Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 and other schemes provide promotional measures to boost India’s exports with the objective to offset infrastructural inefficiencies and associated costs involved to provide exporters a level playing field. Brief of these measures are as under:
1.1 Exports from India Scheme
i. Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS)
Under this scheme, exports of notified goods/ products to notified markets as listed in Appendix 3B of Handbook of Procedures, are granted freely transferable duty credit scrips on realized FOB value of exports in free foreign exchange at specified rate. Such duty credit scrips can be used for payment of basic custom duties for import of inputs or goods.
Exports of notified goods of FOB value upto Rs 5,00,000 per consignment, through courier or foreign post office using e-commerce shall be entitled for MEIS benefit. List of eligible category under MEIS if exported through using e-commerce platform is available in Appendix 3C.
ii. Service Exports from India Scheme (SEIS)
Service providers of notified services as per Appendix 3D are eligible for freely transferable duty credit scrip @ 5% of net foreign exchange earned.
2. DUTY EXEMPTION & REMISSION SCHEMES
These schemes enable duty-free import of inputs for export production with the export obligation. These schemes consists of:-
2.1 Advance Authorization Scheme
Under this scheme, duty-free import of inputs are allowed, that are physically incorporated in the export product (after making normal allowance for wastage) with minimum 15% value addition. Advance Authorization (AA) is issued for inputs in relation to resultant products as per SION or on the basis of self-declaration, as per procedures of FTP.
AA normally have a validity period of 12 months for the purpose of making imports and a period of 18 months for the fulfillment of Export Obligation (EO) from the date of issue. AA is issued either to a manufacturer exporter or merchant exporter tied to a supporting manufacturer(s).
2.2 Advance Authorization for annual requirement
Exporters having past export performance (in at least preceding two financial years) shall be entitled for Advance Authorization for Annual requirement. This shall only be issued for items having SION.
2.3 Duty Free Import Authorization (DFIA) Scheme
DFIA is issued to allow duty free import of inputs, with a minimum value addition requirement of 20%. DFIA shall be exempted only from the payment of basic customs duty. DFIA shall be issued on post export basis for products for which SION has been notified. Separate schemes exist for gems and jewelry sector for which FTP may be referred.
2.4 Duty Drawback of Customs
The scheme is administered by Department of Revenue. Under this scheme products made out of duty paid inputs are first exported and thereafter refund of duty is claimed in two ways:
i) All Industry Rates : As per Schedule
ii) Brand Rate : As per application on the basis of data/documents
2.5 Interest Equalisation Scheme (IES)
The Government announced the Interest Equalisation Scheme @ 3% per annum for Pre and Post Shipment Rupee Export Credit with effect from 1st April, 2015 for 5 years available to all exports under 416 tariff lines [at ITC (HS) code of 4 digit] and exports made by Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across all ITC(HS) codes. With effect from November 2, 2018, the rate of Interest Equalisation for MSME has been increased to 5%. The Scheme has also been extended to Merchant Exporters who will now avail the benefit @ 3% for all exports under 416 tariff lines w.e.f. January 2, 2019.
3. EPCG SCHEME
3.1 Zero duty EPCG scheme
Under this scheme import of capital goods at zero custom duty is allowed for producing quality goods and services to enhance India’s export competitiveness. Import under EPCG shall be subject to export obligation equivalent to six times of duty saved in six years. Scheme also allows indigenous sourcing of capital goods with 25% less export obligation.
3.2 Post Export EPCG Duty Credit Scrip Scheme
A Post Export EPCG Duty Credit Scrip Scheme shall be available for exporters who intend to import capital goods on full payment of applicable duty in cash.
4. EOU/EHTP/STP & BTP SCHEMES
Units undertaking to export their entire production of goods and services may be set up under this scheme for import/ procurement domestically without payment of duties. For details of the scheme and benefits available therein FTP may be required.
5. OTHER SCHEMES
5.1 Towns of Export Excellence (TEE)
Selected towns producing goods of Rs. 750 crores or more are notified as TEE on potential for growth in exports and provide financial assistance under MAI Scheme to recognized Associations.
5.2 Market Access Initiative (MAI) Scheme
Under the Scheme, financial assistance is provided for export promotion activities on focus country, focus product basis to EPCs, Industry & Trade Associations, etc. The activities are like market studies/surveys, setting up showroom/warehouse, participation in international trade fairs, publicity campaigns, brand promotion, reimbursement of registration charges for pharmaceuticals, testing charges for engineering products abroad, etc. Details of the Scheme is available at www.commerce.gov.in
5.3 Status Holder Scheme
Upon achieving prescribed export performance, status recognition as one star Export House, two Star Export House, three star export house, four star export house and five star export house is accorded to the eligible applicants as per their export performance. Such Status Holders are eligible for various non-fiscal privileges as prescribed in the Foreign Trade Policy.
In addition to the above schemes, facilities like 24X7 customs clearance, single window in customs, self assessment of customs duty, prior filing facility of shipping bills etc are available to facilitate exports.
5.4 Gold Card Scheme
The Gold Card Scheme was introduced by the RBI in the year 2004. The Scheme provides for a credit limit for three years, automatic renewal of credit limit, additional 20% limit to meet sudden need of exports on account of additional orders, priority in PCFC, lower charge schedule and fee structure in respect of services provided by Banks, relaxed norms for security and collateral etc,. A Gold Card under the Scheme may be issued to all eligible exporters including those in the small and medium sectors who satisfy the pre-requisite conditions laid by individual Banks.
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