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Importance of IEC Code for Tea Export in India

calendar09 Dec, 2020
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
Tea export in India

The consumption of tea in India is considerably higher than in most countries. As per the latest statistics, India’s tea consumption accounts for ¾ of the country’s total production. If you are interested in setting up a tea export house in the country then continue reading this blog till the end. But before we get started with our main topic, let’s dive into some fundamental aspects of tea export in India. 

Overview of Tea Production in India

Indian Tea is appreciated all around the world for the impeccable fragrance and taste. Owing to continuous innovation and strong geographical indication, the quality and the volume of Indian tea is seemingly better than the other countries. The tea in India is largely grown in north Bengal (Darjeeling district and the Dooars region) and the Northeast (including Assam). The Nilgiris in South India also produces tea in huge volumes. With augmented technology in place, the volume of tea export in India is increasing every passing year. 

Tea Board of India- Regulates the Tea Trading in India 

Tea Board was founded under the Tea Act, 1953[1], and it has been operational since April 1954. The headquarters of the Tea Board of India is situated in Kolkata. Apart from that, there are also 17 offices across India. The Tea Board of India not only handles the regulatory functions but also undertakes the promotional-related tasks, which include organizing international fairs and exhibitions, facilitating a platform for buyer and seller, sending a trade delegation to promote the country’s export. The board also involve in undertaking several market-centric activities like market analysis, market surveys, analyzing consumer behavior, and distribution of insightful info to business owners engaged in tea export in India. 

Tea Production and Export Statistics in FY-19 and FY-20

  • In FY 2019, the total tea export in India was accounted for US$ 830.90 million, meanwhile, in FY 2020 the export value stood at US$ 826.47 million
  • As India is the leading tea producer globally, the country has secured the fourth position on account of tea export after China, Sri Lanka, and African countries. 
  • In 2019, India grabbed the second position globally in terms of production volume, which was 1,339.70 million kgs to be exact. During Jan-Feb 2020, the estimated production of tea accounts for 30.54 million kgs.
  • In April-August 2020, the total tea production stood at US$ 281.39 million 
  • India produces wide varieties of teas such as orthodox tea, organic tea, CTC tea, and green tea. Unlike other tea producing nations, our country is outfitted with an ample manufacturing base for both orthodox tea, CTC tea, and Green tea. 
  • Tea production from Assam, high-range Nilgiris, and Darjeeling adhere to the highest quality due to distinctive fragrance, color, and taste. The production from these states contributes significantly to tea export in India. 

Importance of IEC Code for Exporting Tea 

In India, the IEC code is issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade. IEC code is meant for those who want to dive into the export business. It is important to note down that the IEC code is not an optional requirement, instead, it is mandated by the government for all exporter and importer. In short, no one can export or import goods without an IEC code. With the IEC code at the backup, one can export and import goods as per the norms mentioned under the Foreign Trade Policy. IEC code is supposed to be attached to every shipping document related to eligible exportable goods. 

Importance of IEC Code for Exporting Tea

Core Benefits of Having IEC Code for Tea Exporter in India

Core Benefits of Having IEC Code for Tea Exporter in India are as follows:

Increase Market Size

This is one of the apparent benefits of having IEC code at the disposal. Traders with this code can export to any country and have access to additional markets located worldwide. The increased market size helps in increasing tea export in India.

Life Time Validity

The IEC code serves the applicants for a lifetime or as long as they engaged with tea export in India. Moreover, the license doesn’t also attract any prerequisite for renewal.

When your business is running at a full pace, you don’t have to confront the unnecessary trouble of renewing the license again and again. This is one of the prominent benefits of having an IEC license. 

Negligible Compliances

Practically, Import export License or IEC number doesn’t attract any substantial compliance. Simply put, IEC registration is very similar to other taxes as there is no obligation of filing a return or any additional information. As soon as you obtained this code, you would become eligible for conducting exporting business in India for a lifetime. This way you can conduct tea export in India without any hassle while keeping the unnecessary complication at the bay. 

Access to a Host of Schemes

Exporters with IEC code can have access to a host of government-based schemes and incentives. These schemes and incentives were employed by the government to boost the trading activities in the country. The infographic below would make you accustom to various export schemes employed by the Government of India for the betterment of exporters. 

various export schemes employed by the Government of India for the betterment of exporters

How to Obtain an Application for IEC for Tea Exporters? 

IEC number can be easily availed by visiting the official portal of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). On the home page of the portal, open the quick links to select the option “Apply for New IEC/Modify existing IEC. Next, you need to enter the PAN and hit the search tab. This will give you access to the page where you need to enter the Company’s name and Incorporation date. The portal will verify the given information from the CBDT PAN Web Server. After validating the information, you will access to e-form for the IEC code application. 


India is a leading tea exporter in the world. The production volume of tea in our country is huge and had remained consistent over the years. And this makes tea export the most favourable business option for new entrepreneurs. In case if you are willing to set up a tea export business in India then you have to obtain an IEC code in the first place. Kindly, head over to Corpbiz expert in case if you wish to obtain an IEC code without a minimum of hassles and paperwork. 

Read our article: How to Export Goods from India to Overseas Markets?

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