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Import Export Code

How Can I Export Food Products to the USA From India?

Looking for a bite-sized guide on how to export food products to the US from India? We’ve got you covered.

Export Food Products to the USA: Overview

Plan on export food products from India to the USA? Great decision, indeed! Welcome to the exciting world of foreign trade. Know more about the process to Export Food Products to the USA from India.

America is home to one of the biggest economies in the world. Hence, it is no surprise that Indians all over the country are profiting by export food products to the US.

As per India’s foreign trade policy (FTP), an exporter must obtain an import-export license with a valid IEC (Importer-Exporter Code) before commencing operations.

Additionally, all facilities that pack, process, manufacture, or store foods consumed in the United States must register with the USFDA (US Food & Drug Administration). Facilities outside the US must also obtain a USFDA registration through a registered agent and abide by USFDA guidelines at all times.

Procedure For Undergoing the IEC Online Application Process

An IEC is a 10-digit number awarded by the DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) to any Indian business entity that seeks to make international trade from India. Para 2.05 of the FTP (2015-20) lays down the procedure for IEC application in India. Here is the step-by-step process to be followed for IEC application in India.

Step 1

Visit the online portal of DGFT. Click on the ‘Apply for IEC’ tab (

Step 2

You will be prompted to an IEC online application form where you will need to fill up your details (name, mobile number, email ID etc.). Then, an OTP will be sent to your registered mobile number. Enter the OTP in the space provided and click the Submit button

Step 3

On the resulting page, you will need to submit details related to your business, such as its establishment date, PAN, bank account details, etc. After filling up the details, click on ‘Submit’ to proceed.

Step 4

You will need to pay the requisite IEC application fee in the next step. You can make the payment through an electronic fund transfer.

Step 5

After paying the fee, you must upload digital copies of all required documents.

Step 6

You will then be asked to submit the completed IEC online application form. On successful submission, an Ecommerce reference number will appear on the screen. Make a note of this reference number.

Step 7

Lastly, take a print of the completed IEC application form, as you need to submit a copy of this form to the DGFT office having jurisdiction in your area.

Step 8

Your IEC will be issued within 3 to 7 days after successfully verifying your credentials.

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How to Obtain a USFDA Registration Certificate?

Step 1: Appoint a USFDA Agent

It would help if you appointed an authorised USFDA agent before starting the food facility registration for your business. Such agents help the FDA with foreign establishments like yours.

The agent will also assist the FDA in scheduling inspections and respond on your behalf to all questions/communications from the FDA. To this end, you need to notify all information regarding your agent electronically via FURLS (FDA Unified Registration & Listing System).

Step 2: Submit the USFDA Registration Application Form

All foreign and domestic food businesses must submit a registration application on the online portal of the FDA unified registration and listing system.

Step 3: Issue of a Registration Number By the FDA

After completing the registration process, the FDA will issue an 11-digit registration number.

Step 4: Issue of USFDA Registration Certificate

You will receive the registration certificate through your agent. 

Does a USFDA Registration Need to Be Renewed?

With effect from 2011, the FSMA made the renewal of the FDA certificate mandatory to ensure compliance with the USFDA guidelines.

All facilities engaged in packing, processing, manufacturing, or storing foods, beverages, and nutraceuticals consumed in the United States must renew their FDA registration. Renewal can be done through authorised FDA agents.

Please note that the USFDA will only cancel your registration if it is renewed every two years before the 31st of December. All the food products exported after the expiry of the renewal deadline will be stopped at US ports. Such products will not be released to the owner, consignee, or importer until the food facility registration is renewed or a new 11-digit USFDA registration number is obtained.


As you can see, export food products to the US requires several different levels of licencing and registration. Disciplined adherence to stringent compliance guidelines is also demanded from those who wish to import food into America.

Vakilsearch can help you with FDA registration as well as IEC registration. Moreover, we can also ensure compliance with USFDA guidelines at all times. 

When you partner with Vakilsearch, you say goodbye to all your import and export-related troubles. Reach out to our team now and get your import-export license and US FDA registration in just a few days!

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