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Only 3 Documents Required for Export & Import
Mar 17, 2015

India took a leap forward in improving Ease of Doing Business by reducing the mandatory documents required for import and export of goods to three documents each. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) issued a Notification to this effect.

It is noted here that the Department of Commerce had set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee under the Chairmanship of DGFT in July 2014 to study and recommend ways to reduce the number of mandatory documents required for export and import. The Committee studied the ground situation and find ways to minimize the number of documents and reduce transaction costs and time for exports and imports. The Committee submitted its Trading Across Borders report to Prime Minister`s Office in December 2014.

Based on the recommendations of the report, the RBI has agreed to do away with the Foreign Exchange Control Form (SDF) by incorporating the declaration in the Shipping Bill (for exports) and dispensing with the Foreign Exchange Control Form (Form A-1) (for imports). Customs have also agreed to merge the Commercial Invoice with the Packing List and have issued a Circular for accepting Commercial Invoice cum Packing List that incorporates the required details of both the documents.

  • The exporters and importers, however, have the option of filing separate Commercial Invoice and Packing List also, if they so desire.

  • Shipping Ministry has also agreed to do away with the requirement of Terminal Handling Receipt and make the process online.

  • The reduction in the number of mandatory documents would also lead to corresponding reduction in Transaction cost and time.

It is expected that this step would not only facilitate the Ease of Doing Business in respect of Trading Across Borders but also improve India’s ranking on this parameter.


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