What is a Free Trade Agreement (FTA)? How does it work?

What is a Free Trade Agreement (FTA)?

An agreement that reduces import and export taxes between two or more nations is known as a free trade agreement. Under free trade policies, government exchange constraints in the form of tariffs, quotas, subsidies, or prohibitions are minimal or nonexistent, allowing the free flow of goods and services across international borders.

The purpose of these agreements is to lower trade barriers and enhance bilateral or multilateral trade relations by determining the tariffs and charges that each country imposes on imports.

Trade across international borders can occur via free trade agreements (FTAs) with little or no restrictions on government tariffs, quotas, or subsidies.

Trade protectionism and economic isolationism are concepts that are opposed by free trade agreements (FTAs).

Formal agreements between participating states are often employed in the modern world to create a free trade policy. 

India has signed thirteen free trade agreements (FTAs) with its trading partners in the recent five years. These include the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (IndAus ECTA), the India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Corporation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA), and the India-UAE Comprehensive Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

Classification of Free Trade Agreements:

Free trade policies can be divided into the following categories according to the degree of trade openness between the nations:

 Preferential trade agreement (PTA) 

It is an agreement between two or more nations to grant preferential entry rights to specific goods in exchange for lower tariffs.

Positive inventory, or the list of products to whom priority access is granted, is kept up to date.

Examples include the Preferential Trade Agreement (SAPTA) between India and SAARC and the MERCOSUR PTA.

Free Trade Agreement (FTA):

 A number of nations have decided to do away with tariffs on goods that are the subject of significant bilateral commerce.

The negotiating countries keep a negative list of goods and services for which the terms of the free trade agreement do not apply. For this reason, FTAs are more extensive than PTAs.

India and the South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA) are two such examples.

Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA):

A complete set of agreements covering goods and services, investment, mutual recognition, e-commerce, intellectual property, and other topics is known as a complete Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).

Example:  India – Singapore CECA  and India – Malaysia CECA 

Customs Union (CU): 

Members of the Union can choose to trade duty-free amongst themselves and to keep common tariffs against the rest of the world.

Examples are the European Union and the Southern African Customs Union

Common Market:

 In a common market, participating nations provide unrestricted commerce as well as unrestricted capital and labor mobility.

Example-European Common Market

Economic Union:

Economic union is the extension of the common market through unified legislative, judicial, and fiscal policies as well as increased policy harmonization.

European Union (EU) as an example

How does a Free Trade Agreement work?

Formal agreements between participating states are often employed in the modern world to create a free trade policy. Still, a free-trade policy can just mean the lack of trade barriers.

The government does not have to take direct action to promote free trade. This laissez-faire mindset is referred to as “laissez-faire trade” or trade liberalization. Governments that enact free-trade agreements or policies don’t necessarily remove all protectionist restrictions or cede full control over imports and exports.

Governments that implement free-trade agreements or policies do not always give up all authority over imports and exports or do away with all protectionist measures. Few free trade agreements (FTAs) produce totally unfettered trade in the context of contemporary international commerce.

For instance, a country may permit free trade with another country, subject to restrictions that prohibit the entry of particular medications not authorized by its authorities, unvaccinated animals, or processed foods that don’t adhere to its regulations.

Alternatively, it might have regulations that exclude specific goods from tariff-free status, protecting home producers from foreign competition in a given field.

Economics of  Free Trade:

Free trade between states, municipalities, and neighbors is, in theory, no different from free trade on a global scale. The ability to import commodities that are uncommon or unavailable domestically, however, frees up firms in each country to focus on producing and selling things that maximize their resources.

By combining domestic manufacturing with international trade, economies are able to grow more quickly and better serve their customers’ requirements.

David Ricardo, an economist, first made this point of view prominent in 1817 with his book “On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation.” He maintained that free trade allows a country to better utilize its own resources, expertise, and specialized skills while increasing the variety and bringing down the cost of the commodities produced there.

Free Trade Agreement and India:

The most recent free trade agreement (FTA) that India has is the India-UAE CEPA.

  • In 2020, India chose not to participate in the massive Asia-Pacific Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
  • Due to the inconsistent past performance of free trade agreements, the Confederation of Indian Industry has called for an evaluation of the current trade accords.
  • Limited growth in bilateral trade and limited diversification of exports have come from India’s free trade agreement with Sri Lanka.
  • India has not benefited significantly from the trade agreement with ASEAN as, according to the country’s free trade agreement, imports of capital goods, petroleum, and transportation equipment have decreased while imports of food and drink, consumer products, and industrial supplies have increased.
  • There aren’t many advantages to India’s Free Trade Agreement with South Korea.
  • India’s productivity has increased due to the increased imports of capital goods, transportation equipment, and industrial supplies as a result of the free trade agreement with Japan.

Significance of Free Trade Agreement (FTA):

  • FTAs encourage companies in member nations to concentrate on manufacturing and marketing products that make the best use of their resources, while other companies import commodities that are hard to find or unavailable domestically.
  • FTAs lead to an increase in the production and consumption of goods traded globally since they enable each country to create a certain set of items at a reduced cost.
  • FTAs make it easier to combine domestic manufacturing with foreign trade, which promotes economic growth.
  • FTAs contribute to supply chain diversification by lowering the cost and simplifying cross-border business transactions for more companies.
  • From the perspective of the customer, free trade agreements (FTAs) would benefit both nations’ consumers by increasing product variety and affordability.
  • Free trade agreements (FTAs) are crucial in cementing the relationship between nations.
  • FTAs promote foreign direct investments (FDI), which promotes the flow of capital and the development of jobs.
  • FTAs aid in the elimination of monopolies.

Concerns about the Free Trade Agreement (FTA):

  • The ultimate effectiveness of trade agreements will depend on how much more commerce is created by comparative advantage, which will boost trade and economic growth.However, the overall effect of the FTA will be unfavorable if it leads to significant trade diversion from more competitive countries to the FTA members.
  • Risk to intellectual property rights: large businesses can readily copy the works of local creators.
  • Loss of income that was collected through tariffs and import levies.
  • The misuse of domestic labor and resources as a result of foreign company growth.
  • It makes trade in products and services more reliant on other nations.
  • The unrestricted flow of imported commodities influences domestic goods, resulting in losses for the home industries.

Way Forward:

  • To enable a less difficult compliance process, terms and conditions pertaining to non-tariff barriers should be negotiated into free trade agreements.
  • Increased market access for India might benefit countries like Africa, Central and Southeast Asia, and others. India should investigate more regions that are prepared for a trade deal with India.
  • To increase the scope of the free trade policy, the geopolitical problems should be settled and the trade partner selection procedure should be changed.
  • Reviewing and renegotiating current trade agreements that are not yielding the desired benefits is crucial.
  • India should take action to increase its export potential and competitiveness since it is believed that its low export competitiveness has prevented it from fully utilizing the FTAs.

India’s merchandise exports are expected to reach USD 450 billion in the current fiscal, despite geo-political challenges in recent times, said Ashwani Kumar, the new president of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO)

India’s exports increased to USD 437 billion in FY 2022–23 from USD 331 billion in FY 2018–19, the pre-pandemic level. Despite its commendable trade achievements, India still has a lot of untapped potential.

The estimations provided by India’s Trade Portal show a significant discrepancy between India’s potential exports and actual exports in a number of industries, particularly chemicals, pharmaceuticals, gems, and jewelry. Therefore, in order to effectively profit from exports across sectors, it is important to solve market- and sector-specific issues.

These free trade agreements (FTAs) address a broad range of subjects, including reduced tariffs that affect the entire manufacturing and agricultural sectors, regulations governing the trade of services, digital concerns like data localization, intellectual property rights that could affect the availability of pharmaceuticals and the facilitation, promotion, and protection of investment.

India is concentrating on negotiating free trade agreements with several partners, both bilateral and regional, to boost export-oriented domestic manufacturing.


Top agricultural products exported from India


In India, the majority of income comes from the agricultural sector. The nation ranks among the top producers of food items and agricultural goods worldwide. The growth rate of India’s agriculture sector  predicted to be 3.5% in 2022–2023 and 3.0% in 2021–2022.

