Export Quality Control and Inspection Act

Export Quality Control and Inspection Act

Export Quality Control and Inspection Act

The Export Quality Control and Inspection Act were enacted in the year 1963 to improve the overseas trade of India through quality management, assessment, and other matters. This act has undergone many changes as per the need of the policies as and when required. This Act is applicable throughout India.

Functions of the Council

  • Taking measures for the enforcement of quality control and inspection of commodities intended for export.
  • Scheduling programs on granting aid to the exporting agencies which are deemed fit for quality control and inspection.
  • Adding manpower who have specialised knowledge and practical experience in matters about trade and commodity.
  • The Council may also have specialist committees to investigate issues relevant to its roles.

Following are the orders or direction given by the Central government from time to time.

Quality Control and Inspection

The Central Government, after discussions and agreement with the Council, will publish in the Official gazette on:

  • Notifying exporters on commodities/materials that need to go through quality control, inspection, or both processes before export.
  • Specifying the type of quality control or inspection processes applied to a notified commodity/material.
  • Setting up one or more standard specifications for an informed commodity/material.
  • Prohibiting the international export of a commodity if the commodity is not accompanied by a certificate of approval by the Central Government.

Rules

The rules are made by the Central Government and notified in the Official Gazette. These rules are framed without bias. Rules may provide for:

  • Travelling and DA are payable to members of the Council.
  • Persons co-opted under this Act.
  • Functions of the Council
  • Appointment of officers and other employees of the Council
  • Procedure to be followed for various types of quality control and inspection
  • Conditions which a testing house, surveyor or sampler should satisfy for purposes of approval by the Central Government
  • Fees chargeable for examination and issue of approval export certificates.
  • Standard in which accounts of the Council needs to be maintained and audited

Recognise Marks to Denote Conformity with Standard Specifications

  • The Central Government may accept any mark concerning a notified commodity to signify that such merchandise/products conform to standard specifications.
  • This above mentioned applies to:
    • Any mark/seal applied to a notified commodity
  • Any covering containing or label attached to it
  • Goods or merchandise may be checked by officers or customs if they have any question on the genuineness of the seal.

Obtain Information from Exporters

  • The Central Government or any officer can notify exporters to furnish information on products, individuals involved in the manufacture of products, individuals dealing in commodities for exports

To Enter, Inspect, and Seize Commodities etc

The appointed officer can enter the premises if:

  • Any export material has been changed after inspection by an authority.
  • Any book or document, useful to this Act, is believed to be concealed. Inspection can be carried out by the authority in such cases.
  • If an authority suspects that something is wrong with the packed product, or if the product is mixed with other goods or materials, then that commodity mixed up with the other contents is liable to be confiscated under this Act.
  • If the authority confiscates a commodity and no notification is given by him/her/them, then that commodity is returned back to the owner within 6 months of confiscation.
  • An officer may confiscate any document or material relevant to this Act if he/she finds them useful to investigate. However, photocopies of confiscated documents can be taken by the owner in the presence of officers.

Power to Seize Conveyances and Confiscate

  • If any animal is used or believed to be used for transportation of goods, or if the owner may have contravened the provision of this Act, then the authority may confiscate those goods and the animal.
  • This applies to other means of transport (air, vehicle, vessel).
  • The authority may conduct a thorough inspection of goods in the vehicles, other transports, or animal used to transport goods.
  • If it is necessary to stop such an animal or other conveyance, then lawful means can be used by the authority to stop them or fire at them if they refuse to comply.
  • If a commodity is altered or mixed with other goods, or a certificate is obtained by misrepresentation or fraudulently, or provisions of this Act contravened by wrong actions. Commodities and other products, or the document are liable to be confiscated.
  • Other punishments is not prevented by confiscation or penalty imposed on an individual.
  • Confiscation or penalty is adjudicated by the Director of Inspection and Quality Controler appointed officer.
  • Confiscation or penalty is not be imposed on the concerned person without giving notice. The notice also provides a timeline for the person to state his case against confiscation or penalty.

