How to Export Honey from India?

Last Updated at: Feb 25, 2021
Export Honey

The honey export business in India started only in 1991. But since then, the export of honey has increased so much that India is now the sixth-largest exporter of honey in the world! Looking at how to export honey business in India? Apart from the basic tasks of farming honey and packaging, various legal steps need to be carried out. In this article, we are going to walk you through all the important aspects of the export of honey from India.

  1. Is there a demand for Indian honey?
  2. Legal requirements for starting a honey business in India
  3. Mandatory licenses and regulations to export honey
  4. How to export honey from India?
  5. How VakilSearch Can Help?

Is There a Demand for Indian Honey?

Yes, there is a demand for Indian honey. Apart from the fact that India is the sixth-largest exporter and has made a name for itself in the market, two other factors have increased the demand for Indian honey in recent times.

Firstly, there is a general increase in demand for honey across the world. This is a result of growing health consciousness and the inclination of people to avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners. Honey acts as one of the common substitutes for sugar and hence the increase in demand. The growth of the internet is also a contributor to this shift. India’s honey export has grown from US$ 56.2 million to US$ 100.8 in just the last decade and it is expected to grow further.

Secondly, there is expected to be a surge in demand for honey post-pandemic since honey is known to have anti-bacterial immunity-boosting effects. India has a fair chance of leveraging the international political climate in general to our advantage in terms of exporting honey.

So, if you want to export honey as a business, you have a good chance of doing so profitably.

Legal Requirements for Starting a Honey Business in India

As for every business, having a honey export business is also subjected to legal regulations in India. To know what rules and regulations apply for you, there are few things to consider:

  • What type of product are you selling? Food or edible products. This attracts the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) regulations and related certifications.
  • Where are you setting up your business? India. Depending on the type of business you are setting up (company or partnership), you need to register your business and follow the relevant rules. You will also be subjected to the tax laws of India.
  • Where are you selling your product? Abroad. This attracts the export laws of India like the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act and import laws of the countries you are exporting to. You need to check the food standard related laws of those countries too.

Now, don’t get demotivated by how complicated it sounds. We are going to simplify them in the following sections. However, it is best to seek the help of legal professionals to make sure that you are complying with all the necessary laws.

Mandatory Licenses and Regulations to Export Honey

  • To run any food business in India you need to get an FSSAI registration. This applies to exporting honey as well. Once you register with FSSAI, you get a license that is valid for 5 years and you can renew it after that.
  • In case, you are choosing to label your honey as organic, you also have to get an India Organic Certificate. This certificate can be obtained from NPOP or PGS-India. Only after this, are you allowed to use the word ‘organic’ in your packing according to the FSS-Packaging and Labelling Regulations, 2011.
  • Following that, you need to register with DGFT to be able to import and export goods in India.
  • Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) is the authority that lays out standards for honey. Most countries accept honey according to this standard while some countries like the US and UK have slightly stricter standards.
  • Import regulations of the countries that you are exporting to and licenses needed in that regard.

How to Export Honey from India

Here is a quick summary of the whole process from setting up a honey business to the export of honey.

  1. Start with registering your business as either a start-up or under MSME Udyog Aadhaar.
  2. Go through all the basic requirements like tax registration and trademark registration.
  3. Follow FSSAI guidelines while developing your product and get FSSAI certification.
  4. Also, follow CAC standards while producing your honey. Look for any other laws that might regulate the honey import or food products in general in the country you are exporting to.
  5. For exporting, apply for DGFT registration in India.
  6. To set up the infrastructure for customs handling and clearance, contact a customs agent.
  7. Find a buyer or a distributor in the country that you are planning to export to and negotiate a contract with them.
  8. Obtain all the health certificates and labels you need for the product to be exported.
  9. Finally, get clearance from the country you are exporting to.

How VakilSearch Can Help

As you can see, there are a lot of legal requirements and processes involved in setting up a honey export business in India. This can be tiring and stressful. It is good to delegate these to legal experts in Vakilsearch so that you can focus on other parts of your business. Here is how we can help you:

  1. Depending on what sort of business you are deciding to set up, we can take care of the registration process.
  2. Our team of experts can help you identify all the licenses and regulations that you need for your honey export business.
  3. We can take care of all the registrations that need to be done in India like tax registration, obtaining an FSSAI license, customs handling, etc.
  4. Our experts will draft an airtight contract for your trade.
  5. Want help with all your documentation? Our lawyers can do it for you.