In agriculture and related industries, the gross value added (GVA) increased by the projected 4% in 2022–2023. In the agriculture industry, the first advance estimate of GVA for 2023–2024 is projected to be 5.5%.

 Numerous crops and food grains, including rice, wheat, pulses, oilseeds, coffee, jute, sugarcane, tea, tobacco, groundnuts, dairy products, fruits, and so on, are produced in the nation.

India’s Export Trend:

India is a global leader in the export of agricultural products. The total value of agricultural product exports from April to January of 2024 was US$ 38.65 billion. India’s agricultural exports were valued at US$52.50 billion in 2022–2023. The nation’s overall agricultural exports in 2021–2022 were US$ 50.2 billion, a 20% increase from US$ 41.3 billion in 2020–2020.

The government’s dedication to increasing farmer’s income is seen in the significant rise in agri-exports, which is a result of its emphasis on export promotion. The government has increased exports through several APEDA-related efforts, such as setting up B2B exhibitions in other nations and investigating new prospective markets through general and product-specific marketing campaigns. 

The Indian government has created a product matrix for 50 agricultural items with substantial export potential and has designated 220 labs to provide services for evaluating a wide range of products in order to support exporters throughout India.

 In the fiscal year 2022, India’s top agricultural exports were spices, both non-basmati and basmati rice. 

Interestingly, the earnings from rice exports alone were $9.65 billion, although wheat exports increased significantly from $567 million to $2.2 billion between FY 2021 and FY 2022. Dairy product exports also increased significantly during that time, going from $323 million to $634 million.

In FY 2022, India’s agricultural exports increased significantly by 19.92%, indicating strong overall growth. This emphasizes how important India is to the global agriculture trade environment.

In this, We look at 10 of the best agricultural exports from India that are known for their distinctive tastes and superior quality:

Non-Basmati Rice:

Non-Basmati rice, well-known for its affordability and nutritious content, satisfies the gastronomic demands of many cultures across the globe. India continues to hold its position as a dependable supplier of high-quality non-Basmati rice on the international market because to its sustainable production methods and strict quality control measures.

Over a thousand varieties of rice exist worldwide. India produces plenty of those! India exported non-Basmati rice worth 456.5 billion Indian rupees in 2021–2022

Basmati Rice:

One of India’s most well-known agricultural exports is basmati rice, which is distinguished by its unique scent and long grains. Basmati rice is highly valued for its excellent flavor and delicate texture, and it is predominantly grown in the rich plains of the Punjab region. 

In the Middle East, Europe, and North America, in particular, it is highly sought after and used in a variety of cuisines, including as pilafs and biryanis.

The globe imports almost two-thirds of India’s Basmati rice crop. A selection of the Basmati rice varieties that are exported include Karnal local, Basmati 370, and Basmati 385. The income from Indian rice exports in 2022-23 was 4787.50 million rupees.


India has a long history of trading in spices, and it is now one of the world’s largest exporters of a broad range of spices. 

Indian spices, from the spicy fire of chiles to the comforting embrace of cardamom, give each meal an explosion of flavor. Cardamom, cloves, turmeric, coriander, and chili peppers are among the popular exports. The income from Indian rice exports in 2022-23 was 3783.6  million rupees.


With a wide range of black, green, and white teas, India is a significant producer and exporter of tea. Indian teas, from the robust Assam black tea to the delicate Darjeeling green tea, are ideal for any palate. The various growth environments found in India’s various areas contribute to the distinctive flavors found in each kind.

Approximately 10% of all tea exports come from India, which is among the top 5 exporters worldwide. India’s overall tea export revenue from April to February of 2024 was US$ 752.85 million.

 Indian tea from the Nilgiri, Darjeeling, and Assam regions is regarded as some of the best in the world. About 96% of all tea exported from India is black tea, which accounts for the majority of the country’s tea exports.


India is home to a large crop of pulses, which are highly nutritious and are becoming more and more popular around the world. Indian pulses are becoming more and more popular around the world thanks to their highly nutritious content.

 India’s pulse exports are growing as the global protein market shifts to plant-based foods. This section examines the various varieties of pulses that are available on international marketplaces and emphasizes their significance in supplying the world’s nutritional needs. 

Selling pulses is not the only goal; the goal is to mainstream them into diets all across the world and spearhead the transition to more nutrient-dense eating practices.

During the 2023 fiscal year, India exported pulses worth approximately 672 million US dollars. Comparing that year to the fiscal year 2022, there was a 17% increase in demand for pulse exports.

Fruits and Vegetables:

The tropical climate of India makes it possible to grow a large range of fruits and vegetables. Indian produce gives an abundance of freshness and brilliant hues, from the sweetness of mangoes and bananas to the tanginess of oranges and pineapples. Onions, chiles, mangoes, and grapes are among the popular exports.

In 2022–2023 India exported 1635.95 million USD worth of fresh fruits and vegetables, with fresh fruits accounting for 770.70 million USD and vegetables for 865.24 million USD.


One of the main commodities in world trade is sugar, which is derived from sugarcane or sugar beets. It gives taste to a plethora of items and is used as the main sweetener in the globe. While sugar beets thrive in colder areas, sugarcane grows best in warmer settings. 

In addition to satisfying sweet tooths, sugar is utilized in many different industries, including beverages, confections, and biofuels. Even with obstacles like price swings and environmental issues, sugar is still a vital export that boosts businesses all around the world.

India exported $6.03 billion in raw sugar in 2022. Sudan ($783M), Indonesia ($737M), Bangladesh ($512M), Somalia ($378M), and Saudi Arabia ($322M) were the top recipients of India’s raw sugar exports.


 In the previous fiscal year, 6 lakh MT of groundnuts were exported. This is worth Rs. 5381 crores. Groundnut types such as Kadiri-2, Kadiri-3, BG-1, BG-2, Kuber, T-28, T-64, Chandra, Chitra, and others have a significant potential for export.

India exported ground nuts worth $732 million in 2022. Indonesia ($290M), Vietnam ($136M), Philippines ($62.5M), Malaysia ($61.6M), and Thailand ($40.1M) were the top destinations for India’s groundnut exports.

Other Cereals:

The world’s largest producer of cereals, India offers ideal conditions for the export of its cereals due to the strong demand for them worldwide. Cereals like wheat, barley, sorghum, paddy, and millet are among the most significant ones. Rs 5116 crores were made in revenue from the export of cereals. 

India exported $14.7 billion worth of cereals in 2022. India’s top cereal export markets were Bangladesh ($1.57B), Saudi Arabia ($1B), China ($679M), Iran ($1.16B), and the United Arab Emirates ($633M).


Agriculture Exports: Prospects and Opportunities:

India has a vast amount of arable land and a variety of agroecological conditions, which offer enormous potential for the production of agricultural goods.

India is the world’s top producer of milk, pulses, and jute; it is ranked second for rice, wheat, sugarcane, groundnuts, vegetables, fruit, and cotton, according to the FAO. In addition, India is a major producer of fish, poultry, livestock, spices, and plantation crops.

India is the world’s second-largest agricultural producer, with US$ 367 billion in total output, although its portion of the export market is minimal. This suggests that there is a great chance to increase exports.

India can achieve the US$ 100 billion milestone in agri-food exports by taking effective action at several levels, including farm inputs, quality assurance, traceability, and certification, as well as connecting to global value chains (GVCs).

Investor confidence has improved as a result of the government’s renewed attention on agriculture, which is demonstrated by measures like the doubling of farmers’ income program, agriculture export policy, and ease of FDI in the industry.

An increase in foreign investments is encouraging agribusiness. Horticulture, floriculture, apiculture, animal husbandry, and aquaculture are all eligible for 100% FDI in the agricultural sector.


Benefits of Agriculture Exports:

  • Largest source of income: 

As of March 2022, 152 million Indians were employed in agriculture. Agriculture still provides the majority of the income for 70% of rural households.

