The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) is an Export Promotion Council founded by Government of India under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) Act 1985. With this act coming into effect, APEDA replaced the Processed Food Export Promotion Council (PFEPC).
We have covered some of the major initiatives undertaken by APEDA in this article such as - Registration of Exporters through RCMC and how to apply for it online, Financial Assistance Scheme for its members and Measures for Ease of Doing Business, through which it regulates and promotes growth of agricultural and processed food exports.
Objectives of APEDA
The objective behind establishing APEDA was to promote the growth of export of agricultural products (listed below) which have been specified under APEDA Act. It does so through measures such as:-
- Registration of Exporters of APEDA's products through RCMC Certificate to help them grow their businesses
- Financial assistance to exporters who are members of APEDA via various schemes
- Fixing standards and specifications for the purpose of export
- Carrying out inspection for ensuring the quality of products
- Improving packaging and marketing for better a better product offering in the global market
- Promotion of export-oriented production to increase exports
- Collection and publication of useful statistics
- Conducting trainings to educate exporters about latest practices in the industry
Products under APEDA
An exporter can apply for APEDA's membership if he supplies any of the following products:-
- 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
Becoming a member of APEDA / Apply for RCMC
As per Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act 1985 any person exporting any of the scheduled products listed above must apply to APEDA for a Registration Cum Membership Certificate (RCMC) after one month from the date on which he undertakes such export.
Benefits of becoming a member of APEDA
After being registered with APEDA an exporter can avail benefits such as financial assistance schemes, receive guidelines related to export of scheduled products, access to trainings and seminars which will improve the performance of their export business.
RCMC was earlier issued manually, however with the ease of doing business initiative being implemented across all government bodies, the registration for RCMC has been made available online.
Online application for RCMC
Go to APEDA Website’s Home Page and click on “Register as Member”
Enter basic details such as IEC Code, Email ID, Mobile Number and submit.
OTP will be sent to Mobile Number and Email ID for authentication.
After the details are verified, exporter has to fill up a form and submit his documents which should be in JPEG, PNG or PDF format. Following documents are required along with the application form: -
- Self-certified copy of Import-Export code issued by DGFT
- Bank Certificate duly signed by the authorities
- In case of an exporter who is a manufacturer a self-attested copy of the registration of the company with the relevant certification agencies (as per the product) must be furnished
After submitting the form and the documents, exporter can proceed to payment of the fees. Registration fees for RCMC is Rs 5900 (Inclusive of GST), and there is online as well as offline payment option.
Post completion of payment an Application Number will be generated which the exporter should note down for future reference to view the status of his application.
The exporter can view the status of his application online by clicking on Track Application.
After the approval of RCMC from APEDA exporter can take the printout of his certificate by logging in with his APEDA credentials and clicking on “View RCMC Certificate” under RCMC Menu.
Also Read: ECGC - Getting Your Export Credit Insurance
Financial Assistance Scheme for Exporters
One of the functions of APEDA as an Export Promotion Council is to develop businesses involved in export of scheduled products by providing them financial assistance. For this APEDA has rolled out its Financial Assistance Scheme which has three major components - Infrastructure, Quality & Market Development. If any expenses incurred by an export business for activities which fall under any one of these components, then the exporter can file a claim with APEDA for a rebate on the same.
Export Infrastructure Development
Under this APEDA provides financial assistance to exporters for establishment of harvest infrastructure facilities for fresh horticulture produce such as integrated pack house, insulated reefer transport, mobile pre-cooling units, cable handling system for banana etc. A claim can be filed for up to 40% of the total cost with a ceiling of Rs 100 Lakhs for each activity. The budget allocated for this component in 2019-20 is Rs 83 crores.
Under quality development, costs incurred on activities such as implementation of food safety management systems, standardisation & sarmonization with international standards and procuring hand-held devices for capturing farm level peripheral coordinates for traceability systems are eligible for a refund for up to 40% of the total cost subject to a ceiling of Rs 4 Lakhs for each beneficiary. The budget for Quality Development component in 2019-20 is Rs 56.6 crores.
For the Market Development component, currently APEDA provides financial assistance for activities such as new market or product development through feasibility studies, trial shipment for fresh horticulture produce and registration of brand outside India. The claims can be made up to 40% of the total cost subject to a ceiling of Rs 10 Lakhs for each activity. Market Development has been allocated a budget of Rs 46 crores under Financial Assistance Scheme.
Major Initiatives taken
APEDA has taken major initiatives to implement Ease of Doing Business in the agricultural exports sector. Four of its major projects under this have been discussed below.
Hortinet is an internet based integrated traceability system developed by APEDA which enables a farmer to apply online for registering his farm and then further apply online for testing and certification of Grape, Pomegranate and Vegetables for export from India to the European Union in compliance with their standards. Through this the exporters can now trace the quality and reliability of these products.
Another web based traceability system, basmati.net is aimed at providing a common platform to all stakeholders in the basmati rice supply chain such as farmers, agriculture produce markets, paddy traders, basmati rice millers and basmati rice exporters. They can enter details of their activities and through this the authenticity of the end product reaching a consumer both in and outside India can be improved.
As per the current Export and Import Policy of Government of India, each export consignment is subjected to compulsory microbiological and other tests by a Government laboratory and has to be accompanied by Health Certificate. With meat.net, a service developed by APEDA, an exporter can apply for a Health Certificate online for each export consignment of their meat product.
Peanut.net is another traceability system similar to Basmati and Hortinet created after the traceability systems project showed success. It facilitates testing and certification of peanuts for export from India with standards identified by Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine and stores quality assurance data reported by all stakeholders in the supply chain.
Organizational Set-Up of APEDA
APEDA has its headquarters in New Delhi. It has 5 regional offices at Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata & Guwahati. Also, 5 Virtual Offices have been created in Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Nagaland in association with respective State Governments/agencies to provide information about APEDA’s role in agricultural exports to prospective exporters. APEDA is headed by the chairman who is appointed by Central Government and he sits in New Delhi at the headquarters.
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