Ease of Doing Biz: Only 3 documents needed for imports, exports

The move will also lead to reduction in transaction cost and time. Currently, around 10 documents are needed to fulfil the official obligations.

Ease of Doing Biz: Only 3 documents needed for imports, exports

New Delhi: As part of efforts to improve its ranking on 'Ease of Doing Business', India Thursday reduced the number of mandatory documents required for import and export of goods to three in each case.

The move will also lead to reduction in transaction cost and time. Currently, around 10 documents are needed to fulfil the official obligations.

The notification, issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, will take effect from April 1.

Mandatory documents required for export of goods from India now include Bill of Lading/Airway Bill; Commercial Invoice cum Packing List, and Shipping Bill or Bill of Export.

Besides, mandatory documents required for import of goods into India include Bill of Lading/Airway Bill; Commercial Invoice cum Packing List, and Bill of Entry.

For export or import of specific goods or category of goods, which are subject to any restrictions/policy conditions or require NOC or product specific compliances under any statute, the authority concerned may notify additional documents.

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.

Based on the recommendations, the Reserve Bank 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.

India ranked 126th in Trading Across Borders component of "Ease of Doing Business", out of 189 countries ranked by the World Bank in its 2015 Report.

It is expected that this step would improve India's ranking.

According to the World Bank, seven 'mandatory documents' were listed for export of goods from India, whereas 10 documents are required for import of goods into India.

Engineering exporters body EEPC India hailed the decision to reduce the number of mandatory documents required for imports and exports of goods to three each.

"These new measures will go a long way in reducing the transaction costs of exporters and importers. They would considerably reduce the turnaround time at the ports and for the banking channels as well," EEPC India Chairman Anupam Shah said.