  • Boost Farm Income: 

Increasing the export of agricultural products at prices that are competitive worldwide would aid in boosting farmer income

  • Rural development:

Enhancing farm incomes will increase demand in the rural areas and support the expansion of the rural economy and development

  • Trade Balance: 

Historically, agricultural exports have exceeded agricultural imports. The agricultural industry has consistently kept a trade surplus. This contributes to improving foreign exchange reserves and reducing the current account deficit (CAD).


Challenges in Agriculture export:


  • To combat inflation in the domestic market, India’s agriculture policy is primarily concerned with price stabilization and food security. Farmers lose out on higher pricing on the global market as a result of the policy.


  • India’s agricultural exports are becoming less competitive due to a lack of branding and promotion.


  • The potential for exporting horticulture produce has been hampered by the absence of consistent quality standards, the standardization of commodities, and significant value chain losses


  • India’s agricultural products’ Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) violates sanitary and phytosanitary regulations on the international market.


  • The bulk of crops in India continue to yield significantly less than the world average.


  • In India, a farm typically occupies 1.15 hectares. The majority of Indian farmers are classified as small and marginal producers.


Agriculture exports: Way ahead


  • Farmers should receive training on export compliances and standards. To introduce farmers to export-oriented technology and raise their awareness of export prospects, Krishi Vigyan Kendras can be enlisted.


  • Giving agricultural value chains, including cold storage, ripening chambers, warehouses, and pack houses, infrastructure status.


  • Export hubs, such as Orange’s Nagpur, lack structured branding and marketing assistance for their goods. Building a brand will make it easier for them to join global retail chains.


  • Indian versions of fruits, grains, oilseeds, and millets, as well as their traditional knowledge and nutritional worth, make them great export options.


  • Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) must be linked to importers from other markets and global value networks. They can have a better understanding of quality requirements, and importers can be reassured about quality standards.


  • Trade agreements, both bilateral and sectoral, aim to guarantee advantageous tariffs for India’s agricultural exports while tackling non-tariff obstacles such as fair trade certificates, quality and testing processes, and so on.


  • Research and development (R&D) efforts aimed at creating new products for future markets, such as food product fortification, should be encouraged.




India’s exports of agricultural products are evidence of its long history and dedication to quality. Every product, from the tasty spices and wholesome pulses to the fragrant Basmati rice, embodies a special fusion of quality, innovation, and tradition.

 India is a major exporter that feeds millions of people worldwide and makes a substantial contribution to the global agricultural commerce landscape despite global challenges.

A key component of this quest for agricultural excellence is effective logistics. Transporting perishable goods in a secure and timely manner while maintaining their quality and freshness during the journey is ensured by ocean freight and reefer container booking services. 


Exploring the significance of Geographical tags(GI Tags) in India’s export market

In the realm of international trade, India showcases a diverse range of goods steeped in cultural and geographical significance. From handcrafted textiles to aromatic spices, the nation offers a rich tapestry of products that have garnered global acclaim.

 In today’s competitive market, authenticity and origin hold the utmost importance. Geographical Indications (GI) tags have emerged as crucial tools for safeguarding India’s traditional products. These tags provide recognition and protection, ensuring that goods are accurately labeled with their place of origin. 

By highlighting the unique qualities of products and their ties to specific regions, GI tags enhance their marketability and protect them from unauthorized use or imitation. Thus, in the global marketplace, GI tags serve as beacons of authenticity and promote the rich heritage of India’s traditional industries. 

In this blog, we delve into the significance of GI tags in India’s export market and their role in elevating the country’s rich cultural and agricultural heritage onto the global stage.


What are Geographical Indications Tags (GI Tags)?

A name or symbol attached to some products that designate a particular geographic region or ORIGIN is called a GI tag or Geographical Indication tag.

The GI tag ensures that only authorized users or residents of the specified geographic area may use the well-known product name.

Additionally, it stops other people from duplicating or copying the product. The validity of a registered GI is 10 years.

The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act of 1999 mandates the issuance of GI tags. A label placed on products with a specific geographic origin that attests to their superior quality or well-regarded status in the region is referred to as a “geographical indication” (GI).


Who Issues and regulates the Geographical Indications (GI Tags)?

At International level

In terms of intellectual property rights (IPRs), geographical indicators are included, as per the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.

Additionally, GI is governed by the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). 


The registration of geographical indications in India is governed by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, which went into effect in September 2003. 


Registration process for Geographical Indication in India:

The procedure of obtaining a GI tag in India is lengthy and involves several checks and balances to weed out applications that are not authentic or deserving of recognition. 

However, if you have a legitimate product that is unique to a certain region and has distinguishing characteristics that set it apart from the competition, this shouldn’t discourage you. 


Step-1  Filling out the application 

Please verify whether the indication falls under section 2(1)(e)’s definition of a Gl.

  • Applications need to be submitted three times.
  • A statement of the case must be included with the application, which must be signed by the applicant or his representative.
  • Information on the unique qualities and the methods used to uphold such requirements.
  • Three official copies of the map show the area that the GI is related to.
  • Information on any inspection framework that may be in place to control how the GI is used in the region it pertains to.

Step-2 & 3 Preliminary inspection and analysis

  • The Examiner will carefully review the application to look for any errors.
  • After receiving this letter, the applicant has one month to make the required adjustments.
  • A consultative committee of subject-matter specialists evaluates the statement of case’s content.
  • They are going to confirm the accuracy of the information given.
  • A report on the examination would then be released.

Step-4  Show cause notice

  • The Registrar will notify anyone of any objections he may have to the application.
  • Within two months, the applicant must reply or request a hearing.
  • The choice will be properly announced. If the applicant desires to file an appeal, he has one month to do so.
  • If an application is approved in error, the Registrar has the authority to revoke it after providing a chance for a hearing.

Step-5  Publication in the Journal of Geographic Indications

Each application will be published in the Geographical Indications Journal three months after it is accepted.

Step-6  Opposition to registration

  • Anybody can object to the GI application published in the Journal by filing a notice of opposition within three months (which can be extended by an additional month upon request, which must be submitted prior to the expiration of three months).
  • The registrar will give the applicant a copy of the notification.
  • Within two months, the applicant must submit a copy of the counterstatement.
  • If he doesn’t do this, his application will be deemed abandoned.. The party providing the notice of opposition will get a copy of the counter-statement from the registrar once it has been filed.
  • After that, each side will present its evidence through an affidavit and any necessary supporting documentation.
  • After that, a date will be set for the case’s hearing.

Step-7  Registration

  • The registrar is responsible for registering the geographical indicator when a GI application has been approved. The application submission date will be considered the registration date if it is registered.
  • The applicant will receive a certificate from the registrar that has the Geographic Indications Registry seal on it.

Step-8  Renewal

A registered GI can be renewed for an extra fee after its first 10 years of validity.

Step-9  Additional protection

The Act offers notified items more protection.

Step-10 Appeal to the higher authority

Within three months of receiving an order or decision that they disagree with, anyone can file an appeal with the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB). 


Significance of GI tag in India’s export market:

  • Preservation of Cultural Heritage:

India is renowned for having a rich cultural history, which is seen in the way that its traditional commodities are made. From the vibrant handloom textiles of Varanasi to the aromatic spices of Kerala, each product carries with it a story of centuries-old craftsmanship and regional expertise. 

GI tags play a crucial role in preserving this cultural heritage by safeguarding the authenticity and integrity of these products.

  • Protection from Imitation:

One of the primary benefits of GI tags is their ability to protect products from unauthorized imitation or misuse. By obtaining GI status, Indian products gain legal recognition of their unique origin and characteristics, preventing others from falsely claiming the same. 

This protection not only preserves the reputation and market value of genuine products but also ensures fair compensation for the artisans and communities behind them.

  • Market Differentiation and Branding:

In a crowded global marketplace, GI tags serve as powerful branding tools, distinguishing Indian products from their competitors and commanding premium prices.

 The unique qualities and cultural significance associated with GI-tagged products create a sense of exclusivity and authenticity that resonates with consumers worldwide.

 As a result, these products enjoy a competitive edge in international markets, attracting discerning buyers seeking quality, tradition, and provenance.

