If you’re looking to start a seafood export business in India, navigating the legal requirements and procedures can be overwhelming. One of the essential steps is obtaining a registration from the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), which is responsible for regulating and promoting the marine products export industry in India. Whether you want to export frozen, canned, dried, or live marine products, MPEDA registration is mandatory. In this blog post, we’ll explore the MPEDA registration process and types of seafood exporters in India. So, let’s dive in!
Definition of MPEDA registration
MP stands for the Marine Products Export Development Authority, which is a nodal agency established by the Government of India under the Marine Products Export Development Authority Act, 1972. The main objective of MPEDA is to promote, regulate, and develop the export of marine products, thereby generating employment and increasing foreign exchange earnings. MPEDA provides registration to exporters, fishing vessels, and processing entities falling under the category of scheduled marine products permitted for export. The registration ensures compliance with quality standards, sustainability, and environmental norms in the production of marine products. This registration is mandatory for every person who is an exporter of scheduled marine products, and it is granted for different categories of exporters, such as manufacturer exporters, merchant exporters, route through merchant exporters, and ornamental fish exporters. The registration process requires online submission of the application along with documents indicating financial soundness, processing plant, and handling facilities. MPEDA also provides infrastructure development assistance, trade publicity, and market promotion to the registered entities.
Importance of MPEDA registration in seafood export business in India
MPEDA registration is crucial for seafood exporters in India as it provides them with various benefits and opportunities to grow their business. With a focus on promoting the marine products industry, MPEDA lends a helping hand to all those involved in seafood export, including manufacturers, merchants, and ornamental fish exporters.
One of the most significant advantages of MPEDA registration is that it enables exporters to showcase their products in international markets. The authority takes efforts to project Indian marine products at overseas fairs and organizes international seafood fairs in India, which results in an increase in demand for exports.
MPEDA registration also assists in the infrastructural development of the seafood export industry by providing assistance in setting up pre-processing centers, improving storage facilities, and quality control laboratories. The authority even helps in the distribution of insulated fish boxes, installation of ice-making machinery, and up-gradation of plate freezers.
Moreover, exporters registered with MPEDA are allowed to export scheduled marine products that have been classified into eight categories, thus expanding the range of products that can be exported. MPEDA also offers training programs and conducts research and development activities to enhance the quality of products and keep up with market trends.
In short, MPEDA registration offers several benefits to seafood exporters, such as trade publicity, market promotion, infrastructural development, and training programs, thus aiding in the growth and expansion of the business.
II. Types of Exporters in India
Manufacturer Exporter is one of the four categories of exporters classified by MPEDA. This category includes owners of an approved processing plant or an approved fishing vessel with onboard processing facilities or live fish handling facility or chilled fish handling facility or dried fish handling facility. The registration process for becoming a Manufacturer Exporter involves the submission of an online application in Form IX along with a list of enclosures indicated in the application. The application should also be accompanied by a fee of INR 5000. The list of documents to be uploaded includes proof of address, copy of written agreement for the utilization of surplus capacity of processing plant and handling facility, original of the joint undertaking by the owner of processing plant and handling facility, original registration certificate of processing plant and handling facility for endorsement, and original registration certificate of storage premises for endorsement. The applicant also needs to provide a certificate from a scheduled bank showing their financial soundness and the certificate of importer-exporter code (IEC) issued by DGFT. To complete the registration process, a registration fee of INR 5000 should also be paid.
A Merchant Exporter is an exporter who does not own a processing plant but utilizes the surplus capacity of an approved processing or handling facility. For those looking to set up their own export business, becoming a Merchant Exporter can be a good starting point. To register as a Merchant Exporter, you must enter into a regular written agreement with the owner of the Processing Plant or Handling Facility. The certificate of registration as an exporter issued to a Merchant Exporter shall indicate the name and number of the Processing Plant or Handling Facility and the Storage premises, the production from which alone the holder is allowed to export. The name and number of the Merchant Exporter utilizing the surplus capacity of Processing Plant or Handling Facility shall also be endorsed on the certificates of registration or Processing Plant or Handling Facility and Storage premises. New Merchant Exporters of frozen marine products should submit a Bank Guarantee of Rs.15 lakh for a period of 5 years to MPEDA for enforcing accountability and for honoring the settlement in cases of quality complaints and trade disputes. These guidelines ensure that Merchant Exporters maintain the quality of their products, along with accountability and eligibility.
Route Through Merchant Exporter
Route Through Merchant Exporter, is a type of exporter that utilizes the services of an export house or trading house for the export of their products. This arrangement is beneficial to small businesses as it allows them to avail the advantages of larger exporters who possess experience, market know-how, and infrastructure. The Route Through Merchant Exporter model can encapsulate several exporters and provide them a larger space to expand and excel. The exporter can source their products to an export house or trading house who will be responsible for sending the export consignment to foreign buyers. The Route Through Merchant Exporter must have a valid Import Export Code to qualify for the role. The DGFT will issue a letter of endorsement highlighting the Route Through Merchant Exporter’s quality control and export procedures. The endorsement must be furnished at the time of export. Approval from MPEDA to function as a Route Through Merchant Exporter is also mandatory, and the same procedure will be followed as for Merchant Exporters.