Regulatory Documents used in Export/Import Documentation

Regulatory documents are otherwise called as Official documents, because most of these documents are required for compliance of regulations of either the exporter’s country or the importer’s country.

1. Export Declaration Forms

As per Indian Exchange Control Regulations, details of all goods (except certain exempted categories) by whatever means exported from India, are required to be declared on certain specified forms. These forms are known as Export Declaration Forms. These forms are evolved by the Reserve Bank of India to ensure that the value of all the goods exported from India is declared and the foreign exchange due there is repatriated to India. In export trade, the goods leave under the supervision of one agency (Customs/Post Office) and proceeds thereof are received through another agency (banks, etc.) These export declaration forms are so designed that they can have an effective check over the cycle of movement of goods out of India and receipt of their value in foreign exchange into India, These forms enable the Reserve Bank of India to compile vital foreign trade data of the country and also to exercise control over the exporter/ export activities. These export declaration forms have two important aspects: one is the declaration of the exporter as to the nature and exact (or appropriate market value in case exact value is not ascertainable at the time of import) value of goods being exported. The second is an undertaking of the exporter to realize the full export value declared thereon and repatriate the same into India. All these forms bear distinct serial numbers with a two-alphabet prefix followed by a six-digit numeral. Each form has a specific validity date by which the same can be used for shipment. Presently the following types of such forms will be printed only by  Reserve Bank of India for sale to authorized dealers for supply to their exporter clients:

  1. GR FORM: This form in duplicate is to be used when exports are made to all countries otherwise than by post.
  2. PP FORM: This form is also in duplicate and should be used when exports are made to any country by post parcel except when on “Value Payable” or “Cash on Delivery” basis.
  3. SOFTEX FORM: This form is to be used when the computer software is being exported in a non-physical form. This form has to be submitted in triplicate.

2. Export Certificate

Certain goods can be exported from India subject to conditions of export licensing policy, etc. For example, the Government may restrict the quantity of exports to be made or the goods may be followed to be exported out of quantitative restrictions placed by the importer’s country under the trade arrangements/ agreements. In such cases, the goods will be allowed to be exported (and imported into the country of import) only when an export certificate is issued. Generally these certificates are issued by the agencies like Commodity Boards, Export Promotion Councils nominated by Government of India. For example, Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Councils issues export certificates for export of cotton textiles to EEC (European Economic Community) countries in terms of trade agreements between Government of India and EEC nations. This certificate may be needed for verification by the Customs of both, exporter’s/ Importer’s country.

3. Certificate of Origin

The certificate of origin indicates the country where the goods were originally produced/manufactured. Generally in a certificate of origin of goods, on the basis of declaration made by the manufacturer/exporter, an independent agency like Chamber of Commerce, Export Promotion Council, Trade Association or any other body, which is authorized in this behalf issues a certificate of origin of goods.

This document may form part of the invoice itself or may be a separate document.

In any of the countries, permission to import is refused unless a certificate of origin is produced. Further, this is also used to determine the concessional tariff rates applicable to the goods. Certificate of origin is used mostly to serve/ ensure the following :

  1. Some countries may not wish to use the goods of a particular country or enemy country.
  2. Some countries may not wish a particular country to export the goods manufactured in another country to avoid intermediary trade or avoiding competition from the goods manufactured by a competing country and to encourage their own country.
  3. Some countries may allow import of goods manufactured in certain countries at concessional tariff rates (for example, Generalized System of Preference Scheme of GATT)

Credit: International Trade-MGU MBA.

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