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EXPORT (QUALITY CONTROL AND INSPECTION) ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 22 of 1963


  • Act nº 22 of 1963

Preamble

EXPORT (QUALITY CONTROL AND INSPECTION) ACT, 1963

[Act, No. 22 of 1963]

[24th August, 1963]

PREAMBLE

An Act to provide for the sound development of the export trade of India through quality control and inspection and for matters connected therewith.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Fourteenth Year of the Republic of India as follows: -

Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Export (Quality Control and Inspection) Act, 1963.

(2) It extends to the whole of India.

(3) It shall come into force on such date1 as the Central Government may, by Notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.

1. The appointed date is 01.01.1964.


Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, -

1 [(a) "adjudicating authority" means the authority specified in, or under, section 10K;

(ab) "Appellate authority" means the appellate authority referred to in section 10M;]

1 [(ac) "Council" means the Export Inspection Council established under section 3;]

(b) "export", with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, means taking out of India to a place outside India;

(c) "inspection", in relation to a commodity, means the process of determining whether a batch of goods in that commodity complies with the standard specifications applicable to it or any other specifications stipulated in the export contract generally by inspecting either the whole batch or a selected sample or samples which purport to represent the whole batch;

(d) "notified commodity" means any commodity notified under clause (a) of section 6;

(e) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(f) "quality control" means any activity having for its object the determination of the quality of a commodity (whether during the process of manufacture or production or subsequently) in order to ascertain whether it satisfies the standard specifications applicable to it or any other specifications stipulated in the export contract and whether it may be accepted for purposes of export.

1. Clause (a) re-lettered as Clause (ac), and before Clause (ac) as so re-lettered, Clauses (a) and (ab) inserted by Export (Quality Control and Inspection) Amendment Act (Act 40 of 1984) w.e.f 02.07.1984.


Section 3. Establishment of Export Inspection Council

(1) The Central Government may by Notification in the Official Gazette, establish, with effect from such date as may be specified in the Notification, a Council to be known as the Export Inspection Council, which shall consist of-

(a) a Chairman to be appointed by the Central Government;

(b) the Director of Inspection and Quality Control, ex officio, who shall be the Secretary;

(c) the Honorary Adviser on Standardization to the Government of India and Director of Indian Standards Institution, ex officio;

(d) the Agricultural Marketing Advisor to the Government of India, ex officio;

(e) the Director-General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, ex officio;

(f) 1 [fifteen] other members nominated by the Central Government three of whom shall be persons representing the agencies referred to in section 7.

(2) The Council shall be a body corporate by the name aforesaid, having perpetual succession and a common seal, with power to acquire, hold and dispose of property and to contract, and shall by the said name sue and be sued.

(3) The term of office of, and the manner of filling casual vacancies among, the members of the Council referred to in clauses (a) and (f) of sub-section (1) and the traveling and daily allowances payable to the members of the Council and the procedure to be followed in the discharge of its functions by the Council shall be such as may be prescribed.

(4) No act or proceeding of the Council shall be invalidated merely by reason of any vacancy in, or any defect in the Constitution of, the Council.

(5) Subject to such rules as may be made by the Central Government in this behalf, the Council may appoint such officers and other employees as it considers necessary for the purpose of discharging its functions under this Act.

1. Substituted for the word "eleven" by Export (Quality Control and Inspection) Amendment Act (Act 40 of 1984) w.e.f 02.071984.


Section 4. Director of Inspection and Quality Control

The Central Government shall appoint a Director of Inspection and Quality Control to exercise such powers and perform such duties under this Act as may be prescribed.

Section 5. Functions of the Council

(1) The functions of the Council shall generally be to advise the Central Government regarding measures for the enforcement of quality control and inspection in relation to commodities intended for export and to draw up programmes therefore, to make, with the concurrence of the Central Government, grants-in-aid to the agencies established or recognised under section 7 and to perform such other functions as maybe assigned to it by or under this Act.

(2) For the purpose of performing its functions, the Council may co-opt as members such number of persons as it thinks fit who have special knowledge and practical experience in matters relating to any commodity or trade therein and any such person shall have the right to take part in the discussions of the Council but shall not have the right to vote and shall not be a member for any other purpose.

(3) The Council may also constitute specialist committees for conducting investigations on special problems connected with its functions.

(4) In the performance of its functions under this Act, the Council shall be bound by such directions as the Central Government may give to it in writing from time to time.

