Is India planning to export food to the United States? That is great news! Foreign trade is definitely exciting.
India’s economy is one of the largest in the world, so it is no surprise that Indians from all over the country are exporting food to the US. An exporter that wishes to commence business in India must obtain an import-export licence and a valid IEC (Importer-Exporter Code).
Moreover, any facility that packs, processes, manufactures, or stores food to be consumed in the U.S. must register with the USFDA (US Food & Drug Administration). A facility located outside the US must also register with USFDA through a registered agent and comply with FDA guidelines at any time.
Procedure to Be Followed While Undergoing the IEC Online Application Process
A 10-digit IEC is a number assigned by the DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) to any Indian business entity that wishes to engage in international trade. In Para 2.05 of the FTP (2015-20), the process for submitting an application for an IEC is laid out. Here is the step-by-step process to be followed for IEC application in India.
- Step 1: DGFT has an online portal. Click on the ‘Apply for IEC’ tab
- Step 2: You will be directed to an IEC online application form where you will need to provide certain details (such as your name, phone number, and email address). You will then receive an OTP to your registered mobile phone number. Enter the OTP in the space provided and click the Submit button
- Step 3: Among the details you’ll need to supply are the business date, PAN, bank account details, etc. Then, click on “Submit” to continue.
- Step 4: To proceed, you need to pay the application fee to the IEC. You can transfer the fee with an EFT.
- Step 5: You must upload digital copies of all documents after paying the fee.
- Step 6: The online application form for IEC is then requested. Upon successful completion, an Ecom reference number will appear on the screen. Record this number.
- Step 7: Finally, print out the IEC application form. Your local DGFT office needs a copy of this form.
- Step 8: IECs will be issued within 3 to 7 days of your credentials being verified.
How to Obtain a USFDA Registration Certificate
Step 1: Appoint an FDA agent
Before you can begin the food facility registration process, you must appoint an authorized agent of the USFDA. A FDA agent like you helps communicate with foreign establishments like yours. In addition to assisting the FDA with scheduling inspections, the agent will also respond to FDA queries on your behalf. You will need to use FURLS (FDA Unified Registration & Listing System) to notify all information regarding your agent.
Step 2: Complete the USFDA registration application
In order to register, foreign and domestic food businesses must use the FDA’s online registration portal.
Step 3: Issue of a registration number by the FDA
Upon obtaining a registration number, your registration will be processed by the FDA.
Step 4: Issue of USFDA registration certificate
You will receive the registration certificate through your agent.
Does a USFDA Registration Need to Be Renewed?
FSMA mandated the renewal of the USFDA certificate as of 2011, ensuring compliance with the guidelines. All facilities engaged in the packing, processing, manufacturing, or storing of foods, beverages, and nutraceuticals consumed in the United States have to renew their FDA registration. renewal can be done through authorised FDA agents.
Registrations will be cancelled by the USFDA if not renewed before December 31st every two years. A US port will stop all food products exported after the renewal deadline expires. Until the food facility registration is renewed or a new 11-digit USFDA registration number is acquired, such products cannot be released to the owner, consignee, or importer.
Exporting food products to the US requires several different types of licensing and registration. Disciplined adherence to stringent compliance guidelines is also demanded from those who wish to import food into America. You can register with Vakilsearch for FDA and IEC approval. Additionally, we can assure compliance with all USFDA guidelines.
When you partner with Vakilsearch, you’re saying goodbye to all import/export related problems. Reach out to our team now and get your import-export license and US FDA registration in just a couple of days!