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2 April 2015

EY Tax Alert
Foreign Trade Policy 2015 - 2020

Executive summary
This Tax Alert gives an update on the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-2020,
Tax Alerts cover which has been released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on 1 April
significant tax news, 2015.
developments and
changes in legislation The FTP 2015 - 2020, which comes into effect from 1 April 2015, has been
that affect Indian
notified by the Central Government1 in exercise of the powers conferred under
the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulations) Act, 1992.
businesses. They act
as technical summaries
It introduces two schemes namely “Merchandise Exports from India Scheme”
to keep you on top of
(MEIS) for export of specified goods to specified markets and “Services Exports
the latest tax issues.
from India Scheme” (SEIS) for exports of notified services, in place of the
For more information,
schemes issued earlier. The benefits of these reward schemes will also be
please contact your EY
extended to SEZ units.
Further, measures have been taken to encourage manufacturing and exports
under 100% EOU/EHTP/STPI/BTP schemes such as fast track clearance facility,
sharing of infrastructural facilities etc.

The major focus areas of this FTP are trade facilitation and ease of doing
business. Accordingly, a number of steps have been taken such as reduction in
number of mandatory documents for export and import, creation of facility for
uploading documents in exporter / importer profile etc.

vide Notification no. 1/2015-2020 dated 1 April 2015
Background additional duty of customs / excise
duty / service tax is allowed
► The Foreign Trade Policy 2009-2014, adjustment as CENVAT credit or
which was to remain in force until 31 drawback, as per Department of
March 2014, was extended beyond that Revenue rules.
date as notified by the Director General
of Foreign Trade (DGFT) vide Notification ► Higher levels of reward under MEIS
no. 69/(RE-2013)/2009-2014 dated 19 proposed for export items with high
February 2014. domestic content and value addition
as compared to products with high
► The Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020 has import content and less value
been released on 1 April 2015, and shall addition.
remain in force upto 31 March 2020,
unless otherwise specified. ► Export shipments filed under all
categories of Shipping Bills will
► The new FTP provides a framework for require a mandatory declaration for
increasing exports of goods and services the intent to claim rewards under
as well as generation of employment and MEIS. In case of shipping bills (other
increasing value addition in the country, than free shipping bills), such
integrating the “Make in India”, “Digital declaration of intent shall be
India” and “Skills India” initiatives of the mandatory w.e.f. 1 June 2015.
► E-Commerce:
Key Highlights Exports of goods falling in the
category of handloom products,
books / periodicals, leather footwear,
Exports from India Scheme
toys and customized fashion
garments, through courier or foreign
post office using e-commerce, of Free
► Five earlier schemes for rewarding
on Board (FOB) value upto INR 25000
merchandise exports [namely, Focus
per consignment shall be entitled for
Product Scheme, Market Linked
rewards under MEIS. In case the value
Focus Product Scheme, Focus Market
exceeds INR 25000, MEIS reward
Scheme, Agriculture Infrastructure
would be limited to FOB value of INR
Incentive Scrip, Vishesh Krishi and
25000 only.
Gram Udyog Yojana (VKGUY)] have
been merged into a single scheme i.e. ► SEIS
MEIS. ► SEIS, which has replaced the earlier
Served From India Scheme (SFIS),
► No conditionality to be attached to
shall now apply to “service providers
scrips issued under the scheme.
located in India” instead of “Indian
► Rewards under the MEIS shall be service providers”, regardless of the
payable for the export of notified constitution or profile of the service
goods to notified markets2, based on provider.
a percentage of realized Free on
► The present rates of reward are 3%
Board (FOB) value of exports.
and 5% and would be based on net
► The debits towards Basic Customs foreign exchange earned. The list of
duty in the duty credit scrips would services and the rates of rewards
also be allowed adjustment as duty would be reviewed after 30 Sept
drawback. At present, only the 2015.

