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employment to millions of people and contributes to food security of the country. With a coastline of over 8,000 km, an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of over 2 million sq km,


his page on trade in fish and fish products provides brief information on imports and exports, including tariffs, non-tariff barriers and India's position at WTO.

India exported 541,701 metric tonnes of fish and fish products, with a value of Rs 7620.92 (in crore) during the year 2007-2008 (MPEDA 2008). India ranks 27th in the world, in terms of value, and 23rd in terms of quantity (FAO 2009). The government of India in its Eleventh Five Year Plan period (2007-2012) has set a target to increase fisheries exports from Rs 6000 crore to Rs 14000 crore. Seafood exports are an important component of food exports, as they constitute more than 70 per cent of the food exports. Fish and fish products (Tariff code 03) contributed to nearly 1 per cent of India’s total export value in 2007-08.

Countries importing Indian fish and fish products include Japan, United Stated of America, European Union (Spain, Belgium, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, Portugal, Netherland), China, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates,Canada, Singapore and Thailand. Frozen crustaceans and molluscs are the top exporting products (in terms of value).

India’s major importing fish and fish products are fresh or chilled fish, and feed from aquatic products. These products are mainly imported from countries such as Bangladesh, Japan and Pakistan besides some from USA, Norway, China, Singapore, Thailand and Republic of Korea. Fish feed is imported from countries such as Thailand, Chile, Peru, Myanmar and Taiwan (during the year 2007-08).

Tariff's for fish and fish products imported into India:


Other important tariff lines for fisheries include: Chapter 15 (Fish oils), Chapter 56 (Fishing gear), Chapter 95 (Hooks), Chapter 89 (Fishing vessels), Chapter 84 (Outboard motors) and Chapter 85 (Navigational equipments such as GPS).

Non-tariff measures
Besides tariffs, Indian fish and fish products are subject to a number of non-tariff measures imposed by some of these countries. To view the complete list of non-tariff barriers for fish and fish products click here

Phytosanitary measures are one of the important non-tariff barriers. One of the standards, is to monitor the presence of certain antibiotics in fish exports from India, such as Chloramphenicol, Nitrofurn, besides this, presence of Vibrio Parahaemolyticus also leads to reject of exports. The Japanese exports require a health certificate issued by Export Inspection Council of India. In the case of US, exports are subject to inspections under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism and Response Act of 2002. Mandatory labeling of country of origin/whether 'farm raised' or 'wild' for fresh fish and shellfish is mandatory under Public Law in the United States of America. For more information on quality control and food safety standards, click here

Trade agreements

Besides this, India has also signed a number of bilateral and regional trade agreements (preferential and free trade agreements), that includes fish and fish products as one of the components. These include:

Framework Agreement

Preferential and free trade agreements


India has been a member of WTO since 1995, and has been active in all its negotiations. In the recent negotiations on the Doha Development Agenda, India has been active in the NAMA negotiations and in the negotiating committee on rules especially on fisheries subsidies. Some of the important texts submitted by Government of India are mentioned below.


Doha Round: Texts submitted by Government of India to the WTO Negotiating Group on Rules

  • New and Full Notification Pursuant to Article Xvi:1 of the GATT 1994 and Article 25 of The Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures India - Supplement
  • Negotiating Group on Rules - Need for Effective Special and Differential Treatment for Developing Country Members in the Proposed Fisheries Subsidies Text. Submission by India, Indonesia and China. 19 May 2008. TN/RL/GEN/155/Rev.1
  • Negotiating Group on Rules - Joint Statement on Treatment of Artisanal and Small Scale Fisheries in Fisheries Subsidies Negotiations - Communication from India and the ACP Group. Communication from India and ACP Group. 15 February 2008. TN/RL/W/217
  • General Council - Trade Negotiations Committee - Draft Text for TNC/GC Decision on S&D in Fisheries - Communication from India, China and Indonesia18 July 2008. TN/C/W/51 and WT/GC/W/592

For more information, visit: India and WTO

Disputes at WTO:

Useful Resources