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How To Import Goods In India ? Procedure For Importing Goods

Procedure of importing goods means the orderly steps to be taken for importing goods from aboard. This import procedure is quite lengthy and time consuming as various formalities are required to be completed.

How to import goods

square Step 1. Obtaining import license and quota

In all countries there are many government regulations to be followed. Sanction of government is necessary. Importer has to apply to the controller of imports for getting necessary permission.

Importer has to attach the following documents to his application form :-

  1. Receipt which shows that import license fee has been paid.
  2. Certificate from a Chartered Accountant showing the total value of goods to be imported.
  3. Verification Certificate for income tax.
An import license may be general or specific. A general license allows imports from any country. But specific license allows imports from specific country only.

The importer also has to obtain import quota certificate from the concerned authority. It mentions the maximum quantity of goods which can be imported.

square Step 2. Obtaining foreign exchange

Before placing any order, the importer must apply to the Exchange Control Department (ECD) of RBI (India's Central Bank) for the release of requisite foreign exchange. The importer should forward the application through his bank. The ECD verifies the application of the importer, and if found valid, sanctions the foreign exchange for the particular transaction.

square Step 3. Placing an order

The importer may either place the order directly or through the indent house (Agent). In case of canalised items, he obtains the imports through the canalizing agency. (Canalisation means channelisation of goods through a government agency like MMTC). The importer cannot directly import such canalized items. They have to place an order with the canalizing agency who shall import and supply the same.

square Step 4. Despatching letter of credit

After getting the confirmation from the supplier regarding the supply of goods, the importer requests his bank to issue a Letter of credit in favour of supplier. It can be defied as "an undertaking by importer's bank stating that payment will be made to the exporter if the required documents are presented to the bank".

square Step 5. Appointing clearing and forwarding agents

The importer makes arrangement to appoint clearing and forwarding agents to clear the goods from the customs. Since clearing of goods is a specialized job, it is better to appoint C & F agents.

square Step 6. Receipt of shipment device

The importer receives the shipment advice from the exporter. The shipment advice states the date on which the goods are loaded on the ship. The shipment advice helps the importer to make arrangement for clearance of goods.

square Step 7. Receipts of documents

The importer's bank receives the documents from the exporter's bank. The documents include bill of exchange, a copy of bill of lading, certificate of origin, commercial invoice, consular invoice, packing list, and other relevant documents. The importer makes payment to the bank (if not paid earlier) and collects the documents.

square Step 8. Bill of entry

This is a document required in case of import of goods. It is like shipping bill in case of exports. A Bill of Entry is the document testifying the fact that goods of the stated value and description in specified quantity are entering into the country from abroad. The customs office supplies this form which is prepared in triplicate. Three different colours are used to prepare bill of entry.One copy is retained by custom department, other is retained by port trust and the third is kept by the importer.

square Step 9. Delivary order

The clearing agents obtains the delivery order from the office of the shipping company. The shipping company gives the delivery order only after payment of freight, if any.

square Step 10. Clearing of goods

The clearing agent pays the necessary dock or port trust dues and obtains the port Trust Receipt in two copies.

He then approaches the Customs House and presents one copy of Port Trust Receipt, and two copies of Bill of. Entry to the customs authorities. The customs officer endorses the Bill of Entry Forms and one copy of Bill of Entry is handed back to the importer. The importer then pays the customs duty and clears the goods. In case, the customs duty is not paid, then the goods are stored in the bonded warehouses. As and when the duty is paid, the goods are cleared from the docks.

square Step 11. Payment to clearing and forwarding agent

The importer then makes the necessary payment to the clearing agent for his various expenses and fees.

square Step 12. Payment to exporter

The importer has to make payment to exporter. Usually, the exporter draws a bill of exchange. The importer has to accept the bill and make payment.

square Step 13. Follow up

The importer then informs the exporter about the receipt of goods. If there are any discrepancies or damages to the goods, he should inform the exporter.

square How to Export Goods from India?

Related Article :- Steps for exporting Goods from India.


  1. Anonymous said...

    this is very help full information i got on this link. Thanks for information

  2. Saba Zafar said...

    hey guys, extremely helpful, plz keep the good work. Many thanks Mr. Akrani

    Saba Zafar
    IIM Calcutta

  3. Anonymous said...

    Its good i can understand what is the meaning of letter of credit & bill of exchange please tell me on my id mueen83@yahoo.com

  4. Gaurav Akrani said...

    To mueen83,

    Letter of Credit (LC)

    Letter of credit (LC) is a document issued by a financial institution like bank.

    It guarantees of payment to a seller of goods and/or services.

    It assured receiving of payment on the pre-determined date and amount.

    It is mainly used by the exporter and importer of goods and services.

    Bill of Exchange

    Bill of exchange is a written order instructing that, a certain sum of
    money to be paid to a specified person on a particular date.

    It can be drawn by individuals or banks and can be transfer by endorsing on it.

    It is similar to checks (bank cheques) and promissory notes.

  5. Anonymous said...

    Hi guys ,

    I want to know What is the agent commision as per goods and what he play roles in importing .
    pls reply

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