► SEIS scrip would no longer be with

Category A – Traditional markets (EU countries, USA, “actual user condition” and would not
Canada); Category B – Emerging & Focus markets be restricted to usage for specified
(Africa, Latin America & Mexico, CIS countries, Turkey type of goods. It would be freely
and West Asian countries, ASEAN countries, Japan, transferable and usable for all type of
South Korea, China, Taiwan); Category C – Other goods and service tax debits on
procurement of services/ goods. Three Star 100
Such debits would be eligible for Export House
CENVAT credit or drawback. Four Star 500
Export House
► MEIS and SEIS incentives are proposed
Five Star 2000
to be extended to SEZ units.
Export House
► Duty credit scrips and the goods
imported against these scrips would be ► Manufacturers who are also “Status
freely transferable. Holders” will be able to self-certify
their manufactured goods as
► Duty credit scrips can be used for the originating from India, with a view to
following: qualify for preferential treatment
- Payment of customs duty for import under different agreements3, which
of inputs / goods except certain are in operation. They shall also be
specified items. permitted to self-certify the
- Payment of Excise duty on domestic manufactured goods as per their
procurement of inputs or goods, Industrial Entrepreneur Memorandum
including capital goods as per (IEM)/ Industrial Licence (IL) / Letter
Department of Revenue (DoR) of Intent (LOI).
- Payment of service tax on Changes to Export Promotion Capital
procurement of services as per DoR Goods (EPCG)
notification. ► Specific Export Obligation under EPCG
- Payment of customs Duty, in case of scheme, in case of domestic
Export Obligation (EO) default and procurement of capital goods, has been
various fees under the FTP. reduced from 90% of the normal EO to
► Basic Customs Duty paid in cash or
through debit under Duty Credit Scrip ► Obtaining and submitting a certificate
can be adjusted as Duty Drawback as per from an independent Chartered
relevant Rules, if inputs so imported are Engineer, confirming the use of spares,
used for exports. tools, refractory and catalysts imported
for final redemption of EPCG
► Status holders authorizations has been dispensed with.
► The nomenclature of Export House,
Star Export House, Trading House, ► The requirement to maintain records by
Star Trading House, Premier Trading EPCG Authorization holders has been
House certificate has been changed reduced from 3 years after redemption
to One, Two, Three, Four, Five Star of authorization, to 2 years. The
Export House. Government intends to gradually phase
out this requirement.
► The criteria for export performance
for recognition of status holder have Trade Facilitation and Ease of Doing
been changed from Rupees to US Business
dollar earnings. The new criteria vis- ► The number of mandatory documents
a-vis the old one is as follows: for import/export, reduced from ten to
Status Export three vide CBEC Circular4.
category Performance
(FOB/FOR USD in Export documents now required:
million) during - Bill of Lading/Airway Bill
current and - Commercial Invoice cum Packing List
previous two - Shipping Bill/Bill of Export
One Star 3 Preferential Trading Agreements; Free Trade
Export House Agreements; Comprehensive Economic Cooperation
Two Star 25 Agreements; Comprehensive Economic Partnerships
Export House Agreements
CBEC Circular No. 01/15-Customs dated 12/01/2015
- Message exchange with MCA for
Import Documents now required: Corporate Identification Number (CIN)
- Bill of Lading/Airway Bill and Director Identification Number
- Commercial Invoice cum Packing List (DIN)
- Bill of Entry - Message exchange with CBDT for
► Online procedure to be developed for - Facility to pay application fee using
uploading digitally signed documents by debit card / credit card
Chartered Accountant / Company - Open API for submission of IEC
Secretary / Cost Accountant, which are application
at present being submitted physically. - Mobile applications for FTP
► Hard copies of applications under
Chapter 3 and 45 of FTP would not be Initiatives for EOUs /EHTP/STP/ BTP
required to be submitted to Regional ► EOUs, EHTPs, STPs have been allowed to
Authority. Applications under Chapter 56 share infrastructural facilities among
to be taken up in the next phase. themselves. Inter unit transfer of goods
and services has also been allowed
► An exporter may upload scanned copy of among EOUs, EHTPs, STPs, and BTPs
Bill of Entry under his digital signature.
Also Status Holders falling in the ► EOUs have been allowed facility to set up
category Three, Four and Five Star warehouses near the port of export.
Export House may upload scanned
copies of documents. ► STP units, EHTP units, software EOUs
have been allowed the facility to use all
► Facility has been created for uploading duty free equipment/goods for training
of documents in Exporter / Importer purposes.
profile. Thus, once uploaded, there will
be no need to submit copies of ► 100% EOU units have been allowed
records/documents with each facility of supply of spares/ components
application. up to 2% of the value of manufactured
articles, to a buyer in domestic market
► Certain information like mobile number, for the purpose of after sale services.
email address etc. has been added as
mandatory fields in Importer Exporter ► Period of 5 years for Net Foreign
Code (IEC) database, so as to facilitate Exchange Earnings (NFE) for 100% EOUs
communication with exporters regarding can be extended by 1 year on grounds of
the issuance of authorizations or status genuine hardship or adverse market
of applications. conditions.

