The statutory basis for regulation of exports from India is the Foreign Trade (Development and
Regulation) Act, 1992, which has replaced the Imports and Exports (Control) Act, 1947.  The Government is empowered to ban the export of certain goods from India and/or restrict export in quantity, value, etc., by subjecting them to licensing procedures.

In exercise of the powers conferred under Section 30 of the Act, the Central Government has notified the Export and Import Policy valid for a period of five year, 1st September 2004 to 31st March 2007. During the currency of the policy, the Central Government may make any amendments to it. Such amendments will be published by means of Public notices issued by the Director General of Foreign Trade.
Exports from the country are generally free.  Item-wise information on the exportability of the product should be verified from the book titled “ITC (HS) Classification of Export and Import Items” published by the Director General of Foreign Trade.  The goods may be classified under any of the following categories :

1. Free – items that can be exported without any restriction;

2. Restricted – items that can be exported only under a license or permission;

3. State Trading – items export of which can be done only through the specified State Trading Enterprise;

4. Prohibited – items that cannot be exported.

Most items fall under the category of free goods.

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