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SCOMET Declaration for Exports: A Comprehensive Guide

sahil bajaj

Sahil Bajaj

Senior Specialist - Marketing @ Shiprocket

July 10, 2024

14 min read

SCOMET stands for special chemicals, organisms, materials, equipment, and technology. This term is used by the Indian government to categorise and regulate the export of certain items that can have potential applications in military, nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare. The export of such goods is controlled to prevent their misuse. The SCOMET list is managed by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India.

A SCOMET Declaration is an important document that exporters in India need to submit when they intend to export goods listed under the SCOMET category. It is part of the compliance process, which makes sure that the export of sensitive items is monitored and controlled as per national and international security measures. Some of the key components of the SCOMET Declaration include details of the exporters, consignee, and end-user, item description, purpose of export, licence, permits, technical specifications, certifications, etc. It is important to ensure that exporters comply with national and international regulations during export. SCOMET declaration helps prevent misuse of special items, provides transparency in the export process and holds exporters accountable.

Scomet Declaration for export

Understanding SCOMET Items 

SCOMET (Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment, and Technology) items are specific chemicals, organisms, and technologies that are regarded as having the potential to be used for both military and civilian purposes. They could be used as weapons of mass destruction. Hence, SCOMET items are sensitive due to their potential use in legal and illegal manners. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, maintains and manages the SCOMET list, which is divided into different categories.

SCOMET Item Categories Explained

The SCOMET list has several categories covering different types of sensitive technology and materials. These are explained below:

  • Category 0: Nuclear materials, nuclear-related other materials, equipment and technology
  • Category 1: Toxic chemical agents and other chemicals
  • Category 2: Micro-organisms and toxins
  • Category 3: Materials, materials processing equipment and related technologies
  • Category 4: Nuclear-related other equipment and technology not controlled under Category 0
  • Category 5: Aerospace systems, equipment including production and test equipment, related technology and specially designed components and accessories.
  • Category 6: Munitions list
  • Category 7: Reserved
  • Category 8: Special materials and related equipment, material processing, electronics, computers, telecommunications, information security, sensors and lasers, navigation and avionics, marine, aerospace and propulsion. 

Export Regulations for SCOMET Items

Exporting SCOMET items should be done in compliance with specific regulations and approvals, like the following:

  1. Exporting SCOMET items requires a licence from the DGFT, which can be applied for through its online portal.
  2. The exporter must submit an application with detailed items to be exported, their end-use, and end-user information.
  3. Government agencies, such as DGFT, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of External Affairs, etc., review the application to ensure it obeys national and international regulations.
  4. Government agencies like DGFT may require verifying the end-user to make sure that the items will not be used in any illegal way.
  5. Exporters must ensure that their activities comply with international treaties and regimes, such as the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Missile Technology Control Regime, and the Chemical Weapons Convention.
  6. Exporters are also required to submit post-shipment documents and compliance reports to DGFT to verify that the items are used for the declared purposes.

New Process for Updated SCOMET Module

The updated SCOMET module includes a streamlined and effective process for controlling the export of sensitive items. The new process includes several steps, such as:

  1. Classification of items: Exporters are required to classify items based on the SCOMET list, which categorises goods according to their nature and sensitivity. This helps to determine the export control requirements for each product.
  2. Declaration: Exporters must submit a SCOMET declaration to the authorities detailing all the items they want to export. This will include information about the product, its use, and the end user.
  3. Licence: As per the declaration, the authorities will assess the risk and issue a licence if they find everything is fine. It is important for everyone to get a licence. If the exporter doesn’t get it, he or she must apply for it again.
  4. Compliance: When the licence is granted, exporters work according to the terms and conditions listed in it to ensure that the items are not used unauthorised.
  5. Record keeping: Proper records are kept to show compliance with export regulations. Exporters are required to maintain documentation and copies of every transaction, trade, licence, certificate, etc.
  6. Audits and inspections: Authorities may conduct audits and inspections to ensure that the exported items are being used according to what is said in the licences and declarations.
  7. Training and awareness: Exporters must be trained in SCOMET and broader regulatory requirements. Such awareness sessions will help ensure compliance and avoid violations of export controls. 

