How to import food products into India
India caters to a variety of food products. Be it in India, there are a lot of food traditions which differ from state to state, and which are liked by all. People, especially youngsters enjoy different delicacies and nowadays there is a trend and chains of restaurants which serve the specialty food items from across the world. This trend is developing at a fast pace and people are also appreciating it. But to the limitation, there are certain food items which belong to the particular nation and if you have to enjoy it here in India, those products have to be imported. This is because those items like fruits or vegetables may be cultivated only in some particular soil and environmental conditions which is available in that country and not suitable to grow in India. So, in this present article, we will talk about how a food product can be imported to India from different nations.
List of license required for importing food products in India
- Company registration – One person company or any other
- GST registration (required for selling any item and doing business in India)
- IE code from DGFT (required for import and export businesses)
- Product approval from FSSAI (necessary as the food products should be according to standards mentioned by FSSAI, and if the imported product does not match with the requirements it will get rejected)
- FSSAI license.
FSSAI Central License for importing food products in India
When the food is imported from other countries, the importers receive these food items. This is also a category of business of being an importer of food products. Though the business looks attractive and easy, there are certain guidelines that have to be complied with such as the FSSAI rules and regulations by the importer. The importer of such food items also needs to mandatorily have FSSAI license to deal in such business.
There is an import and export code issued by the directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT) for import and export of goods. But apart from this FSSAI license is also mandatory for food business importer. The process for applying for FSSAI license is a simple process- by filling the application form and paying the processing fees, by showing the documents. The central license fees for FSSAI license is about Rs. 7500 and once FSSAI license is made it can be used for up to 5 years. The importer needs to comply with all the government standards and rules and regulations. Once you have got FSSAI license, you need to apply for the import/export code from the government. After both are the license are with you, you are now authorized to conduct your business of import and export of food in India. The final step is to get the No Objection Certificate (NOC) from FSSAI department.
Getting NOC from FSSAI is easy as you have to apply for in through its online portal. It is given under Food import clearance system (FICS). HSN codes are used for food items being imported or exported as it is termed as international trade.
Documents required for obtaining FSSAI license for an importer
- Agriculture permits by the department of Ministry of agriculture.
- Animal husbandry permits by the department of Ministry of Animal husbandry.
- FSSAI license as for food items.
- Import and export code license.
- Issuance of Product approval certificate.
- Narcotics certificate from narcotics department.
The 4 steps in order to get food import approval in India is-
Food imports into India which do not require FSSAI approval
There are a few food products which can be transported to India without FSSAI approval. They are-
- Export rejected or re-imported food items
- Food article or added substances or fixings for any other food product which are transported for assembling 100% fares items.
- Food which gets imported by diplomatic missions.
- There are a few food products which get imported for their quality assurance or for research and development purposes. These items do not get advertised or sold further. They are used for testing purposes too.
- Food products which are imported for reasons such as testing, presentation and it is subject to certain conditions.
- Food products which are sent for crisis or as relief items.
- Import of certain food sustenance for sports occasions and event, which is also subject to specific conditions
There are various foods which now get imported to India for different purposes. This is a food business for import and export of food items. Do run this business license is required by the importer. Licenses – FSSAI license, trade license, IE code and NOC from FSSAI. Any food item which is being imported into India needs to also get approval.
The procedure and paperwork involved in getting food products within India is a very hectic process involving a lot of paperwork. For more information regarding Import Export Code and for 100% online rendered legal services refer to Company Vakil for affordable and efficient legal work for companies and individuals.
I Devashi Katlana, am currently pursuing law, 3rd year BBA,LLB(Hons.), from NMIMS Mumbai. I have great interest in field of research and content writing. I have done a few internships before in legal field, and have learnt a lot on various subjects. My keen interest is in the subject of Business Law, contracts and IPR.