Overview of Tea Board License
The Tea Industry of India, by the Act of the Parliament, falls under the authorisation of the Union Government. India is home to the finest varieties of tea around the globe due to its favourable geographical indications and constant innovation and progressive trade practices. India is the second-largest producer of tea globally. In order to regulate and assist the development trade of tea, the Government of India established Tea Act, 1953. Section 4 of the Tea Act, 1953 states about the establishment of The Tea Board of India. It aims to facilitate and promote the cultivation, processing and sale of tea in India. The Tea Board undertakes various activities such as organising fairs, exhibitions, setting up meetings between buyers and sellers, and assisting in the development of trade by disseminating information to relevant stakeholders.
Tea Act, 1953
The Tea Act was enacted in 1953 to regulate the tea industry in the country following the International Agreement. It provides for the establishment of a Tea Board that overlooks the Tea production in India. It helps to improve tea cultivation, grants licenses to entities engaged in Tea production, encourages scientific research and development in this sector and promotes labour welfare practices.
The Tea Board of India
The Tea Board of India falls under the authorisation of the Government of India, which was established for the purpose of promoting of cultivation, processing and domestic trade along with the exportation of tea from India.
Functions of Tea Board of India
The Tea Board of India renders the following functions –
List of Licenses and Registrations Needed for Tea Export
The following licenses and Registrations are mandatory for issuance by the exporter for the exportation of tea and tea products from India –
An Export License is a Governmental Document that grants the authorisation for conduction of the specific exportation as applied by the applicant. All companies exporting tea in India need to obtain a valid Exporter’s license according to the provisions mentioned under the Tea (Distribution & Export) Control order, 1957.
The validity of the Exporter’s License is for three years. The applicant needs to apply for the procurement of an Exporter’s license by submitting an application as prescribed in –Form - A with the applicable fees of INR 1,000. For Renewal of Exporter’s License, the applicant needs to submit an application as prescribed in Form - J along with a fee of INR 1,000.
If the exporter wants to secure a Permanent Exporter’s License, the applicant needs to fulfil the eligibility criteria. The Applicant should be eligible for a permanent license only if he has exported a minimum of 100,000 Kgs of Tea continuously for a period of 3 years. The license holder shall submit an application as prescribed in Form - B along with a Fee of INR 2500.
Documents Required for Exporter’s License –
The following documents are needed for applying for an Exporter’s License –
A Distributor License is a license issued by the government for a company that is the business of distribution of goods. The distributor requires to submit an application to the Head Office or Zonal office in the format as in Form - A and also pay a fee of INR 2,500 to the Tea Board through Demand Draft or Banker's Cheque. The applicant must ensure that the application is signed and sealed by the authorised person and is affixed with the applicable date. The licensee needs to provide data of importation as required by the Tea Board by either online or offline every month. If the application is complete in every aspect, the Distributor License shall be issued within two working days, and if the application is incomplete, then it shall be rejected. The validity of the Distributor License is for a Lifetime.
Documents Required for Distributor License
The following documents are needed for applying for a Distributor License –
Tea Waste License
The Tea Waste License is issued to prevent the misuse of tea waste and ensure that they are disposed of properly. The tea waste sometimes also contains useful residues which instant tea manufacturers use.
The Applicant must apply through the offline process or the online portal of the Tea Board. The applicant is required to submit the application as mentioned in Form - A and pay a license fee of INR 100. The Tea Waste License is valid until 31st December of each year. For the Renewal of the license, the applicable fee is INR 50.
Documents Required for Tea Waste License
The following documents are needed for applying for a Tea Waste License –
The Company in the exportation business of tea needs to obtain a Warehouse License from the Tea Board to set up a warehouse for the Tea Business. The applicant needs to submit an application prescribed in Form - A and pay the fees of INR 1,000 to the Tea.
Board. The validity of the license is of three years, and upon renewal of the license, the validity is for one year from the date of issuance.
Documents Required for Warehouse License
The following documents are needed for applying for a Warehouse License –
Registration of Manufacturing Unit
In 2003, an order was issued by the Tea Board notified under The Tea Marketing Control Order that no manufacturer shall carry out the business of Tea Manufacturing without getting registered with the Tea board. The validity of the Registration of the Manufacturing Unit is for a lifetime, along with a license fee being INR 2500. However, the are no application fees for the NOC for the construction of the Manufacturing Unit.
