February 20, 2023

GST on Pre-Packaged Food Items

One of the most important aspects of any business is understanding the tax implications of their products. This is especially true for those who deal with pre-packaged food items that are exported. In this article, we will explore what happens to GST on pre-packaged food items when they are exported from India.

What is GST?

GST, or Goods and Services Tax, is a tax that is levied on the supply of goods and services in India. GST is an indirect tax that replaced several other indirect taxes that were levied by the central and state governments.

Under the GST regime, goods and services are taxed at different rates based on their nature and the category they fall under. The GST rates are 0%, 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%.

What are pre-packaged food items?

Pre-packaged food items are products that are packaged in a specific way and sold as a unit. These products are typically sold in grocery stores and other retail outlets. Examples of pre-packaged food items include snacks, cereals, and canned goods.

GST on pre-packaged food items

Under the GST regime, pre-packaged food items are taxed based on the GST rates for the specific category they fall under. For example, snacks and other processed foods fall under the 18% GST rate, while cereals fall under the 5% GST rate.

When pre-packaged food items are exported from India, the GST implications can be a bit more complex. In general, pre-packaged food items that are exported are considered to be zero-rated supplies. This means that GST is not applied to the export of pre-packaged food items.

However, there are some specific conditions that must be met in order for pre-packaged food items to be considered zero-rated supplies. These conditions include:

1. The pre-packaged food items must be exported within 6 months of the date of issue of the invoice;

2. The exporter must have received payment for the pre-packaged food items in the prescribed foreign currency;

3. The exporter must have filed a valid GST return for the month in which the pre-packaged food items were exported; and

4. The exporter must have furnished a valid Letter of Undertaking or Bond as per the GST rules.


Understanding the implications of GST on pre-packaged food items is essential for any business owner who deals with these products. When pre-packaged food items are exported from India, it is important to ensure that all of the conditions for zero-rated supplies are met to avoid any potential tax issues.

If you are a small or medium business owner or startup founder who deals with pre-packaged food items, it is recommended that you consult with a tax professional to ensure that you are compliant with all GST regulations.


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