Rule 3 of the Rules Relating to the Bill of Lading (BL) set out in the Schedule to the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, 1925, does not mandate that the value of the goods should be mentioned in the bill of lading. However, where it is stated as declared by the shipper, the liability of the carrier will be limited to the value so stated, in the event of loss of cargo.
Q. Under a merchanting trade transaction, can an Indian merchant make payment to a Russian supplier in USD for shipment to a buyer in Iran and receive payment in non-convertible Indian rupees from an Iranian buyer?
Para C.14 of RBI FED Master Direction (relating to import of goods and services) No. 17/2016-17 dated January 1, 2016 (as amended), deals with the merchanting trade. It does not deal specifically with the issue you have raised. In my opinion, what you propose does not quite reconcile, because the mechanism for receipt in rupees is for exports to Iran from India (Para 2.46 II (b) of FTP). Anyway, you may approach the RBI for further clarity.
Q. If export proceeds are received short due to a contractual penalty imposed by the buyer, will the proportionate drawback have to be surrendered in this case, too?
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For the shortfall in realisation of export proceeds, you have to approach your bank, seeking a write-off. In that case, the provisions of sub-para (iv) of Para C.23 of RBI FED Master Direction no. 16/2015-16 dated January 1, 2016 (as amended), dealing with export of goods and services will come into play. It permits banks to allow a write-off provided the exporter has surrendered proportionate export incentives, if any, availed of in respect of the relative shipments. The AD Category-I bank should obtain documents evidencing surrender of export incentives availed of before permitting the relevant bills to be written off.