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Provisions regarding imports and exports

Provisions regarding imports and exports :


1. Exports and imports are free unless regulated: Exports and Imports shall be free, except where regulated by FTP or any other law in force. The item wise export and import policy shall be specified in ITC(HS) notified by DGFT from time to time. These are classified as – (a) Free (b) Restricted (c) Prohibited (d) Exclusive trading through State Trading Enterprise (STEs).

2. Compliance with laws: Every exporter or importer shall comply with the provisions of the FT (D&R) Act, the rules and orders made there-under, the FTP and terms and conditions of any authorization granted to him. All imported goods shall also be subject to domestic laws, rules, orders, regulations, technical specifications, environmental and safety norms as applicable to domestically produced goods unless specifically exempted.

3. Interpretation of policy: If any question or doubt arises in respect of interpretation of any provision, said question or doubt shall be referred to DGFT whose decision thereon shall be final and binding.

4. Procedure: DGFT may specify procedure to be followed by an exporter or importer or by any licencing or any other competent authority for the purpose of implementing provisions of Foreign Trade Act, the rules and the orders made there-under and FTP. Such procedures shall be published in Hand Book of Procedures by means of a Public Notice, and may, in like manner, be amended from time to time.

5. Exemption from Policy/Procedure: DGFT may pass such orders or grant such relaxation or relief, as he may deem fit and proper, on grounds of genuine hardship and adverse impact on trade. DGFT may, in public interest, exempt any person or class or category of persons from any provision of FTP or any procedure and may, while granting such exemption, impose such conditions as he may deem fit.

6. Principles of Restriction: DGFT may, through a notification, adopt and enforce any measure necessary for:

(a) Protection of:-

(i) public morals.

(ii) human, animal or plant life or health.

(iii) patents, trademarks and copyrights and the prevention of deceptive practices.

(iv) national treasures of artistic, historic or archaeological value

(v) trade of fissionable material or material from which they are derived

(b) Prevention of traffic in arms, ammunition and implements of war and use of prison labour.

(c) Conservation of exhaustible natural resources.

7. Export/import of restricted goods/services: Any goods/services, export or import of which is restricted under ITC(HS) may be exported or imported only in accordance with an Authorization or in terms of a public notice/notification issued in this regard.

8. Terms and Conditions of an authorization: Every Authorization shall be valid for prescribed period of validity and shall, inter alia, include the following terms and conditions (as applicable) in addition to such other conditions as may be specified:

(a) Quantity, description and value of goods;

(b) Actual User condition;

(c) Export obligation;

(d) Minimum Value Addition to be achieved;

(e) Minimum export/ import price; and

(f) Bank Guarantee/ Legal Undertaking/ Bond with Customs Authority/ RA.

9. Authorization not a right: No person may claim an Authorization as a right and DGFT or RA shall have power to refuse to grant or renew the same in accordance with provisions of FT(D&R) Act, rules made there under and FTP.

10. Penalty: If an authorization holder violates any condition of such authorization or fails to fulfill export obligation, he shall be liable for action in accordance with FT (D&R) Act, the Rules and Orders made there under, FTP and any other law for time being in force.

11. State Trading Enterprises (STEs): STEs are governmental and non-governmental enterprises, including marketing boards, which deal with goods for export and/or import. Any goods, import or export of which is governed through exclusive or special privileges granted to State Trading Enterprises [STE(s)], may be imported or exported by STE(s) as per conditions specified in ITC(HS). DGFT may, however, grant an authorization to any other person to import or export any of these goods.

12. Importer-Exporter Code (IEC): It is a unique 10 digit code issued by DGFT to a person. IEC is mandatory to export any goods out of India or to import any goods into India unless specifically exempt. Permanent Account Number (PAN) is pre-requisite for grant of an IEC. Only one IEC can be issued against a single PAN.

An application for IEC is to be made manually to the nearest RA (Regional Authority) of DGFT or alternatively, it can be filed online, in Form ANF 2A and shall be accompanied by prescribed documents. In case of STPI/ EHTP/ BTP units, the Regional Offices of the DGFT having jurisdiction over the district in which the Registered/ Head Office of the STPI unit is located shall issue or amend the IECs.

13. Trade with neighbouring countries: DGFT may issue instructions or frame schemes as may be required to promote trade and strengthen economic ties with neighbouring countries.

14. Transit facility: Transit of goods through India from/ or to countries adjacent to India shall be regulated in accordance with bilateral treaties between India and those countries and will be subject to such restrictions as may be specified by DGFT in accordance with international conventions.

15. Mandatory documents for export/import of goods from/into India:

(a) Mandatory documents required for export of goods from India:

1. Bill of Lading/Airway Bill/Lorry Receipt/Railway Receipt/Postal Receipt

2. Commercial Invoice cum Packing List*

3. Shipping Bill/Bill of Export

(b) Mandatory documents required for import of goods into India

1. Bill of Lading/Airway Bill/Lorry Receipt/Railway Receipt/Postal Receipt

2. Commercial Invoice cum Packing List*

3. Bill of Entry

*Note: As per CBEC Circular No. 01/15-Customs dated 12/01/2015, separate Commercial Invoice and Packing List would also be accepted.


