THE MARINE PRODUCTS EXPORT DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (MPEDA)

India is the second largest aquaculture producer, 3rd largest fish producer in the world with exports of marine products worth USD 7 billion. China is a major importer of marine products with imports of around USD 12 billion.

The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) was set up by an act of Parliament during 1972. The erstwhile Marine Products Export Promotion Council established by the Government of India in September 1961 was converged in to MPEDA on 24th August 1972. MPEDA is given the mandate to promote the marine products industry with special reference to exports from the country. It is envisaged that this organization would take all actions to develop and augment the resources required for promoting the exports of “all varieties of fishery products known commercially as shrimp, prawn, lobster, crab, fish, shell-fish, other aquatic animals or plants or part thereof and any other products which the authority may, by notification in the Gazette of India, declare to be marine products for the purposes of (the) Act”

India is the second largest aquaculture producer, 3rd largest fish producer in the world with exports of marine products worth USD 7 billion. China is a major importer of marine products with imports of around USD 12 billion, he said.

The Act empowers MPEDA to regulate exports of marine products and take all measures required for ensuring sustained, quality seafood exports from the country. MPEDA is given the authority to prescribe for itself any matters which the future might require for protecting and augmenting the seafood exports from the country. It is also empowered to carry out inspection of marine products, its raw material, fixing standards, specifications, and training as well as take all necessary steps for marketing the seafood overseas.

MPEDA is the nodal agency for the holistic development of seafood industry in India to realize its full export potential as a nodal agency. Based on the recommendations of MPEDA, Government of India notified new standards for fishing vessels, storage premises, processing plants and conveyances. MPEDA’s focus is mainly on Market Promotion, Capture Fisheries, Culture Fisheries, Processing Infrastructure & Value addition, Quality Control, Research and Development.

According to the Foreign Trade Policy, a Registration-cum-Membership Certificate (RCMC) is required for exporters in order to avail benefits under the policy. Holding the certificate can also help exporters in availing benefits with respect to Customs and Excise. Registration Cum Membership Certificate (RCMC) is issued by Export Promotion Councils/Commodity board/Development authority.

MPEDA has been designated as the authority to issue RCMC for exporters of seafood items. After registering as an Exporter of MPEDA, the exporter can apply for RCMC in the prescribed format for obtaining Registration-cum-Membership certificate. The RCMC shall be deemed to be valid from 1st April of the licensing year in which it was issued and shall be valid for five years ending 31st March of the licensing year, unless otherwise specified.

Prospective/potential exporters may also on application register and become an associated member of an EPC.

 Functions of MPEDA in brief-

  • Registration of infrastructural facilities for seafood export trade.
  • Collection and dissemination of trade information.
  • Promotion of Indian marine products in overseas markets.
  • Implementation of schemes vital to the industry by extending assistance for infrastructure development for better preservation and modernized processing following quality regime.
  • Promotion of aquaculture for augmenting export production through hatchery development, new farm development, diversification of species and up gradation of technology
  • Promotion of deep-sea fishing projects through test fishing, joint ventures and up gradation & installation of equipments to increase the efficiency of fishing.
  • Market promotional activities and publicity.
  • To carry out inspection of marine products, its raw material, fixing standards and specifications, training, regulating as well as to take all necessary steps for maintaining the quality of seafood that are marketed overseas.
  • Impart trainings to fishermen, fish processing workers, aquaculture farmers and other stake holders in the respective fields related to fisheries.
  • Conduct research and development for the aquaculture of aquatic species having export potential through Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture (RGCA).
  • Conduct extension and awareness activities, trainings etc. through Network for Fish Quality Management and Sustainable Fishing (NETFISH) & National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture (NaCSA).
  • To prescribe for itself any matters required for protecting and augmenting the seafood exports from the country in the future.