All About Export Import Business in India

Export-Import Business in India is a rapidly growing sector with immense potential.

India is one of the leading exporters of goods and services in the world and the country’s export-import (Exim) business is an important component of its overall economic growth.

Exim business in India involves the export of goods and services from India to other countries and the import of goods and services from other countries into India.

This sector is regulated by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade is responsible for issuing licenses and allocating foreign exchange allocations to exporters and importers.

Exim business in India has grown significantly over the years and India has become a major exporter of goods and services to countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Japan.

India’s exports to these countries account for more than 20% of its exports with exports to the United States alone accounting for more than 10% of its total exports.

Exim business in India also involves the import of goods and services from other countries.

These imports are subject to import duties and taxes, which vary from country to country.

India’s imports from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Japan account for more than 20% of its total imports.

Exim business in India provides a huge opportunity for businesses to expand their operations and increase their profits.

It also provides an avenue for businesses to diversify their operations by exporting and importing goods and services from other countries.

With the right guidance and support, businesses can leverage the Exim business in India to become successful global players.

The exports imports sectors covers a wide range of products and services. The key areas of Exim currently dominating the market are –

  1. Textiles
  2. Pharmaceuticals
  3. Chemicals
  4. Electronics
  5. Automobiles
  6. Gems and Jewelry
  7. Engineering Goods
  8. Handicrafts
  9. Leather Goods
  10. Agricultural Products
  11. Handlooms
  12. Marine Products
  13. Oil and Oil Seeds
  14. Processed Foods
  15. Sports Goods

Export and import business is a booming industry in India, with the country’s economy consistently growing since 2000.

India is the world’s fifth largest economy in terms of nominal GDP, and its exports account for 1.9% of the world’s total exports, making it one of the largest exporters in the world.

With the growth of India’s economy, the demand for goods and services has also increased, making the export-import business a lucrative prospect.

Government Regulations

The government of India has developed various regulations to ensure that export and import businesses operate in a safe and secure environment.

The Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Act of 1992 is the primary legislation that governs foreign trade in India.

This Act regulates the exports and imports of goods and services, as well as the trade in currencies.

This Act also governs the regulations governing the setting up of branches, agencies, and offices of foreign companies in India.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) is the government agency responsible for regulating and promoting foreign trade in India.

The DGFT is responsible for issuing licenses for the import and export of goods, as well as for providing assistance to Indian exporters and importers.

All exporters and importers must obtain an Importer Exporter Code (IEC) from the DGFT before they can start their operations.

Taxes and Duties

Exporters and importers has to pay various taxes and duties when conducting business in India.

Previously the included customs duty, sales tax, service tax, value added tax (VAT), excise duty, and countervailing duty (CVD).

Now most of it has been replaced by GST.

The rates GST vary depending on the type of goods and services being imported or exported.

Additionally, exporters are eligible for various tax incentives, such as a duty drawback scheme, a duty-free import scheme, and a scheme for the export of goods and services.


India has well-developed infrastructure for the transportation of goods.

The government has invested heavily in the development of roads, railways, ports, airports, and other logistics infrastructure, making it easier for exporters and importers to transport their goods.

Additionally, the Indian government has also established a number of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), which provide tax and duty-free zones for export-oriented industries.

Financial Assistance

The Indian government provides various types of financial assistance to exporters and importers.

These include export credit guarantees, export credit insurance, and foreign exchange risk cover.

Additionally, the government also provides various export promotion schemes, such as the Market Access Initiative, Merchandise Exports from India Scheme, and Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme.

Steps to Starting an Export Import Business:

Starting an export-import business in India can be a lucrative and rewarding venture for someone who is looking to capitalize on the country’s booming economy.

As the world’s second-largest exporter and third-largest importer, India has a strong and growing demand for goods from around the world.

The Indian economy is also growing at a rapid rate, making it an attractive market for exporters and importers alike.

Here are the steps to start an export import business in India –

Research the Market: Before starting an export-import business, it is important to carry out detailed market research to identify the potential markets and products that can be exported or imported.

Register Your Business: Registering your business is the next step in starting an export-import business in India.

You need to register your business with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) and the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank.

Obtain the Necessary Licenses and Permits: Obtaining licenses and permits is another important step in starting an export-import business.

Depending on the type of products you are importing or exporting, obtain licenses from the Department of Commerce, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and other government agencies.

Arrange for Logistics: Logistics is an important part of the export-import business. Arrange for a reliable logistics partner to ensure timely delivery of goods.

