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The Export Inspection Council of India (EIC) was set up by the Government of India under Section 3 of the Export (Quality Control & Inspection) Act, 1963 as an apex body to provide for sound development of export trade through quality control and pre-shipment inspection. The Act empowers the Central Government to notify commodities and their minimum standards for exports, generally international standards or standards of the importing countries and to set up suitable machinery for inspection and quality control.


The EIC is assisted in its functions by the Export Inspection Agencies (EIAs) located at Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai having a network of 41 sub-offices and laboratories to back up the pre-shipment inspection and certification activity. In addition, EIC also designates inspection agencies and laboratories to supplement its own activities as required. Presently 42 inspection agencies have been designated for inspection of minerals and iron ore and 14 labs for supplementing EIC's testing for primarily food products.

FUNCTIONS:out Quality Control and Certification of products for exports, both statutory and voluntary through various types of certification such as consignment wise or a system approach. Products covered include food items such as Fish & Fish Products, Dairy Products, Poultry Meat Products, Honey and Meat and Meat Products, Spices, Basmati Rice and Non food items such as Engineering items, Chemicals, Footwear etc. Issue of Preferential Certificates of Origin covering all products being exported out of India. Product testing for certification samples as well as commercial samples. Issue of Certificates of Health and Certificate of Authenticity to exporters under various schemes for various products. Certification of quality of food items for export through installation of Food Safety Management Systems in the food processing units as per international standards. To advise the central government regarding measures to be taken for enforcement of quality control and inspection in relation to commodities intended for export.

The main functions carried by the EIC can be classified as follows:



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To create an export inspection & certification infrastructure within the country based on International Standards for Certification Authorities in consonance with WTO requirements. To instill confidence in importers about quality and safety of Indian exports. To enhance capability of manpower through trainings to meet International requirements. To provide accredited state-of-art testing facilities in chosen frontier areas. To obtain recognition for Indias export certification system from our major trading partners. To participate in international fora and project Indian interest. To be in sync with the latest technological advancements for capacity building.

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Under the Export Quality Control & Inspection Act, 1963, the Council, which is constituted by the Central Government, is the apex body, and has powers to constitute specialist committees to assist it in discharge of its functions. Accordingly, the Council has constituted Administrative Committee to advise it on administrative matters and a Technical Committee to advise it on technical matters.


The Export Inspection Agency provides for compulsory preshipment inspection of export goods in respect to notified items under the Export (Quality Control and Inspection) Act, 1963.

1. Product Coverage:The govt. of India notified a lot items for compulsory pre-shipment inspection. These items relate to the product groups of: a. Engineering products b. Chemicals and allied products c. Food and agriculture products d. Jute and jute products e. Coir and coir products

f. g. h. i.

footwear and footwear components Cashew Fish and fish products Miscellaneous products

2. System Inspection:The Export Inspection Agency provides for pre-shipment inspection under the three different systems of inspection as stated below:
o Consignment-wise inspection o In-process Quality Control (IPQC) o Self-Certification Scheme

Consignment-wise inspection:-

Under this system, each export consignment is inspected and tested by recognized inspection agency. The agency caries out the sample check to determine whether the goods conform to the quality specifications. After inspection, the recognized inspection agency issues the pre-shipment inspection certificate to the exporter.

In-process Quality Control (IPQC):-

This system emphasises the responsibility of the manufacturer in ensuring quality during each stage of production by exercising adequate quality controls. The controls to ensure quality are exercised in relation to the following stages under this system:

a) b) c) d) e)

Raw materials and bought out components control; Production process control; Metrological control; Preservation control; and Packing control.

It is essential that the standards of quality are laid down for each of the stages of quality control.

Self-Certification Scheme:-

Under this system the manufacturing units which have proven record of maintenance of quality are given the facility of self certification so that they can issue pre-shipment inspection certificate themselves. The unit should be well equipped with testing facilities and the required quality control systems. The self certification system is based on the philosophy that a manufacturing unit having established reputation for its product with sufficient in-built system for quality assurance could be permitted to certify its own product for export.