'Imports' means, bringing into India,
of goods from a place outside India. In other words, it refers to the
goods which are produced abroad by foreign producers and are used in the
domestic economy in order to cater to the needs of the domestic consumers.
India includes the territorial waters of India which extend upto 12 nautical
miles into the sea to the coast of India. Similarly, 'exports' of goods
means, taking goods out of India to a place outside India. It refers to
the goods which are produced domestically and are used to cater to the
needs of the consumers in other countries. The country which is purchasing
the goods is known as the importing country and the country which is selling
the goods is known as the exporting country. The traders involved in such
transactions are importers and exporters respectively.
In India, exports and imports are
regulated by the Foreign
Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992, which replaced the Imports
and Exports(Control) Act,1947, and gave the Government of India enormous
powers to control it. The salient features of the Act are as follows:-
- It has empowered the Central Government
to make provisions for development and regulation of foreign trade by
facilitating imports into, and augmenting exports from India and for
all matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
- The Central Government can prohibit,
restrict and regulate exports and imports, in all or specified cases
as well as subject them to exemptions.
- It authorizes the Central Government
to formulate and announce an Export
and Import (EXIM) Policy and also amend the same from time
to time, by notification in the Official Gazette.
- It provides for the appointment of
a Director General of Foreign Trade by the Central
Government for the purpose of the Act. He shall advise Central Government
in formulating export and import policy and implementing the policy.
- Under the Act, every importer and
exporter must obtain a 'Importer
Exporter Code Number' (IEC) from Director General of Foreign
Trade or from the officer so authorised.
- The Director General or any other
officer so authorised can suspend or cancel a licence issued for export
or import of goods in accordance with the Act. But he does it after
giving the licence holder a reasonable opportunity of being heard.
Besides the Foreign
Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, there are some other laws
which control the export and import of goods. These include:-