Export customs clearance procedures and formalities in India


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Export customs clearance procedures and formalities in India


Also read: Simplification of Indian shipping procedures for exports and Imports


Click here to read : How to export goods?

In this article, you will learn step by step procedures and formalities of export customs clearance procedures and formalities in India.Export customs clearance procedures and formalities in India copy


Export customs clearance formalities are so simplified now days. Export clearance procedures are as simple as local sales procedures. After the member of GATT – General Agreement on Tariff and Trade, India has liberalized its import and export procedures and formalities very much. Before globalization till 1992, all procedures and formalities on export and import procedures are too complicated. Introduction of software system to file documents electronically made simple to handle export and import procedures for both government and traders in export import. The fast grown electronic and telecommunication industry worldwide contributed in large way in all sectors to boost simplification of procedures and formalities in export import trade also.


Here, let us discuss present export customs clearance procedures and formalities in India. Shipping bill is the legal document to be filed mandatory for moving goods outside India by an exporter.


How to apply Shipping bill electronically?


Once after preparing invoice and packing list, based on purchase order or Letter of credit, you need to arrange export customs clearance procedures, well in advance of time of shipment mentioned in export order. You can appoint a Customs broker or you your self can complete export customs clearance formalities. Normally, a customs house agent is appointed for smooth and fast clearance procedures under export. Invoice, Packing list, SDF declaration and other specific required documents are sent to customs house agents for completion of necessary export customs formalities.


After receiving documents from exporter, Customs broker files shipping bill through customs online software system electronically. This can be done at home, office or private EDI (electronic data information) centers appointed by government, as the filing software can be downloaded from ICEGATE electronically. The generation of shipping bill number is as per serial order all over the country, as the said software is a centralized one. ICE GATE is the software service provider for Customs department of Government of India for import and export customs clearance procedures and formalities. ICE GATE opens their software system 24 hours a day to support export import trade for smooth clearance procedures in India. So the shipping bill number – the serial number of export shipping bill - generated by software is obtained by customs broker or exporter who files online on a queue basis.


The goods read for export is moved to airport, sea port or container freight station and unloads in to the respective yard of shipping carrier. The location yard is decided by carrier who places the vessel/aircraft at the allocated place where in loading of goods makes easier. Export customs procedures and formalities for inspection of goods are completed with customs officials and enter the details of examination of goods in to Export Procedures on Import and Export in Indiasoftware system online for the approval of higher officials of customs. The assessment of value of goods and other information are verified by the customs officials with necessary documentary supports if required. Customs department is also alert on the export benefits schemes filed by you (exporter) for claim by verifying with necessary supporting documents if required.


Let Export Order under export customs clearance procedures


After verifying all required information, customs authorize the assessment and inspection procedures and issue ‘Let Export Order’ as a proof of completion of export customs procedures and formalities. Then, the prints of shipping bill are generated. There are three type copies of shipping bills release this time, one for exporter’s copy, second one exchange control copy which has to be submitted with Reserve Bank of India through exporter’s bank, and third one for shipping carriers to move the cargo to port of final destination.


Update from reader Mr.Jagdish Bhatia:

This is old system of custom clearance for export. Now no 3 Shipping bills are generated. Requesting to please make necessary changes by deleting :"There are three type copies of shipping bills release this time, one for exporter’s copy, second one exchange control copy which has to be submitted with Reserve Bank of India through exporter’s bank, and third one for shipping carriers to move the cargo to port of final destination."


Export General Manifest – EGM


After obtaining the prints – hard copy - of said original shipping bills, the respective customs officials involved in the said process signs on the shipping bills and return to the exporter or their appointed Customs House Agent. Once after movement of goods from exporting country, the shipping carrier files necessary export general manifest (EGM) with customs and based on the same, customs department issue proof of export – Export promotion copy of shipping bill.



Why EP copy and EC copy under export Customs clearance formalities?


EP copy of shipping bill is taken as ‘proof of export’ by all government authorities for claiming any financial assistance from various government agencies. EP copy of shipping bill is taken as a proof of export of goods to fulfill export obligation against the benefits already obtained before exports. Another major document taken asExport formalities in India proof of export is ‘On board Bill of Lading’ issued by carrier of goods.


Once after releasing shipping bills duly signed by customs authorities, customs house agents delivers the respective shipping bill to carrier to move the cargo to destination. Exchange control copy of shipping bill is submitted with bank along with other shipping documents. The authorized dealer of exporter sends the said exchange control copy of shipping bill to Reserve Bank of India. RBI requires exchange control copy for regulating inward and outward remittance of foreign exchange. Exporter’s copy of shipping bill is retained by exporter for their future reference.