Secure Financing: Securing financing is an important step in starting an export-import business. Secure loans from banks or other financial institutions.

Develop a Marketing Strategy: Developing a marketing strategy is essential for success in the export-import business.

Identify the target markets, understand the competition and create a detailed plan for marketing the products.

Establish Your Network: Establishing a network of contacts is an important step in starting an export-import business.

Build relationships with suppliers, customers, distributors and other partners to ensure smooth functioning of the business.

Licenses Needed

In India, an export-import business requires a number of licenses and registrations from both the Central and State Governments. These are:

Importer Exporter Code (IEC): An IEC is a 10-digit code issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) which is mandatory for any entity involved in the import or export of goods and services.

Registration-Cum-Membership Certificate (RCMC): The RCMC is required under the Export and Import Policy of India. It is issued by the Export Promotion Councils, Commodity Boards and other agencies.

Import Export License: This license is required for importing and exporting certain items and is issued by the Regional Licensing Authority.

Certificate of Origin: A Certificate of Origin is required for exports and is usually issued by the Chamber of Commerce of the country from which the goods are exported.

Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA): All businesses that deal with foreign exchange need to register with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and comply with the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

GST Registration: All export-import businesses must obtain a Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration and obtain a GST Identification Number (GSTIN) from the GST authorities.

Environmental Clearance: Businesses may be required to obtain environmental clearances from the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Shipping Bill: All shipments must be accompanied by a Shipping Bill. A Shipping Bill is a document issued by customs authorities and is mandatory for export of goods.

Letter of Credit: A Letter of Credit (LC) is a document issued by a bank to guarantee payment to the exporter.

State Registration: Depending on the type of goods that are being imported or exported, businesses may be required to obtain state registrations from the concerned State Government.

Other Permits and Licenses: For example, if the goods are of a hazardous nature, a permit from the Pollution Control Board is required.

These are some of the licenses and registrations required for starting an export-import business in India.

It is important to ensure that all the necessary licenses and registrations are obtained before engaging in export-import activities.

Indian Govt. Organizations For EXIM

India is a major exporter and importer of goods and services.

In order to facilitate international trade, the Government of India has set up several government organizations to promote, regulate and administer the import and export of goods and services.

These organizations offer a variety of services, including providing information and advice on foreign markets, regulations, and export and import procedures.

They also provide access to financing and other resources that can help businesses succeed in the global market.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) is responsible for the regulation and promotion of export and import trade in India.

The DGFT issues licenses to exporters and importers, monitors import and export activities, and provides information about foreign markets.

It also provides access to the Foreign Trade Policy, which outlines the procedures for setting up and running a business in India.

The Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) is the official export credit agency of India.

It provides financial support to exporters, importers and other businesses engaged in international trade.

It also offers a range of services, including market research, export promotion, project financing, and export credit insurance.

The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) is a government-owned institution that provides credit, financial services, and technical assistance to small-scale businesses.

It provides short-term and long-term loans, venture capital and financial guarantees to help businesses start, operate and expand.

The Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) are organizations that promote the export of goods and services.

They provide various services, such as organizing seminars and workshops, providing market information and data, and networking with other export promotion organizations.

The Directorate of Industries (DOI) is responsible for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in India.

It provides financial assistance, technical guidance and other support to SMEs.

These government organizations help to promote and facilitate international trade. By providing access to resources, information, and support, they help to create an environment that is conducive to trade and investment.

Some other important government organizations are –

Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO): FIEO is the apex body of Indian exporters, and is the official voice of India’s export industry.

It provides information, advice, advocacy and support in their export business.

Export Inspection Council (EIC): The EIC is a Government of India organization responsible for quality control and export certification to facilitate international trade.

It assists exporters in gaining access to international markets, and provides them with the necessary technical support and guidance.

Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC): The ECGC provides export credit insurance to exporters, and assists in mitigating the risks associated with export transactions.

The agency also helps in recovering export dues in case of non-payment.

Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI): The TPCI is an apex organization that assists Indian exporters in exploring new markets and building export strategies.

It also helps in organizing trade fairs, exhibitions and seminars to promote Indian exports.


Export and import business in India has grown significantly since 2000.

The government has developed various regulations and policies to ensure that the export-import business is conducted in a safe and secure manner.

Additionally, the government also provides various financial incentives and assistance to exporters and importers.

The well-developed infrastructure and tax incentives have also enabled Indian exporters and importers to conduct business with ease.