Import Export Procedure

Export and Import Procedure in India

Export and Import Procedure in India

India ranks 19th in terms of overall export of merchandize and 12th in terms of overall import of merchandize when compared to other countries. With more trade liberalization deals to be signed by the pro-business Indian Government, there is plenty of opportunity for establishing a successful import or export business. To undertake an import or export business, the Entrepreneur must have a strong understanding of all documentation pertaining to import or export transactions. In this article, we cover basic export procedure and import procedure in India along with the necessary documentation.

Export and Import Procedure

To being exporting or importing goods from India, the business or individual must obtain an Import Export Code or IE Code from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade. IE Code can be obtained by the business after obtaining PAN and opening a bank account. IndiaFilings can help you obtain IE Code.

Commercial Invoice

Commercial invoice is issued by the seller to the buyer containing the terms of the transaction like date of transaction, seller details, buyer details, value, shipping terms and more. Customs duty is levied on the shipment usually based on the commercial invoice raised by the seller.

Sample Commercial Invoice
Sample Commercial Invoice

Air Waybills

An airway bill is a proof of shipment of goods by air. Air waybills serve as a proof of receipt of goods for shipment by the air cargo agent, an invoice for the air shipment, a certificate of insurance and a guide to the air cargo agent for handling, dispatch and delivery of the consignment. A typical airway bill contains details about the shipper and the consignee, the departure airport and destination airport, description of the goods, sign and seal of the carrier.

Sample Air Waybill
Sample Air Waybill

Bill of Lading

Bill of Lading is provided by shipping agency for goods shipped by them. Bill of lading usually contains information pertaining to the shipper, consignee, carrying vessel, ports of loading and discharge, place of receipt and deliver, mode of payment and name of the carrier.

Sample Bill of Lading
Sample Bill of Lading

Bill of Exchange

Bill of exchange is used when an importer agrees to pay the exporter in future on a date on or before that is mutually agreed upon. Bill of exchange is an important written document in wholesale trade wherein large amounts of money is involved. Bill of exchange can be classified as bill of exchange after date and bill of exchange after sight. Bill of exchange after date is when the due date for payment is counted from the date of drawing. Bill of exchange after sight is when the due date for payment is counted from the date of acceptance of the bill.

Certificate of Origin

Certificate of origin is usually requested by the Customs Authority while clearing Customs. Certificate of Origin is used to establish the origin of the product and is issued by the Chamber of Commerce of the Exporter’s country. Certificate of origin usually contains the name and address of the exporter, details of the goods, package number or shipping marks and quantity, as applicable.

Sample Certificate of Origin
Sample Certificate of Origin

Packing List

Packing list contains detailed information about the goods being shipped, quantity, weight and packing specifications. Packing list must contain description of the goods and have details regarding the shipping marks.

Sample Export Packing List
Sample Export Packing List

Letter of Credit

Letter of Credit is an arrangement wherein a Bank on the request of it customer agrees to make payment to a beneficiary on receipt of documents from beneficiary as per the terms stipulated in the Letter of Credit. Letter of Credit or LC is used extensively in international and domestic trade transactions. Click here to know more about Letter of Credit (LC).

Sample Letter of Credit
Sample Letter of Credit

For more information about export and import procedure in India, talk to an IndiaFilings Business Advisor.

Comments (9)


Nov 19, 2015 at 4:10 PM


A friend of mine (Swiss National) want’s to know if he can start a small scale cottage industry and what would be the minimum investment. Further once he operates how long can he stay in India for developing the small scale cottage Industry.

Warm regards Chris from Cohin


Nov 20, 2015 at 1:08 AM

wanted to process a bank loan for building a play school at udamelpet TamilNadu

Contact me

sahil gupta

Nov 23, 2015 at 6:49 PM

I need to start a import export business. So, I am gathering required information and guidelines to start an IE business. I am currently working in the domestic country and needs to expand internationally.


Apr 10, 2016 at 11:59 PM

Hai my name is kamlesh .
Still I am MBA finance student
So I want start import export business
Pz help me .
What and which business is better for me .


Apr 11, 2016 at 1:01 PM

Hi kamlesh,
Please provide your email address and contact number ,so that I can ask our business adviser to call you


Apr 08, 2017 at 12:37 PM

I am Subramanian, retired government officer. I am interest in export business. Please furnish details.


Apr 13, 2017 at 3:02 AM

Sir i got an opportunity to export generator from India to Zimbawae to a company but bcoz of lack of knowledge i felt lack of confidence to do it but i tried my best and became failure. Plz help me…what kind of license should i have and what are the procedure. I will be very thankful to you for your reply


Apr 19, 2017 at 5:58 PM

Dear sir,
i want to startup the import/export business. so i want to know the process of it.


Jan 04, 2019 at 11:28 PM

Hi Sir,
I want start import and export business I stay in Bangalore so what will be the investment and what type of product is best

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