  • Enhanced Market Access:

GI tags open doors to new markets and trading opportunities for Indian producers and exporters. The international recognition and reputation associated with GI-tagged products facilitate market access by alleviating concerns related to quality, authenticity, and origin. 

Moreover, GI tags provide a valuable marketing tool for promoting Indian products abroad, fostering consumer trust and confidence in the authenticity of their origins.

  • Promotion of Rural Livelihoods:

Many GI-tagged products in India are produced by rural artisans, farmers, and indigenous communities whose livelihoods depend on traditional crafts and agricultural practices. 

The recognition and protection afforded by GI tags not only safeguard these communities’ economic interests but also empower them to preserve and perpetuate their cultural heritage.

 By promoting sustainable livelihoods and empowering local producers, GI tags contribute to rural development and poverty alleviation.

  • Cultural Diplomacy and Soft Power:

GI-tagged products serve as potent symbols of India’s cultural richness and diversity, projecting the country’s soft power on the global stage. Through exchanges of traditional crafts, culinary delights, and agricultural treasures, India strengthens its cultural ties with other nations.

Moreover, the global popularity of GI-tagged products enhances India’s reputation as a purveyor of quality, tradition, and heritage, thereby enhancing its diplomatic influence and soft power.

  • Stimulating Tourism and Cultural Exchange:

GI-tagged products not only contribute to India’s export earnings but also play a significant role in stimulating tourism and cultural exchange.

 Visitors from around the world are drawn to India’s unique cultural offerings, including its GI-tagged products, which serve as tangible expressions of the country’s rich heritage. 

Whether it’s exploring the tea plantations of Darjeeling or indulging in the flavors of Alphonso mangoes from Ratnagiri, tourists seek out these authentic experiences, thereby supporting local economies and promoting cross-cultural understanding.


Benefits of Geographical Indication tags (GI tags):

  • Generating Revenue: 

GI tags contribute to increased economic gains, ensuring quality production and fair profit distribution. For instance, the GI tag for Darjeeling Tea and Basmati Rice guarantees higher revenue streams

  • Access to Global Markets: 

GI tags facilitate the expansion of products into international markets, exemplified by Kanchipuram Silk Sarees and Jaipur Blue Pottery gaining global recognition.

  • Fostering Entrepreneurship: 

GI tags encourage entrepreneurial endeavors driven by talent and innovation. Pashmina Shawls from Kashmir serves as an illustration of the entrepreneurial opportunities created by GI tags.

  • Job Creation: 

GI tags stimulate employment opportunities within communities, as observed in the production of Banarasi Brocades and Bhagalpuri Silk, which provide livelihoods for many.

  • Empowering Women:

 GI tags contribute to increasing female labor force participation by supporting traditional crafts like Warli Paintings and Madhubani Art, where women play significant roles.

  • Cultural Preservation: 

GI tags play a crucial role in conserving traditional crafts, culture, and culinary heritage. Kalamkari Fabric and Alphonso Mango are examples of products that benefit from GI tags, ensuring the preservation of cultural traditions.

  • Community Advantages: 

GI tags offer benefits to communities by supporting biodiversity, local knowledge, and resources. Products like Coorg Coffee and Mysore Sandalwood demonstrate how GI tags positively impact local communities.



In conclusion, GI tags play a multifaceted role in India’s export market, serving as guardians of cultural heritage, drivers of economic growth, and ambassadors of soft power. By preserving authenticity, protecting against imitation, enhancing market access, promoting rural livelihoods, fostering cultural diplomacy, and stimulating tourism, GI-tagged products contribute significantly to India’s global presence and influence. 

As India continues to leverage its rich cultural and agricultural heritage for export success, GI tags will remain indispensable tools for promoting and protecting the country’s unique identity and traditions on the world stage.


Frequently Asked Questions:


  • What is the duration of validity for a Geographical Indication registration?

    A geographical indicator can be registered for a maximum of ten years.

  • Which state has the highest GI tag?

 Currently, over 600 items in India have geographical indications (GI) registered, with 69 products from Uttar Pradesh at the top of the list. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, has the most number of GI-tagged products from any one place.. 

  • Which was India’s first GI tag?

In 2004–05, Darjeeling tea became the first product in India to be awarded a GI label

  • Who gives GI recognition?

  The legal framework governing the protection of Geographical Indications (GIs) and the specific geographic location determine the authority for GI recognition. Through the Lisbon System, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is essential to the international registration and safeguarding of Geographic Indications (GIs).

  • Where is the headquarters of GI tag in India?

The Registrar of Geographical Indications and Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks is in charge of enforcing this Act.  The Headquarters of The Geographical Indications Registry is in Chennai.

All About Makhana Exports From India

Makhana, known as fox nuts or lotus seeds, has emerged as a nutritional powerhouse and a significant export commodity from India. Its journey from a traditional snack to a global phenomenon showcases both its nutritional richness and economic potential. India accounts for more than 90% of global Makhana exports.

In this blog we will talk about Makhana production in India, largest producer of Makhana in the world, Makhana exports from India and more…

Makhana Production In India

While Makhana is cultivated in various regions worldwide, India is the largest producer, accounting for approximately 70-80% of the global yield. Bihar contributes to over 80% of Makhana production in India. Additionally, countries such as Japan, Korea, China, Bangladesh, and Russia also cultivate Makhana in its wild form.

Makhana production is a cumbersome process. Farmers carefully prepare the land before sowing Makhana seeds harvested from lotus plants directly into the muddy substrate. Throughout the growth cycle, they employ management practices such as weeding and ensuring optimal conditions for flowering and pollination, often facilitated by insects like bees. Harvesting occurs when the seed pods mature, with seeds processed to reveal the edible kernel within, which is then roasted and stored for freshness. 

Makhana Exports from India

Makhana exports from India have experienced significant growth in recent years, driven by increasing global demand for this nutritious and versatile snack.

India, being the largest producer, accounts for a substantial portion of the global Makhana supply. The export market for Makhana extends to diverse regions across the world, including Europe, North America, Asia, and the Middle East.

The rise in health-conscious consumers seeking organic and gluten-free alternatives has further boosted the demand for Makhana internationally. As a result, Makhana exporters in India are capitalizing on this trend by leveraging the country’s expertise in Makhana cultivation and processing to meet the growing demand in global markets. 

Additionally, government initiatives and export subsidies have provided further impetus to Makhana exports from India, contributing to the economic growth of the agricultural sector in India.

HSN Codes of top 3 Product Categories of Makhana Exports from India are:

  1. HSN Code 19041090 : 19041090
  2. HSN Code 21069099 : 21069099
  3. HSN Code 08134090 : 08134090

Top 10 Makhana Exporting Countries

Here are top 10 Makhana exporting countries:

  1. India
  2. United States
  3. Canada
  4. Australia
  5. United Arab Emirates
  6. United Kingdom
  7. Singapore
  8. Netherlands
  9. Pakistan
  10. HongKong

Top 10 Makhana Importing Countries

Here are top 10 Makhana importing countries:

  1. United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Canada
  4. Australia
  5. United Arab Emirates
  6. Singapore 
  7. Malaysia
  8. Germany
  9. South East Asia
  10. European Union

Makhana Exporters in India

In a market filled with numerous Makhana exporters in India, it can feel overwhelming to choose the right one.

EXPORA is a trading company which deals in Makhana Exports from India. We’re dedicated to delivering top-notch Makhana products that truly stand out.

Why Choose EXPORA?

Sourced from origin: We maintain direct relationships with local farmers and processing facilties in Makhana-growing regions, ensuring traceability and transparency in our supply chain.

Tech-first approach: We have established a robust technology that enables us to deliver orders promptly and efficiently to our customers.

Wide Range of Varieties: Whether you prefer classic roasted Makhana or crave unique flavors, we offer a diverse range of Makhana varieties listed below:

  1. Makhana Smoked Himalayan Salt
  2. Makhana Jalapeno Cheese
  3. Makhana Thai Sweet Chilli
  4. Makhana Peri Peri
  5. Makhana Cheese & Herbs
  6. Makhana Barbeque
  7. Makhana Black Pepper
  8. Makhana Aachari Masti
  9. Makhana Sour Cream Onion

Global Reach: With an extensive network of distribution partners, we cater to clients worldwide, ensuring prompt delivery of our Makhanas.

