How to Export - Part 2 Regulatory Requirements for Export Import Trade

Regulatory environment for exporters and importers have considerably been eased by successive governments over last decade. Gone are the nightmarish days when exporters and specially importers had to go through maze of licensing requirements, duty structure and various documentation for every shipment.

Today, the only mandatory regulatory requirement for anyone wishing to enter exim business is the IEC code. However, there are a few other regulatory issues that you should be aware of before starting your exim venture.

How to Get IEC Code

The Customs Authorities will not allow you to import or export goods into or from India unless you hold a valid IEC number (short for Import Export Code Number). Getting IEC number is easy, specially if you have a PAN card. An application should be made to Regional Licensing Authority supported by the following documents:

  • Bank receipts in duplicate/Demand Draft for payment of IEC Code fee of Rs. 1,000

  • Certificate from the banker of the applicant (in prescribed form)

  • Two copies of passport size photographs of the applicant duty attested by the banker of the applicants

  • A copy of Permanent Account Number (PAN) issued by the Income tax Authority. If PAN is not available a copy of the application of the PAN should be submitted

  • If the application is signed by an authorized signatory, a copy of the letter of legal authority may be furnished

  • If there is a NRI interest in the firm and NRI investment is to be made with repatriation benefits, full particulars thereof with photocopy of RBI approval must be submitted. If there is no repatriation benefits a simple declaration will do

  • A declaration that the proprietors/partners/directors of the applicant firm/company, as the case may be, are not associated as proprietor/partner/director with any other firm/company which has been caution-listed by the RBI. Where the applicant is so associated with a caution-listed firm/company the IEC no. is allotted with a condition that he can export only with the prior approval of the RBI. Exporter's profile should be submitted to the Regional Licensing Authority who will grant an IEC number to the applicant

For more information, including application form, list of licensing authorities and their jurisdiction etc. - please visit Appencices Section of Export Import Policy

Registrations with Export Promotion Councils (EPC)

The Registration cum Membership Certificate (RCMC) from an appropriate export promotion agency or commodity board is required to avail various benefits/concession provided in Export Import Policy such as Duty Drawback. Application should be made in prescribed form to the Export Promotion Council (EPC) relevant to your product line. However, if your product line is such that no EPC covers it, the RCMC may be obtained from the regional licensing authority.

The application form should be accompanied by:

  • A bank certificate in support of the applicant's financial soundness

  • A self certified copy of the IEC Code

  • In case you wish to be registered as manufacturer-exporter, please furnish necessary evidence like SSI registration or copy of registration with any other relevant authority. Please contact licensing authority for more details

Once your application is granted, the EPC or FIEO will issue the RCMC. The registration, to remain valid for 5 years, will have information on your status as merchant exporter or manufacturer exporter

You can find here list of all necessary resources including Trade Promotion Organizations and Commodity Boards

Classify Your Product

Before exporting your products overseas, you need to determine their classification. Unlike selling in domestic market where currency, regulatory environment, tariff structure etc. remains uniform throughout the country - export means dealing with various countries with diverse cultures, languages and regulatory environments. In such situation, standardization or harmonization of procedures becomes essential. Towards this goal, International organizations have devised various nomenclature, export import documents, classification schemes etc. Together, these procedures remove ambiguity, set standards and ensure seamless trade among all countries in the world.

One of the most important standardization tools is International Trade Classification - Harmonized System (ITC-HS). This a merchandise classification scheme that all countries in the world have adopted. This scheme has 99 chapters (from 01 to 99) dealing with 99 groups of merchandise. Each chapter or group is divided into sub-groups and each sub-group is further divided into sub-sub-groups. Each group or sub-group is given a unique number called ITC-HS code.

To view Indian Export Import Policy in terms of ITC-HS classification - please visit VANIK.COM

To locate the ITC code of your product or find description of a given ITC code - please use ITC Code Search Facility

The above is an overview of general regulatory requirements for export import trade. For detail information specially information on specific products where licensing is required, negative list, restricted policy etc. - please see Export Import Policy and Handbook of Procedures

We have compiled all necessary export import documents and many other day to day requirements in a Compact Disk called MyInfoBanc CD Members of The Great Indian Bazaar in Member - Plus and above level get this CD free. Others may order the CD for Rs. 690/-

Happy and Productive Surfing

Dr. Amit K Chatterjee

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Source: FAIDA - Newsletter on Business Opportunties from India and Abroad Vol: 6, Issue 2 ; July 8' 2005

Author : Dr. Amit K. Chatterjee
(Amit worked in blue-chip Indian and MNCs for 15 years in various capacities like Research and Information Analysis, Market Development, MIS, R&D Information Systems etc. before starting his e-commerce venture in 1997. The views expressed in this columns are of his own. He may be reached at )

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