Regulatory Authority for SCOMET Exports in India

The export of SCOMET items from India is regulated by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), which works under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It is a primary regulatory authority that is responsible for developing and implementing the Foreign Trade Policy in India, including SCOMET items. Some of the key roles and responsibilities of the DGFT include:

  1. Drafts and updates the foreign trade policy, which includes regulations regarding the export of SCOMET items. The SCOMET list and its guidelines are generally reviewed and adjusted as per global trade and security concerns.
  2. Exporters of SCOMET items must obtain a licence from the DGFT by providing detailed information about the items, their end use, and the end user. DGFT will assess your application then to make sure that it is as per national and international compliance.
  3. To ensure that the items are not being illegally used, the DGFT verifies the end-user and end-use of the SCOMET exports.
  4. DGFT constantly monitors item compliance with SCOMET regulations through post-shipment audits and inspections.
  5. The DGFT has also collaborated with international organisations to maintain export controls and increase global security.
  6. DGFT provides exporters with guidance and information about SCOMET regulations and policies through circulars, notifications, and outreach programmes.

Licensing Procedure for SCOMET Exports from India

Exporting SCOMET items from India includes a detailed and regulated process that is managed by DGFT. These are the steps that can be followed to obtain an export licence for SCOMET products:

  1. Classification of goods: Exporters must check if their goods fall under the SCOMET list as per the ITC (HS) Classification of Export and Import Items. If your products are on the list, verify the specific category under which they fall to understand the applicable controls and documentation requirements.
  2. Digital signature certificate (DSC): Exporters must obtain a valid digital signature certificate to submit an online application through the DGFT website.
  3. Online registration: Exporters must register on DGFT’s SCOMET online application portal and create a user profile. The exporting company must be registered with DGFT and have a valid importer-exporter code (IEC).
  4. Submit application: Complete the online application form (ANF 2N) on the DGFT website with all the required information, including end-user certificates, technical specifications, copies of contracts, purchase orders, etc.
  5. Reviewing: The DGFT conducts a preliminary review to ensure that all the necessary information and documentation are provided. The application may then be forwarded to technical experts or relevant government departments for further evaluation.
  6. Inter-departmental consultations: The application is then assessed for possible risks, including diversion to unauthorised uses or destinations. This is done by consulting with various departments, such as the Ministry of External Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, and the Indian Customs Department. For some high-risk items, security clearance is required from national security agencies.
  7. Process of approval: Based on the assessments and consultations, the DGFT will decide whether to approve the application or not. If sanctioned, an export licence is issued, mentioning the conditions and terms of the export. If rejected, the reasons for the same will be communicated to the applicant.
  8. Issuing licence: When the export licence is approved, it will be issued electronically and can be downloaded from the DGFT portal. The licence will specify details like the validity period, quantity of items, and conditions of export.
  9. Post-license compliance: Exporters may be required to ensure that the items meet the conditions mentioned in the licence. They must maintain records of all transactions, documents, invoices, bills, receipts, etc.
  10. Reporting and verification: Submit the post-shipment reports to DGFT as per the licence conditions. They may also conduct compliance audits to verify the end use of the shipped items.

Documentation Requirements for SCOMET Export Licence

To apply for an export licence for SCOMET items, exporters need to provide a set of documents, including:

  1. Application form (ANF 2N): This is the main document to be filled out and signed by the exporter. It is available on the DGFT website.
  2. Cover letter: A cover letter addressed to the DGFT mentioning the nature of the export, the items involved, and the purpose of the application.
  3. End-user certification: The end-user will need to sign a certificate confirming the use of the exported items. The documents needed for this include the end user’s name and address, specific end uses of items, and an assurance that the goods will not be used for unauthorised purposes. The certificate should be signed by an authorised representative of the end-user organisation.
  4. Technical specifications: The technical specifications and descriptions of the SCOMET items to be exported may include technical data sheets, brochures, product catalogues, technical drawings, or diagrams.
  5. Purchase order: A copy of the purchase order mentioning the quantities of the items, pricing details, terms, and conditions of the sale is required.
  6. Proforma invoice: A proforma invoice mentions details of the transaction, like the description of goods, the total value of the shipment, payment terms, etc.
  7. Importer exporter code: To identify the exporter, a copy of the importer exporter code is issued by DGFT to the exporting company.
  8. Digital signature certificate: A valid digital signature certificate for the authorised signatory of the export company is needed.
  9. Previous export data: Mention the details of past exports of similar items, including export licences and shipment details.
  10. Declaration: This will be needed to explain the purpose of the export, compliance with the regulations, and any other necessary declarations.