Manual shipping bills are filed at a customs location where in no facility to file electronically to complete necessary export customs clearance procedures and formalities. Such shipping bills are filed in 6 copies. Original and duplicate for customs, Triplicate and EP copy for Exporter and next two copies for carrier to load goods at port of loading. Also read - When can an exporter release bill of lading from shipping company?  Can two shipments under different schemes be under one BL/AWB to same buyer.


I hope, I have explained export customs clearance procedures and formalities in India in simple terms to make easily understand. Do wish to add more information about export customs clearance procedures and formalities in India?  Also read -   Import customs clearance procedures 


Share your experience in export customs clearance procedures in India.


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Swati Choudhary: I have visited many websites but found this website is the best website to get the knowledge for export import business. Even for start export import business it is the best. After check the details on this website I am feeling more confident & feeling as I got the best guide for my all queries related to start my own merchant export business.

punniyamoorthy: we have done one export shipment.In that shipping bill we have wrongly mention currency. shipment reached destination. now we have get the NOC from customs. pls advice what is the new process and formats to getting NOC from customs.

sudipta chatterjee: I need detail list of documents with formats for Air shipment from India to get customs clearance

nimish: sir,i want to export extremely small quantity by air. is it possible to not hire custom house agent and not be present physically there to receive custom official signed shipping bill and give it to carrier, nor i can be present there nor afford custom house agent as i have large number of shippments in very small quantity. is it possible to get zero documentation cost for export and doing everything electronically.pls help

Mansoor sheriff: Nimish i am from bangalore ,I am into export import sales ,if you have small shipment we can send through courier mode but i have to know the commodity and weight etc ,for further enquiry send me sheriffwin@gmail.com

Mallikarjuna Gupta Bhogavalli: I was going though your website How to Import and Export. It is very well documented and given. I would like to know what the process / procedure for sale of imported goods in India and covered under which provision and impact on recoverable taxes on such transactions.

Mallikarjuna Gupta Bhogavalli: I was going though your website How to Import and Export. It is very well documented and given. I would like to know what the process / procedure for sale of imported goods in India and covered under which provision and impact on recoverable taxes on such transactions.

Admin: Hi Mallikarjuna Gupta, You may collect necessary information to act as Merchant Importer/ Trader

Akhilesh Reddy: We are a customs house agent at VISAKHAPATNAM and a keen follower of your blog. Recently we done customs clearance for an exporter. Shipment particulars:Free shipping bill:CIF:After completion of formalities at the cfs because of printer problem we were unable to take print of the 6 copies of the shipping bill. Unfortunately afterwards the EGM has closed so we are unable to get the printouts. We could only get EP Copy of the Shipping Bill. Since the client requires exchange control copy of shipping bill for bank process. Is there any other alternative to obtain ec copy since copy don’t allow/entertain issue of duplicate shipping bill. Without EC copy can the exporter get be paid by the importer.

Admin: Akhilesh Reddy, The customs officer incharge at export customs location can take decision to arrange alternative methods.

Nishant Mehta: Hello, Any one can help me , how can i start my Import/ Export consultancy.

sowmi suba : i m eager to start a export business of rice. But i am having a doubts of now and then about shipping and packaging.Could u plz help me to start and countinue support. for e.g i want to send a 5 bags of rice from trichy to srilanka but i donot know where to keep the bags and where to approach the person to load and unload.

Dashpreet singh : i was in Lecong ,china ,now shifted back to India and doing trading in furniture. As i was in china ,so i was taking care of things in china only and my partner see all the issues in India,but actually he was cheating on my and manipulate all things in his favor ,as i don't know about custom relating things in India ,so i broke the partnership and start my own ,but for that ,i have do research about procedures of custom clearance in India . In this your website and blogs really help me out . I am a young Guy ,so your valuable guidance is high needed.

lograj nadar: hie gentleman, i am lograj nadar from navi mumbai panvel city i hold my own family business as a CHA and my own courier business also where in both i have a equal number of work involved as movement of goods we do for domestic and international shipment with a very reasonable rate followed and client regarding with less paper work can go with our courier service my email id lograj_nadar@yahoo.com

ankit singh: Sir, what is the format of commercial invoice and packing list.

AJIT SINGH CHAUHAN: what documents required for custom clearance for export the goods by ships.

Umakant Mishra: Sir what is the Difference between ARE-1 & ARE-2 for Export Goods.

ABDUL RAUF: what is the procedure for exporting natural organic coconut oil from maharashtra, nhava sheva port. What documents required.

Sydney Naidoo: Hi...I have sent a good second hand cellphone as a gift to my future wife in India to chat to me via skype. I sent it via DHL South Africa. I have a problem it is still at Bangalore Customs...Customs want noc documents from MOEF of India and then only will she receive it at her place in South India....Please help...?

