Director General of Foreign Trade, DGFT India is a government authority that functions under the banner of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The key responsibility of this authority is to facilitate foreign trade and do the needful to promote international business in the country. It carries out its functions from various zonal and inter-zonal offices located throughout the country. These offices are also responsible for developing policies and guidelines and they also formulate such schemes that would eventually benefit the exporter / importer and strengthen the international trade. DGFT Delhilocated in the capital is the zonal head for North division, where most of the important work is carried out.
Framing foreign trade laws, implementation of rules and regulations, taking care of amendments and changes and imposing taxes and duties are some of the important functions of DGFT India. Besides this, any person or company interested to start an export / import business has to retain an IEC (Importer Exporter Code), which is a license to do international business, issued by this Government body. The applicants need to file an application form as per the guidelines of the authority to retain an IEC code. This facility is now available online as well. You can download online application from the site. You can also check the status of your application form on the official website of DGFT.
Director General of Foreign Trade has also formulated the ITC (HS) classification codes, which are like an identity for the foreign trade commodities and unique for every product. This classification is divided into twenty one sections, which is further divided into chapters followed by two digits code, further followed by four digits sub heading. For example live animals are categorized with digits 01 in the first chapter, followed by 04 for live sheep and goat further followed by 2000 for goats. Hence, the HS – code for live goat is 0104200 that should be used as a product code for importing or exporting live goats to / from any part of the world. This eight digit HS code is mandatory for all sorts of export/import business products. The HS code must be mentioned clearly in the papers at the time of imports failing to which the product is subject to encounter problems at the time of customs clearance.
International trade is the basic route for economic empowerment of a country. DGFT Indiaplays a vital role in the progress of foreign trade of the country. It applies its jurisdiction over those involved in illegal trading methods as well. Tracking illegal activities like smuggling of commodities is one of the important functions of this government body.