As mentioned in our detailed piece on the Shipping Bill, there are different forms that have been prescribed by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC). Your choice would depend on whether you intend to export duty-free goods, dutiable goods, under drawback, or duty-free goods ex-bond.

The links to these forms are given below:

  1. Shipping Bill for export of dutiable goods
  2. Shipping Bill for Export of duty-free goods
  3. Shipping Bill for export of duty-free goods ex-bond
  4. Declaration to be filed in case of goods under claim for drawback

Shipping bills have traditionally been filed in the format as prescribed in the Shipping Bill and Bill of Export (Form) regulations, 1991. However, in a notification dated 25th March 2019, the Shipping Bill and Bill of Export (Forms) Amendment Regulations, 2019, was introduced, defining the forms for various types of Shipping Bills.

  • This amendment saw the introduction of these revised formats:
  • Form SB – I under Regulation 2, i.e. Shipping Bill for Export of Goods (Original)
  • Form SB – I under Regulation 2, i.e. Shipping Bill for Export of Goods (Quadruplicate) [Export Promotion Copy]
  • Form SB – III under Regulation 3, i.e. Bill for Export of Goods (Original)
  • Form SB – III under Regulation 3, i.e. Bill for Export of Goods (Quadruplicate) [Export Promotion Copy]

The notification dated 25th March 2019 contains the amended formats. While filing the shipping bill in the new formats, information related to the following fields will be required:

  • Information related to the exporter, buyer, and customs broker
  • Information related to carrier, port, and transportation
  • Invoice and purchase order/indent
  • Itemized information about the cargo
  • Export duty and GST-related information
  • Export scheme/job work /re-export details

Filing of Shipping Bill (Non-EDI)

Shipping Bills can be processed manually, without using an EDI platform. They are filed through the manual system along with all original copies of the invoice, AR-4, packing list etc.

Filing of Shipping Bill (EDI)

The ICEGATE platform provides EDI-based e-filing services, including electronic filing of Shipping Bills. Here is the process:

  • Registration of the exporter/Customs House Agents (CHA) with the EDI system using the IE code, AD code, and/or CHA Licence number.
  • Online submission of the Shipping Bill in the prescribed format at the Customs service centers, along with copies of required documents, including the invoice and packing list.
  • Verification of the checklist that is generated upon submission, by the exporter or the CHA.
  • Submission of the verified checklist into the EDI by the service center operator. The exporter or the CHA retain a printed copy of the checklist with the Shipping Bill number endorsed on it.
  • Status of the Shipping Bill and any queries related to it can be resolved at the service center.

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Steps before generating the Shipping Bill

In the case of EDI-based filing, the Shipping Bill is processed by the system automatically on the basis of declarations made by the exporters. However, the Assistant Commissioner (Exports) is involved in the assessment of Shipping Bills if the FOB value exceeds Rs 10 lakh, the free sample is over Rs 20,000, or the drawback amount exceeds Rs 1 lakh.

During the assessment and subsequent inspection/examination, the following steps are taken:

  1. During the assessment, the assessing officer checks the value of the goods, duty/cess applicable, classification under drawback schedule in case of duty drawback cases, exportability of goods under EXIM policy, and other compliances.
  2. In the case of Duty Exemption Entitlement Certificate (DEEC)/ Duty Entitlement Pass Book Scheme (DEPB) Shipping Bills, the processing is done in the DEEC group. In case of DEEC Shipping Bills, the description of the goods declared in the Bill and the Invoice must match with the description of the resultant product as per the DEEC book.
  3. The assessing officer can further assess the value and description of goods by calling for samples of the goods from the docks, or ask for any other information in the course of processing the Shipping Bill. The samples may be checked visually or sent for further tests.
  4. After the assessment is done, the shipping bill is passed by the Assessing Officer and the exporter or their agent moves the goods towards the Shed Appraiser (Export) for examination.
  5. The examination of the goods may be done by a Customs officer under the supervision of the Shed Appraiser (Export).
  6. After the examination, if the description and other particulars of the goods match the declaration, the Shed Appraiser gives a ‘Let Export’ order. The exporter can then contact the preventive superintendent, who will supervise the loading of the goods on to the vessel. This concludes the process of generating the shipping bill.

If any discrepancy is found in the goods during the examination at the docks the examining staff may mark and send the Shipping Bill back to the export department. They may also provide the department with their observations and samples of the goods. The export department will assess each case and decide whether to allow the export, suggest amendments in the description, value etc., or take action against the exporter under the Customs Act, 1962, for false declaration.

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