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Exports & Imports::

Ministry of Agriculture Plant Quarantine Organization of India:

1. Phytosanitary Certificate Format (
2. SOP-Export Inspection (pdf) 

For more details, visit: http://plantquarantineindia.nic.in


1.Procedures by person in charge of conveyance

2. Procedures to be followed by Exporter

3. Examination of goods before export

4. Other Customs Procedures

5. Export inspection fee




Export Procedures

Procedures have to be followed by (a) ‘person-in-charge of conveyance’ and (b) the exporter. The procedures are similar to procedures for import, of course, in reverse direction.
NO STOPPAGE OF EXPORT CONSIGNMENT - Exports are vital for our economy. Any stoppage in export consignment means loss of export orders to the exporter and loss of foreign exchange to the country. Hence, it has been provided that movement of export consignment will not be interrupted and no export consignment shall be withheld for any reason whatsoever. In case of any doubt, customs authorities may ask for an undertaking that the export is on sole responsibility of the exporter. [Highlights of EXIM policy 1997-2002 as amended on 13.4.1998].

Procedures by person in Charge of Conveyance - Any new airline, shipping line, steamer agent should be registered in Customs Systems for electronic processing of shipping bills etc.
The ‘person in charge of conveyance’ has to follow prescribed procedures.Entry Outward - The vessel should be granted ‘Entry Outward’. Loading can start only after entry outward is granted. (section 39 of Customs Act). Steamer Agents can file ‘application for entry outwards’ 14 days in advance so that intending exporters can start submitting ‘Shipping Bills’. This ensures that formalities are completed as quickly as possible and loading in ship starts quickly.

LOADING WITH PERMISSION - Export goods can be loaded only after Shipping Bill or Bill of Export, duly passed by Customs Officer is handed over by Exporter to the person-in-charge of conveyance. In case of baggage and mail bags, shipping bill is not necessary, but permission of Customs Officer is required (section 40).

Export Manifest - As per section 41, an Export Manifest/Export Report in prescribed form should be submitted before departure. [The report is popularly called as ‘Export General Manifest’ - EGM]. The details required are similar to import manifest. Such manifest/report can be amended or supplemented with permission, if there was no fraudulent intention. Such report should be declared as true by the person-in-charge signing the export manifest. This report is not required if the conveyance is carrying only luggage of occupants.

Procedures to be followed by Exporter 
Export procedures have been summarized in Chapter 3 Part II of CBE&C’s Customs Manual, 2001. Every exporter should take following initial steps -–Obtain BIN (Business Identification Number) from DGFT. It is a PAN based number Open current account with designated bank for credit of duty drawback claims Register licenses / advance license / DEPB etc. at the customs station, if exports are under Export Promotion Schemes Exporter has to submit ‘shipping bill’ for export by sea or air and ‘bill of export’ for export by road. Goods have to be assessed for duty, even if no duty is payable for most of exports, as ‘Nil Duty’ assessment is also an assessment.

Shipping Bill to be submitted by Exporter - Shipping Bill and Bill of Export Regulations prescribe form of shipping bills. It should be submitted in quadruplicate. If drawback claim is to be made, one additional copy should be submitted. There are five forms :

(a) Shipping Bill for export of goods under claim for duty drawback - these should be in Green colour

(b) Shipping Bill for export of dutiable goods - this should be yellow colour

(c) shipping bill for export of duty free goods - it should be white colour

(d) shipping bill for export of duty free goods ex-bond - i.e. from bonded store room - it should be pink colour

(e) Shipping Bill for export under DEPB scheme - Blue colour.

The shipping bill form requires details like name of exporter, consignee, Invoice Number, details of packing, description of goods, quantity, FOB Value etc. Appropriate form of shipping bill should be used.Relevant documents i.e. copies of packing list, invoices, export contract, letter of credit etc. are also to be submitted. In case of excisable goods, from ARE-1 prepared at the time of clearance from factory should also be submitted.Customs authorities give serial number (called 'Thoka Number') to shipping bill, when it is presented.

Excise formalities at the time of Export - If the goods are cleared by manufacturer for export, the goods are accompanied by ARE-1 (earlier AR-4). This form should be submitted to customs authorities. The Customs Officer certifies that the goods under this form have indeed been exported. This form has then to be submitted to Maritime Commissioner for obtaining ‘proof of export’. The bond executed by Manufacturer-exporter with excise authorities is released only when ‘proof of export’ is accepted by Maritime Commissioner or Assistant Commissioner, where bond was executed.