Private labels: With EXPORA private label solutions, you CAN get Makhana in your own brand.

Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed: Your satisfaction is our ultimate goal. We go the extra mile to ensure that every batch of Makhana meets your expectations.

Reach out to us at contact@expora.in to place your order or learn more about our products and services. 



1.  What are the nutritional benefits of Makhana?

Incorporating Makhana into your diet can be a great way to enjoy a delicious and nutritious snack that offers several health benefits.

Our Makhana Benefits:

  1. 100% Roasted
  2. Healthy Protein
  3. Tasty Flavors
  4. Gluten-free
  5. Low fat

APEDA: Know the Registration Process, Documents Required, License Fees & Benefits

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority is responsible for 51% of India’s agricultural exports, valued at USD 53.1 billion.

 India’s agricultural exports have been greatly accelerated by APEDA, which has also improved the country’s economic growth and competitiveness in international trade. 

India has become a prominent global supplier of processed food items and a variety of agricultural commodities due to the authority’s strategic initiatives and unwavering efforts.

The majority of the work that the APEDA does is guided by its mission and the scope of work that has been delegated to it throughout all of its categories, which are mostly made up of the industries that produce fruits and vegetables, processed fruits and vegetables, animal, dairy, and poultry products, and grains.

What is APEDA?

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) is a statutory body established by the Government of India under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act of 1985.

It is the highest-ranking Export Trade Promotion Active entity that reports to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

13% of India’s exports and 6% of its overall industrial investment come from agriculture. Because of government initiatives to support the agricultural sector, including soil health cards, storage facilities, agricultural infrastructure, and irrigation regulations, the agricultural and processed food products industries are expected to thrive.

APEDA is a key player in the Indian agricultural export market, coordinating initiatives to increase the export of agricultural and processed food items.

It also promotes exports by way of several initiatives, such as the Market Access Initiative (MAI) and the Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES).

Table of Contents:

  •  What is APEDA?
  •  What is APEDA registration?
  •  Aim of APEDA certificate 
  •  Function Of APEDA
  • Role of APEDA in promoting agriculture trade
  •  List of products in Apeda
  •  Documents required for APEDA registration
  •  APEDA Registration process
  •  Benefits of APEDA
  •  Conclusion

What is APEDA Registration or RCMC Registration?

Exporters of Scheduled food products under the APEDA Act are granted APEDA registration, also known as registration-cum-membership-certification (RCMC), by the APEDA authorities. No exporter may begin operations for enlisted food items by the standards if they do not hold an RCMC membership.

Aim of APEDA Certificate:

In the global food market, APEDA seeks to encourage the export of scheduled food products, registering exporters of the food product on the schedule.  It aids in the growth of the industries that produce scheduled food items for export.


Promotion and Development: 

It spearheads initiatives aimed at promoting the export of scheduled products through various strategies, including market research, product development, and promotional activities domestically and internationally.

Quality Control: 

For agricultural and processed food items to be successful in the export market, quality control is essential. 

APEDA establishes guidelines and standards, carries out quality control procedures, and performs inspections to ensure that products remain true to their original specifications and satisfy global standards.

Market Access: 

Facilitating market access for Indian agricultural products is a key function of APEDA. Through negotiations and collaborations with foreign governments and trade bodies, APEDA works to overcome trade barriers and enhance market opportunities for Indian exporters.

Capacity Building: 

APEDA offers training programs, workshops, and seminars to enhance the capabilities of stakeholders involved in the agricultural export sector. These efforts increase exporters’ capacity with knowledge and skills to compete effectively in the international market.

Research and Development: 

Sustaining export growth requires staying up-to-date with consumer preferences, technology developments, and market changes. 

APEDA conducts research and development activities to identify emerging opportunities and support innovation in the agricultural export sector.

Role of APEDA in promoting agriculture trade:

  • The authority is now a key component of the government’s success in encouraging agricultural product exports. APEDA’s share in agricultural product exports is composed of 59% cereals and fresh horticulture products, 23% cereal preparations and other processed items, and 18% animal products.
  • To facilitate business dealings and support the expansion of Indian exports, APEDA has supported IT-enabled projects aimed at promoting agricultural exports. The organization has undertaken various initiatives to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of governance, including the paperless office (re-engineering, digital signatures, and electronic payment facility), the APEDA mobile app, phased delivery of online services, monitoring and evaluation, uniform access, and virtual trade fair.
  • Along with indigenous and ethnic agricultural products, the authority has been concentrating on promoting the export of Geographical Indication (GI) items sourced locally to fulfill the Prime Minister’s request for “vocal for local” and “Atmanirbhar Bharat.”
  • New items and export locations have been found by APEDA, and trial shipments have been made easier as a result. Almost 100 registered GI-tagged agricultural products—such as cereals, fresh fruits, vegetables, processed goods, etc.—fall under the APEDA scheduled product category out of the 150 GI-tagged agricultural products to date.
  • APEDA established the first traceability system for grape exports to EU countries in 2005–2006. It is now available for organic products (Tracenet), meat products (Meat.net), and peanuts (Peanut.net). More product traceability solutions are being developed.
  • APEDA has included a Blockchain solution into its GrapeNet traceability platform to encourage the usage of hybrid technology.

To facilitate communication between exporters and cooperatives or farmer producers organizations (FPOs/FPCs), APEDA has set up a farmer connect portal on its website. Thus far, 3,315 exporters and 3,295 FPO/FPCs have registered on the portal.

List of Products under APEDA

APEDA’s mandate includes the development and promotion of exports for the following planned items. 

First Schedule:

  • Dairy Goods.
  • Confectionery, Biscuits & Bakery Products.
  • Jaggery Honey, & Sugar-based Products.
  • Chocolates of various varieties, as well as cocoa and its products.
  • Beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
  • Cereal and Cereal Products.
  • Walnuts, peanuts, and groundnuts.
  • Chutneys, Papads, and Pickles.
  • Guar Gum.
  • Floriculture and Floriculture Products.
  • Medicinal and herbal plants.
  • Rice bran that has been de-oiled.
  • Green pepper marinated with brine.
  • Cashew Nuts and their Confections

Second schedule of the APEDA Act.

  • Basmati rice.

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has released export data that highlights the consistent development trajectory of India’s basmati rice, with commerce and exports rising yearly. 

In April through August 2021–2022 and 2023–2024, there was an astounding 71% increase in the amount of rice traded internationally.

With 20.10 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) exported, the nation’s basmati exports have hit Rs 18,310.35 crore in the current fiscal year.

Documents required for APEDA Registration:

The following documents are required for APEDA registration:

  • Application form properly completed and signed 
  • FSSAI license registration
  •  IEC copy from DGFT
  •  Business bank account statement
  • Bank certificate endorsed by authorities; canceled check

What is the APEDA Registration or RCMC Registration Process?

Within one month following the date of their business’s incorporation, applicants must submit the application form. Once the application is properly filed and the payments are paid, APEDA issues a Registration-Cum-Membership-Certificate (RCMC) as part of the membership. The detailed registration procedure is listed below:

Step 1:  For registration, go to the APEDA website.

Step 2: Select “Register as Member” by clicking.

Step 3: Provide the required information, including the import-export code and contact details. Press the “Submit” button.

Step 4: To verify the information you provided, an OTP will be delivered to the registered email address and mobile number you provided. Go ahead and click submit to continue.

Step 5: After completing the verification process, you need to finish the online application by filling out the necessary fields and attaching the necessary files.

Step 6: Pay the required registration fees using payment options.

Step 7: Upon payment completion, an application number is issued. Keep this for use as a future reference.

Step 8: You will receive login information on the email address you registered with after issuing RCMC. By selecting the exporter login option, you can access your account.

Step 9: By selecting the “track application” option, you may see the status of your RCMC application.

Step 10:  To get RCMC, use the “view RCMC certificate” option from the RCMC menu.