Section 6. Powers of the Central Government in regard to quality control and inspection

If the Central Government, after consulting the Council, is of opinion that it is necessary or expedient so to do for the development of the export trade of India, it may, by order published in the Official Gazette, -

(a) notify commodities which shall be subject to quality control or inspection or both prior to export;

(b) specify the type of quality control or inspection which will be applied to a notified commodity;

(c) establish, adopt or recognise one or more standard specifications for a notified commodity;

(d) prohibit the export in the course of international trade of a notified commodity unless it is accompanied by a certificate issued under section 7 that the commodity satisfies the conditions relating to quality control or inspection, or it has affixed or applied to it a mark or seal recognised by the Central Government as indicating that it conforms to the standard specifications applicable to it under clause (c).

Section 7. Machinery for quality control and inspection

(1) The Central Government may, by Notification in the Official Gazette, establish, or recognise subject to such conditions as it may deem fit, agencies for quality control or inspection or both:

PROVIDED that if the Central Government is of opinion that any recognition granted to any agency under this sub-section should, in the public interest, be withdrawn, the Central Government may, after giving a reasonable opportunity to that agency to make representations in the matter, withdraw, by like notification, the recognition granted to it.

(2) Any agency referred to in sub-section (1) may, on application made to it or otherwise, hold or cause to be held such examination as it thinks fit relating to quality control or inspection of notified commodities, either at the time of export or earlier, in such testing houses or by such surveyors or samplers as are approved by the Central Government in this behalf and may charge such fees as may be prescribed for the purpose of such examination.

(3) If, after the examination, the agency is of opinion that the commodity satisfies the standard specifications laid down in respect of it under section 6 or, as the case may be, any other specifications stipulated in the export contract, it may issue a certificate that the commodity satisfies the conditions relating to quality control and inspection.

1[(3A) Where the agency has reason to believe that a certificate issued under sub-section (3) has been obtained fraudulently or by misrepresentation, or the commodity in relation to which the certificate is issued has been changed or has deteriorated in quantity, the agency may, by order, amend, suspend or cancel the certificate in such manner and subject to such procedure as may be prescribed.

PROVIDED that before amending, suspending or canceling any such certificate the holder thereof shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard.]

(4) Any person aggrieved by the refusal of any agency referred to in sub-section (1) to issue a certificate,1[or by the amendment, suspension or cancellation of a certificate under sub-section (3A),] may prefer an appeal within such time as may be prescribed to such authority as the Central Government may, by Notification in the Official Gazette, constitute for the purpose of hearing appeals.

(5) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (6), the decision of the agency where no appeal is filed, and the decision of the appellate authority where an appeal is filed, shall be final and shall not be questioned in any Court of law.

(6) The Central Government may, at any time, call for and examine the record of any proceeding relating to any decision of an agency or appellate authority under this section for the purpose of satisfying itself as to the legality or propriety of such decision and may pass such order thereon as it thinks fit.

1. Inserted by Export (Quality Control and Inspection) Amendment Act (Act 40 of 1984) w.e.f 02.071984.


Section 8. Power to recognise or establish marks to denote conformity with standard specifications

(1) The Central Government may, by Notification in the Official Gazette, recognise or establish any mark or seal in relation to a notified commodity for the purpose of denoting that such commodity conforms to a standard specification applicable to it.

(2) Any such mark or seal affixed or applied to a notified commodity or to any covering containing, or label attached to, such commodity shall be deemed to be evidence of the commodity being in conformity with the standard specifications applicable to it under this Act:

PROVIDED that nothing in this sub-section shall prevent any officer of customs from examining any consignment of a notified commodity intended for export if he has reason to believe that the seal or mark is not genuine or has been affixed or applied fraudulently or if such an examination is necessary for the purpose of any other law for the time being in force.

Section 9. Power to obtain information from exporters, etc.

The Central Government or any officer or authority authorised by it in this behalf may, by notice published in the Official Gazette, require-

(i) persons manufacturing, dealing in or exporting notified commodities; and

(ii) such other persons as may be prescribed; to furnish any information, return or report which the Central Government or such officer or authority may consider necessary for carrying out the purposes of this Act.

Section 10. Finance, accounts and audit

(1) For the purpose of enabling the Council to discharge its functions under this Act, the Central Government may, after due appropriation made by Parliament by law in this behalf, pay to the Council such sums of money as that Government considers necessary by way of grants, loans or otherwise.

(2) For the purpose of discharging its functions under this Act, the Council may receive grants or donations from bodies and institutions approved by the Central Government in this behalf.

(3) The Council shall have its own fund to which shall be credited the sums of money referred to in sub-sections (1) and (2) and the moneys in the fund shall be applied for-

(a) meeting the pay and allowances of the officers and other employees of the Council and other administrative expenses of the Council;

(b) carrying out the functions of the Council under this Act.

(4) The Council shall prepare, before the commencement of each financial year, a statement of programme of its activities during that year as well as a financial estimate in respect thereof.

(5) A statement prepared under sub-section (4) shall, not later than three months before the commencement of each financial year, be submitted for approval to the Central Government.

