Exporting agricultural and processed food products can be a lucrative business for Indian entrepreneurs, but it also involves several regulatory requirements. One such requirement is registration with the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA). APEDA is a government organization established in 1985 to promote the export of scheduled products and provide financial assistance, information, guidelines, and other support for their development. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the APEDA registration process, the required documents, the advantages of registration, and how to apply online. So, if you’re considering exporting scheduled products such as fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, dairy, confectionery, or floriculture products, read on to learn more about APEDA registration in India.
I. Introduction to APEDA Registration
A. Explanation of APEDA
The Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) is a government organization established in 1985 through an act for the development and promotion of the export of scheduled products. The products specified under the APEDA ACT are called schedule products, which include Fruits, Vegetable Meat, Poultry products, Dairy products, Confectionery Biscuits, Bakery products, Honey, Jaggery and Sugar Products, Cocoa products, chocolates, floriculture Products, Pickles, Papads, and Chutneys, etc. APEDA is mandated with the responsibility of export promotion and development of scheduled products. It provides financial assistance, information, guidelines, training, and development for the scheduled products.
APEDA registration or registration-cum-membership-certification (RCMC) is mandatory for exporters of scheduled products under APEDA ACT. Issuing registration to exporters of scheduled food products helps in the development of industries relating to scheduled food products for export. It provides guidelines for improving the quality and standard of their products. APEDA aims to promote scheduled food product export in the global food market, regulating the standard and specification of the scheduled products for export purposes, and improving packaging and marketing for better reach in the industry. Registered members are also eligible for various financial assistance schemes and can participate in training programs organized by APEDA for various scheduled products to improve their business.
B. Objective of APEDA
The objective of APEDA is to promote the export of scheduled products and to develop industries related to such products. APEDA aims to improve the packaging and marketing of scheduled products, setting standards, and specifications for export quality products. It ensures the quality of scheduled products through inspection and provides financial assistance to those involved in the production, processing, packaging, marketing, or exporting of such products. APEDA also collects statistics on the scheduled products and publishes them to promote the development of export-oriented production.
Registered members of APEDA can participate in training programs that help them better understand the industries connected with scheduled products, improve their business and stay updated about the guidelines for exporting products to different countries. APEDA Registration is mandatory for exporters of scheduled products and provides many advantages such as availing various financial assistance schemes offered by APEDA and improving brand publicity. With the issuance of RCMC now online, exporters can now avail of APEDA registration and access many more benefits quickly and directly.
C. Functions of APEDA
APEDA has been assigned various functions to promote exports of agricultural and processed food products in India. These functions include the development of industries related to scheduled products, fixing standards and specifications, and improving packaging and marketing of products for export. APEDA also facilitates the registration of exporters and provides financial assistance, subsidies, and relief schemes for them.
Moreover, APEDA carries out inspections to ensure the quality of meat and meat products and collects statistics from owners of factories involved in the production, marketing, and export of scheduled products. APEDA is responsible for promoting export-oriented production and development of scheduled products.
The organization also offers training programs for exporters and provides guidelines for them to ensure that they meet the standards established for the products they are exporting. Additionally, APEDA is responsible for monitoring the import of sugar and acts as the Secretariat to the National Accreditation Board for the implementation of accreditation of certification bodies under the National Program for Organic Production (NPOP) for organic exports. The APEDA authority is composed of members appointed by the Central Government representing various ministries and Parliament, as well as members representing states and union territories.
II. Products Monitored by APEDA
A. List of Scheduled Products
According to the APEDA Act, the marketing and enhancing exports of various products is the responsibility of APEDA. The list of scheduled products includes fruits, vegetables and their products, meat and meat products, poultry and poultry products, dairy products, confectionery, biscuits and bakery products, honey, jaggery and sugar products, cocoa, and its products, chocolates of all kinds, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, cereal and cereal products, groundnuts, peanuts and walnuts, pickles, papads and chutneys, guar gum, floriculture and floriculture products, herbal and medicinal plants, de-oiled rice bran, green pepper in brine, and cashew nuts and its products. Additionally, Basmati Rice has been included in the Second Schedule of the APEDA Act. It is important to note that anything you plan to export must comply with applicable laws and regulations. APEDA also functions as the Secretariat to the National Accreditation Board (NAB) for the implementation of accreditation of the Certification Bodies under the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) for Organic Exports. The authority provides financial assistance to registered exporters under sub-components of its Agriculture Export Promotion Scheme, which includes market development, infrastructure development, and quality development.
