The following is an excerpt from the July 2014 edition of India Briefing Magazine, titled “Passage to India: Selling to India’s Consumer Market.“
In India, the import and export of goods is governed by the Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Act, 1992 and India’s Export Import (EXIM) Policy. India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) is the principal governing body responsible for all matters related to EXIM Policy, and new guidelines on Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) are expected to be released soon to replace previous FTP guidelines that expired in March 2014.
Importers are required to register with the DGFT to obtain an Importer Exporter Code Number (IEC) issued against their Permanent Account Number (PAN), before engaging in EXIM activities. After an IEC has been obtained, the source of items for import must be identified and declared. The Indian Trade Classification – Harmonized System (ITC-HS) allows for the free import of most goods without a special import license. Certain goods that fall under the following categories require special permission or licensing, however:
1. Licensed (Restricted) Items: Licensed items can only be imported after obtaining an import license from the DGFT. These include some consumer goods such as precious and semi-precious stones, products related to safety and security, seeds, plants, animals, insecticides, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, and some electronic items.
2. Canalized Items: Canalized items can only be imported via specified transportation channels and methods, or through government agencies such as the State Trading Corporation (STC). These include petroleum products, bulk agricultural products such as grains and vegetable oils, and some pharmaceutical products.
3. Prohibited Items: These goods are strictly prohibited from import and include tallow fat, animal rennet, wild animals, and unprocessed ivory.
All importers must follow detailed customs clearance formalities when importing goods into India. A comprehensive overview of EXIM procedures can be found on the Indian Directorate of General Valuation’s website.
Bill of Entry
Every importer is required to begin by submitting a Bill of Entry under Section 46. This document certifies the description and value of goods entering the country. The Bill of Entry should be submitted as follows:
1) The original and duplicate for customs
2) A copy for the importer
3) A copy for the bank
4) A copy for making remittances
Under the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), no formal Bill of Entry is required (as it is recorded electronically) but the importer is required to file a cargo declaration after prescribing particulars required for processing of the entry for customs clearance. Bills of Entry can be one of three types:
1. Bill of Entry for Home Consumption– This form is used when the imported goods are to be cleared on payment of full duty. Home consumption means use within India. It is white colored and hence often called the ‘white bill of entry’.
2. Bill of Entry for Housing– If the imported goods are not required immediately, importers may store the goods in a warehouse without the payment of duty under a bond and then clear them from the warehouse when required on payment of duty. This will enable the deferment of payment of the customs duty until goods are actually required. This Bill of Entry is printed on yellow paper and is thus often called the ‘yellow bill of entry’. It is also called the ‘into bond bill of entry’ as the bond is executed for the transfer of goods in a warehouse without paying duty.
3. Bill of Entry for Ex-Bond Clearance – The third type is for ex-bond clearance. This is used for clearance from the warehouse on payment of duty and is printed on green paper.
It is important to note that the rate of duty applicable is as it exists on the date a good is removed from a warehouse. Therefore, if the rate changes after goods have been cleared from a customs port, the customs duty as assessed on a yellow bill of entry (Bill of Entry for Housing) and paid on the value listed on the green bill of entry (Bill of Entry for Ex-Bond Clearance) will not be the same.
Other non-EDI Documents
If a Bill of Entry is filed without using the Electronic Data Interchange system, the following documents are also generally required:
• Signed invoice
• Packing list
• Bill of lading or delivery order/air waybill
• GATT declaration form
• Importer/CHA declaration
• Import license wherever necessary
• Letter of credit/bank draft
• Insurance document
• Industrial license, if required
• Test report in case of chemicals
• Adhoc exemption order
• DEEC Book/DEPB in original, where applicable
• Catalogue, technical write up, literature in case of machineries, spares or chemicals as may be applicable
• Separately split up value of spares, components, and machinery
• Certificate of Origin, if preferential rate of duty is claimed
The Indian government levies several types of import duties on goods. These include:
Basic Customs Duty
Basic Customs Duty (BCD) is the standard tax rate applied to goods, or the standard preferential rate in the case of goods imported from specified countries. The rates of customs duties are outlined in the First and Second Schedules of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975. The First Schedule specifies rates of import duty and the Second specifies rates of export duty. BCD is divided into standard and preferential rates, with goods imported from countries holding trade agreements with the Indian central government eligible for lower preferential rates.