Benefits of APEDA Registration

  •  Exporting scheduled items requires APEDA certification.
  •  Exporters can apply for a variety of APEDA-provided financial aid programs.
  •  It offers database updates, testing, and advertising package construction, among other services, to help exporters sell their brands.
  • Exporters can learn more about different commodities and exporting nations.
  •  To increase members’ efficiency, APEDA can register them for classes in the many scheduled product categories that APEDA offers.

In conclusion, APEDA stands as a beacon of hope and opportunity for India’s agricultural sector, catalyzing export growth, driving economic development, and fostering inclusive prosperity. 

As India marches towards its vision of becoming a global agricultural powerhouse, the role of APEDA in facilitating trade, ensuring quality, and promoting innovation becomes increasingly critical. 

By harnessing the collective efforts of farmers, exporters, policymakers, and industry stakeholders, APEDA paves the way for a vibrant and resilient agricultural export ecosystem that benefits all stakeholders involved.

As we embrace the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly evolving global marketplace, let us reaffirm our commitment to harnessing the full potential of APEDA and unleashing the boundless possibilities of Indian agriculture on the world stage.



1. What is the total fee for  Apeda registration?

Ans- The professional registration charge is ₹2,999, whereas the government registration fee for APEDA is ₹5,900, inclusive of 18% GST. As a result, ₹8,899 is the entire cost of APEDA registration.

2. What is the time taken to acquire an APEDA license?

Ans-  APEDA will be assigned In 10- 15 days after the necessary paperwork is submitted. 

3. What is the requirement of APEDA registration?

  1. Only one-time registration is required.
  2. Required exporters of goods on a schedule
  3. Permits enrolled participants to take part in training courses tailored to different industry facets.
  4. Registration is required before applying for the APEDA financial assistance program.

4. What is  RCMC registration?

Ans- The  RCMC is a registration cum membership certificate. With this certificate, the business is authorized to export goods and benefit from favorable trade policies in the world today. The RCMC certificate is issued by the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO).

Indian Rupee as international currency: Everything you need to know

For decades, the US dollar, euro, and yen have reigned supreme as the preferred currencies for settling cross-border transactions. However, amidst the shifting tides of economic power and geopolitical dynamics, developing countries like India have looked for alternate means of trade and  payment settlements. 

Last year, the Government of India granted permission for the settlement of international transactions using the Indian Rupee (INR), encompassing processes such as invoicing, payment, and settlement for both imports and exports conducted in INR.

In this blog we will talk about what is internationalization of rupee, benefits of India using rupee for international trade, trade settlement agreements in rupee, challenges it presents, and more…

What is Internationalization of Rupee?

The internationalization of the rupee refers to efforts made by the Indian government and financial authorities to increase the use and acceptance of the Indian rupee (INR) as a global currency for international trade, investment, and financial transactions.

It involves various measures and policies aimed at increasing the use of the rupee in global trade, investment, and financial markets. These are:

Liberalization of foreign exchange controls: This includes easing restrictions on the use of the rupee for international transactions, allowing greater flexibility in foreign exchange markets, and simplifying regulations governing cross-border transactions.

Expansion of offshore markets: Creating offshore markets for the rupee outside of India, such as in financial centers like Dubai, Singapore, and London, where the rupee can be traded freely.

Encouraging trade settlement in rupees: Promoting the use of the rupee in bilateral trade agreements and encouraging trading partners to settle trade transactions in rupees rather than in other currencies like the US dollar or euro.

Issuance of rupee-denominated bonds: Issuing rupee-denominated bonds, also known as “Masala bonds,” in international financial markets to raise funds from foreign investors and increase the global circulation of the rupee.

Bilateral currency swap agreements: Entering into bilateral currency swap agreements with other countries to facilitate trade and investment in rupees and provide liquidity support during times of financial stress.

Financial market reforms: Implementing reforms to deepen domestic financial markets, improve market infrastructure, and enhance regulatory frameworks to support the internationalization of the rupee.

Overall, the internationalization of the rupee aims to reduce India’s dependence on foreign currencies, enhance the country’s role in global finance, and promote the rupee as a viable currency for international transactions.

Benefits of India using rupee for international trade

These are several benefits of India using rupee for international trade. These are:

  1. Reduced Dependency:
  • Less reliance on foreign currencies, particularly the US dollar.
  • Boosts economic autonomy and resilience against external financial fluctuations.
  1. Enhanced Monetary Sovereignty:
  • Empowers India with greater control over its currency’s value and circulation globally.
  • Enables more effective implementation of monetary policies.
  1. Trade Facilitation:
  • Eliminates the need for currency conversion in international transactions.
  • Reduces transaction costs and simplifies cross-border trade processes.
  1. Promotion of Domestic Markets:
  • Encourages foreign investors to engage with India’s domestic financial markets.
  • Fosters deeper integration and liquidity in domestic financial instruments.
  1. Diversification of Reserves:
  • Central banks and sovereign wealth funds may include rupee in their foreign exchange reserves.
  • Diversifies global reserve holdings and increases demand for Indian assets.
  1. Strengthening Regional Influence:
  • Bolsters India’s influence in regional financial systems, and positions it as a major economic player in Asia.
  • Facilitates closer economic ties with neighboring countries.
  1. Promotion of Offshore Financial Centers:
  • Spurs the development of offshore financial centers in India.
  • Attracts foreign investment and fosters financial innovation.

International Trade in Rupee: Trade Settlement Agreements

Trade settlement agreements in rupee refer to arrangements where international trade transactions are conducted using the Indian rupee (INR) as the settlement currency. These agreements enable buyers and sellers involved in cross-border trade to settle their transactions in rupees rather than in a foreign currency such as the US dollar or euro.

India has taken some significant steps in the direction of internationalization of rupee. The first major decision came in July 2022, when RBI allowed the settlement of international trade in Indian Rupee.


1. July 2022: RBI allowed the settlement of international trade in Rupee.

2. December 2022: India saw its first settlement of international trade in rupee with Russia – as part of the ‘International Settlement of Trade in Indian Rupee’ mechanism initiated by the RBI.

3. March 2023: The RBI authorized banks from 18 countries to establish Special Rupee Vostro Accounts (SRVAs) for the purpose of settling payments using Indian rupees.

Countries: Botswana, Fiji, Germany, Guyana, Israel, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Oman, Russia, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, and the United Kingdom.

4. April 2023: Malaysia agreed to settle trade in Indian rupees.

How does trade settlement in rupee help the trading community and Indian economy at large?

This move has the potential to enhance India’s trade relations with nations facing global sanctions.

  • Nations cut off from the SWIFT payment system can engage in trade with India through this mechanism, which enables secure message exchange based on mutual agreement between partner countries.
  • Amidst India’s widening trade deficit, especially in May 2022, this initiative can help stabilize domestic currency fluctuations and boost Indian exports to countries experiencing a shortage of foreign exchange reserves.
  • The central bank’s discussions also include observations on the Chinese yuan’s global expansion, driven by China’s attraction of global manufacturers and increased gold purchases using the yuan. The yuan and the Indian rupee are poised to play significant roles in the currency market dynamics, particularly in the context of export competitiveness between India and China.

Challenges of Using Indian Rupee for International Trade:

Here are some challenges associated with using the Indian Rupee for international trade:

Currency Convertibility: The Indian Rupee faces restrictions on full convertibility, which can hinder its seamless use in international transactions.

Exchange Rate Volatility: Fluctuations in the value of the Rupee against major currencies can create uncertainty for businesses engaging in international trade, affecting pricing and profitability.

Limited Acceptance: Compared to major international currencies like the US Dollar or Euro, the Indian Rupee may have limited acceptance in global markets, leading to complications in trade negotiations and settlements.

Liquidity Issues: In some regions, there may be limited availability of Rupees, resulting in liquidity challenges for completing transactions and financing trade deals.

Regulatory Hurdles: Compliance with diverse regulatory frameworks across different jurisdictions can pose complexities and increase transaction costs for businesses using the Rupee for international trade.

Infrastructure Constraints: Inadequate banking infrastructure and cross-border payment systems may impede the efficient processing of Rupee-denominated international transactions.