B. Monitoring of Sugar Imports
Apart from promoting and developing scheduled products for export, APEDA is also responsible for monitoring the import of sugar. This task ensures that the imported sugar meets the quality standards set by the authority. The reason for monitoring sugar import is that India is one of the largest consumers of sugar in the world, and the demand for this commodity is continuously increasing. Therefore, it is crucial to keep a check on the quality of sugar being imported to avoid any harm to human health and safeguard the interest of domestic sugar producers. By regulating sugar import, APEDA also promotes the growth of domestic sugarcane farming and the sugar industry. This monitoring process helps to maintain the right balance between imports and domestic production and ensures that the consumers get the best quality sugar. Therefore, all sugar importers need to register with APEDA before importing sugar. After registration, the importers need to follow the guidelines prescribed by the authority to import sugar into India. APEDA is constantly striving towards the betterment of the sugar industry by taking necessary measures, and sugar import monitoring is one of them.
III. Advantages of APEDA Registration
A. Financial Assistance Schemes
APEDA offers several financial assistance schemes for exporters to encourage the export of scheduled products. The schemes are designed to provide financial support to exporters for improving packaging, marketing, and production of the scheduled products. The Agriculture and Processed Foods Export Promotion Scheme of APEDA is a medium-term expenditure framework for three financial years from 2017-2018 to 2019-2020. Under this scheme, APEDA provides financial assistance, subsidy schemes, and training in various aspects of the industries connected with the scheduled products.
Registered member exporters can apply online for financial assistance schemes, and other facilities like updating company profiles, submission of monthly returns, and applying for market development assistance schemes. The scheme also mandates that the exporter must comply with FSSAI and other regulatory authority licenses/registrations, and must submit monthly export performance online for 5 years after availing assistance. The exporter must ensure a 10% export growth per annum after availing assistance; failing which, the exporter shall not be eligible for subsequent subsidies or participation in trade fairs conducted by APEDA.
APEDA also offers financial assistance for infrastructure development, quality certifications, and food safety management systems, strengthening technical and managerial skills, as well as testing of water and soil residues of pesticides and veterinary drugs. APEDA recognizes laboratories and certification bodies accredited under the National Program for Organic Production (NPOP) and offers a rate of subsidy of 50% of travel costs and training fees up to Rs. 3 lakhs per participant per year per organization. APEDA also assists institutions in introducing new plant/seed/germplasm varieties for export-oriented and processing purposes.
B. Brand Publicity and Development
Brand publicity and development is a crucial aspect of any business, and APEDA recognizes this by assisting exporters in this area. Under the APEDA Act, registered members can avail of various financial assistance schemes for brand promotion through advertisement, packaging development, database up-gradation, and surveys. This helps in creating brand awareness and developing a strong brand image in the international market, leading to increased demand for scheduled products. In addition, APEDA provides guidelines to exporters about various products and countries for export, helping them make informed decisions about their brand strategy. Registered members can also participate in training programs organized by APEDA for improving their business and enhancing their brand value. APEDA’s support for brand publicity and development is especially significant since brand reputation is a key factor in global markets, and a strong brand can give exporters a competitive advantage. By encouraging brand development through financial assistance and training programs, APEDA ensures that exporters are well-equipped to succeed in the international market and further boost India’s export potential.
C. Guidelines for Exporters
The registration process requires a step-by-step approach that involves filling out online forms and uploading relevant documents. After applying for an Importer Exporter Code (IEC), exporters must register with APEDA and follow certain guidelines.
Guidelines for exporters include adhering to the quality standards and norms specific to each approved product. This means that exporters must ensure that they are providing quality products that meet all regulations. APEDA does not approve substandard products, and exporters must follow guidelines to avoid any issues during the export process.
In addition, APEDA provides financial assistance schemes to small and medium-sized exporters. These can help with export promotion and market development. Brand publicity and development programs are also available to exporters to help them increase their visibility.
