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Annual Report 2007-2008
Quality Control and Pre-Shipment Inspection

Export Inspection Council of India (EIC)

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 38 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. The designation is done based on international norms namely ISO 17020 and ISO 17025 for inspection agencies and labs respectively.

The main functions of EIC are (i) to advise the central government regarding measures to be taken for enforcement of quality control and inspection in relation to commodities intended for export and (ii) to draw up programmes for quality control and inspection of commodities for exports.

The inspection and certification activities are carried out through the EIAs following either a Consignment-wise Inspection or a Systems Approach to include In-process Quality Control (IPQC), Self-Certification and Food Safety Management Systems based certification (FSMSC).

In the WTO regime, as India’s trading partners are installing regulatory import controls, the EIC has re-fashioned its role to develop voluntary certification programmes besides regulatory export control, especially in food sector. The Council is seeking recognition for its certification by official import control agencies of its trading partners, as per provisions of WTO agreements, to facilitate easier access to their markets for Indian exporters.

Activities and Achievements

Export Certification

Certification continued to be mandatory in the areas of fish & fishery products, dairy products, poultry products, egg products, meat & meat products and honey. The EIAs also continued to certify other notified products such as basmati rice, black pepper, chemicals, footwear, engineering items, etc and non-notified products such as tea, stainless steel utensils, ceramic, etc. Steps were taken to bring some more areas/products under the certification regime of EIC. These included products such as Ayurvedic, Siddha and Unani products; sesame seeds; hops and hop products; animal feeds and non-basmati rice.

Residue Monitoring

Implementation of Residue Monitoring continued to be an important area. Residue Monitoring Plans were implemented in the dairy, poultry and egg sectors. During 2006-07, a total number of 363 samples were tested. During April-December 2007, 579 samples have been tested for the entire range of residues relating to pesticides, antibiotics, heavy metals and other chemicals as required by the European Commission.

Certificates of Origin

EIC/EIAs continued to issue Certificates of Origin under various preferential tariff regimes. A total of eight, namely GSP, GSTP, SAPTA, SAFTA, IAPTA, ISFTA, CECA-Singapore, Early Harvest Scheme under Indo-Thailand has been issued. A new preferential tariff scheme was introduced under Indo-Chile PTA which was signed in March 2006 and implemented wef August 2007. During the year 2006-07, the EIAs issued 9,35,379 preferential tariff certificates under various Preferential Tariff Schemes. During April- December 2007, 6,73,147 certificates have been issued by the EIAs under various preferential tariff schemes.

Strengthening Laboratory Capabilities

EIC is also concentrating on strengthening of its laboratory capabilities. The laboratories at Mumbai, Kochi, Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Veraval and Quilon were upgraded with new equipment including Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS), High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICPMS), Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GCMS), Gas Chromatography High Resolution Mass Spectrometry (GCHRMS) etc. depending on the requirements. In addition, implementation of systems as per ISO 17025 was a focus area and the laboratories at Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata continued to strengthen such systems and were assessed for accreditation by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL). The lab at Chennai received NABL accreditation wef 17 October 2007 while the lab at Kochi is already accredited. EIC also has labs at 13 suboffices for doing routine microbiological and some heavy metal testing. These Sub-office laboratories were also prepared for implementation of ISO 17025 and basic documents were developed. A total of 22,590 samples have been tested in EIA Labs till December 2007.

In addition to the EIA laboratories, 14 external laboratories have been designated for supplementing EIC’s testing for primarily food products with 4 new laboratories being approved during the year.

Strengthening Manpower

EIC continued its efforts to train both the internal manpower as well as have Awareness programmes for the industry. Till January 2008, 25 programmes have been held for internal manpower in which 512 persons were given exposure and 17 programmes were held for industry in which 883 persons were given exposure. The basic areas covered included Certificate of Origin, dairy products, fish & fishery products, HACCP, computerisation, laboratory testing etc.

For exporters

  • Quality Control of Basmati Rice held from 25-30 July, 2007 at Hyderabad; 11 participants.
  • Awareness Programme on HACCP for F&FP Sector held on 13-15 Dec. 2007 at Mumbai; 37 participants.
  • Meeting cum awareness Programme for Sesame Seeds Exporters held on 25 Sept, 2007 at Mumbai; 18 participants.
  • Three awareness programme on CoOs for Exporters held from 19 Oct.-10 Dec., 2007 at Mumbai, Kochi and Kolkata; 290 participants.

