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Indian Trade Service


The Indian Trade Service (ITS) was formed in 1977 and the direct recruitment through UPSC started in 1985. It is an Organized Group ‘A’ Central Service. The first batch of ITS joined in 1986. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), which is the Cadre Controlling Authority of ITS, is an Attached Office under the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. DGFT is headed by Director General of Foreign Trade (HAG level officer). The sanctioned strength of ITS, as on date, is 189, comprising of 54 posts of Assistant DGFT at JTS level, 63 posts of Deputy DGFT at STS level (inclusive of NFSG), 64 posts of Joint DGFT at JAG level and 8 posts of Additional DGFT at SAG level (inclusive of 5 posts of Development Commissioners in the Special Economic Zones encadred into ITS). Cadre Review of the ITS is under progress and is likely to be completed shortly.


At present, there are two modes of recruitment to ITS viz, (i) through Civil Services Examination conducted by UPSC every year and (ii) through promotion. Roughly 50% posts are meant for Direct Recruitment and 50% posts are meant for promotion quota.


ITS officers are imparted Foundation Course Training at any of the National Academies. In addition, Direct Recruit ITS officers are imparted probationary professional training at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), New Delhi for about 8 – 9 months. Also, a provision is being done for mandatory Mid Career Training for ITS officers.

Functions of ITS officers:

The duties of the Indian Trade Service (ITS) officers are to implement the provisions of the following Acts/Rules and Policies administered by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, which are as under:- a) Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992. b) Safeguard Measures (Quantitative Restrictions) Rules, 2012. c) Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), 2009-2014. d) Handbook of Procedure, Volume-I, 2009-2014. e) ITC(HS) Classification of Export and Import Items, 2012. f) Handbook of Procedure, Volume-II (Standard)

Normally, officers are expected to work in the 36 Regional Authorities which are located across the country. In addition, ITS officers also work in Department of Commerce and Directorate General of Anti Dumping (DGAD). There are certain cadre posts in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) where the officers work as Development Commissioners.

Designation held by ITS officers:

i. Assistant Director General of Foreign Trade. ii. Deputy Director General of Foreign Trade. iii. Joint Director General of Foreign Trade / Director (Foreign Trade). iv. Additional Director General of Foreign Trade / Development Commissioner (SEZ).

Appointments to other Organizations / Bodies:

The ITS officers have the option to serve in different Departments / Ministries of Government of India on deputation under the Central Staffing Scheme. Besides, ITS officers can apply in Autonomous Organizations / Subordinate Organizations / PSUs / U.N. Organizations / International Organizations like World Bank, Asian Development Bank, in various capacities on deputation.

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