Guide to building a leather export business from India

Leather is one of the top export product categories from India. With growing e-commerce exports, Indian sellers can take their leather export products to international markets with ease. Learn more in this blog.
leather export from India
India is one of the top exporters of fine leather, which opens up indefinite opportunities for Indian sellers. Identifying the increasing leather exports, Rajasthan’s Hussain Gurana started 'A Jaald Store' – a leather export business from India and made his dreams come true. With chic and compact leather products including hand bags, luggage, satchels and journals, this Indian brand is one of the torchbearers of self-sustenance and strong entrepreneurial spirit. A Jaald Store chose e-commerce for leather export from India to the USA, Europe, and the UAE, and saw a Year-on-Year growth of 62%. “The growth for A Jaald Store has been phenomenal, and we continue to evolve as a leather brand. We are excited to explore several new markets in many more countries with Amazon Global Selling in the future,” Hussain shares.

With leather being one of the highest growing export industries in India, thousands of sellers from the country are exporting leather products across the world. From Tamil Nadu and Telangana to West Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir, leather products are manufactured and exported in huge quantities from across the country1. If you want to start leather export from India, you need to understand the compliance, an Importer Exporter Code (IEC) and the top importing countries from India.

Trends in leather export from India

India is a significant contributor to the global leather industry, ranking second in leather garment exports and fourth in leather goods exports worldwide. Here are some of the top trends in leather exports from India2:

• Footwear remains one of the leading categories in India’s leather product exports.
• From April-August 2022, export of leather, leather products, and footwear sector saw a remarkable growth of 29.81%, with total exports valued at $2,377.34 million compared to $1,831.35 million during the same period in the previous year.
• In 2021-22, India’s total leather and leather products exports amounted to $4.87 billion, reflecting a substantial growth of 32% compared to the previous year.

Top countries to export leather from India

India exports leather products to more than 50 countries. Here are some of the top countries that import leather products from India2:

The US

The US is the largest importer of leather and leather products from India, contributing up to 25.19% of the country’s total leather exports from April to August 2022.


Germany is another significant market, accounting for 10.86% of India's leather exports during the same period. Indian leather and leather products worth $258.12 million were exported to Germany from April to August 2022.

The UK

The UK is also one of the top importers of leather from India, contributing 9.71% to India's total leather exports from April to August 2022.

Italy, France, and the Netherlands

India exported leather and leather products to Italy, France, and the Netherlands worth $161.53 million, $115.57 million, and $101.62 million, respectively, in 2022.

What are the most exported leather products from India?

While there are numerous exported leather products from India, some of the popular categories that are demand in international marketplace are:
• Footwear
• Accessories
• Leather bags
• Wallets
• Garments
• Home décor
leather export products from India

Government bodies that promote leather export from India

The EP(LSG) Division is responsible for promoting export of leather, leather products, sports goods, and toys from India3. It collaborates with industry councils like the Council for Leather Exports (CLE) and the Sports Goods Export Promotion Council (SGEPC) to enhance exports. Additionally, the division facilitates India’s participation in trade events, helping local businesses showcase their products on an international platform, while contributing to the country’s economic growth.

Council for Leather Exports (CLE)

As an apex body under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, the Council of Leather Exports (CLE) is dedicated to the overall development of Indian leather industry and assists exporters in trade in the international market3. Registering with CLE enables Inx`dian leather exporters to benefit from trade fairs, best practices for export, and more. To register with CLE, you require the following documents:
● Export license
● Importer Exporter Code (IEC)
Registration cum Membership Certificate (RCMC)
● Order and invoice process

Government schemes that promote leather export from India

On March 3, 2022, the Government of India issued a notification approving ‘Indian Footwear and Leather Development Programme (IFLDP)’4. Its primary objectives include:

• Development of infrastructure
• Addressing environmental concerns
• Facilitating additional investments
• Generating employment Increasing production

The Indian Footwear and Leather Development Programme (IFLDP) comprises six sub-schemes, each serving specific purposes to promote the growth and development of the leather and footwear sector2. These are as follows:

Sustainable Technology and Environmental Protection (STEP)

This sub-scheme focuses on promoting sustainable and eco-friendly industrial and tanning practices particularly linked to environmental concerns. It encourages zero liquid and wastewater discharge and offers assistance for upgrading Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) and preparing vision documents.

