Restricted items*

Member: 

Basic information

1

Outline of the system

The Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020, was notified in the Gazette of India vide Notification No.01/2015-2020 dated 1 April 2015 and subsequently revised and notified vide Notification No. 41/2015-2020 dated 5 December, 2017. The category of imports under the current Foreign Trade Policy consists of: (i) prohibited items, import of which are normally not allowed, (ii) restricted items, imports of which are allowed against an authorisation or in accordance with a public notice which indicates the conditions under which the items can be imported, (iii) those under state trading enterprises (STE) policy, the imports of which are permitted only through the designated STEs, and (iv) those which can be freely imported.

2

Product coverage

All items may be imported without any restriction except for the restrictions indicated in the book titled ITC (HS) Classifications of Export and Import Items, or any other provisions or law in force as amended from time to time. To facilitate the importation of the restricted items, an import licensing system has been adopted.

The policy and procedures governing imports of various items is given in the Foreign Trade Policy which is valid for a specified period. The Handbook of Procedures is also published to supplement the Foreign Trade Policy. In terms of Foreign Trade Policy (2015-2020), imports of all items, other than the prohibited and restricted items, are allowed without any restriction. There are also few items which are restricted for import only through State Trading Enterprises (STEs). The restricted items are imported against specific import authorisations or in accordance with Notifications/Public Notices issued for this purpose.

Importability of an individual item can be determined as per the policy indicated against such item in the ITC (HS) Classifications of Export and Import Items. This compilation adopts the internationally accepted Harmonized System (HS) of Commodity Classifications as adopted by the Customs Cooperation Council (CCC), Brussels. The code classification adopted is at the eight-digit level so as to provide a distinct existence to certain products. For the purposes of distinct identity, these codes are called Exim Codes indicating import policy of the goods against such codes/products. This publication is very helpful in ascertaining the import policy of various products as covered by the respective Exim Codes in different Chapters.

Some of the items presently under restriction include live animals, including fish, planting material (seeds), stones, metal waste, radioactive material, psychotropic drugs, ozone depleting substances, arms and ammunition, explosives, plastic waste, certain new pneumatic tyres, sandalwood, security printing paper, nuclear reactors and parts thereof, radio and television broadcast transmitters, palm oil, power tiller and components, colour television sets, communication jamming equipment, aircraft, including helicopters and items covered under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) or other similar domestic/international legislation.

Main licensing systems:

Grant of import authorisation for restricted items: An application for import of such items may be made to the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) or any other regional authority authorized by him on his behalf. The licensing authority may take the assistance and advice of a licensing committee. The licensing committee will consist of representatives of technical authorities.

Nature of licensing

Automatic

3

If Automatic, administrative purpose

Non-Automatic

4

If Non-Automatic, description of the notified Non-Automatic Licensing regime

Restricted non-automatic licensing

5

Products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports

The restrictions on imports are maintained on grounds as notified in Para 2.07 of Foreign Trade Policies and include protection of human health or safety; animal or plant life or health; security and the environment. In respect of certain items, the conditions for import have been specified in a general way in public notices issued for this purpose and the need for licensing in individual cases has been eliminated.

6

Questions for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports

Please see Answers 6.1-6.11.

7

The system applies to products originating from which country?

All of India's trading partners receive MFN treatment in the issue of import authorisations.

8

Expected duration of licensing procedure

Ongoing

Eligibility of applicants

12

Is there a system of registration of persons or firms permitted to engage in importation?

13

What persons or firms are eligible to apply for a licence?

All eligible persons, firms and institutions can apply for an authorisation provided they hold a valid importer/exporter code number (IEC)

14

Is there a registration fee?

15

Is there a published list of authorized importers?

Contact point for information on eligibility

16

Ministry/Authority

Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Directorate General of Foreign Trade

17

Address

Udyog Bhawan, Maulana Azad Road, New Delhi-110011

18

Telephone

1800111550

19

Fax

20

E-mail address

22

Contact officer

Submission of an application

23

Administrative body(ies) for submission of an application

Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Directorate General of Foreign Trade

Documentation requirements

24

What information is required in applications?

