When you have a product that is raking in the bucks, it’s only natural to want to venture into other markets to test whether the same demand holds true over there as well. Most entrepreneurs are keen to tap into the overseas market, not only for higher profits and to gauge where their products stand internationally but also for the incentives and subsidy sops offered by the the government. However, extensive procedures, paperwork, and lack of clarity often end up taking a toll on prospective exporters, discouraging them from exporting.
While it’s easy to demand a comparatively paper-free, hassle-free and procedure-free export process, this may not be feasible given the extent of foreign exchange involved, and the possibility of fraud and black-marketing. Without proper procedure and paperwork, it will be impossible to determine the many aspects of the country’s economy, including the current account deficit or surplus. The Indian government has tried to give a fillip to this sector by coming up with special incentives, such as the Export-Oriented Units scheme (EOUs) and the Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) scheme.
Despite these measures, exporters are not exempt from the detailed paperwork that is part and parcel of the export business, and rightly so. After all, proper checks and balances need to be in place to ensure that shipments are correctly accounted for. Without a doubt, exports are one of the key sources of earning forex for the country, and adequate disclosure in the documentation would only ensure there’s transparency at all times.
Getting into the specifics; there are two essential documents that need to be filed with the customs department, namely the Export General Manifest (EGM) and the Shipping Bill. Let us see and understand why they need to be filed and how the two documents differ from each other.