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Is FSSAI License required for exporting food products from India?

FSSAI License for exporting food products from India?

There has been an upward rise in the export of food products from India. Exporters of food products require FSSAI License in order to export food products from India to other countries. Considering the profitability of exporting food products from India, many have applied for this license. In this article, we shall look at the various requirements associated with exporting food products from India.

Significance of FSSAI License for Exporters

Countries welcome those food products that meet the standard of FSSAI. Those products that are safe and fit for human consumption are preferred by importers therefore, exporters are required to meet the guidelines and standards laid down by the food regulatory body, FSSAI.

Export of unsafe and substandard food products will not only impact the importing nation but also India as it can affect its relationship with other countries and lose future associations in the long term. Therefore FSSAI License has been made mandatory for those dealing in food products as it gives the assurance that the quality and hygiene standards have been met for those food products that are exported from India.

What is FSSAI Food Licensing?

It is a form of certification that certifies the fact that food is fit for human consumption and no toxic or unwanted elements are present in the food. Being a regulatory body under the Health Ministry, the food regulatory body, FSSAI, grants approval to exporters for conducting the export business.

Along with the FSSAI License for export businesses, exporters of food products are also required to acquire the import-export license and the no-objection certificate. Once the exporter receives the approval, then he can go ahead with exporting food products wherever he wants.

Food products that an exporter wishes to export is required to get registered as a distinct identity, and the whole process of licensing and approval may take some time. You may apply for an FSSAI State License or an FSSAI Central License in case you wish to pursue the dream of exporting food products outside India. It may be noted that only FSSAI certified food products can be exported from India. Moreover, any person seeking to start a business of exporting food products from India is required to understand the procedure for obtaining FSSAI License and know the labelling requirements for food exports with relevant documents.

What is the procedure to obtain FSSAI License for exporting food products?

The step by step procedure provided below will help you know the procedure to obtain this license:

  • Firstly get your company registered as a legal entity;
  • Thereafter acquire the Import Export Code;
  • Get a No-Objection Certificate concerning the quality of food and regulating compliances presented by the FSSAI authority by taking into account the health of consumers and their safety concerns;
  • Get the approval concerning the food product;
  • Lastly, obtain export license from the central authority of Licensing.

Labelling Requirements

 To make the food products of the exporter acceptable in the international market, ensure that the food products packaging has all the sufficient information.

The packaging of food products to be exported should have the following information:

  • Information about the nutritional value and facts;
  • The name of the food product along with the name of the company and brand;
  • Product description;
  • The name of ingredients;
  • A declaration stating whether the food product is veg. or non-veg.;
  • Declaration concerning food additives;
  • Country of origin for imported food;
  • The date of manufacturing or the date of packaging;
  • Best before or the expiry date;
  • Net weight and volume of the contents;
  • The name of the exporter along with his address;
  • User guidelines;
  • Code number and batch number.

The entity that engages in exporting food products outside the geographical region of India should meet these labelling requirements in order to be accepted by the international market.  The Health Ministry[1] keeps track of whether every exporter of food products from India is adhering to the guidelines and rules laid out.

Documents required for exporting food products

The documents required to export food products from India are as follows:

Documents required for exporting food products
  • Narcotics certificate;
  • FSSAI License;
  • Import Export Code;
  • Permit from Ministry of Agriculture;
  • Certificate of product approval;
  • Permit from the animal husbandry ministry.

Obtaining a No-Objection Certificate for export of food products from India

As stated above, before a food product is exported, the exporter should get a No-Objection Certificate. Having this certificate paves the way for you to get FSSAI License for food products exports. In case the exporter doesn’t have a No-Objection Certificate, you won’t be able to do the additional formalities concerning export of food products.

To avail a No-Objection Certificate, an exporter should keep ready the documents such as the bill of entry, country of origin certificate, Import Export Code issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, end use declaration, etc.

Then you may apply for a No-Objection Certificate quite easily and pay the amount for laboratory testing of food.

Apart from the above mentioned requirements, the following demands of FSSAI should be fulfilled:

  • At the time of clearance, the food products should have a good shelf-life;
  • The sample should be free of insects and fungal infestation;
  • The exporter should comply with the FSSAI Packaging and labelling Regulations 2011.

 Once all of these demands are met, a No-Objection Certificate is obtained.

Points to remember for exporters

  • FSSAI License for exporters has two subtypes- manufacturers of food products for export and Exporting traders/merchants. A food business operator can apply for either of these two.
  • The applicant for FSSAI exporter license should declare if the applicant deals in export only or deals in domestic and export market.
  • The FBO should ensure that the premises mention FSSAI the IEDC certificate.
  •  The FBO should ensure that the food products being exported complies with the regulations of the destination country.


FSSAI License for exporting food products is essential for your business. It gives a sense of assurance to the importing countries that the food products have went through proper procedural requirements before being consumed.

Read our article:FSSAI Regulations: FSSAI reduces levels of Trans Fat in Food

Ashish M. Shaji

Ashish M. Shaji has done his graduation in law (BA. LLB) from CCS University. He has keen interests in doing extensive research and writing on legal subjects especially on corporate law. He is a creative thinker and has a great interest in exploring legal subjects.

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