Exporting from India - Part II : What to export?

This is a continuation of our series Exporting from India: Part I 

To research and decide what to export, a knowledge about what can be traded from the country is of supreme importance. This know-how eliminates any legal issue that could arise. 

What can be traded?

Goods and services can be traded between countries. Restricted and prohibited items are listed on DGFT website.

Here is a category of products that can be traded:


Status under special authorization


Prohibited Items

No export or import allowed

Wild animal

Restricted Items

Imports Allowed with conditions


SCOMET items

Exports allowed but will be subject to permission as under schedule 2 of ITC (HS)

Special chemicals

Import control:

Security, public health, public morals and environment are the grounds on which imports are controlled. Under imports, presently there are about 53 lines of prohibited items, 485 lines of restricted items, 33 lines of STEs. They together constitute about 4% of Indian tariff lines. About 11,100 lines are free for import. Find a detailed write up about Indian export policy here.

Export control:

Security, public health, public morals, exhaustible resources and environment are the grounds on which there are export controls. Currently, there are 59 lines of prohibited items, 155 lines of restricted items, 15 lines of STEs. They together constitute about 4% of Indian tariff lines. About 11,100 lines are free for import.

These export restrictions fall under the following categories:

  1. Export Facilitation Committee at DGFT headquarters can permit the export of items for general trade.
  2. The dual use items like nuclear material which falls under SCOMET (Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment and Technologies) need Special provisions for export.

What to export?

Finding a right product to export demands time and research for an expertise. Web sites like These are-  www.intracen.org,  http://comtrade.un.org/ ,  http://www.dgciskol.nic.in/index.asp - India Specific, Data  ICEGATE – Customs Tariff and news,  Directorate General of Foreign Trade websites provide relevant data with a sign-up requirement. While you are digging for the data, data mining is necessary for:

  • Assessing the size of the world market for a product
  • Assessing the market trend for the selected product by looking at market growth analysis
  • Having a look at current economic ties of other countries with India
  • Estimating and working out fresh markets other than the regular international market destinations for the selected product
  • Knowing about the existing trade barriers and tariffs for the identified product
  • Doing a competitor analysis before resuming with the export

Here is where you can get the top ‘n’ commodities globally traded from India. This includes data group-wise, region-wise, and the matrix of countries vs. commodities.

ITC (HS) code

The International Trade Classification Harmonized System Code [ITC (HS)] is like an identification badge of a good being traded in the world markets. It helps in data entry, monitoring, regulation and eases the flow of trade information. Primary unit to search for any product in the international trade is the ITC HS code. ITC (HS) codes help the trader to know about the permitted, restricted and prohibited items.

  • ITC HS code can be broken up like mentioned below to understand it better:
  • Its first two digits signify the chapter that the goods belong to.
  • Its next two digits are to identify the grouping within the chapter.

The next digits are to classify them further within the group. Most developed nations use even 10-12 digits but they arise out of the same basic 4-6 codes and are classified in depth after that.

*Above info was published on eximdesk.com by Aditi