Additional Customs Duty (Countervailing Duty)
Countervailing duty (CVD) is equal to central excise duty and is levied on imported articles produced in India. With CVD, the process of production amounts to ‘manufacture’ as it is defined in the Central Excise Act, 1944. CVD is based on the aggregate value of goods including landing charges and BCD. An additional CVD may be levied equivalent to sales tax or VAT, not exceeding four percent. This duty can be refunded if the importer pays all customs duties, the sales invoice indicates the credit is not allowed, and the importer pays VAT/sales tax on the sale of the good.
Other CVDs may be imposed on specific imported goods to neutralize the effect of a subsidy in the country of origin. A notification issued by the central government on these specified goods is valid for five years and potentially subject to further extension not exceeding ten years. Subsidies related to research activities, assistance to disadvantaged regions in the destination country, and assistance in adapting existing facilities to new environmental requirements are exempt.
The central government may impose an anti-dumping duty if it determines a good is being imported at below fair market price, and an importer will be notified if this is the case. The duty cannot exceed the difference between the export and normal price (margin of dumping). This does not apply to goods imported by 100 percent Export Oriented Units (EOU) and units in Free Trade Zones (FTZs) and Special Economic Zones (SEZs). If an importer is notified by the central government then an Anti-Dumping duty is to be imposed, the notification will remain valid for five years with the possibility of being extended to 10 years.
Unlike Anti-Dumping Duty, the imposition of Safeguard Duty does not require the central government to determine a good is being imported at below fair market price. Safeguard Duty is imposed if the government decides that a sudden increase in exports is causing, or threatens to cause, serious damage to a domestic industry. A notification regarding the imposition of Safeguard Duty is valid for four years with the possibility of being extended to 10 years.
A protective duty is sometimes imposed to protect domestic industry from imports. If the Tariff Commission issues a recommendation for the imposition of a Protective Duty, the central government may choose to impose this at a rate that does not exceed that recommended by the Tariff Commission. The central government can specify the period up to which the protective duty will remain in force, reduce or extend the period, and adjust the effective rate.
Education Cess (a tax designed to fund education and healthcare initiatives) is levied at two percent and Higher Education Cess at one percent of the aggregate of customs duties. This does not include Safeguard Duty, Countervailing Duty on subsidized articles, or Anti-Dumping Duty, however.
This article is an excerpt from the July 2014 edition of India Briefing Magazine, titled “Passage to India: Selling to India’s Consumer Market.” In this edition of India Briefing Magazine, we explore several key growth sectors and industries that enhance India’s appeal to foreign companies seeking out new markets for their products and services. For overseas firms exploring the diverse range of options available for accessing and selling to the Indian market, we outline the fundamentals of India’s import policies and procedures, as well as provide an introduction to the essentials of engaging in direct and indirect export, acquiring an Indian company, selling to the government, and establishing a local presence in the form of a liaison office, branch office, or wholly owned subsidiary.
Asia Briefing Ltd. is a subsidiary of Dezan Shira & Associates. Dezan Shira is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Singapore and the rest of ASEAN. For further information, please email email@example.com or visit http://www.dezshira.com.
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2 responses to “India’s Import Policy: Procedures and Duties”
1. Sandeep singh says:
September 20, 2014 at 7:17 pm
Kindly inform me about the category & custom duties of good like Blood glucose meter, blood glucose strips and thermometers.Are these things require a import license?
2. D P MISHRA says:
March 23, 2016 at 11:00 pm
Please let me know if I import a product and sell the same product in the same brand name by paying custom duty, cvd, EC etc. While selling should my Customer pay VAT for the same product.?
Procedure for Clearance of Imported and Export Goods
Bill of Entry – Cargo Declaration:
Goods imported in a vessel/aircraft attract customs duty and unless these are not meant for customs clearance at the port/airport of arrival by particular vessel/aircraft and are intended for transit by the same vessel/aircraft or transshipment to another customs station or to any place outside India, detailed customs clearance formalities of the landed goods have to be followed by the importers. In regard to the transit goods, so long as these are mentioned in import report/IGM for transit to any place outside India, Customs allows transit without payment of duty. Similarly for goods brought in by particular vessel aircraft for transshipment to another customs station detailed customs clearance formalities at the port/airport of landing are not prescribed and simple transshipment procedure has to be followed by the carrier and the concerned agencies. The customs clearance formalities have to be complied with by the importer after arrival of the goods at the other customs station. There could also be cases of transshipment of the goods after unloading to a port outside India. Here also simpler procedure for transshipment has been prescribed by regulations, and no duty is required to be paid. (Sections 52 to 56 of the Customs are relevant in this regard).
