It will now be possible to get a licence in 48 hours

The Tea Board of India has decided to simplify its export licensing norms.

Following this, it would now be possible to obtain a licence within 48 hours as against the present time-cycle which could run into months though officially put at 10 days. Export licences are given under Tea Distribution and Export Control Order, and a tea-exporter has to hold a valid licence from the Tea Board. Licences come in two categories — temporary and permanent.

“The idea is to improve and streamline the system, cutting the number of documents that an exporter needs to submit for getting a licence to export,” Tea Board Chairman M. G. V. K. Bhanu told The Hindu.

A senior official of the Tea Board said that under the new rules, which took immediate effect, an exporter would need to submit one major document, the Import-Export Certificate, from the Directorate-General of Foreign Trade, instead of the 10 documents that they were now required to give. “This delays matters,” the official said.

Fighting competition from Sri Lanka, Kenya and China, India exports around 210 million kg of tea annually. Iran, the U.S., and Kazakhstan are some of the high-value markets which are buying sizable quantities of Indian tea. Exports have shown an upward trend in the first quarter of 2013-14 when a target of 222 million kg has been set against the 220.4 million kg exported in 2012-13.

In December last, the Tea Board embarked on a major drive to weed out bogus exporters. As a result, there are now only 290 temporary tea exporters and 185 permanent exporters against 470 permanent exporters and 2,800 temporary exporters last year.

A temporary exporter gets a renewable licence for three years.

More In: Industry | Business