Duty drawback formalities - If the exporter intends to claim duty drawback on his exports, he has to follow prescribed procedures and submit necessary papers. The procedures are discussed in the chapter on ‘Export Incentives'. He has to make endorsement of shipping bill that claim for duty drawback is being made. If he fails to do so due to genuine reasons, Commissioner of Customs can grant exemption from this provision. [proviso to rule 12(1)(a) of Duty Drawback Rules].

G R / SDF / SOFTEX Form under FEMA - Reserve Bank of India has prescribed GR / SDF form under FEMA.“G R” stands for ‘Guaranteed Receipt’ form, while SDF stands for 'Statutory Declaration Form’). SDF form is to be used where shipping bills are processed electronically in customs house, while GR form is used when shipping bills are processed manually in customs house.

Other documents required for export - Exporter also has to prepare other documents like (a) Four copies of Commercial Invoice (b) Four copies of Packing List (c) Certificate of Origin or pre-shipment inspection where required (d) Insurance policy. (e) Letter of Credit (f) Declaration of Value (g) Excise ARE-1/ARE-2 form as applicable (h) GR / SDF form prescribed by RBI in duplicate (i) Letter showing BIN Number.

RCMC certificate from Export Promotion Council - Various Export Promotion Councils have been set up to promote and develop exports. (e.g. Engineering Export Promotion Council, Apparel Export Promotion Council,etc.) Exporter has to become member of the concerned Export Promotion Council and obtain

RCMC -Registration cum membership Certificate.

Check in customs – Document submitted is processed by customs authorities, and following are checked -Chapter 3 Para 39 of CBE&C’s Customs Manual, 2001. – Value and classification of goods under drawback schedule in case of drawback shipping bills Export duty / cess if applicable. Advance License shipping bills are checked to ensure that description in invoice and final product specified in Advance License matches. If necessary, samples may be drawn and assessment may be done after visual inspection or testing Exportability of goods under EXIM policy and other laws - Some exports are totally prohibited under various Acts e.g. items restricted or prohibited under Foreign Trade (Regulation) Act; antiques; art treasures; Arms; narcotics etc. Some items like tea, coffee and coir products can be exported only against authorisation/licence under respective Acts.

Examination of goods before export - After shipping bill is passed by export department, the goods are presented to shed appraiser (exports) in dock for examination. Goods will be examined by examiner. This inspection is necessary (a) to ensure that prohibited goods are not exported (b) goods tally with description and invoice (c) duty drawback, where applicable, is correctly claimed.

Let Export Order by Customs Authorities Customs Officer will verify the contents and after he is satisfied that goods are not prohibited for exports and that export duty, if applicable is paid, will permit clearance. (section 51) by giving ‘let ship’ or ‘let export’ order.

GR-1, ARE-1, octroi papers, quota certification for export etc. are also signed. Exporter’s copy of shipping Bill, GR-1, ARE-1 etc. duly certified are handed over to exporter or CHA. Drawback claims papers are also processed. - Chapter 3 Para 43 and 60 of CBE&C’s Customs Manual, 2001.

Processing under EDI system – Under EDI system, declarations in prescribed form are to be filed through ‘Service Centre’ of customs. After verification, shipping bill number is generated by the system, which is endorsed on printed checklist generated for verification of data. Goods are inspected at docks on the basis of printed check list. All documents are submitted to Customs Officer along with checklist. If goods and documents are found in order, ‘let export’ order is issued. Then two copies of Shipping Bill are generated – one customs and other exporter’s copy. Exporter’s copy is generated only after EGM (Export General Manifest) is submitted by shipping agent. These are signed by CHA and customs officer and then by Appraiser. SDF, ARE-1, octroi papers, quota certification for export etc. are also signed. Exporter’s copy of Shipping Bill, SDF, ARE-
1 etc. duly signed are handed over to exporter or CHA. - Chapter 3 Paras 42 to 60 of CBE&C’s Customs Manual, 2001.

Conveyance to leave on written order The vessel or aircraft which has brought imported goods or which carry export goods cannot leave that customs station unless a written order is given by Customs Officer. Such order is given only after (a) export manifest is submitted (b) shipping bills or bills of export, bills of transhipment etc. are submitted (c) duties on stores consumed are paid or payment of the same is secured (d) no penalty is leviable (e) export duty, if applicable, is paid. - - Such permission is not required if the conveyance is carrying only luggage of occupants.

Other Customs Procedures
Besides the aforesaid procedures, various other procedures have been prescribed. These are mainly to befollowed by the person in charge of conveyance.