Risk Management: Businesses engaging in Rupee-denominated trade transactions may face challenges in managing currency risk effectively, particularly in hedging against adverse exchange rate movements.

Perception and Confidence: The perception of the Rupee’s stability and reliability in international markets may influence its acceptance for trade purposes, requiring efforts to build confidence among global trading partners.


Many countries–both big and small– have shown willingness to use Indian rupee for trade, India’s commerce minister, Piyush Goyal said. Some of these countries include Bangladesh, Srilanka and gulf countries as well.

India’s commitment to promote the use of Indian rupee as international currency marks a significant stride towards the internationalization of Indian Rupee. By addressing the challenges it presents, India can make the most of using the Rupee for global trade. This will strengthen its economy, build closer trade connections worldwide, and contribute to sustainable growth and development at home and abroad.

12 Things to Consider Before Export of Agricultural Products

In recent times, exports in the agriculture sector in India have shown remarkable growth.

Exporting agricultural products is a big opportunity, but you should know important things before shipping the products.

The shipping of agricultural products needs detailed planning and strategic approach.

In this blog, we’ll explore the top things to keep in mind before export of agricultural products in the international market.

1. Inspection and quality control

Conducting the inspections can identify issues which helps to meet the expectations of customers and reduces the risk of rejections and financial losses.

The shipping of agricultural products involves rigorous quality control measures at each stage such as from harvesting to packaging.

2. Temperature control during shipping agriculture products

Agricultural products such as fruits, vegetables, and specific grains are susceptible to variations in temperature. 

It’s crucial to invest in refrigerated containers, trucks, or warehouses to make sure that the recommended storage conditions are maintained throughout the process.

3. Quality assurance in agriculture trade

When an importer and an exporter make a deal to export agricultural products, they usually decide on certain quality standards. 

For example, Exporting the rice, following standards you should know:

  • Quality Standards:  Set standards for rice quality, including moisture content, grain size, and absence of contaminants.
  • Chemical Details:  Ensuring food safety by following pesticides regulations.
  • Hands-on Inspection : If the pesticide inspection fails, then  physical inspection is necessary to assess the cultivation and storage practices.

. So it’s important to check if they meet those standards. 

4. Fumigation of shipping containers

Insects in agricultural products can destroy them. Before you send out any batch of agricultural products, make sure to fumigate the container with the fumigation gel to get rid of the insects. 

After sealing the container, allow the gel to sit for a maximum of 3 days. If bugs are found in the product at the delivery port, you may be held responsible for covering all associated costs, and the customs department might have to destroy the entire shipment.

5. Proper packaging

 Maintaining quality during shipping is crucial for agricultural products. Successful export depends on effective packaging.

Different agricultural products require different packaging standards. Some products need jute packaging, while others require to be packed in cans, mesh bags or ppe bags. 

Also, make sure to follow the rules for packing things properly. It’s important to know the packaging standards of different commodities.

For efficient customs clearance, proper labelling you should include things such as:

  • Product details
  • Expiration dates
  • Handling instructions 

6. Choosing the right shipment method

The success of export of agricultural products is influenced by the right shipment method. 

Factors such as the type of product, distance, and required delivery timeframe should be considered when selecting between air, sea, or land transport. 

Air freight delivers quickly, but it can be costlier, whereas sea freight is economical but takes longer. Achieving the balance between these factors is crucial for cost effectiveness and meeting expectations.

 7. Documentation

Accurate and complete export documentation is a fundamental aspect of international shipping.

The common documents include :

  1. Phytosanitary certificate
  2. Fumigation certificate
  3. Inspection certificate 
  4. Veterinary certificate. 

For a smooth shipping process, the verification and accuracy of these documents are crucial, as is ensuring they comply with the regulations of both the exporting and importing countries.

8. Protection of agricultural goods

When you ship containers of farm products, it’s important to protect them. For this,  you should cover the floo rs and walls of the container with special carton paper so that  your goods won’t touch the metal inside

You can also hang the dry bags on the walls. These bags help to control the moisture in the container.

In general you can use at least 10 dry bags for a smaller 20 ft container and 15 dry bags for a bigger 40 ft container. It’s like giving your goods their own protective gear!

9. Rules and regulations for shipping

Shipping agriculture products involves different regulations and compliance standards. Before the shipping process starts, it is crucial to research and understand the regulations of the origin and destination countries. 

This includes requirements for documentation, standards for labelling, and any restrictions imposed on specific products.

10. Customs clearance and import duties

The customs clearance process is a significant part of international shipping.

 Specific import duties, taxes, and fees applicable to agricultural products in the destination country are essential for budgeting and compliance.

Experienced customs brokers can simplify the customs clearance process and help businesses avoid unnecessary delays or penalties.

11. Insurance

To deal with unforeseen circumstances, such as natural disasters, accidents, theft, etc., comprehensive insurance coverage is essential to protect against financial losses. 

You should select the appropriate cargo insurance options based on the nature of your agricultural products and the shipping route.

12. Building relationships

For a successful agriculture product shipping operation, collaboration with shipping carriers, logistics providers, and distributors is very important. 

Building strong relationships with partners enhances transparency, communication, and efficient problem resolution.

It should be remembered that rigorous study, cautious planning, and constant adaptability are all necessary for exporting agricultural products. Reach out to us at contact@expora.in for all your agricultural exports and imports requirements.

Market Trends in Global Agro Commodities: What to Watch in 2024

In the evolving world of global agriculture, farmers, traders, and stakeholders need to remain updated with market trends. As we step into 2024, the world of agricultural commodities is about to undergo major changes. 

The projection for the next ten years is a 1.2% annual growth in global demand for agricultural commodities (including non-food applications). This growth rate is significantly lower than the 2.2% annual growth seen in the previous ten years.

Let’s explore key market trends, analyzing what to watch out for in the dynamic realm of global agro commodities trade.

Technology Integration in Agriculture

The fusion of technology into agriculture is transforming the shape of agro commodities. Precision farming, drone-assisted monitoring, and AI-driven analytics are among the technological advancements that are elevating efficiency and productivity in the sector.

Agro-trade stakeholders should closely monitor the implementation of smart farming technologies in 2024, as they affect the quality and consistency of agro commodities. To stay competitive in the global economy, it will be essential to understand and use these technologies

Sustainable Agriculture and Ethical Sourcing

In 2024, expect a surge in demand for agro commodities produced through sustainable and ethical means. Customers are increasingly recognizing the impact of their dietary decisions on the environment and society.

In 2024, anticipate a surge in demand for agro commodities as consumers actively seek products produced through sustainable and ethical means.

 Beyond organic certification, this trend includes actions that support soil health, biodiversity, and ethical labor standards.

 As ethical sourcing becomes a key factor in determining market dynamics

Global Trade Policies and Agro Commodities

Trade policies have always been significant in shaping the flow of agro commodities across borders. In 2024, geopolitical shifts and changing international relations are likely to influence global sales.

Trade tensions, tariff adjustments, and regional agreements can impact the accessibility and affordability of agro commodities. Agro traders should monitor global policy developments. 

Agro dealers should keep an eye on changes in foreign policy and be ready to modify their strategies to successfully negotiate the complex rules of global commerce.

Climate Change Resilience

The emergence of digital technologies has led to a significant shift in the agricultural trade industry. In the supply chain for agricultural commodities, blockchain, IoT (Internet of Things), and AI-driven platforms are becoming essential for traceability and transparency. 

We predict a faster adoption of digital solutions in 2024 to improve the overall efficiency of agro-trade procedures, minimize fraud, and speed up transactions.

Organizations that adopt and incorporate these technologies are expected to get a competitive advantage. This ensures smoother transactions and increased trust among global stakeholders.

Shifts in Consumer Preferences

Consumer preferences play a significant role in shaping agro-commodity markets. In 2024, there is a noticeable shift towards healthier and plant-based diets. This shift is increasing demand for alternative protein sources, non-GMO products, and organic produce. 

The players involved in the agro-trade industry need to align their approaches with the changing preferences of consumers, with a particular emphasis on the growing need for diets that prioritize health and the environment.

