Testing, Inspection and Certification Requirements for Indian Exporters

This section provides comprehensive information on the various certifications required for exporting to countries in the European Union, USA and Japan. Information for this section has been provided by SGS - the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity with more than 1,000 offices and laboratories around the world.

Food Products

Efficient quality control and food safety is most important in improving the export potential in India. These efforts will help in achieving the quality standards of foreign countries comprising of European, US and other developed countries. Adherence to international testing, inspection and certification is very important as it not only imparts increased acceptability of the product in foreign markets, but also leads to reduced cost of production due to lesser use of pesticides, chemicals, etc.

The requirements for testing of various food products is provided below.

Processed Food

The processed food industry has grown considerably in India during the last decade. Processed foods include snack foods, dairy products, baked foods, confectionery, fruit and vegetable products, convenience foods, etc. However, India’s exports primarily constitutes commodity and primary processed items due to lack of consistency in supply and quality among other factors. Processed foods have a considerable export market and thus there is a high growth potential for Indian processed food exporters. International buyers are particular about the quality of food and thus exporting to the developed markets requires strict adherence to quality standards.

Countries like USA and EU have laid out specific guidelines for testing of processed foods. A brief summary of these rules, can be found here.

Sea Food

India has been exporting Sea Food for well over 50 years. The main exports include shrimp, Fish, Clams, Mussels, Squid, Octopus, Cuttlefish, Crabs, etc. The major markets for these products are Japan and the USA. Seafood exports from India need to adhere to certain region/country specific guidelines/regulations.

A summary of the current regulations governing Sea Foods.


There has been a substantial rise in export of grapes from India over the last decade. One of the factors for higher exports is the ability to meet the phytosanitary requirements of the export markets like EU by minimizing the pesticide residues in the grapes. The developed markets have set norms for accepting the exports of certain quality standards. To know more about the requirements for testing and certification for exporting grapes to the EU, click here


A major problem faced by fishery industries is natural depletion of fishery resources due to unsustainable fishing practices, large scale aquatic pollution, commercial exploitation of aquatic environment and destruction of primary breeding environment such as mangrove forests & coral reefs. To overcome this, intensive aquaculture productions were carried out all over the world which in turn resulted in accumulation of high levels of antibiotics, PCBs, residues of pesticides and heavy metals causing a great damage to environment. Aquaculture based on Global GAP or Organic standards is a good solution to increase fish production in sustainable and environment friendly manner. Aquaculture export testing and certification requires adherence to certain rules in the developed countries.

Click here for a brief summary of the current regulations governing export testing and certification for aquaculture exports.

Organic Food

he Indian Organic food exports market in India is on an upswing with an increased number of farmers opting to shift to organic farming. Indian organic foods are predominantly exported to the US and Europe in the food categories of organic herbs, organic spices, organic basmati rice, etc. Close to 60% of the Indian Organic Food exports go to the European Union, with US being the second largest market with a 20% share. The rest is distributed among Japan, Canada, Australia and East Asian countries.

The Agricultural and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA), expects the export of organic food to touch USD 1 billion by 2015. This seems feasible with Indian Organic products gaining increased acceptance among many countries in the developed markets. The Indian government aided by APEDA, is focusing on capacity building and bilateral agreements to further promote the industry.

In order to make most of the existing markets, Indian exporters need to comply with stringent regulations imposed by importing nations.

Click here for a brief summary of the current regulations governing Organic Foods

Voluntary Standards for Agricultural Products Globally – GLOBALG.A.P

GGAP or GLOBALG.A.P is a private organization that sets voluntary standards for the certification of production processes of agricultural products. These standards are intended for consumer assurance on how the food is produced on the farm by minimizing detrimental environmental impacts of farming operations, reducing the use of chemical inputs and ensuring a responsible approach to worker health and safety as well as animal welfare

The aim is to establish ONE standard for Good Agricultural Practice (G.A.P.) with different product applications capable of fitting to the whole of global agriculture. GLOBALG.A.P is a business-to-business label and is therefore not directly visible to consumers. GLOBALG.A.P certification is carried out by more than 100 independent and accredited certification bodies in more than 100 countries. It is open to all producers worldwide.

Global GAP details

International Featured Standards (IFS) – Food

IFS Food is a standard for the auditing of companies that process food or companies that pack loose food products. IFS Food is only applied where the product is "processed or handled", or if there is a danger of product contamination during the primary packaging

IFS Food is applied to:

  • processing and working and/or
  • handling of loose products and/or
  • activities undertaken during the primary packaging

IFS white paper on Food Safety Certification: A Necessary Investment

A list of food categories and micro-organisms/toxins that they are tested for.

Content provided by SGS