1. Actual user condition: Goods which are importable without any restriction, may be imported by any person. However, if such imports require an Authorization, actual user alone may import such goods unless actual user condition is specifically dispensed with by DGFT.

2. Second hand goods: Import of second hand capital goods, including refurbished/ reconditioned spares shall be allowed freely. However, second hand personal computers/ laptops, photocopier machines, air conditioners, diesel generating sets will only be allowed against authorisation. Second hand (used) goods, [except second hand capital goods], shall be restricted for imports and may be imported only against Authorization.

3. Removal of scrap/ waste from SEZ: Any waste or scrap or remnant including any form of metallic waste & scrap generated during manufacturing or processing activities of an SEZ Unit/ Developer/ Co-developer shall be allowed to be disposed in DTA (Domestic Tariff Area) freely, subject to payment of applicable customs duty.

4. Import of gifts and samples: Import of gifts shall be permitted where such goods are otherwise freely importable under ITC(HS). In other cases, a Customs Clearance Permit (CCP) shall be required from DGFT. Further, import of samples shall be governed by the prescribed procedures. Authorisation for import of samples is required only in case of vegetable seeds, bees and new drugs. Samples of tea upto ` 2,000 (CIF) per consignment
will be allowed without authorization. Samples upto ` 3,00,000 can be imported by all exporters without duty.

5. Passenger Baggage:

(a) Bonafide household goods and personal effects may be imported as part of passenger baggage as per limits, terms and conditions thereof in the Baggage Rules, 1998.

(b) Samples of such items that are otherwise freely importable under FTP may also be imported as part of passenger baggage without an Authorization.

(c) Exporters coming from abroad are also allowed to import drawings, patterns, labels, price tags, buttons, belts, trimming and embellishments required for export, as part of their passenger baggage without an Authorization.

Note: Baggage provisions have been discussed in detail in Chapter -7- Importation, Exportation and Transportation of Goods.

6. Re-import of goods repaired abroad: Capital goods, equipments, components, parts and accessories, whether imported or indigenous, except those restricted under ITC(HS) may be sent abroad for repairs, testing, quality improvement or upgradation or standardization of technology and re-imported without an Authorization.

7. Import of goods used in projects abroad: After completion of projects abroad, project contractors may import, without an Authorization, goods including capital goods used in the project provided they have been used for at least one year.

8. Sale on high seas: Sale of goods on high seas for import into India may be made subject to FTP or any other law in force.

9. Import under lease financing: It is freely permitted. Permission of Regional Authority is not required for import of capital goods under lease financing. However, RBI approval is required in some cases.

10. Clearance of goods from customs: Goods already imported/ shipped/ arrived, in advance, but not cleared from customs may also be cleared against an Authorization issued subsequently. However, this facility will not be available to restricted items or items traded through STEs.

11. Execution of BG/ LUT: Whenever goods are imported duty free or otherwise specifically stated, importer shall execute prescribed LUT (Letter of Undertaking)/ BG (Bank Guarantee)/ Bond with Customs Authority before clearance of goods. In case of indigenous sourcing, Authorization holder shall furnish LUT/ BG/ Bond to RA concerned before sourcing material from indigenous supplier/ nominated agency as per the prescribed procedures.

12. Private/ public bonded warehouses for imports: Private/ public bonded warehouses may be set up in DTA (Domestic Tariff Area) as per terms and conditions of notification issued by DoR. Any person may import goods, except prohibited items, arms and ammunition, hazardous waste and chemicals and warehouse them in such bonded warehouses. Such goods may be cleared for home consumption against authorisation, whenever required. Customs duty as applicable shall be paid at the time of clearance of such goods. If such goods are not cleared for home consumption within a period of one year or such extended period as the custom authorities may permit, importer of such goods shall re-export the goods.


1. Free exports: All goods may be exported without any restriction except to the extent that such export is regulated by ITC(HS) or any other provision of FTP or any other law for the time being in force. DGFT may however, specify through a public notice such terms and conditions according to which any goods, not included in ITC(HS), may be exported without an Authorization.

2. Export of samples: Export of samples and free of charge goods shall be governed by prescribed procedures. Export of bona fide trade and technical samples of freely exportable item shall be allowed without any limit. In case of restricted items, application should be made to DGFT. Such samples can be exported as part of passenger baggage without an Authorisation.

3. Export of passenger baggage: Bonafide personal baggage may be exported either along with passenger or, if unaccompanied, within one year before or after passenger’s departure from India. However, items mentioned as restricted in ITC(HS) shall require an Authorization. Government of India officials proceeding abroad on official postings shall, however, be permitted to carry alongwith their personal baggage, food items (free, restricted or prohibited) strictly for their personal consumption. Samples of such items that are otherwise freely exportable under FTP may also be exported as part of passenger baggage without an Authorisation.

