Are you planning to export food products from India to the USA? That’s great! I’m excited for you.
With the economy of the US being one of the biggest in the world, it is not surprising that Indians all over the country profit by exporting food to the US. According to India’s foreign trade policy (FTP), an exporter must obtain an import-export licence with a valid IEC (Importer-Exporter Code) before commencing operations.
The USFDA (US Food & Drug Administration) requires all facilities that pack, process, manufacture, or store foods to be consumed in the United States to register. Those outside the US must also appoint a registered agent and abide by USFDA guidelines at all times.
Procedure to Be Followed While Undergoing the IEC Online Application Process
IECs are 10-digit numbers awarded by the DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) to any Indian business entity doing international business from India. 2.05 of the FTP (2015-20) lays down the procedure for IEC applications in India. Following is the step-by-step process for applying for an IEC in India.
- Step 1: Visit the DGFT online portal. Click on the ‘Apply for IEC’ link.
- Step 2: Your details (name, mobile number, email ID, etc) will be required for the IEC online application form. After that, you will receive an OTP via text message. Type the OTP in the space provided and click Submit.
- Step 3: You will be prompted to provide details about your business, including its establishment date, PAN, bank account number, etc. To continue, click on the ‘Submit’ button.
- Step 4: You must then pay the IEC application fee. The payment can be made via an e-transfer.
- Step 5: You need to upload digital copies of all of the required documents once you have paid the fee.
- Step 6: IEC applications need to be completed online. A reference number for Ecom will appear on screen after submission. Write this down.
- Step 7: Finally, print out the IEC application form. It should be submitted to the DGFT office with jurisdiction in your area.
- Step 8: You will receive your IEC within three to seven days once your credential verification has been completed.
How to Obtain a USFDA Registration Certificate?
Step 1: Appoint a USFDA agent
Prior to starting the food facility registration process, you must appoint a USFDA agent. Such agents assist the FDA in communicating with foreign establishments like yours. Furthermore, the agent will assist the FDA in scheduling inspections and will respond to all questions/communications from the FDA on your behalf. In order to do so, you must submit all information regarding your agent electronically through FURLS (FDA Unified Registration & Listing System).
Step 2: Submit the USFDA registration application form
International and domestic food businesses must submit an FDA unified registration and listing application.
Step 3: Issue of a registration number by the FDA
Upon successful registration, 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?
In 2011, the FSMA made the USFDA certification renewal mandatory.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 that are not renewed by the 31st of December every two years will be cancelled by the USFDA. Upon expiration of the renewal deadline, all food products exported from US ports will be halted.
Products of this type will not be released to the owner, consignee, or the importer until the food facility registration is renewed or a new 11-digit USFDA registration number is obtained.
Clearly, exporting food products to the US requires several levels of licensing and registration. Those wishing to import food into the United States must also adhere to stringent compliance guidelines. We can help you register with the FDA and IEC. Additionally, we can ensure that all FDA guidelines are followed.
By partnering with Vakilsearch, you can effectively put an end to all import and export problems. Get your import-export license and US FDA registration today by contacting our team!