporations by providing strategic and financial assistance3.

Latest updates related to handicraft exports

Government policies, schemes and private sector initiatives play a vital role in the industry’s growth. Below are a few schemes for handicraft exporters:

Comprehensive Handicrafts Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS)

Under the CHCDS scheme, exporters, artisans and manufacturers receive high quality raw materials and products and subsidized rates lower than the market price. It enables exporters to have a fair chance to sell their products with the same resources as established export businesses5.

Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS)

The ATUFS scheme was launched by the Ministry of Textiles to establish a strong infrastructure for the textile industry and subsidize the purchase of required machinery. The scheme aspired to create employment for 35 lakh people and mobilize investment of INR 95000 by 20226.

Major handicraft exports from India

Here is a list of top export categories for handicrafts shipped from India:

Artmetal wares

The artmetal wares category consists of figurines and metal artworks that showcase fine art, intricate craftsmanship and exquisite designs in metals like brass, copper and silver.

Woodwares

Woodwares are some of the most popular export items. Artifacts and handmade wooden products like spoons, toothbrushes, sunglasses, home décor accessories and kitchen accessories are some of the popular woodwares exported from India.

Embroidered and crocheted goods

Embroidered and crocheted goods are intricately designed and popular internationally. Some of the popular products in this category include mirror embroidery, Phulkari embroidery, Kasuti embroidery, Chikan embroidery and patchwork textiles.

Export Promotion Councils for handicraft

Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH)

The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) was established with a vision to support, promote, maintain and increase the presence and growth of handicraft exports from India. It strives to project India’s image as a strong and reliable exporter of top-quality handicrafts. The committee also ensures all goods and services observe international standards and specifications. The council has taken the essential steps to establish infrastructure, marketing and information systems to empower exporters and importers.

Handloom Export Promotion Council (HEPC)

The Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, established Handloom Export Promotion Council (HEPC) to promote the export of handloom products like carpets, floor coverings, fabrics, and home furnishings.

What are the documents required to export handicrafts from India?

Here are some of the documents required to export handicrafts from India:
• Business registration certificate
IEC Code
• EPCH registration certificate
• GST registration certificate
• Trademark registration
• MSME registration
• Bank account statements and financial documents
• ID and address proof of company owners
• Proof of possession of business premises

How to export handicrafts from India?

Step 1:

Register your business and obtain a company PAN.

Step 2:

Obtain a 10-digit Import-Export Code (IEC) and register with the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

Step 3:

Register with Commodity Boards and Export Promotion Councils to benefit from subsidies and other incentives provided by the Government and the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts established under the Companies Act 1986.

Step 4:

Once all the documents are in place, you can register with Amazon Global Selling in 4 simple steps and export to 18+ Amazon international marketplaces.

Step 5:

Once registered, you can choose a logistics solution – you can ship by yourself (Merchant Fulfilled Network) or choose Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). With FBA, all you have to do is to ship your products to Amazon’s global fulfillment centers (warehouses) and Amazon will take care of the rest including storing, picking, packing, shipping, and localized 24/7 customer service.

How Amazon Global Selling helps exporters from India?

Amazon Global Selling is an e-commerce export program that helps local Indian handicraft exporters to sell their products in international markets. With over 300 million global customers and 200 million paid Prime members, exporters can leverage Amazon’s market presence and infrastructure to sell handicraft products across 18 global marketplaces in 200+ countries and territories.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which country is the largest exporter of handicrafts?
India is the largest exporter of handicrafts and sells top-quality handicraft products to several foreign countries.
How many rubber institutes are there in India?
Yes. The Indian handicraft export industry has a promising export market. The industry is growing at an incredible pace. The industry experiences a growth of 6.44% year-on-year from 2018 to 2019 at US$3.8 billion.
How do you get export orders for handicrafts?
Here are some ways through which exporters can get export orders for handicraft:
• Importers and international customers
• Export Promotion Councils
• Export Promotion Organizations
• Chambers & trade associations
• National Centre for Trade Information (NCTI)
Which handicrafts are in demand?
Woodware, embroidered or crocheted goods, miscellaneous, hand-printed textiles, imitation jewellery and art metal wares are some of the popular handicraft products in demand.
Published on August 30, 2022.

Sources:
1. http://www.handicrafts.nic.in/pdf/exportdata.pdf
2. https://www.ibef.org/exports/handicrafts-industry-india
3. https://www.impexperts.com/blog/handicraft-export-from-india/
4. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1761118
5. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1761118#:~:text=Mega%20Handicraft%20Clusters%20having%20more,be%20selected%20for%20overall%20development&text=Ministry%20of%20Textiles%20has%20approved,continue%20up%20to%20March%202026.
6. https://www.startupindia.gov.in/content/sih/en/government-schemes/amended_technology_upgradation_fund_scheme.html
7. https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/info-tech/amazon-to-bring-more-sellers-handicraft-groups-onboard-for-global-programme/article27942220.ece
8. https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-cm/indian-handicrafts-exports-may-cross-rs-24k-crore-mark-by-2020-study-115062900334_1.html
9. https://epch.in
10. http://www.hepcindia.com
11. http://epchonlineportal.in/addapplicants/
12. https://corpbiz.io/learning/export-handicraft-from-india/
13. https://www.epch.in/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=91&
14. https://vakilsearch.com/blog/sell-handicraft-items-across-the-world-a-guide-to-export/
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*Map not to scale. The map has been used for design and representational purpose only, it does not depict the geographical boundaries of the country. These do not conform to the external boundaries of India recognized by the Survey of India.

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