Importing Rice from India to the USA

7/27/20216 min read

white plastic sacks

India is a culturally and agriculturally diverse country. It cultivates and exports a variety of crops to various countries each year. Rice is one of these crops. Rice is a staple crop that is consumed all around the world, thus its demand is always high. The United States of America imports a large amount of Indian rice each year. Each year, the US spends billions of dollars on basmati rice imports from India. 

As its demand continues to rise, importing Indian rice has become a very lucrative business. Different importers buy Basmati Rice from India for a low price and then sell it for a higher price in their own country. 

The idea of importing rice from India isn't new; several other businessmen and importers have made significant investments in the sector. Basmati Rice from India is a crucial element in many cuisines around the world because it is the cornerstone of many of them. It is imported by billionaires every year, so it is no surprise that it is so expensive to make. 

Importing rice from India takes a lot of paperwork and documentation, as well as approvals and a few more steps involving Customs and Border Protection, as well as the United States Department of Agriculture. Rice from India can be imported into the USA, but all restrictions and procedures must be followed.

Is It Legal To Import Rice From India Into The United States Of America? 

If you wish to import basmati rice to the USA from an Indian rice exporter, it depends on whether you're doing so for personal or business reasons. It is illegal to carry out rice imports from India for personal or non-commercial use. The import of rice for personal use is restricted due to the possibility of insects or pests being carried by the rice.

Rice should not be brought into the United States of America, especially if it is in a loose package such as burlap, according to Customs and Border Patrol. Importing goods from India for commercial purposes is permitted if the importer follows all federal rules and regulations. Only commercial dealers who have had their shipments properly inspected and declared free of the Khapra beetle are allowed to import basmati rice from India into the USA.

Necessary Documents For Importing Indian Rice

The government of the United States of America requires a lot of documents for rice importing. The documents are listed below:

         1. Proof of Prior Notice (PN) from the FDA 

         2. USDA-APHIS Permit 

         3. CBP Entry Summary 7501 

         4. Customs bond 

To ensure that the consignment from the rice exporter may cross the border without difficulty, the following import paperwork should be obtained:

1. Packing List: The contents, size, and weight of each container are listed on a packing list, which makes the customs process easier.

2. Commercial Invoice: A commercial invoice is a list of the products in the shipment, their value, quantity, and manufacturer and importer information.

3. Certificate of Origin: Your shipment's origin is verified by the Certificate of Origin.

4. Bill of Lading: A bill of lading is a receipt for the carrier's and shipper's contract. It includes information about the shipper, the carrier, the shipment's contents, the point of origin, and the destination, among other things.

5. Inspection Certificate: Pre-shipment Inspection certificates from reputable companies would be quite beneficial in obtaining the proper rice quality. 

6. Insurance Certificate: An insurance certificate is essential since it may protect your interests as a buyer if the products are lost in transit. It is recommended that you use ICC Cover. A type of insurance that covers all risks.

7. Phytosanitary Certificate: This is also a pre-inspection certification from India's plant quarantine department, which confirms that there are no hazardous pesticides, no insects or pests, and that the packaging is environmentally friendly.

Rice Importing From India To USA 

Rice imports from India necessitates adherence to three key bodies' rules: the USDA, FDA, and CBP. The following bodies must approve the import of rice from India: 

USDA- United States Department Of Agriculture

The United States Department of Agriculture, or USDA, is responsible for ensuring the health of the country's agricultural and natural resources.

FDA- Food And Drug Administration 

The Department of Health and Human Services oversees the Food and Drug Administration of the United States. To protect public health, the FDA regulates a wide range of items. 

CBP- Border Patrol And Customs 

The United States Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection is the largest agency. The CBP is in charge of the border.

Importing Indian Rice: Food And Drug Administration Requirements

For importing rice from India, the Food and Drug Administration has a number of regulations. The FDA must be notified in advance of any commercial food imports. After arriving at the point of entry, Customs and Border Protection requests proof or advance notice to release the food shipments at the border, in addition to the standard CBP entry documentation. 

Individual shipments are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The products must be approved by the FDA, or the facility handling the products must be registered with the FDA.

Rules For Importing Rice Products Into The United States From Customs And Border Protection 

When importing food into the United States, there are various processes, details, exceptions, complexities, and import requirements to follow. As a result, the Customs and Border Patrol advises utilizing a qualified customs broker to assist you with the process. You can, however, do it yourself if you are confident in the method and the information you have. 

Customs brokers have a lot of expertise in the industry and are well-versed in the rules and regulations of importing goods. They'll know exactly what paperwork you'll need to get your shipment into the United States. Licensed Customs Brokers can also figure out how much a customs bond and other such paperwork is worth.

You should call the port of entry where you intend to ship ahead of time to ensure that you are aware of all regulations and information. At the port of entry, you can also speak with a CBP import specialist. The requirements will be determined by the type of the product, the country of origin, and any other restrictions. The CBP entry forms must be submitted within 15 days of the shipment's arrival. They will be sent to a warehouse after 15 days and may be subject to storage fees.

Rice Import Regulations From The Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service 

Basmati rice and rice products are regulated in the United States by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. This is mostly due to the diseases that these plants carry, such as downy mildew, leaf smut, blight, glume blotch, and so on. As a result, rice importers should have a license.

The license can be obtained through an online or paper application method. The application must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the scheduled arrival of the shipment. It may take a little longer for the permission to be approved. The permission is valid until the expiration date specified. It is not essential to reapply for a permit each time you have a cargo. Only inhabitants of the United States with street addresses in the nation are eligible for a license.

Bonds For importing Rice From India Into The United States 

If you're bringing something into the United States for business, you could need a customs bond. Bonds are usually only required for items worth more than $2,500 or when they are under the supervision of another government agency.

The Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are likely to require a customs bond for your rice importation.

Customs bonds are divided into two categories:

1. Single Entry Bond

A single-entry bond, as the name implies, is only good for one shipment into the United States. If you don't have a regular rice importing business, this is the bespoke bond for you.

2. Continuous Bond

A continuous bond, on the other hand, is valid for one year before being automatically renewed until the surety, CBC, or importer cancels it. If you wish to import rice into the United States all year, a continuous bond is the best option.


Rice is a staple in many cuisines around the world. Each year, the United States of America imports a considerable amount of rice from India. Documentation and paperwork, as well as approvals and other procedures, are all required when importing rice from India.

When exporting basmati rice from India to the USA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) must all be followed. Imports of Indian rice to the United States are possible, but all norms and restrictions must be rigorously observed.