Integrated Development of Leather Sector (IDLS)

IDLS aims to encourage entrepreneurs to diversify and establish new units within the sector, thereby enhancing overall productivity.

Establishment of Institutional Facilities

This sub-scheme seeks to upgrade the infrastructure of Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) campuses.

Mega Leather Footwear and Accessories Cluster Development (MLFACD)

MLFACD supports entrepreneurs by providing modern infrastructure, technological advancements, training, skill development, and human resource development to foster growth in the leather footwear and accessories industry.

Brand Promotion of Indian Brands in Leather

This scheme focuses on boosting international branding of Indian footwear and leather manufacturers, increasing the visibility of their products in global markets.

Footwear Sector and Development of Design Studios

This sub-scheme provides assistance for design support, technical guidance, and opportunities for employment and business growth in the footwear sector, with a specific emphasis on design studios.

Documents required to export leather from India

To become a leather exporter from India, some of the documents required are5:
• Self-attested photocopy of your Importer Exporter Code (IEC)
• Self-attested photocopy of your GST Number.
• Self-attested photocopy of your PAN.
• Self-attested photocopy of Udyog Aadhaar Memorandum/Industrial License/Industrial Entrepreneurs Memorandum (IEM), if you are a Manufacturer Exporter.
• Photocopy of Bank Certificate in case of export (format available on the CLE website). If you had "Nil" exports during the previous fiscal year, make sure to mention this while filling out the online application. Once your membership fee is received, the Registration-Cum-Membership Certificate (RCMC) will be issued to your registered email within three working days.

Submission of hard copy documents

After completing the online application, you must also submit the following documents in hard copy through post/courier to the relevant Regional Office of CLE within 3 working days:
a) Printed and signed copy of the membership application form, filled out online.
b) Original attested Bank Certificate of your export for the previous fiscal year.
c) If you are a Partnership firm, include a self-attested photocopy of the entire Partnership Deed.
d) For organizations such as Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), firms, Joint Stock companies, Public and Private Limited Companies, Cooperative Societies, or Corporations, provide a self-attested photocopy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
e) If you are a Proprietor/Proprietrix, include a self-attested photocopy of your Income Tax Returns for the last 03 years.
Please ensure that you follow the guidelines and provide all the necessary documents for a smooth application process with CLE.

How to start leather export from India with Amazon?

As one of the leading exporters of the industry, sellers from India have indefinite opportunities to export leather and grow their business. In the recent years, many sellers are increasingly opting for e-commerce exports – an easy and seamless way to sell internationally online. Amazon Global Selling is an e-commerce exports program that assists leather exporters to sell on 18+ international marketplaces like the US, the UK, Italy, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Japan, France and more. From simple registration to attractive listing and hassle-free shipping, Amazon Global Selling offers international tools and solutions, enabling sellers to reach millions of customers.

Register your business

First, you must register your leather export business with Amazon Global Selling. You don’t have to be an existing Amazon India seller. The registration can be done online on Seller Central. You’ll need the following documents to register:
• ID proof (Aadhar, driving license or passport)
• Business address proof (Bank statement)
• Credit or debit card (international transactions enabled)
Amazon seller registration

List your products

Once you have successfully registered to sell globally on Amazon, you can list your leather products. Remember to follow tips on how to list your products include attractive pictures and descriptions that’s clear to international customers. You can also seek help from third party service providers.
How to list your products on Amazon

Ship and receive payments

Once a customer places an order, you can choose to deliver by yourself or you can opt for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Under FBA, Amazon takes care of shipping, delivery, returns and customer concerns. Once a customer purchases your product, Amazon credits the money in your bank account in the currency of your choice.
Amazon FBA

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I export leather products from India?
You can start leather export from India via e-commerce exports program – Amazon Global Selling. With a few documents, you can register and start selling on international marketplaces like USA, UK, Italy, UAE and more.
How much leather is exported from India?
In 2021, the major markets of Indian leather were the US (17.22%), Italy (6.33%), Germany (11.98%), and France (5.94%)1.
Is leather exported from India?
Yes, India is one of the largest leather exporters. India supplies around 12.93% of the world’s leather production1.
What kind of leather does India export?
India is known for exporting finished leather goods, such as leather footwear, leather garments, and accessories.
Published on October 18, 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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