The application form indicates the type of information and the documents normally required for processing the application. The application format for import of restricted items is given in Aayaat-Niryaat Form (Import-Export Form) of the Handbook of Procedures, Vol.1. This form is also available on the DGFT website: https://dgft.gov.in/CP/

25

What documents is the importer required to supply with the application?

The application form indicates the type of information and the documents normally required for processing the application. The application format for import of restricted items is given in Aayaat-Niryaat Form (Import-Export Form) of the Handbook of Procedures, Vol.1. This form is also available on the DGFT website: https://dgft.gov.in/CP/

Window of submission of an application

26

How far in advance of importation must application for a licence be made?

The authorisations are valid for goods already shipped/arrived at the customs' ports but not already cleared by customs.

27

Are there any limitations as to the period of the year during which application for licence can be made? If so, explain

No.

Issuing the license

28

Can a licence be granted immediately on request?

Yes, if the applicant fulfils the legal requirements

29

Can licences be obtained within a shorter time-limit or for goods arriving at the port without a licence

The authorisations are valid for goods already shipped/arrived at the customs' ports but not already cleared by customs.

30

Which administrative body is responsible for approving application of licences?

The importer has to approach the DGFT for an import authorisation.

31

Must the applications be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval?

The applicants need not approach other authorities for a visa note or approval. Only single administrative clearance is required.

32

Are there any other conditions attached to the issue of a licence?

Authorisations are only required to import restricted items mentioned in paragraph 2 above. These authorisations are issued with Actual User Condition unless Actual User Condition is specifically dispensed with.

Fees and other administrative charges

33

Is there any licensing fee or administrative charge?

Details of fee are given in Appendix 2-K of Foreign Trade Policy which is available at DGFT's website https://dgft.gov.in/CP/

34

What is the amount of the fee or charge?

Details of fee are given in Appendix 2-K of Foreign Trade Policy which is available at DGFT's website https://dgft.gov.in/CP/

35

Is there any deposit or advance payment required associated with the issue of licences?

There is no deposit or advance payment requirement associated with the issue of import authorisations.

36

Amount or rate?

37

Is it refundable?

38

What is the period of retention?

39

What is the purpose of this requirement?

Refusal of an application

40

Under what circumstances may an application for a licence be refused other than failure to meet the ordinary criteria?

The licensing authority may refuse to grant an import authorisation:
i. if the applicant has contravened any law relating to customs or foreign exchange;
ii. if it has been decided by the Central Government to import through State Trading Enterprises and distribution thereof through special or specialized agencies;
iii. if any action against the applicant is pending under the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992, or rules and orders made thereunder;
iv. if the applicant fails to pay any penalty imposed on him under the said Act; and
v. if the applicant is not eligible for an authorisation in accordance with any provisions of the Export and Import Policy.

41

Are the reasons for any refusal given to applicants?

42

Have applicants a right of appeal in the event of refusal to issue a licence?

Paragraph 2.14 of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) (2015-2020) clearly mentions that no person may claim an authorisation as a right and the DGFT or its Regional Authorities have the power to refuse to grant or renew the same.

43

If so, to what bodies and under what procedures?

However, as per paragraph 2.59 of the FTP, the DGFT has a Citizen's Charter and also a Grievance Redressal Mechanism to address the grievances of exporters and importers. The details are available at DGFT's website https://dgft.gov.in/CP/

Importation

44

Are there any limitations as to the period of year during which importation may be made?

No.

45

What documents are required upon actual importation?

The documents required upon actual importation are, besides the import authorisation, shipping documents and commercial invoices. Pre-shipment Inspection Certificate, Phyto-sanitary Certificate and Certificate of Origin are to be submitted on importation if the import policy mandates so.

