Export-with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, means taking out of India to a place outside India.
“Quality control” means any activity having for its object the determination of the quality of a commodity (whether during the process of manufacture or production or subsequently) in order to ascertain whether it satisfies the standard specifications applicable to it or any other specifications stipulated in the export contract and whether it may be accepted for purposes of export.
Export Inspection Council is the chief regulator
The Export Inspection Council (EIC) was set up by the Government of India under Section 3 of the Export (Quality Control and Inspection) Act, 1963 (22 of 1963), in order to ensure sound development of export trade of India through Quality Control and Inspection and for matters connected thereof.
Export Inspection Council, either directly or through Export Inspection Agencies, its field organisation renders services in the areas of:
Certification of quality of export commodities through installation of quality assurance systems (In-process Quality Control and Self Certification) in the exporting units as well as consignment wise inspection.
5. Functions of the Council.—(1) The functions of the Council shall generally be to advise the Central Government regarding measures for the enforcement of quality control and inspection in relation to commodities intended for export and to draw up programmes therefore, to make, with the concurrence of the Central Government, grants-in-aid to the agencies established or recognised under section 7 and to perform such other functions as maybe assigned to it by or under this Act.
(2) For the purpose of performing its functions, the Council may co-opt as members such number of persons as it thinks fit who have special knowledge and practical experience in matters relating to any commodity or trade therein and any such person shall have the right to take part in the discussions of the Council but shall not have the right to vote and shall not be a member for any other purpose.
(3) The Council may also constitute specialist committees for conducting investigations on special problems connected with its functions.
(4) In the performance of its functions under this Act, the Council shall be bound by such directions as the Central Government may give to it in writing from time to time.
Under the provisions of WTO Agreements, especially the SPS Agreement, several of India’s trading partners have imposed import control systems based on international standards, particularly in food sector. These Agreements also provide for recognition of the export certification system of member trading partners provided it meets the requirments of their import control. EIC, as the official export certification body of India, has initiated dialogue with several of India’s trading partners seeking recognition of its certification.
Presently, EIC’s certification is recognised in the following areas:
- Basmati Rice by European Commission (for Certificates of Authenticity).
- Black Pepper by United States Food & Drug Administration (USFDA) (as per which, any consignment of black pepper from India, not accompanied by EIA’s certificate, is detained on arrival in USA)
- Fish & Fishery Products by European Commission (as per which, the processing units are specifically approved for export to European Union and the names of approved units sent to the European Commission for formal notification, after which they can export to EU countries)
- For 85 commodities including Milk products, fruits and vegetable products, household electrical appliances & switches, steel & steel products, electrical cables and cement etc. which are covered under the import inspection scheme of Sri Lanka, which is being operated by Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLSI). (as per which, consignments of these commodities when accompanied by EIC’s inspection certificate, would not be further subjected to testing by Sri Lankan authorities on its import in Sri Lanka).
- For various food products which include frozen marine products, jam, preserved goods, sauce, sugar syrup, edible oil and fat etc. by Korea Food & Drug Administration (KFDA) under their Approved Foreign Authorized Inspection Organization Scheme.
- Food products and Food packaging materials by the Turkish customs authorities.
- Poultry Meat & its Products by Japan Health Authorities.
- Iron Ore & General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection & Quarantine by China
- Egg, Packaged water, Drugs & Pharma, Electrics & Electronics products by Singapore
- Fishery and Aquaculture products by Italy.
- Memorandum between FSVPS of Russian Federation and EIC on food and biological safety of fish & fishery products.
- Recognition of EIC Certification by Govt. of Thailand .
- Agreement on Trade and safety of feed and feed ingridients between the Export Inspection Council of India and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China.
- Memorandum of understanding between The Export Inspection Council Of India,Ministry of Commerce and Industry and The United States Food and Drug Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services.
- Protocol between the Export Inspection Council, Ministry of Commerce andIndustry of the Republic of India and the General Administration of QualitySupervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China for Health and Safety Regulations on Importing Indian Rapeseed Meal.