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What is a shipping bill in export: Meaning, types and how to apply on ICEGATE

While shipping export products from India, it’s important to understand and obtain a shipping bill depending on your product category and destination country. Here’s a guide for Indian exporters to learn about shipping bill in export.
Shipping bill in export
In export trade, international shipping and delivery is an important step – making sure products reach the importer or end-customer without any damage is key to a successful export business. In this process, a shipping bill is an essential document issued by the Customs Service Centre1. This bill allows an exporter to get customs clearance and initiate shipping.

While sending products from one country to another, an exporter has to go through various formalities like submitting a few applications, acquiring licenses, paying duties, etc. To obtain clearance from customs, an exporter has to apply for a shipping bill to avoid any challenges while shipping. All products can only be exported out of the country if the shipping bill has been checked by the customs with ‘Let Export Order’ and ‘Let Ship Order’.

What is a shipping bill and what is its utility?

A shipping bill is an important document that an exporter needs to obtain from the customs department before getting his products ready to ship from India. While shipping products from one country to another, an exporter is required to follow a certain export procedure, obtain documents and get clearance from customs. After receiving a shipping bill, the customs authority conducts inspection, post which, it issues an Let Export Order – the final legal procedure required to move goods out of India. This process is completed by the Indian Customs Department by finding out the net value of the goods to be exported) on the shipping bill which is signed and sealed by customs officers2.

What does the shipping bill include?

A shipping bill usually includes:
• Details of exporter, buyer or importer and customs agent
• Name of the vessel
• Transportation and port of loading and discharge details
• Cargo details (gross and net weight, nature)
• Invoice details (number of commercial invoices, nature of payment, invoice value in both currencies)
• GST and export duty-related information
• FOB (Freight on Board) price and insurance amount of items
• Container numbers
• Duty Drawback details
• Nature of goods exported
• Country of destination and the port at which goods are to be discharged
• Exporter’s address
• Importer’s address
• Details of packages such as numbers and marks

Types of shipping bills in export

Dutiable shipping bill

Payment of export duty on goods to be exported and here ‘dutiable shipping bill’ is to be filed.

Drawback shipping bill

Drawback shipping bill is to be filed for goods which are for refund purposes.

Ex-bond shipping bill

Goods that are imported and stored in the bonded warehouse which are to be re-exported have to be filed under ex-bond shipping bill.

Coastal shipping bill

When goods are required to be shipped and they are needed to be moved from one port to another port, coastal shipping bill needs to be filed.

How to get a shipping bill from ICEGATE?

To obtain a shipping bill from ICEGATE, an exporter can follow the below-mentioned steps3:
• An exporter has to register with the customs department on their website (ICEGATE) with IEC or Customs House Agents license number and AD Code of the respective bank.
• Post that, exporter can sign in to ICEGATE and fill the required details in the prescribed format, along with necessary documents, and submit it.
• Once the application has been verified, ‘Let Export Order’ will be issued by the officer.
• After this is issued, the shipping bill is generated.
Following are the steps to check the status of a shipping bill:
1. Login to ICEGATE using your login credentials.
2. Click on ‘Job Status’ link on the left menu of available services.
3. On the ‘Job Status’ page, click on ‘Shipping Bill (24 Hrs)’ and select the appropriate location from the drop down.
4. Submit the required details.
You can view details of all shipping bills filed from the selected location in the last 24 hours. These details include job number, job date, Customs location name, along with details of the various stages of the shipping bills.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get an export shipping bill?
You can apply for a shipping bill by registering on ICEGATE and submitting required documents, along with the application.
Who prepares the shipping bill?
This is prepared by the Customs Service Centre after an exporter applies for it.
What is the difference between the bill of lading and a shipping bill?
A shipping bill is a bill for shipment needed for custom clearance while you are exporting products. Bill of lading is issued by the shipping company to the transporter when the transporter loads goods to the ship.
Published on July 12, 2022.

Sources:
1. https://www.cbic.gov.in/htdocs-cbec/customs/cs-act/formatted-htmls/cs-import-regu2
2. https://www.indiafilings.com/learn/shipping-bill/
3. https://www.icegate.gov.in/Download/FAQs_Final_Draft_Uploaded.pdf
4. https://enquiry.icegate.gov.in/enquiryatices/sbTrack
5. http://dgftebrc.nic.in:8090/SBQry/SBIec_index.jsp
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*Map not to scale. The map has been used for design and representational purpose only, it does not depict the geographical boundaries of the country. These do not conform to the external boundaries of India recognized by the Survey of India.

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