Directorate General of Valuation Central Board of Excise & Customs Government of India

Export Commodity Database

F. No. VAL/TECH/76/2004

Mumbai, 9th September 2004


Chief Commissioner of Customs (All)

Commissioner of Customs (All)

Sub: Export Commodity Database – regarding.


It has been decided to develop an Export Commodity Database (ECDB), which will focus on the valuation aspects of export goods and related matters. The ECDB is being developed by the Directorate of Valuation on the lines similar to the National Import Database (NIDB).

The first phase of the ECDB project would cover EDI export data from the customs locations linked by ICENET. For this purpose, a format for data extraction has been designed and it is enclosed at Annexe A. The data extraction software on this basis has been developed by NIC and circulated to all the EDI stations. The Directorate has already started receiving export data from most of the EDI stations. The data consolidation and development of data analysis software are in progress.

It is noticed from the export data received that, in most of the cases, the full description of the goods and their specifications (brand, model, grade etc.) are not being captured. Generally, the broad description of the relevant DEPB or Drawback schedule is being reproduced. Further, the HS/ITC classification of the goods is hardly checked by assessing officers. Urgent action is, therefore, needed to improve the data quality by incorporating the complete information, as this would be essential to perform any meaningful data analysis from the valuation perspective. It would be appreciated if suitable action is taken by the Chief Commissioners / Commissioners to improve the quality of export data captured in the EDI system.

For the time being, till the data quality improves, it is proposed to start the database without analysis. For this purpose, the export data received from the custom stations will be collated to create a structured database with search and retrieval facilities. The only addition to the captured fields is a column on unit FOB value (in Rupees) so as to facilitate comparison. This simple database, Export Commodity Database (ECDB), will be made available shortly on the Directorate of Valuation Website ( for access by the departmental staff on a password – protected basis. The username and password issued to the nodal officer for NIDB in each Commissionerate/Custom House would hold good for accessing ECDB also. The Directorate of Valuation would also develop suitable PC-based and LAN-based software versions for distribution to Customs Stations, as done in the case of NIDB, to maintain local databases.

The formats of Query page of the database is at Annexe B. The query options are based on description, Shipping Bill No., CTH, Scheme Code, etc. and are similar to NIDB. However, the result page would incorporate all the fields included for data extraction (see Annexe A) and would look quite unwieldy due to the large number of columns used. In respect of NIDB, the number of fields in results page was limited to the essential details needed for day-to-day assessment work. It is possible to do a similar pruning in respect of ECDB also for improving its presentation and usefulness. However, the Directorate would prefer to do this modification after getting comments of the data users.

You will be informed as soon as the ECDB is made available on the DOV website. We would appreciate your comments and suggestions for improving the format and presentation of ECDB as early as possible.

Yours faithfully,

Copy to :

  1. Member (Customs), CBIC, New Delhi.
  2. Director General (Systems), New Delhi.
  3. Director General of Revenue Intelligence, New Delhi.
  4. All Commissioner of Customs & Central Excise.
Thursday, September 9, 2004