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Introduction

The importance of foreign trade is more than ever before in today’s globalised world. With the opening of Indian economy in the past two decades, imports and exports have gathered momentum and the government is providing adequate policy framework, assistance and incentives to people, companies and organisations engaged in foreign trade. The government also plays a crucial role in providing infrastructure to nurture trade, and in engaging with foreign governments and international trade organisations to ensure a level playing field for Indian traders.

What is import and who are importers?

According to the Customs Act, 1962, "import", with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, means bringing into India from a place outside India; "imported goods" means any goods brought into India from a place outside India but does not include goods which have been cleared for home consumption; and "importer", in relation to any goods at any time between their importation and the time when they are cleared for home consumption, includes any owner or any person holding himself out to be the importer.

What is export and who are exporters?

The Customs Act, 1962, says "export", with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, means taking out of India to a place outside India; "export goods" means any goods which are to be taken out of India to a place outside India; and "exporter", in relation to any goods at any time between their entry for export and the time when they are exported, includes any owner or any person holding himself out to be the exporter.

The information given below is aimed at assisting importers and exporters in accessing details required to start and conduct business in foreign trade. It has been categorised as under:-

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