2. For other goods, which are offloaded importers, have the option to clear the goods for home consumption after payment of the duties leviable or to clear them for warehousing without immediate discharge of the duties leviable in terms of the warehousing provisions built in the Customs Act. Every importer is required to file in terms of the Section 46 an entry (which is called Bill of entry) for home consumption or warehousing in the form, as prescribed by regulations.
3. If the goods are cleared through the EDI system no formal Bill of Entry is filed as it is generated in the computer system, but the importer is required to file a cargo declaration having prescribed particulars required for processing of the entry for customs clearance.
4. The Bill of entry, where filed, is to be submitted in a set, different copies meant for different purposes and also given different colour scheme, and on the body of the bill of entry the purpose for which it will be used is generally mentioned in the non-EDI declaration.
5. The importer clearing the goods for domestic consumption has to file bill of entry in four copies; original and duplicate are meant for customs, third copy for the importer and the fourth copy is meant for the bank for making remittances.
6. In the non-EDI system alongwith the bill of entry filed by the importer or his representative the following documents are also generally required: –
• Signed invoice
• Packing list
• Bill of Lading or Delivery Order/Airway Bill
• GATT declaration form duly filled in
• Importers/CHA’s declaration
• License wherever necessary
• Letter of Credit/Bank Draft/wherever necessary
• Insurance document
• Import license
• Industrial License, if required
• Test report in case of chemicals
• Adhoc exemption order
• DEEC Book/DEPB in original
• Catalogue, Technical write up, Literature in case of machineries, spares or chemicals as may be applicable
• Separately split up value of spares, components machineries
• Certificate of Origin, if preferential rate of duty is claimed
• No Commission declaration
7. While filing the bill of entry and giving various particulars as prescribed therein the correctness of the information given has also to be certified by the importer in the form a declaration at the foot of the bill of entry and any mis-declaration/incorrect declaration has legal consequences, and due precautions should be taken by importer while signing these declarations.
8. Under the EDI system, the importer does not submit documents as such for assessment but submits declarations in electronic format containing all the relevant information to the Service Centre. A signed paper copy of the declaration is taken by the service centre operator for non-repudiability of the declaration. A checklist is generated for verification of data by the importer/CHA. After verification, the data is submitted to the system by the Service Centre Operator and system then generates a B/E Number, which is endorsed on the printed checklist and returned to the importer/CHA. No original documents are taken at this stage. Original documents are taken at the time of examination. The importer/CHA also need to sign on the final document after Customs clearance.
9. The first stage for processing a bill of entry is what is termed the noting of the bill of entry, vis-à-vis, the IGM filed by the carrier. In the non-EDI system the importer has to get the bill of entry noted in the concerned unit which checks the consignment sought to be cleared having been manifested in the particular vessel and a bill of entry number is generated and indicated on all copies. After noting the bill of entry gets sent to the appraising section of the Custom House for assessment functions, payment of duty etc. In the EDI system, the Steamer Agents get the manifest filed through EDI or by using the service centre of the Custom House and the noting aspect is checked by the system itself – which also generates bill of entry number.
10. After noting/registration of the Bill of entry, it is forwarded manually or electronically to the concerned Appraising Group in the Custom House dealing with the commodity sought to be cleared. Appraising Wing of the Custom House has a number of Groups dealing with earmarked commodities falling under different Chapter Headings of the Customs Tariff and they take up further scrutiny for assessment, import permissibility etc. angle. Assessment:
11. The basic function of the assessing officer in the appraising groups is to determine the duty liability taking due note of any exemptions or benefits claimed under different export promotion schemes. They have also to check whether there are any restrictions or prohibitions on the goods imported and if they require any permission/license/permit etc., and if so whether these are forthcoming. Assessment of duty essentially involves proper classification of the goods imported in the customs tariff having due regard to the rules of interpretations, chapter and sections notes etc., and determining the duty liability. It also involves correct determination of value where the goods are assessable on ad valorem basis. The assessing officer has to take note of the invoice and other declarations submitted alongwith the bill of entry to support the valuation claim, and adjudge whether the transaction value method and the invoice value claimed for the basis of assessment is acceptable, or value needs to be redetermined having due regard to the provisions of Section 14 and the valuation rules issued thereunder, the case law and various instructions on the subject. He also takes note of the contemporaneous values and other information on valuation available with the Custom House.