Tech Giants Investments in Agro Commodities

The agricultural landscape is witnessing a profound shift as major corporations invest in agro commodities. Tech giants such as Bayer AG, Cargill, etc. are taking center stage in reshaping the sector through innovative technologies

In addition to demonstrating their dedication to the advancement of agriculture, their investments can completely change our understanding and interactions with the agro-trade ecosystem as a whole.

Supply Chain Challenges and Resilience

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought attention to the weaknesses in international supply networks, and the agricultural commodities industry is not an exception. In 2024, building resilient supply chains will be crucial.

From logistics and transportation to storage and distribution, agro-trade stakeholders must assess their supply chains to withstand unforeseen disruptions.

Using technology, diversifying suppliers, and implementing contingency plans are essential steps to ensure the smooth flow of agro commodities across borders.

Investment in Research and Development

Research and development (R&D) in agro commodities are gaining privilege. This helps to focus on developing resilient crops, improving yield efficiency, and sustainable farming practices.

In 2024, we predict increased collaboration between research institutions, agribusinesses, and governments to foster innovation. Those involved in the agro-trade can gain a strategic edge by keeping up with developments in agricultural research.

The worldwide market for agricultural commodities is about to undergo a significant change in 2024. The main factors influencing the dynamics of agro-trade will be technical advancements, geopolitical changes, climate resilience, shifting consumer tastes, and resilient supply chains. 

Farmers, traders, and all stakeholders participating in the global agro commodities market must actively stay informed and adapt to these trends to ensure success.

As we navigate through the challenges and opportunities of 2024, a proactive approach toward change and staying ahead of market trends will undoubtedly lead to a prosperous future in the world of agro-trade.

GST Refund on Export Explained: How to claim it?

Understanding the process of claiming GST refunds on exports is crucial for every export-import business. 

Exports fall under ‘Zero-rated supplies’ in GST, enabling exporters to seek refunds for paid taxes, including IGST and any applicable cess. The GST portal simplifies the refund process for exporters dealing with large transaction volumes, making it more efficient and user-friendly.

In this blog, we will take you through all about gst refund for export, how to claim gst refund on exports, and more…

Definition of Export Under GST Act?

Under the IGST Act, an export refers to the movement of goods or services from India to a place outside India, excluding supplies to special economic zones or goods meant for international exhibitions. These transactions qualify as zero-rated supplies (GST rate is 0%). Taxable persons who engage in exporting goods and services are eligible to seek refunds for the GST they have paid.

What is GST Refund on Export?

When goods are exported, they are generally relieved of domestic taxes. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is no exception. Exporters are entitled to claim a refund of the GST paid on inputs used in the production of goods for export.

How to Claim Refund of GST on Export?

First come first. Let’s talk about the components of GST. There are 3 components of GST – Central GST, State GST and Integrated GST.

For inter-state supplies, imports, and exports, IGST is applicable in India. However, the exporter has the option to claim IGST refund on export. This can be done in one of the two ways

1. Exporting without Paying IGST:

  • Exporters can claim a refund on unutilized input credit without paying IGST upfront.
  • No separate application is needed; the Shipping Bill itself serves as an application.
  • The exporter needs to file GSTR-1, GSTR-3B, and submit the export general manifest.
  • The filing of the shipping bill, indicating goods exported outside India, serves as a deemed application.
  • The refund for duty paid is typically quick and is granted within about two weeks.

2. Exporting by Paying IGST:

  • If an exporter pays IGST for exporting goods/services, they can claim a refund for the tax paid.
  • For refund claims without prior IGST payment and input credit, a separate online application (Form RFD-01A) is necessary.
  • Supporting documents should accompany a hard copy of the application submitted manually to GST officials.
  • The refund is processed based on the verification of the submitted documents.

Application Process of IGST Refund on Exports for Goods and Services

  • Exporters must apply for refunds via the common GST portal or a designated facilitation center by the GST Commissioner.
  • Once applied, refunds should be disbursed within 60 days from receiving a complete refund application.
  • If the refund isn’t processed within this timeframe, the applicant is entitled to receive 6% interest on the delayed amount.

Documents Required for Refund of IGST Paid on Exports

When exporting goods and aiming to claim a GST refund, you’ll need the following documents:

Essential Documents for GST Return on Goods Export:

  1. Invoice: Detailed invoices for the goods being exported, specifying the quantity, value, and particulars of the goods.
  2. Shipping Bill: This document is filed with the customs department, containing details about the exported goods. It’s a crucial document for claiming a GST refund on export.

Additional Documents Depending on the Circumstances:

For Exporting without Paying IGST:

  • Export General Manifest: Details of the goods being exported, often submitted with the shipping bill.
  • Filed GST Returns (GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B): These returns showcase the export details and are essential for claiming refunds without paying IGST upfront.

For Exporting by Paying IGST:

  • Form RFD-01A: A separate online application form required for claiming refunds when IGST was paid during the export.
  • Supporting Documents: Any additional paperwork or evidence necessary for the specific refund claim.

Application Process Overview:

The documentation may vary based on whether IGST was paid at the time of exporting or not.

For goods exported without upfront IGST payment, the shipping bill and filed GST returns are essential.

For exporters who paid IGST, additional documentation such as Form RFD-01A and supporting evidence might be necessary for the refund application.

Essential Documents for GST Refund on Services Export:

  • Invoice for Services: Similar to goods, invoices detailing the services provided need to be maintained.
  • Statement of Exports: A comprehensive statement or record detailing the exported services, specifying the nature, value, and recipient of the services.
  • Bank Realization Certificate (BRC): This document validates the receipt of payment for the exported services in foreign currency.
  • Form RFD-01A or Application for Refund: Particularly if the exporter paid IGST or seeks a refund without utilizing input credit.
  • Supporting Documents: Any additional paperwork substantiating the exported services, which might include contracts, agreements, or certificates as required by authorities.

Key Points for Services Export refund:

In addition to invoices, maintaining a detailed record of the exported services is crucial.

The Bank Realization Certificate serves as evidence of receiving payment in foreign currency.

Similar to goods, if IGST was paid or if a refund is sought without utilizing input credit, the specific application form (Form RFD-01A) might be necessary.


While the GST refund process presents challenges, including potential documentation errors, verification delays, and technical glitches, proactive measures can be taken to mitigate these issues. This not only facilitates a seamless process in obtaining IGST refunds on exports but also contributes to the overall efficiency and competitiveness of businesses in the global market.


Frequently Asked Questions about GST Refund on Exports

1. What is the timeline for processing a GST refund on exports?

The timeline for processing export GST refund varies but typically takes around 15 days to one month after the application is filed.

2. Are there any specific conditions for claiming a refund of IGST paid on export of goods?

Yes, exporters must ensure compliance with conditions specified under GST laws, including timely filing of requisite documents.

3. Can an exporter claim a GST refund for export without IGST payment?

Exporters can either export under LUT/Bond or pay IGST and claim a refund subsequently.

EXPORA’S participation at Gulfood 2024

Gulfood 2024: The biggest gathering of the food and beverage industry takes place from February 19th to 23rd at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Gulfood 2024 is massive, with 5500+ exhibitors from 127 countries presenting their newest products and setting new trends. This is the place to be for global food & beverage sourcing.



Why Visit Gulfood Exhibition Dubai?

If you are looking for new food & agro suppliers or want to check out the latest trends, Gulfood is where you need to be. Walk through 24 huge halls, across a 1 million square foot exhibition area,  filled with 100k+ new products and innovations. 



Meet EXPORA at Gulfood 2024

EXPORA is a food and agro global trade company from India. We specialize in a range of Food & Agro products sourced directly from the origin – Rice, spices, pulses, sugar, processed food like vacuum fried food, makhana, frozen foods, gherkins, bakery, and confectionery. Discover our range of products on our website.



With offices and presence in India, UAE, Sri Lanka, Benin, and USA we service customers all across UAE, GCC, East Africa, UK, and Australia. 

Come discover our range of offerings for global trade at Gulfood 2024. We cordially invite you to our stall located at Za’abeel Plaza – ZP A5.