Step-by-step Guide on How to Export Fish From India

How to Export Fish From India, Citrus Freight

Welcome to a journey that explores the world of fish exports from India. In this blog, we will provide information on how to export fish from India to other countries, the various opportunities available, government incentives, sourcing strategies, logistics, essential documents, and international market insights. Our aim is to assist you in setting sail on a successful fish export venture. As a prominent fish exporter in Mumbai, we specialize in facilitating fish export from India to the USA. Our extensive experience in the fish import export business ensures that we provide high-quality seafood that meets international standards, catering to the growing demand for Indian fish in the American market. So, let's cast our net and explore the seas of export potential.

Why Choose Fish for Exports:

India stands as a prominent fish exporter, with the industry ranking at over 476 billion INR in 2020. Notably, it ranks as the fourth-largest fish export market globally. The Indian government is steadfast in its efforts to bolster fish exports, aiming to elevate India's position as a seafood exporting powerhouse.

Starting a fish export business in India involves understanding the complexities of obtaining a fish export license in India. The fish export from India are diverse, including dry fish export from India, frozen fish export from India, and freshwater fish export from India, catering to various international markets such as fish export from India to Dubai and fish export from India to the USA. The thriving Indian fish market provides ample opportunities for seafood export from India, with major contributions from seafood exporters in India, specialized fish exporters in Mumbai, and sea food exporters in Chennai. Understanding how to export fish from India and developing a comprehensive fish export business plan are crucial steps for success. Exporting seafood requires knowledge of fish export packing standards to maintain quality. The most exported fish from India highlights the country’s rich aquatic resources. The fish business profit can be substantial, driven by the high demand for Indian seafood globally. For those looking to venture into this industry, learning how to export fish from India to other countries and leveraging the network of established exporters is key. The sea food export from India and the fish export from India to Dubai showcase India's capability of supplying top-notch seafood products to the world.

Opportunity in Fish Export from India and Market Size

The Indian fish market has witnessed remarkable growth, reaching a substantial 19.0 million tons in 2022. Looking ahead, IMARC Group anticipates further expansion, with the market projected to reach an impressive 31.7 million tons by 2028. This growth is set to be fueled by a robust compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.81% during the period from 2023 to 2028.

The fish export business in India presents lucrative opportunities for entrepreneurs of fish export from India looking to tap into the vast potential of the Indian seafood market. With a variety of options ranging from freshwater fish exports from India to primarily seafood exports from India, India boasts a diverse array of products desired globally. Understanding how to export fish from India to the USA or other countries is crucial for the success of the Indian fish market. We can see fish exporters in Mumbai and seafood exports in Chennai, like major cities, play a significant role in the fish business, facilitating the export of fish from India and ensuring quality and timely delivery. For fish exporters in India, crafting a comprehensive fish export business plan, including proper fish export packing methods, is essential for efficiency and customer satisfaction. The Indian fish market is dynamic, with certain species being the most exported fish from India. Exploring avenues for dry fish export alongside other seafood products can further enhance fish business profitability in the Indian fish market industry. We can see drastic fish exports from India to Dubai in the coming days earlier than ever due to strong relations between them. Due to this, seafood exporters in India are following their fish business plan for their fish business profits accordingly.

Several factors contribute to this promising outlook, including a rising awareness among individuals about the health benefits of fish consumption. Shifting dietary preferences from vegetarianism to non-vegetarianism also plays a pivotal role in driving this market's growth. Furthermore, the Indian government's initiatives aimed at fostering the development of the fish industry add another layer of opportunity to this thriving sector.

Government Incentives and Perks

Exporting fish isn't just about sending out this valuable seafood; it offers government-supported benefits to boost your profits.

Duty Drawback:

Fish exports enjoy a beneficial duty drawback of 2.90%, offering a direct financial boost without added complexities. This incentive rewards your export endeavors with a significant advantage.

Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exports (RODTEP):

The Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RODTEP) scheme is a game-changer for fish exporters. It offers a substantial advantage, equivalent to 0.50% of your export value. For instance, if you're exporting fish valued at Rs. 10,00,000, this translates to a benefit of Rs. 5,000 directly impacting your bottom line.

Interest Equalization Scheme on Pre & Post Shipment Export Credit:

The "Interest Equalization Scheme on Pre- and Post-Shipment Export Credit" offers a substantial 3% advantage to fish exporters. This scheme helps reduce the financial burden by covering a portion of the interest expenses, making your fish export endeavors more profitable.