Boat Notes - If the vessel has to unload only a small cargo, it may not spend time in having berth in the port. If the small cargo is to be sent to shore, it may be loaded in a small boat and sent to shore. As per section 35, such small boat must be accompanied by a ‘Boat Note’. Boat Notes Regulations provide that such Boat Notes will be issued by Customs Officer. It will be maintained in duplicate and should be serially numbered. Boat Note should be in prescribed form. In case of export, if small export cargo is to be loaded in ship through small boat, no Boat Note is required if the cargo is accompanied by the ‘Shipping Bill’, otherwise, Boat Note is required. Boat Note is also required for transhipment of cargo, i.e. transfer from one ship to another or for re-shipment.

Transit Goods - Section 53 provide that any goods imported in any conveyance will be allowed to remain on the conveyance and to be transited without payment of customs duty, to any place out of India or any customs station. However, all these goods must be mentioned in import manifest or import report submitted by person in charge of conveyance. Such goods should not be ‘prohibited goods’ under section 11 of Customs Act. [The conveyance may be vehicle, ship or aircraft]. After transit, the goods may go to another customs station. On arrival at customs station, the goods will be liable to customs duty as if it is first importation in India. - section 55.

Transhipment of Goods - Goods imported in any customs station can be transhipped without payment of duty, u/s 54 of Customs Act. Transhipment means transfer from one conveyance to another. [The conveyance may be vehicle, ship or aircraft]. Such transhipment may be to any major port or airport in India. The goods can be transhipped to any other customs station in India if customs officer is satisfied that the goods are bonafideintended for transhipment to any customs station. The facility is available at all customs ports and Inland Container Depots (ICDs). [Notification No. 50/95-Cus(NT) dated 6-9-95]. Goods to be transhipped must be specified in Import Manifest or Import report and a ‘Bill of Transhipment’ should be submitted to Customs Officer. In case of goods being transhipped under an international treaty or bilateral agreement between Government of India and Government of a foreign country, a Declaration of Transhipment shall be submitted instead of Bill of Transhipment. [section 54(1)]. [India has such bilateral agreement with Nepal]. Such goods should not be ‘prohibited goods’ under section 11 of Customs Act. The goods should be sealed during transhipment by customs officer. A bond has to be executed for the purpose. After execution of bond, a certificate from customs officer has to be submitted within one month that goods have been properly transferred. Goods Imported (Conditions of Transhipment) Regulations, 1995]. On arrival at customs station, they will be liable to customs duty as if it is first importation in India. - section 55.

TRANSIT AND TRANSHIP - Distinction between transit and transhipment is that in 'transit' goods continue to be on same vessel, while in transhipment, goods are transferred to another vessel / vehicle. Hence, procedures are also different.

Coastal goods - Coastal goods means goods transported from one port in India to another port in India, but does not include imported goods. Thus, coastal goods means goods taken by ship from one Indian port to another. Noexport or import is involved, but control is necessary to ensure that coastal goods are not diverted illegally forexport.

LOADING OF COASTAL GOODS - The Consignor should submit bill of coastal goods to Customs Officer (section 93). Form of the bill has been prescribed. These will be loaded by master of vessel only after ‘bill of coastal goods’ is passed (section 93). Master of Vessel will carry an ‘Advice Book’ where entries will be made by Customs Officer. This ‘Advice Book’ has to be presented for inspection of Customs Officers, if called for. After loading, the vessel can leave only after obtaining written order from Customs Officer. As per notification
No 15/98-NT dated 27.2.1998, exemption has been granted for delivery of 'Advice Book' at each port of call. However, the 'Advice Book' will have to be submitted for inspection on board of vessel, when called for.

UNLOADING OF COASTAL GOODS - Unloading of coastal goods should be done only at Customs Port or coastal port appointed by CBEC under section 7 of Customs Act. On arrival, all bills relating to goods which are to be unloaded will be delivered to Customs Officer. Unloading can be done only after obtaining permission from Customs Officer. Customs Officer can inspect goods and ask for questions and documents relating to goods. Goods will be unloaded at approved place under supervision of Customs Officer.

Export inspection fee & fumigation charges

Commodity Volume Inspection Fee Fumigation or
Disinfection charges
Less than 1.5 cu. m Re. 1/- Rs. 6/-
1.5 cu. m. and above
Re. 1/- extra for every additional 3.0 cu. m. or part thereof up to a maximum of Rs. 100/- per consignment. Rs. 2/- extra for every additional 1.5 cu. m. or part thereof

Source: http://plantquarantineindia.org/expo.htm


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