12. Where the appraising officer is not very clear about the description of the goods from the document or as some doubts about the proper classification, which may be possible only to determine after detailed examination of the nature of the goods or testing of its samples, he may give an examination order in advance of finalisation of assessment including order for drawing of representative sample. This is done generally on the reverse of the original copy of the bill of entry which is presented by the authorized agent of the importer to the appraising staff posted in the Docks/Air Cargo Complexes where the goods are got examined in the presence of the importer’s representative.
13. On receipt of the examination report the appraising officers in the group assesses the bill of entry. He indicates the final classification and valuation in the bill of entry indicating separately the various duties such as basic, countervailing, anti-dumping, safeguard duties etc., that may be leviable. Thereafter the bill of entry goes to Assistant Commissioner/Deputy Commissioner for confirmation depending upon certain value limits and sent to comptist who calculates the duty amount taking into account the rate of exchange at the relevant date as provided under Section 14 of the Customs Act.
14. After the assessment and calculation of the duty liability the importer’s representative has to deposit the duty calculated with the treasury or the nominated banks, whereafter he can go and seek delivery of the goods from the custodians.
15. Where the goods have already been examined for finalization of classification or valuation no further examination/checking by the dock appraising staff is required at the time of giving delivery and the goods can be taken delivery after taking appropriate orders and payment of dues to the custodians, if any.
16. In most cases, the appraising officer assesses the goods on the basis of information and details furnished to the importer in the bill of entry, invoice and other related documents including catalogue, write-up etc. He also determines whether the goods are permissible for import or there are any restriction/prohibition. He may allow payment of duty and delivery of the goods on what is called second check/appraising basis in case there are no restriction/prohibition. In this method, the duties as determined and calculated are paid in the Custom House and appropriate order is given on the reverse of the duplicate copy of the bill of entry and the importer or his agent after paying the duty submits the goods for examination in the import sheds in the docks etc., to the examining staff. If the goods are found to be as declared and no other discrepancies/mis-declarations etc., are detected, the importer or his agent can clear the goods after the shed appraiser gives out of charge order.
17. Wherever the importer is not satisfied with the classification, rate of duty or valuation as may be determined by the appraising officer, he can seek an assessment order. An appeal against the assessment order can be made to appropriate appellate authority within the time limits and in the manner prescribed. EDI Assessment:
18. In the EDI system of handling of the documents/declarations for taking import clearances as mentioned earlier the cargo declaration is transferred to the assessing officer in the groups electronically.
19. The assessing officer processes the cargo declaration on screen with regard to all the parameters as given above for manual process. However in EDI system, all the calculations are done by the system itself. In addition, the system also supplies useful information for calculation of duty, for example, when a particular exemption notification is accepted, the system itself gives the extent of exemption under that notification and calculates the duty accordingly. Similarly, it automatically applies relevant rate of exchange in force while calculating. Thus no comptist is required in EDI system. If assessing officer needs any clarification from the importer, he may raise a query. The query is printed at the service centre and the party replies to the query through the service centre.
20. After assessment, a copy of the assessed bill of entry is printed in the service centre. Under EDI, documents are normally examined at the time of examination of the goods. Final bill of entry is printed after ‘out of charge’ is given by the Custom Officer.
21. In EDI system, in certain cases, the facility of system appraisal is available. Under this process, the declaration of importer is taken as correct and the system itself calculates duty which is paid by the importer. In such case, no assessing officer is involved.
22. Also, a facility of tele-enquiry is provided in certain major Customs stations through which the status of documents filed through EDI systems could be ascertained through the telephone. If nay query is raised, the same may be got printed through fax in the office of importer/exporter/CHA. Examination of Goods:
23. All imported goods are required to be examined for verification of correctness of description given in the bill of entry. However, a part of the consignment is selected on random selection basis and is examined. In case the importer does not have complete information with him at the time of import, he may request for examination of the goods before assessing the duty liability or, if the Customs Appraiser/Assistant Commissioner feels the goods are required to be examined before assessment, the goods are examined prior to assessment. This is called First Appraisement. The importer has to request for first check examination at the time of filing the bill of entry or at data entry stage. The reason for seeking First Appraisement is also required to be given. On original copy of the bill of entry, the Customs Appraiser records the examination order and returns the bill of entry to the importer/CHA with the direction for examination, who is to take it to the import shed for examination of the goods in the shed. Shed Appraiser/Dock examiner examines the goods as per examination order and records his findings. In case group has called for samples, he forwards sealed samples to the group. The importer is to bring back the said bill of entry to the assessing officer for assessing the duty. Appraiser assesses the bill of entry. It is countersigned by Assistant/Deputy Commissioner if the value is more than Rs. 1 lakh.