Transport and Marketing Assistance Benefits:

The "Transport and Marketing Assistance" (TMA) scheme lends its support to specific agricultural products, including fish. It aims to provide assistance for international shipping and marketing aspects of agricultural commodities. By addressing challenges related to higher transportation costs associated with exporting designated agricultural products like fish, the TMA scheme helps boost competitiveness. Moreover, it strives to enhance the reputation of Indian agricultural products in international markets, where Indian fish are valued and sought after.

These government incentives make fish exports a lucrative business opportunity, and it's essential to take full advantage of them to maximize your profits.

How to Source Fish for Exports

If you're new to fish exports, no need to worry. There are numerous opportunities waiting to be explored. Let's delve into the key regions where fish is harvested and in demand.

Top States That Produce Export-Quality Fish

  1. Gujarat 
  2. Kolkata
  3. Goa
  4. Kerala
  5. Chennai

Procurement Options: Fishermen, Fish Markets, and Suppliers

When it comes to sourcing fish for exports, you have several viable options to consider:

Fishermen: Establish direct relationships with local fishermen or fishing communities. This approach allows you to access freshly caught fish and often provides greater control over sourcing and quality.

Fish Markets: Explore regional fish markets, which serve as centralized hubs for seafood trade. These markets offer a wide variety of fish species and can be an efficient way to procure large quantities.

Fish Suppliers: Collaborate with established fish suppliers and top fresh fish wholesalers in Veraval. They often have well-established supply chains, ensuring a consistent flow of fish products. This option is suitable for maintaining a steady supply for export purposes.

Your choice among these options will depend on your specific export requirements, quality standards, and logistical considerations. Many successful fish exporters combine these procurement methods to ensure a reliable and diverse source of fish for international markets.

Understanding Packaging for Fish

Fish packaging is essential to maintaining  product quality and safety. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Preservation: Packaging helps preserve the freshness and quality of fish by protecting it from physical damage, contamination, and spoilage.

2. Types of Packaging: Common types include bulk packaging for large quantities, wholesale packaging for distribution, retail packaging for consumer sales, and air freight packaging for international shipments.

3. Packaging Materials: Materials like polyethylene, polypropylene, and even wood are used for different types of fish packaging, with considerations for strength, insulation, and moisture resistance.

4. Regulations: Adherence to food safety and packaging regulations is crucial to ensure that fish products meet quality standards and are safe for consumption.

5. Labeling: Proper labeling on fish packaging should include product name, list of ingredients, nutritional information, manufacturer details, net quantity, batch identification, and best-before and use-by dates.

6. Protection: Effective packaging protects fish from physical damage, moisture, oxygen, and temperature fluctuations during storage and transportation.

Tips to Find the Best Supplier for Fish Exports

When looking for dependable fish suppliers for your export venture, remember this crucial advice: make quality and reliability your top priorities. While you have several sourcing options, such as local fisheries, fishermen who provide fresh catch, or experienced seafood traders with market insights, the most critical factor is the consistent quality of the fish and the trustworthiness of the supplier. Ensure that your chosen supplier consistently delivers high-quality fish and maintains a strong reputation for reliability. Additionally, it's a smart strategy to collaborate with multiple suppliers to ensure a continuous supply of premium seafood for your export operations.

Setting Up Logistics for Fish Exports

Achieving successful fish exports requires a well-structured logistics system to ensure the freshness and quality of your seafood during transit. Here's how to establish a robust logistics framework for your fish export venture:

Selecting a Reliable Freight Forwarder

Choosing the right freight forwarder is pivotal when shipping perishable products like fish. Here's a straightforward guide to help you find the perfect partner:

Expertise in Perishables: Look for a forwarder with a track record of handling delicate products like seafood. Their expertise is crucial to maintaining the freshness and condition of your fish throughout the shipping process.

Efficient Team: Opt for a forwarder equipped with a capable team committed to ensuring on-time deliveries and seamless logistics for your fish shipments.

Customer-Centric Approach: Prioritize a forwarder that places your requirements at the forefront. They should provide valuable guidance and assist you in navigating the intricacies of fish exports.

Prompt Quotes and Exceptional Service: Choose a forwarder that offers quick, accurate pricing and delivers top-quality service. Your fish will receive the care they deserve.

Reputable Online Presence: A forwarder with positive online feedback is a dependable and credible choice.