46

Are there any other administrative procedures, apart from import licensing and similar administrative procedures, required prior to importation?

No

Conditions of licensing

47

What is the period of validity of a licence? Can the validity be extended? How?

As per paragraph 2.16 of the Handbook of Procedures, 2015-2020, an import authorisation shall normally be endorsed with a period of validity of 18 months. The authorisation may be revalidated for a period of six months by the licensing authority on merit.

48

Is there any penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of a licence?

No.

49

Are licences transferable between importers? If so, are any limitations or conditions attached to such transfer?

No.

Foreign Exchange

50

Is foreign exchange automatically provided by the banking authorities for goods to be imported?

Yes. There is no restriction on foreign exchange for import. Foreign exchange is provided by the authorized dealers for the import of goods.

51

Is a licence required as a condition to obtaining foreign exchange?

However, for the import of items appearing in the restricted category, an import authorisation is required.

52

Is foreign exchange always available to cover licences issued?

Normal banking procedures apply for obtaining foreign exchange.

53

What formalities must be fulfilled for obtaining the foreign exchange?

Normal banking procedures apply for obtaining foreign exchange.

The following questions are only for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports (whether applicable globally or to a limited number of countries or whether established bilaterally or unilaterally)

6.1

Where is information on allocation and formalities for licences published? Is the overall amount published? The amount allocated to goods from each country? The maximum amount allocated to each importer? How to request any exceptions or derogations from the licensing requirement?

A quota system is generally not adopted. However, wherever quotas are maintained, they are on MFN basis. The quantity and value of imports to be made from different countries are not published as all countries receive MFN status. A ceiling is being maintained on imports of sandalwood under ITC (HS) Code No. 44039922. The import of Pigeon Peas (Cajanus Cajan)/Toor Dal against HS Code 07136000, 07139010 and 07139090 was restricted to total imports of 400,000 MT for the year 2019-20. This restriction was not to apply to Government's import commitments under any bilateral/regional Agreement/MoU. Similarly, import of Moong dal and Urad dal, against HS Code 07133190, 07139010, 07139090 and 07133110 were restricted to an annual (fiscal year) quota of 550,000 MTs for the year 2019-20. This restriction was not to apply to Government's import commitments under any bilateral/regional Agreement/MoU. Accordingly, during the fiscal year 2019 2020, 175,000 MTs of pulses were imported from Mozambique under the MoU signed between the two countries. In 2019, import of peas under EXIM Code 07131000, 07139010 and 07139090 was restricted to total imports of 150,000 MT for the fiscal year 2019-20. The same limit of import for Toor, Moong, Urad and Peas is continued for the fiscal year 2020-21. During the fiscal year 2020 2021, 200,000 MTs of pulses are being imported from Mozambique under the MoU signed between the two Countries. A statement, indicating the quota allocated for import of Toor, Moong, Urad and Peas for the fiscal years 2018-19, 2019 20 & 2020-21 and actual imports, is given below:
TABLE
* Though the annual quota for Peas for the financial year 2019-20 was only 150,000 MTs the actual imports of Peas during the financial year 2019 20 were 666,700 MTs, because of many Court cases where importers have got relief to import, from various Courts of India.
# The Finance Act, 2019 has deleted the HS code 0713 10 00 and has introduced new HS Codes 0713 10 10 (Yellow Peas), 0713 10 20 (Green Peas) and 0713 10 90 (Other).
Import licensing is maintained for the smooth operation of the imports of restricted items. The requirements for filing applications for imports are published in the Handbook of Procedures, Vol. 1. The Handbook of Procedures indicates in detail the procedures to be followed for making applications for import authorisations. These are publications, which are available for sale and also available on the website: https://dgft.gov.in/CP/ Wide publicity is also given to the Foreign Trade Policy through the media.
The Foreign Trade Policy remains valid for a specified period. The current Policy, which came into effect on 1 April 2015, will remain in force till March 2021, as notified vide Notification 57/2015-20 dated 31 March 2020.