For internal (EIC/EIA) manpower

  • Lead Auditor Course on ISO 22000:2005; 14 participants
  • Strengthening the Capacity for International Certification of QMS; 11 participants
  • Uncertainty Measurement; 11 participants
  • Lead Assessor Training Course on ISO 17020; 24 participants
  • Four Sensitization Programmes on AYUS Products; 65 participants
  • Three Trainings on ISO 17025; 80 participants
  • Two Refresher Training Programme on CoOs ; 44 participants
  • Two reorientation Programme on fish and fishery products; 58 participants
  • Three Corporate Image Building programmes; 72 participants

EU-India Trade & Investment Development (EU-India TIDP) project

A significant activity carried out during 2007-08 under the EU-India Trade & Investment Development Programme was augmentation and upgradation in relation to strengthening laboratories, strengthening the capacities for international quality management systems certification establishing systems for recognition of inspection bodies in India to meet international requirements, development of sanitary & phyto-sanitary measures (SPS) database, automated interpretation of Rules of Origin, organic certification etc. through 7 Work Packages. Under this activity, 10 study trips to various countries were organised in which 56 officials of EIC/EIAs participated. In addition, interactive meetings and awareness programmes with exporters were organized as per the following details:

  • Interactive Meeting with Trade/Exporters under TIDP (Trade Investment Development Project) held on 2 June, 2007 at Kolkata; 65 participants
  • Eight Awareness Programmes for Exporters under EU-India TIDP held from 23 Oct-23 Nov 2007 at Veraval, Kochi, Tuticorin, Chennai, Vizag, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata; 290 participants

Computerisation and Modernisation

Significant progress was also made under the Integrated Computerisation Project (ICP) initiated since 2002. The laboratory-testing module was fully computerised and implemented in all EIA Head Offices.

The EIC/EIAs continued with its modernisation programme to give the office a facelift. Significant progress has been made in the EIA-Kochi building, which is expected to be completed during the current financial year. The EIA-Delhi was modernized and is now functioning from the new premises.

Agreements with Other Countries

Continued efforts were made towards entering into Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs)/ Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs)/ Equivalence Agreements with the major trading partners so that EICs certification is accepted by these countries. Effective steps were taken towards negotiating agreements with Italy for sesame seeds, Israel for food & agricultural items, Brazil for fishery products, Malaysia for groundnuts and Australia for egg products. Further discussions were also held to enter into similar agreements with Japan, Thailand, Mauritius and Sri Lanka. The Agreement with Singapore in the electical and electronics sector was further streamlined. The status of the existing MoUs/ MRAs/ Recognition Agreements is given in Table below.

Table 8.1
Existing Agreements/Recognitions on EIC certification

Products Covered
Year of Agreement/ Recognition
USA Black Pepper
European Fish & Fishery Products, Basmati Rice
Australia Fish & Fishery Products
Frozen marine products, processed spice goods, processed nuts, tea, honey, jam, preserved goods, sauce, sugar syrup, edible oil and fats
Turkey Food products, food packaging materials and stainless steel utensils
Sri Lanka
85 products under the Import Inspection Scheme of Sri Lanka namely milk products, edible oils, packaged water, preserved food, toiletries, bicycle tyres & tubes, steel section & wires, electric goods & PVC cables & cords etc.
Food & agriculture (egg products, dairy products, drinking water), Electric & electronic products, Telecommunication equipments and Drugs & Pharmaceuticals
Japan Poultry & marine products
Italy Marine sector (Technical cooperation)
China Iron ore


The value of exports certified by the EIAs during the year 2006-07 was Rs 7,718.37 crore. During April-December 2007, the value of exports certified by the EIAs was Rs 6544.5 crore as given in Table below.

Table 8.2
Products Certified for Exports

Group/Product Name
Value of product certified (Rs crore)
Fish & Fishery Products
Basmati Rice 652.52
Black Pepper 297.45
Egg products 89.97
Milk & Milk Products 250.56
Poultry 1.32
Honey 44.58
Chemical & Allied products 41.59
Engineering 29.83
Footwear 1.45
Others Schemes 12.74
Total 6544.52

The EIAs have also been authorised to issue various types of certificates such as health,authenticity, non-genetically modified organism, etc. for consignments export. Under the non-genetically modified organism (non-GMO) testing, 1355 consignments were tested reflecting a quantity of 9.5 lakh metric tonnes.

Fees and Revenue Generation

The basic source of revenue of EIC/EIAs continued to be from monitoring and inspection fee realized for different notified and non notified products as well as certification under GSP and other preferential tariff schemes. The fee charged is at a level of 0.4% of FOB value for products inspected under Consignment wise inspection, while it is 0.2% of FOB value for products under systems certification.

Testing is mostly carried out for samples collected for the purpose of inspection & certification and are generally not charged, while some amount of samples are tested for other government departments and industry on cost basis.

The total revenue generated in 2006-07 by the organization was to the tune of Rs 39.55 crore. The revenue realized between April-December 2007 is Rs 29.17 crore. The breakup of actual fees realised under various schemes and activities during April-December 2007 is given in Table 8.3.

Table 8.3

Revenues (Rs. lakh)

The list of EIA laboratories is given in the Annexure.


List of EIA Laboratories


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