(6) The Council shall maintain such accounts and prepare the balance sheet in such form as may, in consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, be prescribed.

(7) The accounts of the Council shall be audited in such manner and at such times as may, in consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, be prescribed.

Section 10A. Power to enter and inspect

1 [10A - Power to enter and inspect

The Director of Inspection and Quality Control or any officer of the Central Government authorised by him in writing in this behalf (hereinafter referred to as the "authorised officer") may enter at any reasonable time, any premises in which-

(a) any commodity which has been changed after inspection by any agency referred to in sub-section (1) of section 7; or

(b) any books of account or other documents or things which, in his opinion, will be useful for, or relevant to, any proceeding under this Act are suspected to have been kept or concealed, and inspect such commodity, books of account, other documents or things and may take such notes or extracts from such books of account or, other documents as he may think fit.

1. Sections 10A to 10P by Export (Quality Control and Inspection) Amendment Act (Act 40 of 1984) w.e.f 02.07.1984.


Section 10B. Power to search

If the authorised officer has any reason to believe that-

(a) any commodity which has been changed after inspection by any agency referred to section-section (1) of section 7; or

(b) any books of account or other documents or things which, in his opinion, will be useful for, or relevant to, any proceeding under this Act, are secreted in any place, he may enter into and search such place or premises for such commodity, books of account, other documents or things.

Section 10C. Power to seize commodities, etc.

(1) If the authorised officer has any reason to believe that any commodity is liable to confiscation under this Act, he may seize such commodity together with the package, covering or receptacle, if any, in which such commodity is found and where such commodity is found to have been mixed with any other goods or materials, he may seize such commodity together with the goods or materials with which it is so mixed:

PROVIDED that where it is not practicable to seize any such commodity, the authorised officer may serve on the owner of the commodity an order that he shall not remove, part with, or otherwise deal with, the commodity except with the previous permission of such authorised officer.

(2) Where any commodity is seized under sub-section (1) and no notice in respect thereof is given under section 10L within six months of the seizure of such commodity, it shall be returned to the person from whose possession it was seized:

PROVIDED that the aforesaid period of six months may, on sufficient cause being shown, be extended by the Director of Inspection and Quality Control by a further period not exceeding six months.

(3) The authorised officer may seize any documents or things which, in his opinion will be useful for; or relevant to, any proceeding under this Act.

(4) The person from whose custody any documents are seized under sub-section (3) shall be entitled to make copies thereof or take extracts there from in the presence of the authorised officer.

(5) If any person legally entitled to the documents or things seized under sub-section (3) objects, for any reason, to the retention by the authorised officer of the documents or things, he may make an application to the Central Government staling therein the reasons for such objection and requesting for the return of the documents or things.

(6) On receipt of an application under sub-section (5), the Central Government may, after giving the applicant an opportunity of being heard, pass such order as it may think fit.

(7) Where any document-

(a) is produced or furnished by any person or has been seized from the custody or control of any person under this Act or any other law for the time being in force; or

(b) has been received from any place outside India (duly authenticated by such authority or person and in such manner as may be prescribed) in the course of the investigation of any offence alleged to have been committed by any person against this Act and such document is tendered in evidence against the person by whom it is produced or from whom it was seized or against such person and any other person who is jointly tried, or proceeded against, with him, the Court, or, as the case may be, the adjudicating authority shall, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law for the time being in force,-

(i) presume, unless the contrary is proved, that the signature and every other part of such document which purports to be in the handwriting of any particular person or which the Court or the adjudicating authority may reasonably assume to have been signed by, or to be in the handwriting of, any particular person, is under that person's handwriting, and, in the case of document executed or attested, it was executed or attested by the person by whom it purports to have been so executed or attested;

(ii) admit the document in evidence notwithstanding that it is not duly stamped, if such document is otherwise admissible in evidence.

Section 10D. Power to stop and seize conveyances

Any authorised officer may, if he has any reason to suspect that any conveyance or animal is being, or is about to be, used for the transportation of any commodity which is liable to confiscation under this Act and that by such transportation any provision of this Act has been, is being or is about to be, contravened, at anytime, stop such conveyance or animal or, in the case of an aircraft, compel it to land, and

(a) rummage and search the conveyance or any part thereof,

(b) examine and search any goods or materials in the conveyance or on the animal,

(c) if it becomes necessary to stop any conveyance or animal, he may use all lawful means for stopping it and where such means fail, the conveyance or animal may be fired upon, and where he is satisfied that it is necessary so to do prevent the contravention of any provision of this Act, he may seize such conveyance or animal.

Explanation. - Any reference in this section to a conveyance shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be construed as including a reference to an aircraft, vehicle or vessel.