4. Export of gifts: Goods, including edible items, of value not exceeding ` 5,00,000 in a licensing year, may be exported as a gift. However, items mentioned as restricted for exports in ITC(HS) shall not be exported as a gift, without an Authorization. For export of samples/gifts/ spares/ replacement goods (other than SCOMET items) in excess of ceiling/period, application can be made to DGFT in form ANF-2Q.

5. Export of spares: Warranty spares (whether indigenous or imported) of plant, equipment, machinery, automobiles or any other goods, [except those restricted under ITC(HS)] may be exported along with main equipment or subsequently, but within contracted warranty period of such goods subject to approval of RBI.

6. Third party exports: Third-party exports means exports made by an exporter or manufacturer on behalf of another exporter(s). In such cases, export documents such as shipping bills shall indicate name of both manufacturing exporter/manufacturer and third party exporter(s). BRC, GR declaration, export order and invoice should be in the name of third party exporter. Such third party exports shall be allowed under FTP.

7. Export of imported goods: Goods imported, in accordance with FTP, may be exported in same or substantially the same form without an Authorization, provided that an item to be imported or exported is not restricted for import or export in ITC(HS).

Exports of such goods imported against payment in freely convertible currency would be permitted provided export proceeds are realized in freely convertible currency. However, export of such goods to notified countries will be permitted in Indian rupees subject to at least 15% value addition. Such exports shall not be eligible for any export incentives.

8. Export of replacement goods: Goods or parts thereof on being exported and found defective/ damaged may be replaced free of charge by the exporter and such goods shall be allowed clearance by customs authorities, provided that replacement goods are not mentioned as restricted items for exports in ITC(HS).

9. Export of repaired goods: Goods or parts exported and found defective, damaged or otherwise unfit for use may be imported for repair and subsequent re-export. Such goods shall be allowed clearance without an Authorization and in accordance with customs notification.

However, re-export of such defective parts/spares by the Companies/firms and Original Equipment Manufacturers shall not be mandatory if they are imported exclusively for undertaking root cause analysis, testing and evaluation purpose.

10. Private Bonded Warehouses for exports: Private bonded warehouses, which are set up exclusively for exports shall be entitled to procure goods from domestic manufacturers without payment of duty. Supplies made by a domestic supplier to such notified warehouses shall be treated as physical exports provided payments are made in free foreign exchange.

11. Denomination of export contracts: All export contracts and invoices shall be denominated either in freely convertible currency or Indian rupees but export proceeds shall be realised in freely convertible currency. However, export proceeds against specific exports may also be realized in rupees, provided it is through a freely convertible Vostro account of a non resident bank situated in any country other than a member country of Asian Clearing Union (ACU) or Nepal or Bhutan. Additionally, rupee payment through Vostro account must be against payment in free foreign currency by buyer in his non-resident bank account.

Free foreign exchange remitted by buyer to his non-resident bank (after deducting the bank service charges) on account of this transaction would be taken as export realization under export promotion schemes of FTP. Contracts for which payments are received through ACU shall be denominated in ACU Dollar. Central Government may relax provisions in this regard in appropriate cases. Export contracts and invoices can be denominated in Indian rupees
against EXIM Bank/ Government of India line of credit.

12. Non-realisation of export proceeds: If an exporter fails to realise export proceeds within time specified by RBI, he shall, without prejudice to any liability or penalty under any law in force, be liable to action in accordance with provisions of FT(D&R) Act, rules and orders made thereunder and provisions of FTP.

13. Free movement of export goods: Consignments of items meant for exports shall not be withheld/ delayed for any reason by any agency of Central/ State Government. In case of any doubt, authorities concerned may ask for an undertaking from exporter and release such consignment.

14. No seizure of export related stock: No seizure of stock shall be made by any agency so as to disrupt manufacturing activity and delivery schedule of exports. In exceptional cases, concerned agency may seize the stock on basis of prima facie evidence of serious irregularity. However, such seizure should be lifted within 7 days unless the irregularities are substantiated.

D. Personal hearing by DGFT for Grievance Redressal:

Government is committed to easy and speedy redressal of grievances from Trade and Industry. As a last resort to redress grievances of Foreign Trade players, DGFT may provide an opportunity for Personal hearing before Policy Relaxation Committee (PRC) subject to fulfillment of certain conditions.

Export Promotion Councils: Basic objective of Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) is to promote and develop Indian exports. Each Council is responsible for promotion of a particular group of products, projects and services.

Registration-cum-Membership Certificate (RCMC): Any person, applying for an Authorization to import/ export, or any other benefit or concession under FTP shall be required to furnish on DGFT‟s website in the Importer Exporter profile, RCMC granted by competent authority. For instance, Certificate of Registration as Exporter of Spices (CRES) issued by Spices Board shall be treated as RCMC for the purposes under this Policy.


Mohit Sharma
Mohit Sharma

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