6.2

Is the size of the quota determined: on yearly, six-monthly or quarterly basis? Are there cases where the size of quota is determined on a yearly basis but licences are issued for imports on a six-monthly or quarterly basis? In the latter case, is it necessary for importers to apply for a fresh licence on a six-monthly or quarterly basis?

Imports of "restricted" items into India are generally not restricted through maintenance of quotas. However, where there is a fixed quota to be allotted, periodicity of such quotas (as for the items mentioned in I above) is mentioned in the Notification itself or an annual basis.

6.3

Are licences allocated for certain goods partly or only to domestic producers of like goods? What steps are taken to ensure that licences allocated are actually used for imports? Are unused allocations added to quotas for a succeeding period? Are names of importers to whom licences have been allocated made known to governments and export promotion bodies of exporting countries upon request? If not, for what reason? (Indicate products to which replies relate)

This question is partly relevant only in cases where a quota system is maintained as in paragraph I. Otherwise, import of "restricted" items (other than those for which imports are prohibited) is allowed against specific Import Authorisations or in accordance with the Public Notices issued for this purpose. Such items are subject to Actual User Conditions unless this condition is specifically dispensed with. The names of the authorisation holders can be made available to governments and export promotion bodies of the exporting countries upon request.

6.4

From the time of announcing the opening of quotas, as indicated in I above, what is the period of time allowed for the submission of applications for licences?

As already stated, India normally does not apply quota restrictions on imports. However, where the quotas are to be allotted, detailed procedure and timelines is laid out in Notification/Public Notices issued in this regard.

6.5

What are the minimum and maximum lengths of time for processing applications?

The application for specific authorisations mentioned in paragraph 2 above are processed after clearance by the Exim Facilitation Committee as per the prescribed time schedule for disposal.

6.6

How much time remains, at a minimum, between the granting of licences and the date of opening of the period of importation?

Import authorisations, wherever required are issued with a specified period of validity, generally 18 months for shipment of goods. It is up to the importer to import goods at any time during the validity period of the import authorisation.

6.7

Is consideration of licence applications effected by a single administrative organ? Or must the application be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval? If so, which? Does the importer have to approach more than one administrative organ?

Import applications are submitted to the Office of the DGFT, New Delhi or its regional offices, as the case may be. The practice of routing authorisation applications through the sponsoring authorities has been dispensed with. Such applications are now considered by an Exim Facilitation Committee, wherever necessary, constituted for this purpose. There is a single administrative organ for considering these applications.

6.8

If the demand for licences cannot be fully satisfied, on what basis is the allocation to applicants made? First come, first served? Past performance? Is there a maximum amount to be allocated per applicant and if so, on what basis is it determined? What provision is made for new importers? Are applications examined simultaneously or on receipt?

The import of restricted list items is allowed on technical criteria fixed by Exim Facilitation Committee. There is no maximum limit to be allocated per applicant. The applications are examined as soon as they are received.

6.9

In the case of bilateral quotas or export restraint arrangements where export permits are issued by exporting countries, are import licences also required? If so, are licences issued automatically?

No import license is required for import of pulses from Mozambique into India under the bilateral quota.

6.10

In cases where imports are allocated on the basis of export permits only, how is the importing country informed of the effect given by the exporting countries to the understanding between the two countries?

Import of specified capital goods, raw materials and components from United States of America (USA) is subject to US Export Control Regulation, and US suppliers of such items are required to obtain an export authorization based on import certificate issued in India.

6.11

Are there products for which licences are issued on condition that goods should be exported and not sold in the domestic market?

The authorisations mentioned in paragraph 2 above are issued either with Actual User Condition or on freely transferable condition. However, these authorisations do not bear the condition that imported goods should be exported. However, where authorisation is subject to actual user conditions the goods imported cannot be sold in domestic market except, as per the provisions of FTP, 2015-2020.