Goods meant for exportation out of the country attract certain customs formalities. For clearance of the goods for export, the exporter or his agents have to undertake the following formalities:

Registration in the case of export under Export Promotion Schemes
Processing of Shipping Bill – Non-EDI
Processing of Shipping Bill –EDI
System Appraisal of Shipping Bills
Status of Shipping Bill
Customs Examination of Export Cargo
Variation between the Declaration & Physical Examination
Stuffing / Loading of Goods in Containers
Drawal of Sample
Export of Goods under Claim for Drawback
Generation of Shipping Bills


The exporters have to obtain PAN based Business Identification Number (BIN) from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade prior to filing of shipping bill for clearance of export goods. Under the EDI system, PAN based BIN is received by the Customs System from the DGFT online. The exporters are also required to register ‘authorised foreign exchange dealer code’ (through which export proceeds are expected to be realised) and open a current account in the designated bank for credit of any drawback incentive.

Whenever a new Airline, Shipping line, port or airport comes into operation, they have to get themselves registered with the Customs EDI System. Whenever, electronic processing of shipping bill etc. is held up on account of non-registration of these entities, the same is to be brought to the notice of Assistant/Deputy Commissioner in-charge of EDI system for registering the new entity in the system.

Registration in the case of export under Export Promotion Schemes:

All the exporters intending to export under the export promotion scheme need to get their licences / DEEC book etc. registered at the Customs EDI System. For such registration, original documents are required.

Processing of Shipping Bill – Non-EDI :

Under manual system, shipping bill or, as the case may be, bills of export are required to be filed in format as prescribed in the Shipping Bill and Bill of Export (Form) regulations, 1991. The bills of export are being used if clearance of export goods is taken at the Land Customs Stations. Different forms of shipping bill / bill of export have been prescribed for export of duty free goods, export of dutiable goods and export under drawback etc.

Shipping bills are required to be filed along with all original documents such as invoice, AR –4, packing list etc. The assessing officer in the Export Section / Shed checks the value of the goods, classification under Drawback schedule in case of Drawback Shipping Bills, rate of duty / cess where applicable, exportability of goods under EXIM policy and other laws inforce. The DEEC / DEPB shipping bills are processed in the DEEC group. In case of DEEC shipping bills, the assessing officer verifies that the description of the goods declared in the shipping bill and invoice match with the description of the resultant product as given in the DEEC book. If the assessing officer has any doubts regarding value, description of goods, he may call for samples of the goods from the docks. He may also call for any other information required by him for processing of shipping bill. He may assess the shipping bill after visual inspection of the sample or may send it for test and pass the shipping bill provisionally.

Once, the shipping bill is passed by the Export Section, the exporter or his agent present the goods to the Shed Appraiser/Superintendent (export) for examination. The Shed appraiser may mark the document to a Custom officer (usually an examiner/Inspector) for examining the goods. The examination is carried out under the supervision of the Shed appraiser/Superintendent . If the description and other particulars of the goods are found to be as declared, the Shed appraiser/Superintendent gives ‘let export’ order after which the exporter may contact the escort officer for supervising the loading of the goods on to the aircraft etc.

In case the examining staff in the shed find some discrepancy in the goods, they may mark the shipping bill back to the Appraiser (Export –assessment) with their observations as well as sample of goods, if needed. The Appraiser (Export-assessment) can reconsider the case and decide whether export can be allowed, or amendment in description/value etc. is required before export and whether any other action is required to be taken under the Customs Act, 1962 for mis-declaration of description, value etc .

Processing of Shipping Bill –EDI :

Under EDI system, declarations in prescribed format are to be filed through the Service Centres of Customs. A checklist is generated for verification of data by the exporter / CHA. After verification, the data is submitted to the System by the Service centre operator and the System generates a shipping bill number, which is endorsed on the printed checklist and returned to the exporter / CHA. For export items, which are subject to export cess, the TR – 6 challans for cess is printed and given by the Service Centre to the exporter/CHA immediately after submission of shipping bill. The cess can be paid on the strength of the challan at the designated bank. No copy of the shipping bill is made available to the exporter/CHA at this stage.

System Appraisal of Shipping Bills :

In many cases the Shipping Bill is processed by the system on the basis of declarations made by the exporters without any human intervention. In other cases where the Shipping Bill is processed on screen by the Customs Officer, he may call for the samples, if required for confirming the declared value or for checking classification under the Drawback Schedule. He may also give any special instructions for examination of goods, if felt necessary.

Status of Shipping Bill:

The exporter / CHA can check up with the enquiry counter at the Service Centre whether the Shipping Bill submitted by them in the system has been cleared or not before the goods are brought into the shed for examination and export. In case any query is raised, the same is required to be replied through the service centre or in case of CHAs having EDI connectivity through their respective terminals. The Customs officer may pass the Shipping Bill after all the queries have been satisfactorily replied to.

Customs Examination of Export Cargo:

After the receipt of the goods in the shed, the exporter/CHA may contact the Customs Officer designated for the purpose present the check list with the endorsement of Port Authority and other declarations as aforesaid along with all original documents such as Invoice and Packing list, AR-4 etc. The Customs officer may verify the quantity of the goods actually received and enter into the system and thereafter mark the Electronic Shipping Bill and also hand over all original documents to the Shed Appraiser of the shed who may assign a Customs officer (Inspector) for the examination and intimate the officers’ name and the packages to be examined , if any, on the check list and return it to the exporter or his agent.

