on Export-Import Documentation and Risk Management
in Export-Import Business
Role of Export
Export documentation plays a vital role in
international marketing as it facilitates
the smooth flow of goods and payments thereof
across national frontiers. Exporters are required
to follow certain formalities and procedures,
using a number of documents.
Each of these documents serves a specific
purpose and hence carries its own significance.
A clear understanding of all documents and
their purpose, how to prepare these, number
of copies required, when and where to file,
is a must for all export professionals.
Documentation in India
Export Documentation in India has evolved
a great deal of interest since 1990.
Efforts are on, at a faster footing to streamline
and modernize the system further.
Prior to 1990, documentation was manual and
it lacked proper co-ordination.
The result was lot of delays and mistakes,
rendering the task very clumsy, tiresome,
repetitive, and truly frustrating.
India adopted the ADS (Aligned Documentation
System) in 1991 which is the Internationally
accepted documentation system
Export documentation is complex in nature
as the number of documents to be filled-in
is very large, so also is the number of the
concerned authorities to whom the relevant
documents to be submitted. It is, therefore,
advisable to take the help of shipping and
forwarding agents who will obtain and fill
out the documents correctly as well as arrange
There are buyers and exporters, buying agents,
RBI, authorized dealers (where the exporter
has his bank Account), buyer’s bank (foreign
bank), DGFT, Customs and Port Authorities,
VAT and Excise Authorities, EPC’s, Insurance
Companies, Inspection Agencies, Clearing and
Forwarding Agents, Shipping Companies/Airlines
and Inland Carriers etc
Proper Documentation will ensure smooth sailing
with the requirements of the above agencies
and the resulting transaction will be a successful
Inaccurate or incomplete documentation will
result in serious financial and goodwill losses.
Such losses can be completely avoided by understanding
clearly the documentation requirements of
all concerned parties and then meticulously
planning to get the right documents in the
right numbers, at the right places and at
the right time.
of Export Documents
Export Documents can be classified into following
(1) Commercial Documents
(2) Regulatory Documents
(3) Export Assistance Documents
(4) Documents Required by Importing Countries
Commercial Documents: These documents are
used by exporters/importers to discharge their
respective legal and other incidental responsibilities
under sales contract.
Commercial documents can be further sub-divided
(i) Principal Commercial Documents
(ii) Auxiliary Commercial Documents
(i) Principal Commercial Documents: These
documents serves the following purposes:
(a) To effect physical transfer of goods and
title of the goods from exporter to the buyer.
(b) To realize export sales proceeds.
Principal Documents include:
Commercial Invoice (and the invoice prescribed
by the importer)
Certificate of Inspection
Certificate of Insurance/Insurance Policy
Bill of Lading/Airway bill/Combined Transport
Certificate of Origin
Bill of Exchange
(ii) Auxiliary Commercial Documents: These
Documents are required to prepare /procure
the principal commercial documents and include:
Intimation for Inspection
Application for Certificate of Origin
Letter to bank for negotiation /collection
(2) Regulatory Documents: These are prescribed
by various Government Departments/Bodies for
compliance of formalities under relevant laws
governing export transactions. These include:
(i) Exchange Control Declaration Form-GR Form
(ii) Freight Payment Certificate
(iii) Insurance Premium Payment Certificate
(iv) ARE I/ARE II Forms
(v) Shipping Bill/Bill of Export
(vi) Port Trust Copy of Shipping Bill/Export
(vii) Receipt of Payment of Port Charges
(viii) Vehicle Ticket.