24. The goods can also be examined subsequent to assessment and payment of duty. This is called Second Appraisement. Most of the consignments are cleared on second appraisement basis. It is to be noted that whole of the consignment is not examined. Only those packages which are selected on random selection basis are examined in the shed.
25. Under the EDI system, the bill of entry, after assessment by the group or first appraisement, as the case may be, need to be presented at the counter for registration for examination in the import shed. A declaration for correctness of entries and genuineness of the original documents needs to be made at this stage. After registration, the B/E is passed on to the shed Appraiser for examination of the goods. Along-with the B/E, the CHA is to present all the necessary documents. After completing examination of the goods, the Shed Appraiser enters the report in System and transfers first appraisement B/E to the group and gives ‘out of charge’ in case of already assessed Bs/E. Thereupon, the system prints Bill of Entry and order of clearance (in triplicate). All these copies carry the examination report, order of clearance number and name of Shed Appraiser. The two copies each of B/E and the order are to be returned to the CHA/Importer, after the Appraiser signs them. One copy of the order is attached to the Customs copy of B/E and retained by the Shed Appraiser. Green Channel facility:
26. Some major importers have been given the green channel clearance facility. It means clearance of goods is done without routine examination of the goods. They have to make a declaration in the declaration form at the time of filing of bill of entry. The appraisement is done as per normal procedure except that there would be no physical examination of the goods. Only marks and number are to be checked in such cases. However, in rare cases, if there are specific doubts regarding description or quantity of the goods, physical examination may be ordered by the senior officers/investigation wing like SIIB. Execution of Bonds:
27. Wherever necessary, for availing duty free assessment or concessional assessment under different schemes and notifications, execution of end use bonds with Bank Guarantee or other surety is required to be furnished. These have to be executed in prescribed forms before the assessing Appraiser. Payment of Duty:
28. The duty can be paid in the designated banks or through TR-6 challans. Different Custom Houses have authorised different banks for payment of duty. It is necessary to check the name of the bank and the branch before depositing the duty. Bank endorses the payment particulars in challan which is submitted to the Customs. Amendment of Bill of Entry:
29. Whenever mistakes are noticed after submission of documents, amendments to the of entry is carried out with the approval of Deputy/Assistant Commissioner. The request for amendment may be submitted with the supporting documents. For example, if the amendment of container number is required, a letter from shipping agent is required. Amendment in document may be permitted after the goods have been given out of charge i.e. goods have been cleared on sufficient proof being shown to the Deputy/Assistant Commissioner. Prior Entry for Bill of Entry:
30. For faster clearance of the goods, provision has been made in section 46 of the Act, to allow filing of bill of entry prior to arrival of goods. This bill of entry is valid if vessel/aircraft carrying the goods arrive within 30days from the date of presentation of bill of entry.
31. The importer is to file 5 copies of the bill of entry and the fifth copy is called Advance Noting copy. The importer has to declare that the vessel/aircraft is due within 30 days and they have to present the bill of entry for final noting as soon as the IGM is filed. Advance noting is available to all imports except for into bond bill of entry and also during the special period. Mother Vessel/Feeder vessel:
32. Often in case of goods coming by container ships they are transferred at an intermediate ports (like Ceylon) from mother vessel to smaller vessels called feeder vessels. At the time of filing of advance noting B/E, the importer does not know as to which vessel will finally bring the goods to Indian port. In such cases, the name of mother vessel may be filled in on the basis of the bill of lading. On arrival of the feeder vessel, the bill of entry may be amended to mention names of both mother vessel and feeder vessel Specialised Schemes.
