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The Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992

The Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act was established on 7th August 1992. This Act came into existence as a replacement to the Import and Exports (Control) Act, 1947. This Act gave enormous supremacy to the Government to control Imports and exports of India. Foreign trade is nothing but an exchange of goods and services between one Country to another beyond their international borders. This Act is the supreme legislation in pursuance of foreign trade. This Act has been incorporated with the intention to provide framework for development and standardization of foreign trade by facilitating imports and enhancing exports in India and matters related to the same.

The Central Government has power to make any provisions relating to foreign trade to fulfill the objectives of this Act. This Government can make any provisions with regard to the formulations of import and export policies. Initially these policies were known as an export import policies or Exim policies but later it was termed as Foreign Trade Policies by Director General of foreign trade. This Director General shall be appointed by the Central Government by notifying the same in the Official Gazette for carrying out the foreign trade policies as per the provisions provided by this Act.

This Act never allows any person to do export and import business unless and until he is issued by an Importer Exporter Code Number (IEC.No) by the concerned authority. In case if any of the exporter or importer violates any provisions of foreign trade policies framed by the Central Government by misusing the Code number or found to be achieved with ill intentions, etc, such person’s Importer Exporter Code Number shall be cancelled or suspended. This is done by the Director General of Foreign Trade. Person who’s IEC No. has been cancelled or suspended shall not be allowed to transact any import or export businesses. Such cancellation or suspension of this IEC No. shall be done through initializing with duly written notice and appropriate investigations by calling for records or any other information from that person by giving reasonable opportunity as prescribed by this Act. Here the Central Government by wide Order specifying the reasons shall cancel or suspend his IEC No provided for doing import or export businesses.

This Act shall not allow doing any import or exporting business that is not specified or licensed to do so as per the foreign trade policies. Such License shall be granted in pursuance to this Act as prescribed. This License shall also be refused or cancelled if it does not fulfill the requirements of the policies framed by the Central Government with a written Order by Director General of Foreign Trade with the written reasons recorded for the same.

This License shall also be renewed or modified with an application by the person requesting for the same. This shall be done after proper investigations and enquiry, etc, as per the terms and conditions prescribed by this Act by mentioning the reason on its wide Order of the Central Government. This cancellation or suspension of license shall be done only after providing reasonable opportunities to be heard.

This Act shall authorize any person through notifications in the Official Gazette to search, investigate and seize the documents, goods, etc, as prescribed by this Act through the provisions under Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. If any person Acts in contravention to the policies or provisions under this Act in anyway shall be adjudicated or adjudged and punished by Director General as per the powers prescribed by the Central Government under this Act. This may be by way of settlement or by way of penalty and suspension of IEC No., and such other punishments that may deem fit under this Act. Any aggrieved person shall go for an Appeal within forty five days from the date of Order made by the Director General and the Order made in such Appeal by the Appellate authority shall be final.

This Act has been repealed and amended by enacting The Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 2010 in 19th August 2010 for betterment of Foreign Trade. The Department of Commerce with the intention to enhance foreign trade has opened a grievance cell with all forms of Contact details to the public as a whole.

by C.Srivenkatesh Prabhu