India’s Principal Law Governing Foreign Trade

India’s principal law governing foreign trade is the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992.

In accordance with the Act, the Government of India formulates and announces a foreign trade policy and amends it from time to time.

The lastest Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) was announced in 2004. It provided a five year plan and comprehensive policy for the development of India’s foreign trade, encompassing two main objectives :- (i) to double India’s percentage share of global merchandise trade within the next five years; and (ii) trade to act as an effective instrument of economic growth by giving a thrust to employment generation.

According to the Indian Government the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is the “most important organ concerned with the promotion and regulation of foreign trade in India”.

The Ministry has two offices concerned with trade: (i) the ‘Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)’, and, (ii) the ‘Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S)’.

The DGFT is responsible for implementing the Foreign Trade Policy/Exim Policy with the main objective of promoting Indian exports. It also issues licences to exporters and monitors their corresponding obligations through a network of regional offices.

The DGCI&S collects, compiles and publishes/ disseminates trade statistics and commercial information required by importers, exporters, traders as well as overseas buyers.

Source: Business Portal of India