How to export food products from India?

India is growing as a global exporter of food products and consumables. In this blog, learn about top export food products, documents required and the process.
How to export food products from India
As a nation with a large focus on agriculture, India is steadily growing as one of the top global exporters of consumables. Currently, India exports its agricultural and food products to countries including the USA, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Japan, Italy and the UK1. Organically grown spices, veggies and oil and competitive pricing have contributed to the growing demand, creating immense opportunities for Indian exporters.

Food items to export from India: Overview

The APEDA (Agricultural and Food Products Export Development Authority), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has taken several initiatives to promote export of food products from India. These initiatives include organizing B2B exhibitions and trade fairs, involving Indian embassies to explore potential markets through marketing campaigns, etc. As a result, the overall export of agricultural and consumables has increased to USD 9598 million (INR 76, 486 crore) from April-July 20222.

Growing exports from India

According to the Indian Chamber of Commerce, over 5 crore MSMEs in India produce over 6,000 products and account for almost half of exports from the country1. There is no doubt about the immense potential for growth in e-commerce exports from India.

Making e-commerce exports even easier for Indian sellers are programs like Amazon Global Selling, which support businesses in expanding their horizons and selling across the world. Understanding the benefits of exporting via e-commerce, over 70,000 sellers are now successfully selling on Amazon international marketplaces.

What are the types of food products to export?

1. Rice

Basmati, brown rice, sella and steamed rice are some of the top varieties of rice that are exported from India.

2. Vegetables

When it comes to fresh vegetables like onion, ginger and a number of other vegetables, India is among the top exporters. Some of the leading importers of fresh vegetables from India include the Asian countries of Malaysia, the UAE, Bangladesh, and the UK.

3. Groundnut:

Groundnut is a popular food export. The countries that import a large fraction of this includes Asian countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines etc.

4. Processed fruits and juices:

When it comes to processed fruits and juices export from India, the export numbers have significantly increased from previous years. India exports various kinds of processed fruits such as Saudi, Netherlands, the UAE, the UK, etc.

5. Milled products:

Milled products include flour of wheat, rice, maize, etc. India exports milled products to the USA, the UAE, Australia, etc.

Documents required to export food items from India

Some of the important documents that are needed to export food products are:

1. Import Export Code (IEC)

An Import Export Code is a 10-digit number issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. It is a unique identification number that is required by importers and exporters to run a seamless business in international trade.

2. Bill of Lading

BOL is one of the essential documents in charge of export bound cargos. It works as proof of shipment. It states what products are being shipped, where the shipment is from (origin country) and what is the destination of the shipment (destination country).

3. FSSAI license

FSSAI license is a certificate given to food businesses in India to ensure the safety of food products and consumables. Mandated by the FSS Act 2006, FSSAI is administered by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. It is necessary for every food business operator to have an FSSAI license. Retailers and manufacturers of consumables are required to get a license.

4. Shipping bill

While sending products from one country to another, an exporter has to go through various formalities like submitting a few applications, acquiring licenses, paying duties, etc. To obtain clearance from customs, an exporter has to apply for a shipping bill to avoid any challenges while shipping.

5. Export order/purchase order

The importer confirms the order through a Purchase Order with the exporter. This order includes details such as cost, shipping, currency and other requirements.

6. Certificate of Origin

The Certificate of Origin is a document which certifies that the products being exported have been manufactured and processed in that particular country.

How to export food items from India?

Indian sellers who want to export consumables from India need to obtain an IEC and other documents mentioned above, along with specific licenses depending on the destination country, product category and shipping mode.

How to export food products with Amazon?

If you are looking to expand or even start your own export business of food products, Amazon Global Selling enables you to register and sell internationally without having to set up a warehouse or store globally. As an e-commerce exports program, Amazon Global Selling provides access to 18 international marketplaces and millions of Amazon customers who shop for Indian products from across the world.

Step 1: Research your business idea and expansion plan

Some of the first questions to ask yourself is where and what to sell. Once you’ve decided to expand your business globally, it is important to understand the regions you want to export to and the products you want to sell. What are you offering with your products? For instance, do you want to make high-quality kitchen essentials? Then people who enjoy cooking will be some of your best customers.
How to list your products on Amazon

Step 2: Register and list your products

A major step in your export journey is registration. Registering with Amazon Global Selling is easy and simple. You have to submit the following documents:
• ID proof (Aadhar, driving license or passport)
• Business address proof (Bank statement)
• Credit or debit card (international transactions enabled)

Once you’ve registered, you can list your products on marketplaces of your choice. Product descriptions are what customers will read to decide if your product will suit their needs. It’s important to write a thorough description telling your potential buyer everything they need to know to make an informed decision.
Amazon seller registration

Step 3: International shipping: storing, delivery and returns

When you start your e-commerce exports business, you have to finalize a process to handle shipping and returns. To keep things simple, it might be best to find a space that is accessible and cost-effective to store and ship your products. You can either opt for third-party services or handle this by yourself or you can choose Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). With this state-of-the-art logistics solution, Amazon handles packing, storing, shipping, delivery and returns on your behalf.
Amazon FBA

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best food product to export from India?
Non-basmati rice is the one of the largest exported agriculture products from India, followed by basmati rice4.
Is food export profitable?
Yes, food export is a profitable business. When you export food items from India, you can make the most of the growing demand for Indian spices and consumables globally.
Which vegetables are exported from India to the USA?
Onion, mixed vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes and green chilies are some of the most popular vegetables that are exported from India to the USA.
Do I need a special license to export food?
Yes, you need an FSSAI license to export food items or consumables to the global market11.
Published on September 28, 2021.


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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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