Since time immemorial, India has been a hub of trade as well as commercial activities including export as well as import of various products ranging from food, spices, clothing, textiles, electronics, etc. In modern times, India has acquired a significant position in the international market in terms of the quality of the products being sold. With a view to keep a track of the number and nature of export transactions, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (hereinafter referred to as 'CBIC') has introduced changes to the Shipping Bill vide its circular dated February 5, 20201

Changes to Shipping Bill

An exporter has to go through various formalities while exporting goods from one country to another including submitting applications, obtaining licenses, paying duties, etc. For obtaining clearance from the Customs Department, an exporter must submit a document known as the 'shipping bill'. An exporter is not permitted to export in case the shipping bill has not been filed. The export may be by air, road, or waterways.

CBIC has directed the requirements to incorporate additional details to the shipping bill such as:

  • The state of origin of goods
  • District of origin of goods
  • Details of preferential agreements under which the goods are being exported, wherever applicable.
  • Standard Unit Quantity Code (SQC) for that Custom Tariff Heading (CTH) as per the first schedule of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975.

The authorized person is required to enter the electronic integrated declaration and upload the supporting documents on Indian Customs Electronic Gateway (also referred to as "ICEGATE").

Goods and Service Tax Network

With the objective of bringing uniformity with the information covered through the Goods and Services Network, the declaration of GSTIN has been made mandatory in import/export documents for the importers and exporters who are registered GST taxpayers.


1. Circular No. 09/2020- customs

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