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Foreign Trade

The Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) was launched by the Government of India with an aim to give a boost to the export sector of the country.

The Government through this policy aims to enhance the manufacturing and service sector of the Country in order to make it an ideal market and attract more foreign investment.

The vision of the Foreign Trade Policy is to make India a Global Trade Partner by the year 2020.

Focus Areas of Foreign Trade Policy

This Policy aims to focus on the traditional, upcoming and service sector of exports.

The government plans to adopt a twin strategy of promoting the above mentioned sectors and also intends to simplify their business strategies.

Duration of Foreign Trade Policy

The Foreign Trade Policy was launched in the 2015-2016 Financial year for a five year period extending up to 31st March, 2020.

All exports and imports during this period shall come under the ambit of the Foreign Trade Policy.

Niryat Bandhu Scheme

Director General Foreign Trade (DGFT) has lunched the Niryat Bandhu Scheme with the motive of regulating upcoming export sectors and assisting them in their problems and hardships faced by them.

Under this scheme, special training programs, outreach sessions etc. are delivered to budding industries in order to assist them in their businesses.

These special training programs outreach sessions etc. will be delivered to these upcoming industries with the help and in collaboration with the Export Promotion Councils, and other expert communities with knowledge in these fields. Furthermore, all shareholders in these firms will be given timely advice by banks and other concerned ministries.

Electronic Import Exporter Code (IEC)

Import Exporter Code is a mandatory requirement for traders to carry out the business of import and export. In order to facilitate the fast processing of this code, the DGFT has made this service available online on their portal called the Electronic IEC.

Electronic Bank Certificate

The Electronic Bank Certificate is a certificate given by the bank which serves as a proof of authorization of imports and exports done by traders.

The Electronic Bank Certificate enables the DGFT to understand the status of the import and export market at a particular time and hence predict its growth or downfall.

The DGFT has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with 14 State Governments in order to share their Electronic Bank Certificates of the imports or exports carried out in their respective states with them.

Exporter Importer Profile

The cost of transaction and time is reduced by creating exporter importer profile for the purpose of uploading various documents. One of the featured advantages of the system is that after the documents are uploaded, it is not necessary to submit all the documents or copies of the same to Regional Authority repeatedly with each application.

Electronic Filing of Applications

Just like the Electronic IEC service, the DGFT has made various services of authorization for the needs of the import, export businesses available online. Traders can even sign these documents electronically through a digital signature and pay the required fees via online payment options.

Online Inter-Ministerial Consultation

In a further boost to Electronic Filing of Applications, exporters need not submit hard copies of mandatory documents required by the DGFT to process their applications, but can now also submit soft copies of the required documents in the form of PDF, JPG, JPEG or GIF format.

Charted Accountants, Company Secretaries and Cost Accountants as well can also submit their documents for the application process online and save time and money rather than submitting them in person.

Electronic Data Interchange

The DGFT has also launched the Electronic Data Interchange to facilitate the traders and government bodies and other related departments like banks etc. to get in touch online. Hence, the physical confrontation of the traders with these departments is decreased greatly thereby making the processes faster and easier.

Export Consignment

Due to the convenience of filing of applications online, The DGFT has assured that under the new Foreign Trade Policy, Export consignments will be processes faster without any inordinate delay.

24×7 Customs Clearance Facility

The DGFT has launched round the clock 24×7 customs clearance at 19 sea ports and 17 air cargo complexes in order to speed up the required processes.

Single Window Interface for Facilitating Trade (SWIFT)

The system of Single Window Interface for Facilitating Trade (SWIFT) has been launched to facilitate the easier working of trade businesses. This system allows a trader to procure all permissions via a single online portal.

Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Programme

The Indian Customs has developed a program called as Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programs to facilitate with the businesses of international trade.

This AEO Programs provides for the following assistance:

  • Ensure Supply chain from the point of export to point of import.
  • Complying with security standards of international ports.
  • Procedures for border clearances in countries who are signatories to the Mutual Recognition Agreement.
  • Customs advice or assistance on problems or issues incurred during the import or export businesses of traders.

Facility of Filing Shipping Bills Online

Online Shipping bills can now also be filed online before the actual shipment of goods. Bills of air shipment can be filed before 7 days of actual shipment and bills of other modes of shipment can be filed before 14 days of actual shipments of goods.

Facilitating Export of Perishable Products

In order to facilitate the export of perishable products a single window system has been launched in order to reduce the time for documentation and speed up the shipment process.

National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF)

The National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTE) has been constituted by the Indian Government as a result of being a signatory to the World Trade Organization agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA). It aims to facilitate implementation of TFA provisions in the international trade businesses of India.


The Indian Government launched the Foreign Trade Policy to boost the export and import trade sector. The Policy intends to ease the international trade market of India through its varied new provisions and make India a Global Trade Partner by 2020.

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