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10 Documents Required for Export From India- Easy Check-list

10 Documents Required for Export From India- Easy Check-list

The world of export might sound exciting with travel, research, and marketing, but many people often forget about the intricacies. In export, the documentation process is an integral part, which cannot be brushed over. At every step, you will be asked to produce the appropriate documents required for export from India for your process to move forward.

This includes applying, submitting, obtaining, and producing the required paperwork as and when required. Not only is it mandatory, but this process also must be carried out correctly and appropriately for the best possible results for your export. This can be quite tough given how confusing and tedious the process is.

But no matter what, documentation is necessary to streamline the goods and service process, along with the payment. This holds importance, especially in international markets where the regulations differ from country to country. Having all the accurate paperwork ready will avoid any legal implications for your export business as well. Whether you are new to the export world or have been in the industry for a while, this checklist will assist you to keep all the documents required for export from India ready, so that you can enjoy the fun part of the process!

Before you start, do keep in mind that different countries need different certifications. The documents required for export from India can also vary based on what type of products you are exporting. Make sure you have checked any additional documents that will be required adhering to these specifications beforehand.

List of Documents required for export/All the documents required for export from India:

3 Core Documents for export from India

1. Bill of Lading (BL)

The Bill of Lading is an absolute must and one of the first Export Documents required in India. It is responsible for export-bound cargo and denotes a contract between the shipper and the carrier. The gist of this document specifies that the carrier has acknowledged that the goods are received, and in proper condition to be shipped.

It’s issued by the carrier of the goods subsequently after the Cost & Freight agent submits the Mate’s Receipt, and it’s checked. Usually, the main carrier issues the master BL, and a house BL is issued by the freight forwarder.

2. Commercial Invoice cum Packing List

Both are necessary documents required for export from India. The Commercial Invoice needs to be handed over to customs and is made after all your products are ready for export. Without a signature from costumes, your shipment cannot go forward. If your cargo has more than one product, it’s compulsory to procure a packing list. In this list, you must mention all the items distinctly that will be exported. Today, you can submit both the documents merged into one, if the packing list details are visible on your Commercial Invoice. This unified document is called a Commercial Invoice cum Packing List.

3. Shipping Bill/ Bill of Export

The third core document, the Shipping bill is issued by ICEGATE which is the Indian Customs Electronic Gateway. ICEGATE procures an electronic filing of bills. This bill falls under the umbrella of documents required for export from India and for customs and is needed to be given the green go for export. The Shipping Bill gives clearance to exporters from customs. Learn more here – Shipping Bill and Bill of Export Regulations

List of Documents Required for Export/Necessary Documents required for Export from India:

10 Documents Required for Export From India- Easy Check-list

4. Proforma Invoice

The Proforma Invoice contains all the required details and information about your export. Your buyer will be able to view the products, delivery, cost, payment terms, and other indispensable information at a glance. This document is also needed if you require advance payment. The paperwork acts as an agreement between the exporter and the buyer.

5. Export Order or Purchase Order

This necessary document required for export comes in after the Proforma Invoice is issued. The order is confirmed via the Purchase Order (PO) or Export Order. Details are filled by the buyer and include cost, shipping details, type of currency, and any other specific goods information and requirements.

6. Certificate of Origin

The Certificate of Origin acts much like the birth certificates for your goods and products and is one of the necessary documents required for export from India! This document contains which country the goods originate from, and the specific place they have been manufactured in. Keep in mind to produce a COO for each item in your shipment. The certificate is to be attached to the Commercial Invoice and is an affidavit.

7. Bill of Exchange

The Bill of Exchange is an internal document prepared by the exporting party. Its purpose is to notify the buyer to pay the requisite amount to the exporter or bank.

8. Letter of Credit

While this document isn’t a part of the shipping process directly, it’s still required and procured as a mandate. The buyer’s bank generates and issues the letter of credit to commit the date of payment to the exporter if by chance the buyer delays it. It’s a necessary document required while exporting to honor the purchase order of the buyer.

9. Inspection or Quality Check

Before the shipment of the goods, an importer can demand to investigate the quality of your goods and check if the packing parameters are being adhered to. It’s the exporter’s job to keep the documents and certificates required if this comes up.

10. Phyto-Sanitary & Fumigation Certificates

Like the Inspection/ Quality check certificates, these certificates are asked by the importer to check the quality of the goods under international parameters. In fact, it is necessary for several countries, despite the tests being different based on the country or products. To ship agricultural goods from India, the Phyto-sanitary certificate is indispensable.

Other Additional Documents required for export from India:

Apart from the list of documents required for export & those who need to be generated before the export process and by the exporter, here are a few more that will be procured during the process:

  • Marine Insurance Policy: Ensures the safety coverage of the products shipped overseas.
  • Mate’s Receipt: The Mate’s Receipt confirms the loading of your goods on the shipment, and is issued after the same.
  • FEMA Declaration for exporters: This declaration states that the exporter agrees to comply with the principles of the FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999)
  • Let Export Order: Issues after the customs clearance procedure is completed. Also acts as proof that the necessary formalities and activities have been fulfilled.
  • Export General Manifest: After the goods are relocated from the exporting country, the Manifest is filed by the carrier.


Now that you have an initial understanding of the documents required for export in India, you can start the process of procuring and generating them. Make sure you have thoroughly checked all the information residing in all the documents and that it is accurate and in compliance with the rest of your products and goods. You can also avoid all last-minute chaos by knowing beforehand what products and goods are to be inspected, and how you can be prepared for the same.

At all times, don’t forget to keep the partnership deed of your export business, personal identification documents, your IEC (Import Export Code), and the Registration-cum-Membership Certificate on you.

The documents and process that follows is simply the tip of the iceberg! There is so much more to be discovered including insider insights, practical information, and first-hand experience in the world of exporting. With Import Export Federation courses, you can attain all this knowledge to become a successful exporter of your own. Visit our site to browse through our online and offline courses today.

October 3, 2022
Import Export Federation