The Export (Quality Control and Inspection) Act, 1963 was enacted to provide sound enhancement of the overseas trade of India by means of quality management and assessment and other matter dealing with the subject. The applicability of the Act extends to the Indian Territory as a whole including the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Act provides for the establishment of Export Inspection Council by the Central Government after publishing in the Gazette of India. The Council shall have the status of a body corporate with continuous succession, common seal with the power to purchase, hold and sell off property, enter into contract and shall have the right to litigate. The Council shall comprise of:
- Chairman who shall be appointed by the Central Government;
- Secretary, ex officio, who shall be the Director of Inspection and Quality management;
- Ex officio member who shall be the honorary advisor on standardization to the Central Government and Director of Indian Standards Organization;
- Ex officio member who shall be the Agricultural Marketing Advisor to the Central Government;
- Ex officio member who shall be the Director General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics;
- Other members proposed by the Central Government.
The Act empowers the Central Government to employ the Director of Inspection and Quality Control to perform the responsibilities and exercise powers as provided under the Act. The fundamental responsibility of the Council shall be to instruct the Central Government dealing with methods for the implementation of quality control and assessment of goods that are supposed to be exported and to draw up plans to make grants-in-aid to the agencies constituted or made out under the Act and to carry out other functions entrusted to it under the enactment, after consultation with the Central Government. The Central Government shall for the enhancement of overseas trade notify goods that are focused under quality control and assessment or both previous to export, prescribe the type of quality control or assessment which is applicable to the goods notified, constitute, take up or recognize standard conditions for the goods notified and restrict the export during international trade of goods that are notified without certificate.
The Central Government is authorized to constitute or recognize agencies for quality control or assessment, but according to the stipulations provided under the Act. The agency shall issue certificate in the prescribed manner after conducting necessary inquiry and satisfies that the goods possess the standard requirements. The aggrieved person from the order of the agency for modification, suspension or termination of the Certificate shall prefer an appeal to the appellate authority empowered under the Act.
The Central Government or any authorized officer or authority may publish notice in the Gazette of India to necessitate persons producing, trading or exporting notified goods and such persons shall provide information, return or document that the Central Government or the authorized officer may deem expedient to fulfill the objectives of the Act. The authority that makes any order or considers appeal or revision shall have the status of a civil court under the Civil Procedure Code in the under mentioned matters:
- Call for and enforce the presence of witnesses;
- Require the finding and manufacture of any record;
- Request any public documents or duplicate from any court or office;
- Get evidence on affidavit; and
- Granting commissions for inspection of witnesses or records.
The persons contravening the provisions of the Act or obtains the certificate illegally or unfairly or acts contrary to the orders of the adjudication or appellate authority shall be penalized according to the provisions of the Act.
The Central Government is empowered under the Act to frame rules for the proper implementation of the Act. To conform to the provisions of the Act, the Central Government created The Export (Quality Control and Inspection) Rules, 1964. The Parliament has also enacted The Export (Quality Control and Inspection) Amendment Act, 1984 to further modify the provision of The Export (Quality Control and Inspection) Act, 1963.