On receiving an export order, it should be examined carefully in respect of items, specification, payment conditions, packaging, delivery schedule, etc. and then the order should be confirmed. Accordingly, the exporter may enter into a formal contract with the overseas buyer.
After confirmation of the export order, immediate steps may be taken for procurement / manufacture of the goods meant for export. It should be remembered that the order has been obtained with much efforts and competition so the procurement should also be strictly as per buyer’s requirement.
In today’s competitive era, it is important to be strict quality conscious about the export goods. Some products like food and agriculture, fishery, certain chemicals, etc. are subject to compulsory pre-shipment inspection. Foreign buyers may also lay down their own standards / specifications and insist upon inspection by their own nominated agencies. Maintaining high quality is necessary to sustain in export business.
Exporters are eligible to obtain pre-shipment and post-shipment finance from Commercial Banks at concessional interest rates to complete the export transaction. Packing Credit advance in pre-shipment stage is granted to new exporters against lodgment of L/C or confirmed order for 180 days to meet working capital requirements for purchase of raw material / finished goods, labor expenses, packing, transporting, etc. Normally Banks give 75% to 90% advances of the value of the order keeping the balance as margin. Banks adjust the packing credit advance from the proceeds of export bills negotiated, purchased or discounted.
Post Shipment finance is given to exporters normally up to 90% of the Invoice value for normal transit period and in cases of usance export bills up to notional due date. The maximum period for post-shipment advances is 180 days from the date of shipment. Advances granted by Banks are adjusted by realization of the sale proceeds of the export bills. In case export bill becomes overdue Banks will charge commercial lending rate of interest.
Labeling, Packaging, Packing and Marking
The export goods should be labeled, packaged and packed strictly as per the buyer’s specific instructions. Good packaging delivers and presents the goods in top condition and in attractive way. Similarly, good packing helps easy handling, maximum loading, reducing shipping costs and to ensuring safety and standard of the cargo. Marking such as address, package number, port and place of destination, weight, handling instructions, etc. provides identification and information of cargo packed.
Marine insurance policy covers risks of loss or damage to the goods during the while the goods are in transit. Generally in CIF contract the exporters arrange the insurance whereas for C&F and FOB contract the buyers obtain insurance policy.
It is important feature of export and the exporter must adhere the delivery schedule. Planning should be there to let nothing stand in the way of fast and efficient delivery.
It is necessary to obtain PAN based Business Identification Number (BIN) from the Customs prior to filing of shipping bill for clearance of export good and open a current account in the designated bank for crediting of any drawback amount and the same has to be registered on the system.
In case of Non-EDI, the shipping bills or bills of export are required to be filled in the format as prescribed in the Shipping Bill and Bill of Export (Form) regulations, 1991. An exporter need to apply different forms of shipping bill / bill of export for export of duty free goods, export of dutiable goods and export under drawback etc.
Under EDI System, declarations in prescribed format are to be filed through the Service Centers of Customs. A checklist is generated for verification of data by the exporter / CHA. After verification, the data is submitted to the System by the Service Center operator and the System generates a Shipping Bill Number, which is endorsed on the printed checklist and returned to the exporter / CHA. In most of the cases, a Shipping Bill is processed by the system on the basis of declarations made by the exporters without any human intervention. Where the Appraiser Dock (export) orders for samples to be drawn and tested, the Customs Officer may proceed to draw two samples from the consignment and enter the particulars thereof along with details of the testing agency in the ICES.
Any correction/amendments in the check list generated after filing of declaration can be made at the service center, if the documents have not yet been submitted in the system and the shipping bill number has not been generated. In situations, where corrections are required to be made after the generation of the shipping bill number or after the goods have been brought into the Export Dock, amendments is carried out in the following manners.
The goods have not yet been allowed "let export" amendments may be permitted by the Assistant Commissioner (Exports).
Where the "Let Export" order has already been given, amendments may be permitted only by the Additional / Joint Commissioner, Custom House, in charge of export section.
In both the cases, after the permission for amendments has been granted, the Assistant Commissioner / Deputy Commissioner (Export) may approve the amendments on the system on behalf of the Additional / Joint Commissioner. Where the print out of the Shipping Bill has already been generated, the exporter may first surrender all copies of the shipping bill to the Dock Appraiser for cancellation before amendment is approved on the system.
Exporters may avail services of Customs House Agents licensed by the Commissioner of Customs. They are professionals and facilitate work connected with clearance of cargo from Customs.
FTP 2015-2020 describe the following mandatory documents for import and export.
Bill of Lading / Airway bill
Commercial invoice cum packing list
Shipping bill / bill of export / bill of entry (for imports)
(Other documents like certificate of origin, inspection certificate etc. may be required as per the case.)
Submission of documents to Bank
After shipment, it is obligatory to present the documents to the Bank within 21 days for onward dispatch to the foreign Bank for arranging payment. Documents should be drawn under Collection / Purchase / Negotiation under L/C as the case may be, along with the following documents:
Bill of Exchange
Letter of Credit (if shipment is under L/C)
Airway Bill / Bill of Lading
Declaration under Foreign Exchange
Certificate of Origin / GSP
Inspection Certificate, wherever necessary
Any other document as required in the L/C or by the buyer or statutorily.
Realization of Export Proceeds
As per FTP 2015-2020, all export contracts and invoices shall be denominated either in freely convertible currency of Indian rupees, but export proceeds should be realized in freely convertible currency except for export to Iran. Export proceeds should be realized in 9 months.