Training programs are also offered by APEDA to help exporters stay up-to-date with changing regulations and import/export requirements. These can be accessed online or through workshops.
APEDA registration is necessary for exporters who want to stay compliant and grow their businesses. By understanding the guidelines, exporters can ensure that they are providing quality products and meeting all regulations, making the most of the opportunities for growth and expansion within the export market.
D. Training Programmes
APEDA provides training programs to ensure that all stakeholders are well-equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to export scheduled products. These training programs cover various aspects of the industries related to the scheduled products. The training is aimed at improving the quality of the scheduled products and enhancing the export-oriented production of these products. The training is provided in the form of workshops, seminars, and interactive sessions with industry experts.
The training programs cover topics such as quality control, packaging, marketing, and brand development. These programs are conducted across the country for the benefit of all stakeholders, including exporters, farmers, processors, and other industry professionals. APEDA also conducts training programs for exporters on the laws and regulations related to the export of scheduled products. This ensures that exporters are aware of their responsibilities and can comply with the laws and regulations.
In addition, APEDA conducts training programs for farmers on good agricultural practices, such as soil health management, crop diversification, and post-harvest management. This helps farmers produce high-quality products that meet international standards and are suitable for export. Overall, APEDA’s training programs are an integral component of its export promotion efforts and play a critical role in ensuring the success of the Indian agricultural and processed food products industry in the global market.
IV. Registration Process for APEDA Registration
A. Timelines for Registration
Exporters of scheduled products are required to register themselves under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA). The exporter should submit the application form within one month from the date they undertake the business. However, if there is a valid reason for exceeding the time limit, the concerned authority may grant an extension. Once the application is completed and the required documents and fees are submitted, the authority will issue a Registration-Cum-Membership-Certificate (RCMC), which is a one-time registration.
APEDA aims to simplify procedures and business processes; ness, and hence, the issuance of RCMC has been made online using digital signatures. Exporters can apply online, and the required documents should be uploaded in JPEG, PDF, or PNG format. The application fee for registration is Rs. 5000/- excluding taxes, and payment can be made through credit card, debit card, or demand draft. An application number will be generated after the completion of the payment process, which is required for future reference. The exporter may log into their account on receiving login details through their registered email.
B. Issuance of RCMC
Issuance of RCMC or Registration Cum Membership Certificate is essential for exporters to export scheduled products under the APEDA Act. The certificate is proof that the exporter is registered with the Export Promotional Council/Commodity Boards. The process for APEDA Registration takes about 7-10 days to complete and involves several steps, including the issuance of RCMC. Here are the steps for the issuance of RCMC:
1. Submit necessary details: To apply for APEDA Registration, an exporter needs to register themselves on the APEDA website. Once registered, they need to fill out an application form with all the necessary details and attach the required documents.
2. Pay prescribed government fees: Payment of the prescribed government fee must be made through a prescribed payment method to complete the registration process. Once the payment is successful, an APEDA Application Number is generated that would be required for future reference.
3. Approval of RCMC: The final step in getting an APEDA Registration is the approval of the RCMC by APEDA Officials. Once the approval is granted, the APEDA RCMC Certificate may be obtained using the APEDA portal.
Having an APEDA RCMC Registration helps exporters to comply with the regulations set by the Central Government for the efficient administration of the APEDA Act.
C. Online Registration Process
APEDA has introduced an online registration process to make it easier for exporters to obtain their Registration-Cum-Membership-Certificate (RCMC). To begin the online registration process, exporters need to visit the APEDA website and click on the “Register as Member” tab. They will then have to provide their IE Code, email ID, and mobile number before submitting a Time Password (OTP) to confirm their details. Once the verification process is completed, they will need to fill in the online application and upload the necessary documents such as a copy of their Import-Export code issued by D.G.F.T., a bank certificate duly signed by the authorities, and bank account statements for the past two months. After filling in the required information, they can save the data entered and complete the application in one or more sessions. Once payment of the registration fee of Rs. 5000/- (excluding taxes) is made, an RCMC will be issued to the registered exporter. With this online registration process, APEDA has made it easier for exporters to comply with their regulatory obligations while reducing the time and effort needed to obtain their RCMC.
