What is Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)?

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)


Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is may be defined as the interchange of electronic data between computer system through standard interfaces. It is simply the sending of files/data electronically. 

EDI system is operating at customs offices for smooth handling international trade operations. The main benefits of EDI are its capability to reduce the cost and time required for reproducing information that the Exporters or Importers used to give on paper. This gives ability to the Customs Department to concentrate its resources in core activities, such as inspecting the consignments for illegal Imports / Exports, smuggling, evasion of Duty etc. In short, the Import / Export clearances, which once took many days to clear and make hassle to shippers, can be processed now in minutes with the aid of EDI with easiness.

Some of the advantages of EDI are:

  • Speed:  EDI System is fully-automated, quick and paperless. This facilitates improved customs clearance and inspection procedures. Notifications of releases are speeded up as a result of the electronic releases being generated automatically.
  • Removes processing delays.
  • As mentioned before, Time and Cost Savings.
  • Certainty and Fairness
  • Round the Clock Facility
  • Fewer: Errors and Duplications made by human interpretation of data
  • Reduces paper handling, filing, storage and mailing costs
  • Transparency of the movement of the documents.
  • Harmonised business relationships with other bodies such as Ports, DGFT Airlines, Container Depots etc.


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