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Documents Required


Export procedure describes the documents required for exporting from India. Special documents may be required depending on the type of product or destination. Certain export products may require a quality control inspection certificate from the Export Inspection Agency. Some food and pharmaceutical product may require a health or sanitary certificate for export.

Shipping Bill/ Bill of Export is the main document required by the Customs Authority for allowing shipment. Usually the Shipping Bill is of four types and the major distinction lies with regard to the goods being subject to certain conditions which are mentioned below:
  • Export duty/ cess
  • Free of duty/ cess
  • Entitlement of duty drawback
  • Entitlement of credit of duty under DEPB Scheme
  • Re-export of imported goods
The following are the export documents required for the processing of the Shipping Bill:
  • GR forms (in duplicate) for shipment to all the countries.
  • 4 copies of the packing list mentioning the contents, quantity, gross and net weight of each package.
  • 4 copies of invoices which contains all relevant particulars like number of packages, quantity, unit rate, total f.o.b./ c.i.f. value, correct & full description of goods etc.
  • Contract, L/ C, Purchase Order of the overseas buyer.
  • AR4 (both original and duplicate) and invoice.
  • Inspection/ Examination Certificate.
The formats presented for the Shipping Bill are as given below
  • White Shipping Bill in triplicate for export of duty free of goods.
  • Green Shipping Bill in quadruplicate for the export of goods which are under claim for duty drawback.
  • Yellow Shipping Bill in triplicate for the export of dutiable goods.
  • Blue Shipping Bill in 7 copies for exports under the DEPB scheme
Note :- For the goods which are cleared by Land Customs, Bill of Export (also of 4 types - white, green, yellow & pink) is required instead of Shipping Bill.

Documents Required for Post Parcel Customs Clearance

In case of Post Parcel, no Shipping Bill is required. The relevant documents are mentioned below:

  • Customs Declaration Form - It is prescribed by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and international apex body coordinating activities of national postal administration. It is known by the code number CP2/ CP3 and to be prepared in quadruplicate, signed by the sender.
  • Despatch Note, also known as CP2. It is filled by the sender to specify the action to be taken by the postal department at the destination in case the address is non-traceable or the parcel is refused to be accepted.
  • Prescriptions regarding the minimum and maximum sizes of the parcel with its maximum weight : Minimum size: Total surface area not less than 140 mm X 90 mm.
    Maximum size: Lengthwise not over 1.05 m. Measurement of any other side of circumference 0.9 m./ 2.00 m.
    Maximum weight: 10 kg usually, 20 kg for some destinations.
  • Commercial invoice - Issued by the seller for the full realisable amount of goods as per trade term.
  • Consular Invoice - Mainly needed for the countries like Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mauritius, New Zealand, Burma, Iraq, Ausatralia, Fiji, Cyprus, Nigeria, Ghana, Zanzibar etc. It is prepared in the prescribed format and is signed/ certified by the counsel of the importing country located in the country of export.
  • Customs Invoice - Mainly needed for the countries like USA, Canada, etc. It is prepared on a special form being presented by the Customs authorities of the importing country. It facilitates entry of goods in the importing country at preferential tariff rate.
  • Legalised/Visaed Invoice - This shows the seller's genuineness before the appropriate consulate/ chamber of commerce/ embassy. It do not have any prescribed form.
  • Certified Invoice - It is required when the exporter needs to certify on the invoice that the goods are of a particular origin or manufactured/ packed at a particular place and in accordance with specific contract. Sight Draft and Usance Draft are available for this. Sight Draft is required when the exporter expects immediate payment and Usance Draft is required for credit delivery.
  • Packing List - It shows the details of goods contained in each parcel/ shipment.
  • Certificate of Inspection - It shows that goods have been inspected before shipment.
  • Black List Certificate - It is required for countries which have strained political relation. It certifies that the ship or the aircraft carrying the goods has not touched those country(s).
  • Weight Note - Required to confirm the packets or bales or other form are of a stipulated weight.
  • Manufacturer's/ Supplier's Quality/ Inspection Certificate.
  • Manufacturer's Certificate - It is required in addition to the Certificate of Origin for few countries to show that the goods shipped have actually been manufactured and are available.
  • Certificate of Chemical Analysis - It is required to ensure the quality and grade of certain items such as metallic ores, pigments, etc.
  • Certificate of Shipment - It signifies that a certain lot of goods have been shipped.
  • Health/ Veterinary/ Sanitary Certification - Required for export of foodstuffs, marine products, hides, livestock etc.
  • Certificate of Conditioning - It is issued by the competent office to certify compliance of humidity factor, dry weight, etc.
  • Antiquity Measurement - Issued by Archaeological Survey of India in case of antiques.
  • Transhipment Bill - It is used for goods imported into a customs port/ airport intended for transhipment.
  • Shipping Order - Issued by the Shipping (Conference) Line which intimates the exporter about the reservation of space of shipment of cargo through the specific vessel from a specified port and on a specified date.
  • Cart/ Lorry Ticket - It is prepared for admittance of the cargo through the port gate and includes the shipper's name, cart/ lorry No., marks on packages, quantity, etc.
  • Shut Out Advice - It is a statement of packages which are shut out by a ship and is prepared by the concerned shed and is sent to the exporter.
  • Short Shipment Form - It is an application to the customs authorities at port which advises short shipment of goods and required for claiming the return.
  • Shipping Advice - It is prepared in aligned document to be used to inform the overseas customer about the shipment of goods.