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Export Food Products To The USA From India?

The export and import of goods of India were sharply reduced as a result of the global trade slowdown. A key finding of the Economic Survey 2021 was that a variety of initiatives are being taken to promote exports, such as the Production-Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI), which would contribute greatly to the strengthening of India's external sector.

Are you interested in exporting food products to the USA? It’s a great business idea to export food products to the USA, as the American market responds well to such products. Over the years, Indian food products have grown in popularity in the USA, increasing exports. The export of food products to another country requires a few legal requirements. This article will explore how to export food products to the US and how it can be a great business opportunity.

What Are the Products Exported to the US From India?

In 2016, India was the US’s ninth-largest exporter, providing over $46 billion in products. Let us now take a quick look at the most popular goods and products that India exports to the US.

  1. Precious metals and diamonds
  2. Pharmaceuticals
  3. Mineral fuels
  4. Textile articles 
  5. Machinery 

Meanwhile, the export of food products to the US is also widespread. Here’s a quick look at the food products that India has been successfully exporting to the US:

  1. Spices
  2. Rice
  3. Tree nuts
  4. Essential oils 
  5. Processed fruits 

How to Export Food Products From India

India has a foreign trade policy that helps establish guidelines and regulations regarding exporting food products to USA. As per our FTP, any business that wishes to export food or other goods must first register with the DGFT. They must then apply for and obtain an Import-export license and Importer Exporter Code, better known as an IEC.

 The IEC is a unique 10-digit number that the Directorate General of Foreign Trade issues to all Indian businesses that wish to engage in international trade. To start an export business in India, you would need to implement the following steps:

  1. Establish a business by Incorporating your company
  2. Open a bank account that allows foreign exchange.
  3. Obtain a Permanent Account Number for the company
  4. Obtain an importer-exporter code from the DGFT
  5. File for and receive a registration cum membership certificate 
  6. Choose the appropriate product and market
  7. Find buyers and begin Sampling
  8. Decide on the final price and negotiate with buyers
  9. Cover risks through Export Credit Guarantee Corporation Ltd. and start exporting

US FDA Registration to Export Food Products to the US

Additionally, all facilities involved in storing, processing, manufacturing, packing, and labelling food products must abide by specific regulations. Various food-related certifications and licenses are required to ensure that the products shipped are safe and hygienic. 

Also, to export food products to the USA, such businesses will have to register with the US Food and Drug Administration. Indian businesses must use a registered agent to register with the US FDA, and all exported food products must abide by FDA standards and guidelines. 

How Can One Apply for and Obtain a US FDA Registration

  1. First and foremost, foreign applicants must appoint a US FDA-registered agent to handle all the communications between your business and the organization. The agent is also responsible for scheduling inspections and responding to queries from the FDA. 
  2. Once you have an agent, you must submit all the relevant details to them, including copies of your documents. The submission of information regarding your agent occurs via the FDA’s Unified Registration and Listing System(FURL). 
  3. Next, the applicant has to submit a duly filled out and authorized FDA registration application form via the FURL.
  4. Once the registration is complete, the FDA will issue the business an 11-digit registration number to your registered email ID.
  5. The officials will then review all the details and issue a registration certificate to your agent, who will pass it on to you.Check Here to More about:

As of 2011, FDA registrations must be renewed every two years for businesses that pack, process, manufacture, store, or distribute food products consumed in the United States. In addition, renewals must only be done by FDA-registered agents. Failure to renew the FDA registration will result in a loss of registration by December 31st. Also, failure to comply with these regulations will lead to your exports being held at US ports. They will not be released to the consignee or importer until the business renews its US FDA registration.

How Can Businesses Obtain an IEC in India?

  1. First and foremost, applicants will have to visit the DGFT’s official website. From the homepage, applicants must click on the Apply for IEC option.
  2. The browser will then load an IEC application form applicants must fill out by providing necessary details, such as full name, gender, DoB, and contact details.
  3. The system will send an OTP to the applicant’s mobile number to verify the process. Once they receive this OTP, they must enter it in the space provided and click on Submit.
  4. On the next page that appears, you will have to provide further details regarding your business, including your PAN details, date of incorporation, and financial information. 
  5. Double-check all the details provided and click on Submit once you are done.
  6. Next, applicants will have to go to the payment portal and pay the required processing fee via electronic fund transfer.
  7. The applicants will now have to upload scanned copies of their supporting documents.
  8. Once you are done, you can submit the IEC application form by clicking on the Submit button. Applicants will then receive an Ecom Reference Number they can use for further references.
  9. Applicants must also print out the completed IEC application form and submit it to their nearest DGFT office. After successful verification, you will receive your IEC in three to five working days.

Tips on How to Export Food Products to the USA

  1. Businesses will have to kick-start their documentation process by applying for an IE Code. Once they have that in place, they must apply for a Country of Origin certificate for the food products they wish to export.
  2. To export food products anywhere in the world, businesses must obtain a food export license. Businesses will also require FDA approval, and all items must indicate and display details regarding their ingredients.
  3. Once you book a container to export food products, you must obtain a bill of lading. Then, you will have to submit all the relevant documents to the Indian Customs Office to expedite clearance procedures. After verification, the Customs Department will issue a Let Export certificate.
  4. Forty-eight hours before loading goods for American customs clearance, you must file an Import Security Filing. 
  5. Make sure you clearly understand all the documents and licenses required to start such a business. The best option is to partner with a legal expert to prevent rejection of the application and other such delays.


Vakilsearch can help you complete your entire import-export license registration process with ease. We will also file the IEC application on your behalf. Post submission, our experts will coordinate with the DGFT to expedite your application. We can also help ensure that your business maintains compliance with USFDA guidelines at all times. Additionally, we will provide all the documentation support and guidance you require to kick-start your export business.

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