33. The import of goods are made under specialised schemes like DEEC or EOU etc. The importer in such cases is required to execute bonds with the Customs authorities for fulfillment of conditions of respective notifications. If the importer fails to fulfill the conditions, he has to pay the duty leviable on those goods. The amount of bond would be equal to the amount of duty leviable on the imported goods. The bank guarantee is also required alongwith the bond. However, the amount of bank guarantee depends upon the status of the importer like Super Star Trading House/Trading House etc. Bill of Entry for Bond/Warehousing:
34. A separate form of bill of entry is used for clearance of goods for warehousing. All documents as required to be attached with a Bill of Entry for home consumption are also required to be filed with bill of entry for warehousing. The bill of entry is assessed in the same manner and duty payable is determined. However, since duty is not required to be paid at the time of warehousing of the goods, the purpose of assessing the goods at this stage is to secure the duty in case the goods do not reach the warehouse. The duty is paid at the time of ex-bond clearance of goods for which an ex-bond bill of entry is filed. The rate of duty applicable to imported goods cleared from a warehouse is the rate in-force on the date on which the goods are actually removed from the warehouse. (References: Bill of Entry (Forms) Regulations, 1976, ATA carnet (Form Bill of Entry and Shipping Bill) Regulations, 1990, Uncleared goods (Bill of entry) regulation, 1972, , CBEC Circulars No. 22/97, dated 4/7/1997, 63/97, dated 21/11/1997).
For clearance of export goods, the export or his agents have to undertake the following formalities:
35. The exporters have to obtain PAN based Business Identification Number(BIN) from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade prior to filing of shipping bill for clearance of export goods. Under the EDI System, PAN based BIN is received by the Customs System from the DGFT online. The exporters are also required to register authorised foreign exchange dealer code (through which export proceeds are expected to be realised) and open a current account in the designated bank for credit of any drawback incentive.
36. Whenever a new Airline, Shipping Line, Steamer Agent, port or airport comes into operation, they are required to be registered into the Customs System. Whenever, electronic processing of shipping bill etc. is held up on account of non-registration of these entities, the same is to be brought to the notice of Assistant/Deputy Commissioner in-charge of EDI System for registering the new entity in the system.
(b) Registration in the case of export under export promotion schemes:
37. All the exporters intending to export under the export promotion scheme need to get their licences/DEEC book etc. registered at the Customs Station. For such registration, original documents are required.
(c) Processing of Shipping Bill-Non-EDI:
38. Under manual system, shipping bills or, as the case may be, bills of export are required to be filed in format as prescribed in the Shipping Bill and Bill of Export (Form) regulations, 1991. The bills of export are being used if clearance of export goods is taken at the Land Customs Stations. Different forms of shipping bill/bill of export have been prescribed for export of duty free goods, export of dutiable goods and export under drawback etc.
39. Shipping Bills are required to be filed along with all original documents such as invoice, AR-4, packing list etc. The assessing officer in the Export Department checks the value of the goods, classification under Drawback schedule in case of Drawback Shipping Bills, rate of duty/cess where applicable, exportability of goods under EXIM policy and other laws inforce. The DEEC/DEPB Shipping bills are processed in the DEEC group. In case of DEEC Shipping bills, the assessing officer verifies that the description of the goods declared in the shipping bill and invoice match with the description of the resultant product as given in the DEEC book. If the assessing officer has any doubts regarding value, description of goods, he may call for samples of the goods from the docks. He may also call for any other information required by him for processing of shipping bill. He may assess the shipping bill after visual inspection of the sample or may send it for test and pass the shipping bill provisionally.
40. Once, the shipping bill is passed by the Export Department, the exporter or his agent present the goods to the shed appraiser (export) in docks for examination. The shed appraiser may mark the document to a Custom officer (usually an examiner) for examining the goods. The examination is carried out under the supervision of the shed appraiser (export). If the description and other particulars of the goods are found to be as declared, the shed appraiser gives a ‘let export’ order, after which the exporter may contact the preventive superintendent for supervising the loading of goods on to the vessel.
41. In case the examining staff in the docks finds some discrepancy in the goods, they may mark the shipping bill back to export department/DEEC group with their observations as well as sample of goods, if needed. The export department re-considers the case and decide whether export can be allowed, or amendment in description, value etc. is required before export and whether any other action is required to be taken under the Customs Act, 1962 for mis-declaration of description of value etc.
(d) Processing of Shipping Bill-EDI:
42. 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. For export items which are subject to export cess, the TR-6 challans for cess is printed and given by the Service Center to the exporter/CHA immediately after submission of shipping bill. The cess can be paid on the strength of the challan at the designated bank. No copy of shipping bill is made available to exporter/CHA at this stage.
