In India different type of exporters exist. Most buyers use agents to care of legalities and ensure all arrangements are met.

Merchant and manufacturing exporters

Processing establishments are operated by almost 300 merchants and manufacturing exporters. In India you can encounter various kinds of exporters that possess an export license, which include 1) manufacturing exporters, 2) merchant exporters, and 3) route through merchant exporters. A manufacturer exporter is an owner of an approved processing plant or an approved fishing vessel having on-board processing facilities. Merchant exporters are those who do not own a processing plant, but instead utilize the surplus capacity of an approved processing establishment. Often large farmers or agents who want to export their products by themselves, start as merchant exporter. Route through merchant exporters are those who are registered as an export or trading house with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade. These are often larger trading firms. Exporters can also have multiple status, a manufacturer exporter from Gujarat may for example be registered as a merchant or route through merchant exporter in Andhra Pradesh.


Most buyers make use of agents that negotiate contracts and coordinate purchases from various suppliers. They will facilitate buyers when they visit India, arrange all the formalities and conduct quality inspections in the factories as well as during loading of the containers. The agents mostly work at a commission basis. Some buyers try to do business more directly but in many cases alternative models do not deliver the expected results.


Marine products are exported through 26 sea and land ports. Cultured shrimp is mainly exported from the ports in Vizag and Chennai. Pipavav (Gujarat) is the major port in terms of quantity (25.27%). Vizag (Andhra Pradesh) is the major port in terms of dollar value (22.59%, according to MPEDA 2016). Exporters may also ship from other ports, depending on factory locations.