Guide to Start Shipping Agricultural Goods and Processed Foods from India

Start Shipping Agricultural Goods and Processed Foods From India

In today’s world, India’s agricultural products play an essential role in developing economic growth and promoting international trade. When it comes to exporting agricultural goods and processed foods from India, the exporters must navigate a systematic plan to get access to the international market, and the products should meet the international norms. In addition, you need to be equally responsible for the packaging process of the product you intend to export and ensure food safety and quality norms.

What are the Opportunities for the Food Processing Sector to Export Food Items from India?

The food processing industry in India has grown significantly in recent years, particularly in the perishable goods sector, creating a substantial export market. India's abundant agricultural resources enable it to export food products worldwide.

The food manufacturing companies in India can expand their reach into the international markets raising  brand awareness, and diversify their sources of income by exporting food goods. A vast array of  Indian culinary products, including condiments, spices, snacks, drinks, and prepared meals, increase the chance of being exported. Getting an idea about these perspectives, you can decide which market will help you grow your business and you can plan as per your requirements.

Steps to Export Food products from India

If you would like to export agricultural foods from India, you must abide by certain regulations in order to export your products without encountering any difficulties.

Get an Import-Export Code (IEC) : If you want to export agricultural products, you need to apply for an IEC Code issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), which is a 10-digit unique code to handle all import and export business.

FSSAI Registration : To export food products, it is important to register with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). FSSAI ensures that food products comply with safety standards and regulations, providing consumers with quality and safe food.

Identify the market and export product : You need to go through market research on the particular product that you need to export. Take factors such as the quality of the product, market demand, and competitors into account.

Recognize the country of destination's import laws : Food products are subject to unique import laws in every country. It is essential to fully investigate and comprehend the destination nation's import laws. Know about product limitations, labeling specifications, and any required paperwork to guarantee compliance and avoid any possible problems during customs clearance.

Necessary Certifications : Verify that the product meets the necessary certification requirements before it is exported. Certifications like the FSSAI, organic certification, ISO 9001, or HACCP are essential, depending on the type of items you sell. These certifications not only help ensure the food product's safety and quality, but they also help you gain the confidence of international buyers.

Packaging and Labeling : Stick to the rules of packaging and labeling as per international norms. Efficient packaging protects your perishable goods during shipping and keeps the product intact. Labels must have the right information about the product name, ingredients, nutritional benefits, and manufacturing details.

Logistics Services: When exporting your products, choose reliable logistics support. Factors including costs, delivery times, and the type of goods you sell must be considered. To ensure the product's quality is maintained, the mode of transportation you have chosen needs to offer temperature-controlled facilities.

Customs Clearance :To export goods without any interruptions, you need to keep handy essential documents such as packing lists , invoices , and shipping documents. You need to coordinate with the customs agents and follow the rules for both India and the desired port where the goods need to be shipped to prevent any delays or complexities.

By following these strict rules, you can safely ship your perishable goods and grow your business globally.

The exports of agricultural food goods and processed foods from India are as follows:

1. Fruits and vegetables : India has a plethora of vegetables and a diverse variety of tropical fruits like mangoes , bananas , pomegranates , grapes , and watermelons. Exporters have an opportunity to showcase these rich agricultural products by promoting their businesses in the international market.

2. Spices : Not to forget, India has a varied range of aromatic spices such as cumin, coriander, black pepper, cardamom, and others. Every kitchen in India holds a tag for these flavoured spices. The high demand for these spices paves an opportunity for the exporters to promote these products globally. To increase their export revenue, these spices are also ground into powders for use in hotels and restaurants as seasoning, curry masala, and spice mixes.

3. Tea: One of the main agricultural products is tea, which has an Indian origin. India offers many different kinds of green and black teas. From the cultivation of the rich tea leaf production in Assam's upper regions to the aromatic Darjeeling tea, these are well-known Indian tea exports.'

4. Pulses : Pulses are another important commodity that is exported all over the globe. Indian spices have nutritional value and protein inputs. A varied range of Indian pulses are gaining momentum in each and every country in the world. It is not only profitable for the export business but also boosts health benefits.

5. Ready -to-eat-food : The hectic and contemporary lifestyle has altered people's dietary preferences and habits. Over time, processed and canned foods have taken the place of prepared meals in the food sector. The export business has been evolving with the trend towards processed foods worldwide.

What are the documents required to export agricultural food products from India?

1. FSSAI License : If you are planning to start an export agricultural business, you must obtain a Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) license. FSSAI licenses are issued to the exporters based on their standard and investment in the business.

2. APEDA Registration: APEDA registration is mandatory if you intend to export agricultural and processed food commodities. APEDA encourages the export of particular goods and offers the required assistance and direction. To take advantage of export advantages and benefits, register with APEDA.

3. Import Export Code (IEC): If you are new to the export business, the first thing you need to do is apply for an IEC Code issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), which is a 10-digit unique code to handle all import and export business.

4. Export Import Registration : The Export Import Registration (EXIM) is a must-have document if you are involved in the import and export of goods. The EXIM registration is issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade and needs to be renewed on an annual basis.

5. Organic Certification : The organic certificate is specially meant for foods that are produced organically. The certificate states that the foods are free from any kind of chemicals, pesticides, or dangerous fertilizers. The organic certificate is issued by the National Program for Organic Production (NPOP) or a third party recognized by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

6. Certificate of Origin : The Certificate of Origin specifies the goods that are being exported. This certificate is issued by the Chamber of Commerce and is needed for the customs clearance process to export goods. You need to have the Certificate of Origin to get the privileges under trade agreements or to abide by national import regulations.

7. Inspection Certificate : A buyer can request an inspection certificate before the export of goods to examine the quality of the goods and to check whether the packaging meets the correct parameters. This is an important document that needs to be kept handy.

8. Commercial Invoice : A commercial invoice is a document needed to go through a seamless import and export process. It serves as a legal proof of sale transaction between the buyer and the seller and includes information regarding product quantity, freight quotes, and terms of value.

9. Packing List : A packing list is an essential document that provides all the information regarding the content loaded in the container, the weight, and the dimensions. The packing list enables you to export goods from one port to another without any hurdles.

10. Bill of Lading : A bill of lading is an authorized document that is issued by a carrier to the shipper, including the details of the product type, quantity, and the desired destination to which the product needs to be shipped.

11. Shipping Bill : The shipping bill issued by the ICEGATE plays a crucial role in international trade. This is a must-have document needed to export goods outside India and go through a smooth customs clearance procedure.

12. Phytosanitary and Fumigation Certificates : These certificates are necessary for quality checks of the goods that fall under international standards and norms. The phytosanitary certificate is mandatory to export agricultural products from India. Exporters need to keep this certificate handy to abide by the regulations.

13. Health Certificate : A health certificate attests to the food goods' compliance with the hygienic and health requirements of the nation of import. The Export Inspection Council (EIC) or a third-party inspection organization that has been approved by the EIC issues the certificate. The health certificate is necessary to ensure that the items comply with the laws and regulations of the country of import and to facilitate customs clearance.

14. Insurance Certificate : This document serves as proof to ensure that the goods are insured during shipping.


It might be challenging to export perishable commodities overseas. Citrus Freight 's innovative concept of aiding exporters to ship goods from one point to another has been a boon. The freight forwarding service provided by Citrus enables a simplified export process, and the customs clearance agents make it easy to clear the paperwork formalities and pave the way for secured shipping.