Lisaprayor: A friend of mines from Michigan need a clearance document for her goods. How do she go about getting that? They're giving her 48hrs. This happened 7/21/15 please contact me ASAP

Satyavir: I am an exporter. I purchase goods from China and sell directly from china factory to European Countries. What are the formalities I have to follow under customs or banks.

Brijraj Hada: we are exporter, buying goods from Ahmedabad and exporting via Nhava Sheva, filling up ARE-1 form, we are asked to give our range & zone, etc., we are based in Dahisar east, we understand that we should claim rebate after export, that should be Nhava Sheva, Range, if yes, then need the proper details with address, to fill up in form, of Nhava sheva, if no the what will be correct one, thanks,

pankaj singh: sir i am accountant in manufacturing unit but know i want to go in export and import line sir please tell me about tax structure and what is requirment for start my job

fahad: sir, three copies of shipping bill generate after getting let export order from the appraisal officer. 1.exporter's copy 2.exchange control copy can you tell me the name of the third copy that we will submit for the shipping carrier.. if i am not wrong we will get all signs in exporter's copy and that copy will submit with boat note to the tally clerk at CHA association office and the carrier's agent will collect exporter's copy from there.. if i am wrong please rectify my error sir.. thank you..

ARPIT SHAH: which copies of lorry receipt to be sent along with goods if we will export the goods by land for NEPAL through letter of credit

VIBHOR SINGH: Can any body send me the process of export from india to europe (only headings needed)complete procedure

Harry PEREZ : We just launching a new activity of trading of waste paper and scraps plastics and that's why I need your help please. I would like to know all the steps to export from Europe to India paper waste and plastics scraps please.

Uzair Khan: I am an engineer graduate from Bangalore. I have a hobby of studying aircraft designs and planning to build one, and currently I am in the process of buying wood material to start my project. As most of the material required is not available in India I have to buy them from US. Currently I am planning to buy small wood stock to start one part of the airplane and the product is worth approx $200, almost 14,000 in Indian rupees.I would like to know all the legalities and custom clearances required for me to do, so that the shipment reaches without damage (even small damages in the working material can make the material useless in construction of aircraft).

Siddharth Singh : Today i was going through your blog about "import and export". I wanted to start a company and i want help to open and establish a import and export business. So could you pls tell me who can help me to open a company and get required government clearance Down the line i would need a help to get some idea to start and established the business. Currently i am in UAE so i think it may help me to do someting.

Shiva Kumar : i need to learn and know customs clearance procedures import and export in india , please guide me , which book i need to bay to learn all clearance procedures from Shipper to Consignee , also including Freight forwards details also Logistics.

Bharat Reddy : I Bharat Reddy K S from Bellary Karnataka owning a multi brand car work shop with firm name Credible Automotives. I would like to stat import and export businesses for better income. So could please suggest me the best ways to do the business in successful. And also please let me know the difficulties and investment details for this businesses to start.

Vikash Jain: What is APO and CCR?

Marcus: I am a truck driver in Chicago. I'm looking into exporting & learning Hindi, hoping to create light in darkness. Thank you. You're awesome. I wish I could download this site into my brain. Bless your work and intent.

vikram: I like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Vikram and I'm planning to start my export business from Bangalore. I have decided to export rice from India to Qatar. Sir, I like to meet you once to seek advice and guidance. It would be very kind of you, if you could spare some time, so that i can come to your office or any place you may feel comfortable.

vasu goel : While reading online, i got hold of your website and find it very interesting. My name is Vasu Goel. I am currently in my final year of Civil Engineering from Noida, Uttar Pradesh. My father has manufacturing and export firm of "hard goods" in Moradabad. I want your advice on a personal level regarding my career. It is decided for sure that i have to continue my father's business.What i am not able to comprehend is that what should i do immediately after my graduation?

Anshul: I saw your website howtoexportimport.com and found it very useful. You are doing a commendable job by sharing the information. I have a query if you can please help in this. I have a parcel stuck with custom department in New Delhi, India. The parcel is coming from USA. The parcel contains one piece of stone. The parcel is sent to me as gift from one of my friend from USA. Now the parcel is stuck at the custom department. I like to request if you could please suggest some solutions for this. Also will this attract dutyon the article? Normally how much time will it take to get it cleared from custom. Incase if i did not collect the parcel, will it go back to the sender or it will be disposed off. Please suggest.

Akshay Ashani : I am Akshay Ashani, a recent engineering graduate from Mumbai, Maharashtra. I am about to start an export business and have been reading from your website Your articles have been extremely helpful in understanding most of the concepts related to exporting. I think you will make a great mentor Mr Surendran because of your extensive experience in exports and customs. I am still in the process of registration and need your guidance on the actual procedure i will need to go through once i procure an order.