(e) Octroi procedure, Quota Allocation and Other certification for Export Goods:
43. The quota allocation label is required to be pasted on the export invoice. The allocation number of AEPC is to be entered in the system at the time of shipping bill entry. The quota certification of export invoice needs to be submitted to Customs along-with other original documents at the time of examination of the export cargo. For determining the validity date of the quota, the relevant date needs to be the date on which the full consignment is presented to the Customs for examination and duly recorded in the Computer System. In EDI System at Delhi Air cargo, the quota information is automatically verified from the AEPC/TEXPROCIL system.
44. Since the shipping bill is generated only after the ‘let export order’ is given by Customs, the exporter may make use of export invoice or such other document as required by the Octroi authorities for the purpose of Octroi exemption.
(f) Arrival of Goods at Docks:
45. The goods brought for the purpose of examination and subsequent ‘let export’ is allowed entry to the Dock on the strength of the checklist and other declarations filed by the exporter in the Service Center. The Port authorities have to endorse the quantity of goods actually received on the reverse of the Check List.
(g) System Appraisal of Shipping Bills:
46. In many cases the Shipping Bill is processed by the system on the basis of declarations made by the exporters without any human intervention. In other cases where the Shipping Bill is processed on screen by the Customs Officer, he may call for the samples, if required for confirming the declared value or for checking classification under the Drawback Schedule. He may also give any special instructions for examination of goods, if felt necessary.
(h) Status of Shipping Bill:
47. The exporter/CHA can check up with the query counter at the Service Center whether the Shipping Bill submitted by them in the system has been cleared or not, before the goods are brought into the Docks for examination and export. In case any query is raised, the same is required to be replied through the service center or in case of CHAs having EDI connectivity through their respective terminals. The Customs officer may pass the Shipping Bill after all the queries have been satisfactorily replied to.
(i) Customs Examination of Export Cargo:
48. After the receipt of the goods in the dock, the exporter/CHA may contact the Customs Officer designated for the purpose present the check list with the endorsement of Port Authority and other declarations as aforesaid along with all original documents such as, Invoice and Packing list, AR-4, etc. Customs Officer may verify the quantity of the goods actually received and enter into the system and thereafter mark the Electronic Shipping Bill and also hand over all original documents to the Dock Appraiser of the Dock who many assign a Customs Officer for the examination and intimate the officers’ name and the packages to be examined, if any, on the check list and return it to the exporter or his agent.
49. The Customs Officer may inspect/examine the shipment along with the Dock Appraiser. The Customs Officer enters the examination report in the system. He then marks the Electronic Bill along with all original documents and checklist to the Dock Appraiser. If the Dock Appraiser is satisfied that the particulars entered in the system conform to the description given in the original documents and as seen in the physical examination, he may proceed to allow “let export” for the shipment and inform the exporter or his agent.
(j) Variation Between the Declaration & Physical Examination:
50. The check list and the declaration along with all original documents is retained by the Appraiser concerned. In case of any variation between the declaration in the Shipping Bill and physical documents/examination report, the Appraiser may mark the Electronic Shipping Bill to the Assistant Commissioner/Deputy Commissioner of Customs (Exports). He may also forward the physical documents to Assistant Commissioner/Deputy Commissioner of Customs (Exports) and instruct the exporter or his agent to meet the Assistant Commissioner/Deputy Commissioner of Customs (Exports) for settlement of dispute. In case the exporter agrees with the views of the Department, the Shipping Bill needs to be processed accordingly. Where, however, the exporter disputes the view of the Department principles of natural justice is required to be followed before finalisation of the issue.
(k) Stuffing / Loading of Goods in Containers
51. The exporter or his agent should hand over the exporter copy of the shipping bill duly signed by the Appraiser permitting “Let Export” to the steamer agent who may then approach the proper officer (Preventive Officer) for allowing the shipment. In case of container cargo the stuffing of container at Dock is dome under Preventive Supervision. Loading of both containerized and bulk cargo is done under Preventive Supervision. The Customs Preventive Superintendent (Docks) may enter the particulars of packages actually stuffed in to the container, the bottle seal number particulars of loading of cargo container on board into the system and endorse these details on the exporter copy of the shipping bill presented to him by the steamer agent. If there is a difference in the quantity/number of packages stuffed in the containers/goods loaded on vessel the Superintendent (Docks) may put a remark on the shipping bill in the system and that shipping bill requires amendment or changed quantity. Such shipping bill also may not be taken up for the purpose of sanction of Drawback/DEEC logging, till the shipping bill is suitably amended for the changed quantity. The Customs Preventive Officer supervising the loading of container and general cargo in to the vessel may give “Shipped on Board” endorsement on the exporters copy of the shipping bill.