Documents Required for Registration of Manufacturing Unit
The following documents are needed for applying for Registration of the Manufacturing Unit –
- A copy of the MoA and AoA, with the inclusion of the certification from at least one of the Directors of the Company, if the Applicant is a Company
- A Copy of the Partnership Deed as certified by a Court or A Notary, if the Applicant is a Partnership Firm
- A copy of the issuance of the Certificate of Notification by the Registrar of Firms, if the Applicant is a Registered Firm
- A Copy of the issuance of the Registration Certificate of the Notification by the Registrar of Co-Operative Firm, if the Applicant is a Co-Operative Firm
- A Copy of the issuance of the Registration Certificate by the Society of State Government, if the Applicant is a Self Help Group also known as SHG that are part of the Small Tea Growers also known as STGs
Broker License for Tea Auction
As stated by the Tea Board, no person is allowed to conduct an auction without getting themselves registered with the tea board of India. Only brokers who have a valid license issued by the committee can auction.
An application needs to be submitted to the concerned authority through Form - G. The validity of the Broker License expires on 31st December of each year. The applicable fees for filling a new Broker License for Tea Auction are INR 2500 and for renewal of the Broker License for Tea Auction is INR 500.
Documents Required for Broker License for Tea Auction
The following documents are needed for applying for a Broker License for Tea Auction –
Tea auctions are held with the primary purpose of marketing tea in India, allowing tea manufacturers to sell their products at a fair market price. On average, the Public Tea Auctions handle approximately more than Five Hundred Million Kilograms of Tea. The essential part takers of the Tea Auctions are as follows –
Registration as a Buyer
In accordance with the Tea Board License, a person needs to be registered with the Tea board to purchase tea in bulk, either from auctions or directly from tea estates. This step was introduced to enhance transparency in the Tea Industry.
The applicant needs to submit an application in the format of Form - C through online mode or to the Head/Zonal Offices of Tea board along with necessary documents. The validity of the Buyer Registration is for a lifetime with the application fee being INR 2500.
Documents Required for Registration as a Buyer
The following documents are needed for applying for a Registration as a Buyer for Tea Auction –
To manufacture and sell tea with infused flavours, a person needs to register with the Tea board. The tea packaging must contain a label that specifies the flavour and the percentage by which it is infused.
The applicant is needed to submit the required form according to the notification issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Government of India under “GSR 694 (E) on 11th October 1999. The validity of the Flavour Registration is of a lifetime with the applicable fees being INR 5000 for three different flavours. If the types of flavours being registered are more than three, then the applicable charges will be increased to INR 1000 per flavour accordingly.
Documents Required for Flavour Registration
The following documents are needed for applying for Flavour Registration –
Registration Cum Membership Certificate (RCMC)
If a person wants to export tea in bulk in packets, bags or instant tea etc., it is required to register with the Tea Board and obtain a Registration Cum Membership Certificate also known as RCMC.
The Applicant needs to apply for Form 19 - A and Form 19 – B, that is valid up to the validation of the manufacturer’s Exporter’s License with the application fee of a new RCMC of INR5000, and for renewal, the application fee of INR 5000
Documents Required for RCMC
The following documents are needed for applying for Registration Cum Membership Certificate, also known as RCMC –
Mini Tea Factory Registration
For establishin the Mini Tea Factory, the Applicant needs to register with Tea Board in accordance with Para 3 A of the Tea Marketing Control Order, 2003, also known as the TMCO, 2003 Guidelines.
According to the TMCO 2003 Guidelines, the Applicant needs to submit a duly filled application of Form – K that needs to be filed within thirty days from the initiation of Commercial Manufacturing. The validity of the Mini Tea factory is for a lifetime, with the applicable fees being INR 1000.
Documents Required for Mini Tea Factory Registration
The following documents are needed for applying for Mini Tea Factory Registration –
For the purpose of planting new tea plantations, replacement of tea plantations or extension of the tea plantations, a Planting Permit is necessary along with the requirement for a Tea License. The validity of the Planting Permit expires on 31st December of each year. There are no fees applicable for licensing of a Planting Permit.
Documents Required for Planting Permit
The following documents are needed for applying for Planting Permit –
Procedure for Registration of Tea Board License
After obtaining all the above-mentioned Licenses, the Applicant is needed to submit an application to the Tea Board for the purpose of issuance of a Tea Board License. The Applicant is also needed to submit the RCMC to any of the Regional, Head or Zonal Office of the Tea Board of India. If all the Application, upon strict evaluation, is found satisfactory, the Tea Board License is granted.
Cancellation Of Licenses or Registrations
The Licenses and Registrations will be revoked if there has been deliberate misrepresentation of facts, the licensee has violated any of the provisions of the Tea Act, 1953. If the licensee has failed to follow the directions issued by the authority, or if the Authority has found about any unfair trade practice the licensee is dealing in the appropriate license is to be cancelled immediately.
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Frequently Asked Questions
- Exporter’s License
- Distributor License
- Tea Waste License
- Warehouse License
- Broker License for Tea Auction
- Registration of Manufacturing Unit
- Registration as a Buyer
- Flavour Registration
- Registration Cum Membership Certificate (RCMC)
- Mini Tea Factory Registration
- Planting Permit