The Customs Officer may inspect/examine the shipment along with the Shed appraiser. The Customs Officer enters the examination report in the system. He then marks the Electronic Bill along with all original documents and check list to the Shed Appraiser. If the Shed Appraiser is satisfied that the particulars entered in the system conform to the description given in the original documents and as seen in the physical examination, he may proceed to allow "let export" for the shipment and inform the exporter or his agent.

Variation between the Declaration & Physical Examination:

The check list and the declaration along with all original documents is retained by the Appraiser concerned. In case of any variation between the declaration in the Shipping Bill and physical documents / examination report, the Appraiser may mark the Electronic Shipping Bill to the Assistant Commissioner/Deputy Commissioner of Customs . He may also forward the physical documents to Assistant Commissioner / Deputy Commissioner and instruct the exporter or his agent to meet the Assistant Commissioner / Deputy Commissioner for settlement of dispute. In case the exporter agrees with the views of the Department, the Shipping Bill needs to be processed accordingly. Where, however, the exporter disputes the view of the Department principles of natural justice is required to be followed before finalisation of the issue.

Stuffing / Loading of Goods in Containers:

The exporter or his agent should hand over the exporter copy of the shipping bill, duly signed by the Appraiser permitting "Let Export", to the proper officer (Examiner/Inspector) for allowing the shipment. The Customs Examiner/Inspector supervising the loading of container and general cargo in to the vessel may give "Shipped on Board" endorsement on the exporters copy of the shipping bill.

Drawal of Sample :

Where the Appraiser (export) orders for samples to be drawn and tested, the Customs Examiner/Inspector may proceed to draw two samples from the consignment and enter the particulars thereof along with details of the testing agency in the ICES/E system. Three copies of the test memo are prepared by the Customs Examiner/Inspector and are signed by the Customs Examiner/Inspector and Appraising Officer on behalf of Customs and the exporter or his agent. The disposal of the three copies of the test memo are as follows:-

    1. Original – to be sent along with the sample to the test agency.
    2. Duplicate – Customs copy to be retained with the 2nd sample.
    3. Triplicate – Exporter’s copy.

The Assistant Commissioner / Deputy Commissioner if he considers necessary, may also order for sample to be drawn for purpose other than testing such as visual inspection and verification of description, market value inquiry etc.


Any correction / amendments in the check list generated after filing of declaration can be made at the service centre, provided, the documents have not yet been submitted in the system and the shipping bill number has not been generated. Where corrections are required to be made after the generation of the shipping bill number or after the goods have been brought into the Export Shed, the amendments are carried out in the following manner:-

    1. If the goods have not yet been allowed "let export", amendment may be permitted by the Assistant Commissioner.
    2. Where the "Let Export" order has already been given, amendments may be permitted only by the Additional / Joint Commissioner Custom House, in charge of export section.

In both the cases, after the permission for amendments has been granted, the Assistant Commissioner / Deputy Commissioner may approve the amendments on the system on behalf of the Additional / Joint Commissioner. Where the print out of the Shipping Bill has already has generated, the exporter may first surrender all copies of the shipping bill to the Shed Appraiser for cancellation before amendment is approved on the system.

Export of Goods under Claim for Drawback:

After actual export of the goods, the Drawback claim is processed through EDI system by the officers of Drawback Branch on first come first served basis. There is no need for filing separate drawback claims. The status of the shipping bills and sanction of DBK claim can be ascertained from the query counter set up at the service centre. If any query has been raised or deficiency noticed, the same is shown on the terminal. A print out of the query / deficiency may be obtained by the authorised person of the exporter from the service centre. The exporters are required to reply to such queries through the service centre. The claim will come in queue of the EDI system only after reply to queries / deficiencies are entered by the Service Centre.

All the claims sanctioned on a particular day are enumerated in a scroll and transferred to the Bank through the system. The bank credits the drawback amount in the respective accounts of the exporters. Bank may send a fortnightly statement to the exporters of such credits, if any, in their accounts.

The Airlines may transfer electronically the EGM to the Customs EDI system so that the physical export of the goods is confirmed, to enable the Customs to sanction the drawback claims.

Generation of Shipping Bills:

After the "let export" order is given on the system by the Appraiser, the Shipping Bill is generated by the system in two copies i.e., one Customs Copy, one exporter’s copy (E.P. copy is generated after submission of EGM). After obtaining the print out, the appraiser obtains the signatures of the Customs Examiner/Inspector on the examination report and the representative of the CHA on both copies of the shipping bill and examination report. The Appraiser thereafter signs and stamps both the copies of the shipping bill at the specified place.

The Appraiser also signs and stamps the original and duplicate copy of statutory declaration form (SDF). Customs copy of shipping bill and original copy of the SDF is retained along with the original declarations by the Appraiser and forwarded to Export Department. He may return the exporter copy and the second copy of the SDF to the exporter or his agent.

As regards the Apperal Exports Promotion Council quota and other certifications, these are retained along with the shipping bill in the dock after the shipping bill is generated by the system. At the time of examination, apart from checking that the goods are covered by the quota certifications, the details of the quota entered into the system needs to be checked.


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