One prominent player in this field is seafood logistics. With our specialization in perishable logistics, a proficient team, swift pricing solutions, and a track record of satisfied customers, we're poised to elevate your fish export business to new heights.

Essential Documents for Fish Export

With your supply and logistics in place, it's time to establish your company for fish exports from India. Commencing an export business entails several fundamental steps. It is crucial to register your company and ensure compliance with legal prerequisites. These initial actions serve as the cornerstone of your fish export venture.

1. Business Registration: Begin by registering your fish export business with the relevant government authorities. Select an appropriate business structure, such as an LLP, Pvt. Ltd., proprietorship, or partnership, in alignment with your business plan. This foundational step is essential to ensuring the legal framework of your fish export venture.

2. Importer/Exporter Code (IEC): Obtain an IEC from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). This code is essential for all export transactions and helps customs authorities identify your export business.

3. Registration with MPEDA: Register your business with the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) and obtain a Business Identification Number. This registration is crucial for seafood exports.

4. Tax Registration: Depending on your business structure and turnover, you may need to register for tax purposes. This could involve getting a Tax Identification Number (TIN) or enrolling in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system.

5. Trade License (if applicable): Check with local authorities to see if your export activities require a trade license, as this can vary based on location and specific export operations.

6. Export License: You may need an export license or registration with the relevant government authority, such as the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in India.

7. Shipping Bill: A shipping bill document contains details of the exported goods and is required for customs clearance.

8. Bill of Export: A legal document containing information about the goods being shipped.

9. Bill of Lading: A bill of lading document serves as a receipt for goods shipped and a contract for the shipment. It's issued by the shipping company or carrier.

10. Export General Manifest (EGM): A document filed with customs authorities providing information about all goods loaded onto a ship.

11. Commercial Invoice: A commercial invoice specifies the goods, their value, and the terms of sale.

12. Packing List: A packing list details the contents and packaging of each container or shipment.

13. Certificate of Origin: The certificate of origin is issued by MPEDA; this certifies the origin of the seafood products being exported.

14. Health Certificate: Issued by the Export Inspection Agency, this certifies the quality and health standards of the seafood.

15. Catch Certificates: Also issued by MPEDA, these certificates provide information about the source of the catch and ensure that it's from legal and sustainable sources.

16. Registration Cum Membership Certificate: Obtained through MPEDA, this certifies your membership and registration as an exporter.

Finding International Buyers for Fish

Once your fish export business is set up and you have a steady supply of high-quality fish products, the next critical step is to find international buyers. Here's a concise guide to help you in this endeavor.

Top 10 Importing Countries for Fish from India

  1. China 
  2. Thailand 
  3. Japan 
  4. Taiwan 
  5. Tunisia 
  6. USA
  7. Hongkong 
  8. Kuwait 
  9. Bangladesh
  10. Russia

How to Find International Buyers for Fish Exports

In the pursuit of discovering international buyers for your fish export venture, a well-structured approach is vital. This involves conducting market research, building a network, participating in relevant trade exhibitions, and leveraging online platforms. The key to success lies in identifying potential buyers who match your product quality and standards.

Effective Strategies for Finding Buyers

Enhance your efforts to locate potential buyers through the implementation of effective marketing and promotional strategies. Here are three crucial steps to consider:

Invest in Online Visibility: Boost your global online presence by investing in search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to ensure that your fish products are easily discoverable by international buyers.

Build a Strong Brand: Concentrate on establishing a robust brand identity right from the beginning. Invest in social media marketing to create an influential online presence that resonates with potential buyers.

Collaborate with CHAs (Customs House Agents): Customs House Agents often have extensive buyer networks. Don't hesitate to seek their assistance in connecting with potential international buyers interested in your fish products.


The journey of exporting fish presents substantial opportunities to tap into global market demand,  with special consideration for key importing nations such as China. Armed with a comprehensive understanding of the advantages, sourcing tactics, logistics, and buyer connections, exporters can navigate this endeavor successfully.

Citrus Freight remains committed to providing reliable ocean freight services worldwide, tailored to meet the specific needs of perishable exporters in the fish industry, like yourself. Our extensive network, with over 100 fleet locations across India, underscores our dedication to supporting your fish export aspirations. Furthermore, our user-friendly app simplifies the process of connecting you with a diverse array of reputable fish suppliers. It streamlines the identification of suitable suppliers and the acquisition of competitive price quotations, facilitating the seamless sourcing of top-quality fish products for your export business.