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Tea export from India: A guide to selling internationally with Amazon

Starting a tea export business from India is easy and seamless. In this blog, find out how to export tea from India to across the world with Amazon.
tea export from India
Whether it’s Moringa Ole in Egypt, Turkish Oralet tea, or the aromatic Assamese Tea – this is a beverage that’s loved world-over. Many startups, brands and sellers across the globe have identified the popularity and demand, and have been successfully running a tea export business. Closer home, Bala Sarda started Vahdam Teas with the same passion to serve Indian chai to global customers. “By infusing innovative technology and eliminating unnecessary middlemen from our sourcing process, we want to revolutionize the way the world drinks tea,” the founder of the New Delhi-based brand says.

With ecommerce exports program – Amazon Global Selling, he could take his local business to the world. “Ours is a tea loving population and chai, as we know it, is being preferred globally too, so taking my company to different parts of the world was only natural,” he adds. Since the brand’s launch in 2015, Vahdam Teas has shipped more than 100 million cups of tea to over 85 countries across the world.

Bala is one of the thousands of tea exporters from India, who has established their brands in the global markets. In this blog, we’ll help you understand how you can export tea from India in an easy and simple way.

Tea production in India

It’s no doubt that tea is grown in abundance across the country. A total of 1.28 billion kilograms of tea was produced across the country in 20211. The tea originated in the region of Nilgiris, Darjeeling, and Assam are known for their premium taste and distinctive quality.

What are the major tea importing countries for India?

Exported worldwide, India stands as the 4th largest exporter of tea2. Here are some of the top tea importing countries in 20203:
USA
• UK
• Saudi Arabia
• Germany
Japan
• Canada

What are the types of tea exported from India?

tea export from India

Documents required to export tea from India

To maintain its standard in quality internationally, tea is exported from India after a set of quality checks and licenses are completed. Following are the documents and licenses required to export tea from India:
  • Export license cum membership from the Tea Board of India
  • This document is issued by the Tea Board of India. Every exporter of packet tea, instant tea, or tea bags in bulk, must be registered with the Tea Board to get the license cum membership certificate under the Export-Import Policy of the Government of India.
  • Importer-Exporter Code (IEC)
  • To avail an IEC certificate, exporters can open the DGFT official website and apply for the certificate by filling the required application and attaching necessary documents.
  • Phytosanitary document from Plant Quarantine det.
  • Phytosanitary Certificates (PSCs) are issued to exporters when the export consignment is found to be free from quarantine pests upon inspection. To obtain this document, an exporter must present a sample of the consignment at the Plant Quarantine station or request an inspection on their official website5.
  • FDA registration certificate
  • Product labels should be as per the FDA Food Labeling guidelines. These guidelines provide directions on claims on the product, ingredients, artwork and other specifications as present on labels. This is a mandatory requirement, along with registration of manufacturing/packing/distributor facility with FDA as Food establishment by providing details of US-based FDA agent6.
  • FSSAI license
  • FSSAI license is a certification given to food businesses in India to ensure 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.

    How to start tea export from India with Amazon?

    To help local tea sellers go global in an easy and convenient way, Amazon Global Selling enables them to setup an account and list their tea products on international marketplaces across the world. With ecommerce exports, setting up a tea export business from India has become easier for sellers. In 2018 alone, Amazon helped Indian tea sellers sell close to 2 million tea units across the globe.

    With 300 million+ global customers and 18 marketplaces in 200+ countries and territories, Indian sellers can export tea from India without any hassle. Amazon Global Selling further eases the journey for tea exporters with Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) – where Amazon handles everything from shipping, storage, delivery to returns and customer service. Sellers can also maximize their sales during International sale events like Prime Day, Christmas, Black Friday and Ramadan, among others, held across international marketplaces.

    Register your business

    First, you must register your tea 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. All you’ll need are KYC documents and PAN.
    Amazon seller registration

    List your products

    Once you have successfully registered to sell globally on Amazon, you can list your tea 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 & 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 get a tea export license in India?
    To apply for the tea export license, you need to fill an application with your nearest Tea Board of India4. You will have to submit your IEC (Import Export Code) certificate issued by the DGFT, along with your address proof and business information. The application will be accepted within 2 days after that. Check the guidelines here.
    Can I export tea from India without a physical set-up?
    Yes. Just register yourself as a seller with Amazon Global Selling. You can easily select your target marketplaces and sell your tea across the world.
    What are the top markets for tea exported from India?
    To export tea from India, the USA, UK, Saudi Arabia and Japan are some of the top markets that import tea from India.
    Which state is the largest exporter of tea in India?
    The northern region of India contributes to about 77% of the country’s total tea production. The majority of the production comes from West Bengal and Assam7.
    How many types of tea are there in India?
    There are four major types of tea - green tea, black tea, oolong tea and white tea. Each of these types are processed differently after being picked8.
    Which country is the largest importer of Indian tea?
    In 2022, Iran was the leading importer of tea from India with an export of approx INR 8 billion. The UAE was the second largest importer of Indian tea with a contribution of INR 6 billion. Some of the other tea importing countries for India are UK, UAE, and USA9.
    Which is the most exported tea product from India?
    Out of the four types of tea exported from India, black tea makes up about 96% of the total tea export from India10.
    Published on September 25, 2021.

    Sources:
    1 https://www.statista.com/statistics/868978/india-tea-production-volume-by-state/
    2 https://www.worldstopexports.com/tea-exports-by-country/
    3 https://www.statista.com/statistics/258620/main-import-countries-for-tea-worldwide/
    4 http://www.teaboard.gov.in/pdf/policy/guidelines_instruction.pdf
    5 https://plantquarantineindia.nic.in/pqispub/html/ExpCert%20Req.htm
    6 https://www.fda.gov/food/food-labeling-nutrition
    7 https://www.ibef.org/exports/indian-tea-industry
    8 https://teacoffeespiceofindia.com/tea/tea-varieties/
    9 https://www.statista.com/statistics/624439/export-value-of-tea-by-country-india/
    10 https://www.ibef.org/exports/indian-tea-industry#:~:text=Product%20type%2Dwise%20export&text=Majority%20of%20the%20tea%20exported,96%25%20of%20the%20total%20exports
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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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