D. Fee for Registration
One important aspect to consider when registering with APEDA is the registration fee. The fee amount varies depending on the type of product and the quantity of export. The fee can range from ₹ 5000 to over 10 lakhs. The registration fee is a one-time payment and does not require any renewal. The fee can be paid either online or offline at any of the APEDA offices located throughout India. It is important to note that the fee does not include any taxes that may be applicable. It is recommended to check the fee structure for various business categories and product types before registering with APEDA. Although the fee may seem expensive, the benefits of APEDA registration outweigh the cost. Registering with APEDA provides access to various financial assistance schemes, training programs, and brand publicity. Additionally, the registration allows exporters to obtain guidelines for improving the packaging and marketing of their scheduled products.
A. Importance of APEDA Registration
AP Registration is an essential requirement for exporters of scheduled products. It not only legalizes the export of goods but also provides numerous benefits. Let’s take a closer look at the importance of APEDA registration:
– Access to financial assistance schemes: APEDA provides various financial aid programs to help exporters get started and grow their businesses. These schemes include market development assistance, infrastructure development assistance, and quality development assistance, to name a few.
– Brand promotion and development: APEDA assists exporters in promoting their brand through advertisement, packaging development, database up-gradation, and analytics. This helps exporters to reach a wider audience and increase their revenue.
– Guidelines for exporters: APEDA provides helpful guidelines to exporters about various products and countries for the export of goods. This helps exporters to understand the requirements and regulations of international markets and make informed decisions.
– Training programs: APEDA-registered members can participate in training programs organized by the Authority for various scheduled goods to improve their business. This helps exporters to enhance their knowledge and skills related to the export of scheduled products.
Overall, APEDA Registration is of utmost importance to anyone who intends to export scheduled products. The registration procedure is simple, and the benefits are numerous. Hence, getting APEDA Registration can help exporters to grow their business and establish themselves in international markets.
VI. Documents Required for Apeda Registration in India :
For Apeda registration, the following documents are required:
1. Pan Card
2. Proof of Address
3. Identity Proof
4. Passport Size Photo
5. Bank Statement
6. Trademark Certificate
7. Certificate of Incorporation
8. GST Registration Certificate
VII. Advantages of Apeda Registration in India :
1. Boosts Export Business: Apeda registration gives businesses the right to export agricultural and processed food products.
2. Brand Recognition: Apeda registration helps in building the business’s brand recognition by ensuring the authenticity of the products and mandating quality standards.
3. Legal Authority: Apeda registration makes the business legally authorized to carry out export activities in agricultural products.
4. Government Support: The government provides various financial schemes, incentives, and support to Apeda registered businesses, which not only boosts their productivity but also helps in sustaining their export business.
VIII. Disadvantages of Apeda Registration in India :
1. The registration process can be lengthy, complicated, and time-consuming.
2. The compliances required can be complex and may require dedicated manpower for the same.
3. The high cost of maintaining compliance can pose a challenge for small and medium-sized enterprises.
4. Non-compliance with Apeda regulations results in a penalty.
IX. Process of Getting Apeda Registration in India :
1. Visit the official website of APEDA.
2. Click on the ‘Registration’ tab and select the ‘Registration/Login’ option.
3. Fill out the registration form with all information required.
4. Submit the form and make the necessary payment.
5. After submitting the form, the authority will verify the details and documents submitted.
6. On successful verification, the registration certificate will be issued.
X. Types of Apeda registration in India :
1. General Registration
2. Specific Product Registration
XI. Frequently Asked Questions about Apeda Registration in India :
Q1. What is Apeda?
Ans. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority is an Indian government agency responsible for promoting and exporting agricultural and processed food products from India.
Q2. Who can apply for Apeda registration?
Ans. Any entity engaged in agriculture or food processing can apply for Apeda registration.
Q3. What is the validity of Apeda registration?
Ans. The validity of Apeda registration is 5 years, after which it needs to be renewed.
Q4. Is Apeda registration mandatory for export business?
Ans. Apeda registration is mandatory for the export of agricultural and processed food products from India.
Q5. What is the fee for Apeda registration?
A5. The fee for Apeda registration varies depending on the type of registration and the goods to be exported.