Petition against Confiscation

  • An owner can file an application to the Central Govt on the confiscation of his documents by officers. The application should mention on:
    • Reasons for objecting confiscation
    • Requesting for the return of his entitled documents or things
  • The Central Govt, after the receipt of the application, may reverse the decision of confiscation after finding it clean based on:
    • The owner’s legitimate documents – signature, attestation, and handwriting wherever applicable.
    • The owner’s legitimate document, duly authenticated by the foreign authority, received from abroad.

Option to Pay Fine instead of Confiscation

A penalty can be paid by the owner or any person, where the amount does not exceed the commodity value. Any person who contravenes the Act by not paying the penalty, or assist in contravening, acquire possessions of the commodity by carrying, selling, removing, depositing, then that person is liable to pay the penalty not higher than 5 times of commodity value or Rs.5000.

Option for Appeal

  • If a person is aggrieved by the confiscation of his commodity or penalty imposed by the Director-General or appointed authority, appeal can be made within 45 days from the day the order was issued.
  • If a person is prevented from making an appeal, then the appellate can grant an extension of another 45 days to that person, if the appellate authority is satisfied with information pertaining to this matter.
  • An appeal can be entertained if the penalty is deposited.
  • If the appellate authority finds that the deposited penalty may cause financial difficulty on that person, the decision may be revered by the authority on that person unconditionally or on a conditional basis.

Continuance of Proceedings in the event of Death or Insolvency

If a person or an appellant dies or is in a state of bankruptcy, then legal representatives on the appellant’s behalf can appeal.

Penalty

  • If a certificate is obtained fraudulently, or fraudulently puts a seal on the commodity, then that person is:
  • Punished for the first offence with an imprisonment of a term, 2 years, a penalty that may extend to 5000 INR, or both.
  • Punished for the subsequent or second offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend 3 yearThis is also accompanied with a penalty that may extend to 5000 INR. Without adequate or special reasons from the person, imprisonment is not less than 3 months.
  • If a fine is not paid by the person as imposed by the appellate authority, then he/she is punishable with imprisonment for a term that may extend to 2 years or with a fine, or both.

Offences by Officers and Employees of Agency

  • If any surveyor, sampler, or appointed authority commits an offence of any kind or contravened pertaining to his/her duties, he/she is punished with imprisonment for a term that may be extended to 2 years, or fine extending to five thousand rupees, or with both.
  • If any officer searches or authorises other officers to search a place without good reasons to believe that commodity, account books, documents, or things are concealed, he/she is punishable with imprisonment for a term that is extendable to six months, or fine that may go up to1000, or with both.
  • If any information regarding commodity is disclosed by any of the officers, then he/she is punished with imprisonment for a term that is extendable to six months, or fine extendable to1000, or both.

Offences by Companies

  • If offences committed by a company, person in charge at the time when offence committed, or company as a whole is deemed to be guilty. These entities are liable to be punished accordingly. However, the concerned individual will not be punished, if the offence was committed without his knowledge.
  • Besides, he cannot be punished if he took responsibility to prevent such offence from happening.
  • Concerned individuals who are negligent on their part or encourage such offence are also liable to be punished. Those may include – manager, director, secretary, or any other officer.

Procedure for Prosecution

Prosecution of guilty parties can only happen with the consent of an officer authorized by the Central Government, Director General, or by special orders.

Protection of Action taken in Good Faith

  • No legal action, prosecution or other legal proceedings can be taken against the Council/any officer/employee of the Government for anything intended to be done under this Act which is in good faith.
  • This may include damages caused or likely to be caused at the time of carrying out duties under this Act which is done in good faith.

Suspension of Duties under the Provisions of the Act

  • Operations or duties performed can be relaxed or suspended by the Central Govt by notification with respect to certain commodities.
  • This suspension notification is made official only after the meeting in the Parliament (both houses) within a period of 30 days in one or different sessions. However, this annulment is done without partiality.

Act to Override other Enactments

When an export commodity is notified under this Act, the provisions of this Act is official and notified. Other Acts with provisions of quality control and inspection prior to the export of such commodity do not come on a par with the Act frame by the Central Government.

The PDF form of this act can be accessed from the below link:

Export-Quality-Control-and-Inspection-Act

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