India is strengthening business relations with Iran buying crude oil and gas for nearly USD 3 billion per year with the aim of increasing purchases of Iranian goods in general to USD 25 billions by 2015. The total annual trade balance between India and Iran seems to add up to approximately USD 14 billion as per 2012 figures. As far as I can see, India also seems to defend Iran’s civil nuclear energy program.

India export control rules exist – however – not in in a form that makes these caoparable to multilateral agreements including but not limited to the Wassenaar Arrangement. India is itself pushing for membership of the four major export control regimes the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Australia Group (AG), Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) claiming that Indian export control legislation fully complies with the wordings of any one of the regimes. The Government of India (GOI) has begun to take steps to align its trade control system with the guidelines and practices of the regimes including amending relevant laws, updating its national control list, and modifying its licensing procedures.

The Indian export control authority is the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (DCI). The DGFT manages the SCOMET List (Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment, and Technologies), which is part of the Indian Tariff Classification (Harmonized System) or ITC (HS) list. The ITC (HS) is divided into two schedules: Schedule 1 – imports; and Schedule 2 – exports.

India export control legislation is primarily founded in the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act No. 22 of 1992 (FTDR) (as amended by the FTDR Amendment Act 2010). The GOI updates the foreign trade policy in five-year increments and updates it annually (Foreign Trade Policy 2010-2011).

Other relevant Indian legislation include (but is probably not limited to) these laws:

The New Foreign Trade (Exim Procedure) 2010 – 2011 explain license application processes.

The dual-use rules of India include the following categories:

Category 0: Nuclear material, nuclear-related other materials, equipment and technology. (The licensing authority for this category is the Department of Atomic Energy)

  • Category 1: Toxic chemical agents and other chemicals
  • Category 2: Micro-organisms, toxins
  • Category 3: Material, Materials Processing Equipment, and related technologies
  • Category 4: Nuclear-related other equipment, assemblies and components; test and production equipment; and related technology, not controlled under Category 0
  • Category 5: Aerospace systems, equipment including production and test equipment, related technology and specially designed components and accessories thereof.
  • Category 6: (Reserved)
  • Category 7: Electronics, computers, and information technology including information security.

India does not seem to maintain an official list of prohibited end-users or sanctioned countries. Nevertheless, an end-user statement is required in accordance with legislation, which indicates that an internal watch list exists. India also has laws prohibiting payment of commissions but specifics regarding the legislation are not easily found.

Concluding on the above, it is clear that India has implemented laws regulating exports of dual-use goods, nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. The build-up of the Indian rules are so different compared to other known types of export control legislation that comparison is difficult if not impossible – yet the GOI arguments that the broad Indian rules embrace all requiremens stipulated by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Australia Group (AG), Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

Indian exports are also regulated by the following laws:

Ancient Monument Preservation Act, 1904

Indian Coffee Act, 1942

Tea Act, 1953

Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973

Coir Industry Act, 1942

Dangerous Drugs (Import, Export and Transhipment Rules), 1957

Arms Act, 1959 and Arms Rules, 1962

Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972

Dangerous Drugs Act, 1953

Indian Post Office Act, 1898

Drug and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act 1954

Motor vehicle International Circular Rules

Wild Life Protection Act