Understanding the Import & Export Procedure in India

Any business that has plans for expansion find export and import platforms as lucrative opportunities. Besides offering a lot of business opportunities to invest in, the platforms are also safe with a guarantee of secure money transactions from both the ends. Any business can take its transactions to international import and export platform, however, to ensure that you perform profitably on this platform, it is essential that you understand the form of trade here. The procedure of selling and procuring domestically produced material from the market is complicated and must be done as per the guidelines.

Key points about Import & Export Procedure, include:

1- Procuring an Import Export Code (IEC)

The first thing you will need to perform an import-export trade is the IMPORT Export Code, also known as IEC. You can avail of the code from the DGFT website. It will take you around 15 days to complete the procedure and get an IEC.

The DGFT website is the best source to gain knowledge about the import and export procedures. You can learn about the products and services that are in high demand in other countries as well as various products and services restrictions.

2- What documents do I need for an IEC registration?

The essential documents that you would need to procure the IEC registration include:
• Pan Card
• Canceled Cheque
• Photograph of the applicant

Ensure that you have all these documents handy while applying for the IEC code.

3- Complete legal compliance for the product

Once you have obtained an IEC Code, you must check whether or not your product complies with the legal rules. The business must comply with section 11 of the Customs Act of 1962, Foreign Trade Development and Regulation Act (1992) as well as with the Foreign Trade Policy. This will help you get complete knowledge about products that are restricted to procure or sell in any country.

4- Understanding the Harmonized System of Coding (HS Code)

When you are planning to get into the business of Import & Export, you must have a clear understanding of the Harmonized System of Coding, also known as the HS Code. The code helps you with the identification of a product or service. It is an 8-digit code that has various products and services categorized under a harmonized system. The coding of each product is done by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) office.

5- Getting an Import License

To start an import-export business as an importer, it is important to procure the Import license and understand the procedure.

There are two types of import license categories:

• A general license
• An individual license

While the general license allows you to procure goods and services from any country, the choice of country is restricted in case of an individual license. The license plays a key role in the renewal and clearance procedure of the products.

If you are willing to be an Exporter, you too have to apply for a license with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (or DGFT) office. You will also need to register your business with the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) wherein you must mention that the product you are exporting is of Indian origin and ideal for sale in international markets.

6- Important documents for import and export business

Once you have registered yourself as an export or import business, you must submit a few documents both commercial and regulatory.

Some of the commercial documents, as mentioned under the Foreign Trade Policy, 2015-2020, include:

• Commercial invoice cum packing bill
• Bill of lading / Airway bill
• Shipping bill or bill of exports
• Bill of entry or bill of imports

The regulatory documents are submitted to various bodies such as licensing, customs, excise or the export promotion councils,

Key regulatory documents include:

• GST returns, which includes both the GSTR 1 and GSTR 2
• GSTR refund form
• Bank Realization Certificate
• RCMC or Registration cum Membership Certificate to avail benefits in the form of concessions

These are the key export and import procedures in India that you need to follow to get authorized as a business with a permit to export or import goods and services from and to the country.