(l) Drawal of Samples:
52. 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. There is no separate register for recording dates of samples drawn. Three copies of the test memo are prepared by the Customs Officer and are signed by the Customs Officer and Appraising Officer on behalf of Customs and the exporter or his agent. The disposals of the three copies of the test memo are as follows: –
• Original – to be sent along with the sample to the test agency.
• Duplicate – Customs copy to be retained with the 2nd sample.
• Triplicate – Exporter’s copy.
53. The Assistant Commissioner/Deputy Commissioner if he considers necessary, may also order for sample to be drawn for purpose other than testing such as visual inspection and verification of description, market value inquiry, etc.
54. Any correction/amendments in the checklist generated after filing of declaration can be made at the service center, provided, the documents have not yet been submitted in the system and the shipping bill number has not been generated. Where corrections are required to be made after the generation of the shipping bill No. or after the goods have been brought into the Export Dock, amendments is carried out in the following manners.
• If the goods have not yet been allowed “let export” amendments may be permitted by the Assistant Commissioner (Exports).
• Where the “Let Export” order has already been given, amendments may be permitted only by the Additional/Joint Commissioner, Custom House, in charge of export section.
55. In both the cases, after the permission for amendments has been granted, the Assistant Commissioner/Deputy Commissioner (Export) may approve the amendments on the system on behalf of the Additional /Joint Commissioner. Where the print out of the Shipping Bill has already been generated, the exporter may first surrender all copies of the shipping bill to the Dock Appraiser for cancellation before amendment is approved on the system.
(n) Export of Goods Under Claim for Drawback:
56. After actual export of the goods, the Drawback claim is processed through EDI system by the officers of Drawback Branch on first come first served basis. There is no need for filing separate drawback claims. The status of the shipping bills and sanction of DBK claim can be ascertained from the query counter set up at the service center. If any query has been raised or deficiency noticed, the same is shown on the terminal. A print out of the query/deficiency may be obtained by the authorized person of the exporter from the service center. The exporters are required to reply to such queries through the service center. The claim will come in queue of the EDI system only after reply to queries/deficiencies are entered by the Service Center.
57. All the claims sanctioned on a particular day are enumerated in a scroll and transferred to the Bank through the system. The bank credits the drawback amount in the respective accounts of the exporters. Bank may send a fortnightly statement to the exporters of such credits made in their accounts.
58. The Steamer Agent/Shipping Line may transfer electronically the EGM to the Customs EDI system so that the physical export of the goods is confirmed, to enable the Customs to sanction the drawback claims.
(o) Generation of Shipping Bills:
59. After the “let export” order is given on the system by the Appraiser, the Shipping Bill is generated by the system in two copies i.e., one Customs copy, one exporter’s copy (E.P. copy is generated after submission of EGM). After obtaining the print out the appraiser obtains the signatures of the Customs Officer on the examination report and the representative of the CHA on both copies of the shipping bill and examination report. The Appraiser thereafter signs & stamps both the copies of the shipping bill at the specified place.
60. The Appraiser also signs and stamps the original & duplicate copy of SDF. Customs copy of shipping bill and original copy of the SDF is retained along with the original declarations by the Appraiser and forwarded to Export Department of the Custom House. He may return the exporter copy and the second copy of the SDF to the exporter or his agent.
61. As regards the AEPC quota and other certifications, these are retained along with the shipping bill in the dock after the shipping bill is generated by the system. At the time of examination, apart from checking that the goods are covered by the quota certifications, the details of the quota entered into the system needs to be checked.
(p) Export General Manifest:
62. All the shipping lines/agents need to furnish the Export General Manifests, Shipping Bill wise, to the Customs electronically within 7 days from the date of sailing of the vessel.
63. Apart from lodging the EGM electronically the shipping lines need to continue to file manual EGMs along with the exporter copy of the shipping bills as per the present practice in the export department. The manual EGMs need to be entered in the register at the Export Department and the Shipping lines may obtain acknowledgements indicating the date and time at which the EGMs were received by the Export Department.
64. The above is the general procedure for export under EDI Systems. However special procedures exist for specified schemes, details of which may be obtained from the Public Notice/Standing Orders issued by the respective Commissionerates.