Venkatesh: I am Venkatesh from Bangalore planning to start export import agency. I request your guidance before proceeding

Imtiyaj hussain: Dear sir. I gave export some material to Qatar. Something 100 ton material by ship

Sumeet Vyas: sir, we want to do self export of gold jewelry through mumbai custom or mumbai airport. we are leading exporter. and we have export house certificate. can you please us? our company name is A R GOLD PVT LTD.

SHAKIL K KAZI: Dear Sir, Need your support to know the Mandatory documents required for Export of Used Cooking Oil from India and freely exporting countries accepting the same. Regards ' Shakil K Kazi.

Arun Baid: Dear Sir, \I want to start exporting Onions & Rice to UAE. Can you please inform how & from whom do I get to know the export formalities from packaging to shipment.

ajay kumar : Who provide details of container number and seal number in case fcl shipments CHA or Freight forwarder and how? What is gated in term in shipping?

Andy : I am a director of trade company White Lynx, we have sell machines from China to Ukraine, Poland and other Country in EU! Now we are want to sell our paper cup machines to India, but don't know about customs clearance. I have find your website, so maybe you can help me in business organization in India. I need understand what I need in Yours country for delivery and customs clearance for paper cup machines. Thank you for understanding and help. Maybe you can calculate also!

Ryan H: I found your website very helpful while trying to learn about importing from China to the USA via sea shipping.I was wondering if you had experience doing so, and if so, could you recommend a shipping agent to me that could help with me door to door from China, FOB Ningbo?

Jinshen Chen: I am interested in the business about the courier service for India. I would like to question the fallowing: 1. Do you provide the Clearance service in India 2. If the answer of question 1 is yes, could you please let me know how is the procedures of clearance in India. 3. If possible I help my customer ship the small packages to India from Canda( Door to Door)

karansudha80@gmail.com: water export formalities from india pls replay the answer

Tushar : I exported one consignment to Singapore. After export I realized that in the shipping bill currency mentioned was in USD wheras the order was in Singapore Dollar. How can amend the Shipping bill in customs? Kindly suggest

Sushil Ladda : I am very glade to visit this site. further any question regard import export pls. help . Or how can I contact.

Seyon sm : My name is Karthick from Chennai. I have started a new business of exporting seed for oil extraction to European countries. I have read most of your articles relating to import and export which is very useful. But still I have some basic doubts , hope you would help me . Please advise me what are the documents required to export seed for oil extraction . What are the licenses that I should I posses for exporting seed.

Mithun barai : Sri I am new for export .. IEC just found.... What is the next step for export.. My buyer is ready(in Bangladesh) .. My item is ready made garments.... Please help me.

Jagdish Bhatia: This is old system of custom clearance for export. Now no 3 Shipping bills are generated. Requesting to please make necessary changes by deleting :"There are three type copies of shipping bills release this time, one for exporter’s copy, second one exchange control copy which has to be submitted with Reserve Bank of India through exporter’s bank, and third one for shipping carriers to move the cargo to port of final destination."

Najma Qureshi: The importer and exporter of the goods should submit valid documents to clear this process. The whole process of importing goes through callinfg os vessel, filing import general manifest, post verification operations and filing bill of entry. Thanks Najma Qureshi Three Lines Shipping

Bhupahi: Informative information thanks for share your knowledge.

P.JAISHANKAR: Dear All, used 709 with crane Export to Maldives wich documents requirement

Jainam Shah: Dear Sir, Plz let me know what procedure to be done as a Company A(me) in following scenario: Company A is the quarry owner (me) based in Gujarat Company B is a UK/Italy based company (the end client) Company C is a processing house in Rajasthan. Please note that the form of the material changes after processing from blocks to slabs. B is doing a deal with A to buy raw blocks. Separately, B is doing a deal for processing with C. B wants to pay A (me) for the blocks and wants A to give him a quote that includes price of material and transport charges from A's quarry in Gujarat to C's factory in Rajasthan. Then separately B wants to pay C for processing and transportation of processed material upto loading on to the ship (FOB). 1. Now in this situation, what procedures are to be followed? 2. Can A take foreign exchange for the blocks and transport to Rajasthan even though the block is not being sent across the custom border by A? 3. What happens if C does not file proper paperwork to show that the consignment is the processed slabs of the raw material provided by A?

pathak: We are glad to inform you that,We are looking for the custome clearance agents to clear our Copper trade in Indian ports. We already have reliable supplier for copper & other metals but being a beginner we required reliable CHA to compete the entire process.Kindly suggest & do the needful.

mallika shankar: I am planning to export wood cold pressed cooking oil . I am a sole proprietor. Can someone please guide me from step 1 of how to go about with export. I have yet to quote my rate . Should the shipping and packing cost be mentioned separately . Please help me

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