Exports and Imports – India
India’s Foreign Trade i.e. Exports and Imports are regulated by Foreign Trade Policy notified by Central government in exercise of powers conferred by section 5 of foreign trade (Development and Regulation) Act 1992. Presently Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 is effective from 1st April, 2015. As per FTD & R act, export is defined as an act of taking out of India any goods by land, sea or air and with proper transaction of money.
Export in itself is a very wide concept and lot of preparations is required by an exporter before starting an export business. To start export business, the following steps may be followed:
Processing an Export Order
1. Confirmation of order
On receiving an export order, it should be examined carefully in respect of items, specification, payment conditions, packaging, delivery schedule, etc. and then the order should be confirmed. Accordingly, the exporter may enter into a formal contract with the overseas buyer.
2. Procurement of Goods
After confirmation of the export order, immediate steps may be taken for procurement/manufacture of the goods meant for export. It should be remembered that the order has been obtained with much efforts and competition so the procurement should also be strictly as per buyer’s requirement.
Exporters are eligible to obtain pre-shipment and post-shipment finance from Commercial Banks at concessional interest rates to complete the export transaction. Packing Credit advance in pre-shipment stage is granted to new exporters against lodgment of L/C or confirmed order for 180 days to meet working capital requirements for purchase of raw material/finished goods, labour expenses, packing, transporting, etc. Normally Banks give 75% to 90% advances of the value of the order keeping the balance as margin. Banks adjust the packing credit advance from the proceeds of export bills negotiated, purchased or discounted.
Post Shipment finance is given to exporters normally upto 90% of the Invoice value for normal transit period and in cases of usance export bills upto notional due date. The maximum period for post-shipment advances is 180 days from the date of shipment. Advances granted by Banks are adjusted by realization of the sale proceeds of the export bills. In case export bill becomes overdue Banks will charge commercial lending rate of interest.
4. Labeling, Packaging, Packing and Marking
The export goods should be labeled, packaged and packed strictly as per the buyer’s specific instructions. Good packaging delivers and presents the goods in top condition and in attractive way.
Similarly, good packing helps easy handling, maximum loading, reducing shipping costs and to ensuring safety and standard of the cargo. Marking such as address, package number, port and place of destination, weight, handling instructions, etc. provides identification and information of cargo packed.
Marine insurance policy covers risks of loss or damage to the goods during the while the goods are in transit. Generally in CIF contract the exporters arrange the insurance whereas for C&F and FOB contract the buyers obtain insurance policy.
It is important feature of export and the exporter must adhere the delivery schedule. Planning should be there to let nothing stand in the way of fast and efficient delivery.
7. Customs Procedures
It is necessary to obtain PAN based Business Identification Number (BIN) from the Customs prior to filing of shipping bill for clearance of export good and open a current account in the designated bank for crediting of any drawback amount and the same has to be registered on the system.
Under EDI System, declarations in prescribed format are to be filed through the Service Centers of Customs. A checklist is generated for verification of data by the exporter/CHA. After verification, the data is submitted to the System by the Service Center operator and the System generates a Shipping Bill Number, which is endorsed on the printed checklist and returned to the exporter/CHA. In most of the cases, a Shipping Bill is processed by the system on the basis of declarations made by the exporters without any human intervention. Where the Appraiser Dock (export) orders for samples to be drawn and tested, the Customs Officer may proceed to draw two samples from the consignment and enter the particulars thereof along with details of the testing agency in the ICES/E system.
8. Customs House Agents
Exporters may avail services of Customs House Agents licensed by the Commissioner of Customs. They are professionals and facilitate work connected with clearance of cargo from Customs.
FTP 2015-2020 describes the following mandatory documents for import and export.
Preshipment documents :
Invoice, Packing List , DBK declaration, DEEC Declaration
Payment under IGST or LUT/Bond
• Bill of Lading/ Airway bill ( Issued by Shipping Line company – This is a post shipment document )
• Commercial invoice cum packing list
• shipping bill/ bill of export/
(Other documents like certificate of origin, inspection certificate etc may be required as per the case.)
10. Submission of documents to Bank
After shipment, it is obligatory to present the documents to the Bank within 21 days for onward dispatch to the foreign Bank for arranging payment. Documents should be drawn under Collection/Purchase/Negotiation under L/C as the case may be, along with the following documents
– Bill of Exchange
Letter to Bank
– Letter of Credit (if shipment is under L/C) or DA/DP /Advance payment
– Packing List,
– Airway Bill/Bill of Lading
– Certificate of Origin/GSP( Preferential /Non Preferential )
– Inspection Certificate, wherever necessary
– Any other document as required in the L/C or by the buyer or statutorily.
11. Realization of Export Proceeds
As per FTP 2015-2020, all export contracts and invoices shall be denominated either in freely convertible currency of Indian rupees, but export proceeds should be realized in freely convertible currency except for export to Iran.
Export proceeds should be realized in 15 months.( As on 03.08.2020)