End-User Restrictions on SCOMET Item Exports

The export of SCOMET goods from India is under strict regulations to make sure that these are not used in any unauthorised manner. There are many end-user restrictions on these special item exports; some of them are mentioned below:

  1. Individuals, entities, or countries on the denied parties lists or under international sanctions are restricted.
  2. End-user certification and on-site inspections are important to confirm the legality. Without them, exports will be restricted.
  3. Use of the export items in weapons of mass destruction or related activities is restricted.
  4. To prevent the export from being restricted, regular status updates on the use of the items, clear verification of end-to-end use, and end-user credentials are important.
  5. Adherence and compliance with international nonproliferation norms and national security regulations are important to avoid restrictions.
  6. Some technologies and materials are restricted and cannot be exported without special licences.
  7. Exports of items that can be used for unauthorised military or nuclear applications are heavily restricted.

Significance of End User Certificate (EUC) in SCOMET Exports

The end-user certificate plays an important role in the export of the SCOMET items. It makes sure that sensitive items and technologies are used in a responsible way as per regulations. Here are some of the importance of EUC:

  1. It helps to verify that the goods will not be used for any illegal purposes, like the development of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
  2. The EUC makes sure that the exporters comply with national and international laws and avoid penalties.
  3. With an EUC, exporters should mitigate the risk of their products being misused or re-exported to unintended locations. It acts as a layer of security by holding the end user accountable for the proper use of the items.
  4. The EUC is an important document for obtaining an export licence as it provides the licensing authorities with the necessary information to assess the use and safety of the proposed export.
  5. The EUC helps countries meet their international obligations. It makes sure that exports do not contribute to global security threats by controlling the flow of sensitive materials and technologies.
  6. EUC helps to trace the SCOMET items, making sure that they can be tracked from the point of export to the final end user.
  7. Having an EUC builds trust and transparency between exporters and importers. It reassures the government and regulatory bodies that the transactions are legit and the goods are used as per the declaration.

Penalties for Non-Compliance with SCOMET Regulations

Non-compliance with SCOMET regulations can lead to severe penalties.

  1. Exporters who are found to be violating SCOMET regulations can face substantial penalties, and the amount will depend on the severity and nature of the violation.
  2. Serious breaches of SCOMET regulations can also result in the imprisonment of the individuals responsible. The duration of the punishment will depend on the nature of the offence and legal provisions.
  3. If companies and individuals are found to be non-compliant, then their export licences can also be suspended.
  4. The ones who violate SCOMET regulations can also get blacklisted, because of which they can be prohibited from exporting any items in the future.
  5. Non-compliant items can also be seized by the regulatory authorities and customs, which can result in financial losses for the exporter.
  6. Non-compliant companies or individuals may face both civil and criminal liabilities, which include lawsuits, fines, and criminal charges.
  7. Companies or individuals who are not compliant with SCOMET regulations will be restricted from participating in government contracts or projects.

Best Practices for Businesses to Ensure SCOMET Compliance

It is important to make sure that businesses comply with SCOMET regulations for exporting special items. Some of the best practices are mentioned below to help you maintain SCOMET compliance:

  1. Regular training: Regular training sessions are important for employees engaged in export activities to keep them updated about the SCOMET regulations and any changes.
  2. Regulatory updates: Exporters should also check the amendments to SCOMET regulations on DGFT’s official website.
  3. Using compliance programmes: Create and manage a detailed compliance manual as per the guidelines of the SCOMET licence programme. Regular internal audits can also be conducted to review and verify compliance with SCOMET.
  4. Documentation and record-keeping: It is important to maintain detailed records of all export transactions, such as licences, certificates, shipping documents, etc. A document retention policy can also be established to keep records for the required period of time.
  5. Risk management: Regular risk assessments can be conducted to identify the possible risks of exporting SCOMET items. Exporters can also develop and use risk mitigation plans to avoid the same.
  6. End user verification: It is important to perform thorough verification of customers or end users to check their reliability and ensure they are not using export items for illegal purposes.
  7. Technology and automation: Exporters must utilise compliance management software to handle compliance procedures like risk assessment, documentation, record-keeping, etc. One can also use automated tracking systems to monitor the movement of the SCOMET items in the supply chain.
  8. Coordinating with regulatory bodies: Regular communication with regulatory authorities is important to stay up-to-date on compliance requirements.
  9. Third-party consultations and auditing: At regular intervals, third-party consultants and auditors should be arranged to review and assess the efficacy of the compliance programmes being used.


Compliance with SCOMET regulations in international trade is not just a legal formality but also a commitment to global security. The SCOMET list is updated on a regular basis to take into account new developments in technology and security issues. By learning every aspect of SCOMET items, their regulations, and export procedures, businesses or individuals can efficiently navigate the complexities of SCOMET trade.

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