► Online application for refund of Terminal ► Time period for validity of Letter of
Excise Duty (TED) introduced for which a Permission (LOP) for EOUs/EHTP/
new form is created. STPI/BTP Units has been revised. It will
now have an initial validity of 2 years
► Forthcoming E-Governance initiatives: and can be further extended by 1 year.
- Online inter-ministerial consultations Extension beyond 3 years can be
- Message exchange for transmission granted on the completion of 2/3rd of
of export reward scrips from DGFT to the activity by the units.
- Message exchange for transmission ► In case capital goods, which are
of Bills of Entry (import details) from transferred by EOUs/EHTPs/STPI units
Customs to DGFT to other units, are rejected by the
- Online issuance of Export Obligation recipient, then it can be returned to the
Discharge Certificate (EODC) supplying unit without payment of duty.

► A simplified procedure to be provided to

fast track the de-bonding / exit of the
Chapter 3 – Exports from India Schemes STP/ EHTP units.
Chapter 4 – Duty Exemption/ Remission Schemes
Chapter 5 – EPCG Scheme
► EOUs having physical export turnover of ► A new risk management and internal
INR 10 crore and above, have been audit mechanism is proposed to be
allowed the facility of fast track introduced.
clearances of import and domestic
procurement, on the basis of pre- Quality complaints and trade disputes
authenticated procurement certificate. ► A new chapter on “Quality Complaints
Procurement permission for every and Trade Disputes” has been
import consignment will not be required incorporated in the FTP in an endeavour
to be sought by EOUs. to resolve quality complaints and trade
Duty exemption
► Imports against Advance Authorization ► For resolving such disputes at a faster
shall be eligible for exemption from pace, Committee on Quality Complaints
Transitional Product Specific Safeguard and Trade Disputes (CQCTD) is also
Duty (TPSSD). being constituted.
► In order to encourage manufacturing of Transitions Provisions
capital goods in India, import under ► Any licence/ authorization/ certificate/
EPCG Authorisation Scheme shall not be scrip/ any instrument bestowing fiscal
eligible for exemption from payment of benefits issued before commencement
anti-dumping duty, safeguard duty and of the new FTP shall continue to be valid
TPSSD. for the purpose and duration for which it
was issued, unless otherwise stipulated.
Other new initiatives
► Validity of SCOMET7 export
authorisation has been extended from
the present 12 months to 24 months.
► Authorisation for repeat orders will be
The new FTP aims at rationalizing the
considered on automatic basis, subject reward schemes which will benefit
to certain conditions. both, merchandise and service
► Verification of End User Certificate (EUC)
is being simplified if SCOMET item is Extending the SEIS incentive to
being exported under Defence Export service providers located in India
Offset Policy.
(earlier restricted to Indian service
► EO period for export items falling in the providers) irrespective of their
category of defence, military store, constitution or profile, will help the
aerospace and nuclear energy shall be entities of foreign multinationals
24 months from the date of issue of
doing business in India, who were
authorization or co-terminus with
contracted duration of the export order, earlier denied benefit on the pretext
whichever is later. that they did not create “Served from
India” brand.
► Calicut Airport, Kerala and Arakonam
ICD, Tamil Nadu have been notified as Removal of restrictions on benefit of
registered ports for import and export. CENVAT credit / drawback and free
transferability of MEIS and SEIS credit
► India has already extended Duty Free scrips and the goods imported against
Tariff Preference (DFTP) to 33 Least
Developed Countries (LDCs) across the these scrips, will go a long way to
globe. This is being notified under FTP. facilitate export trade.

Further, extending the benefits of

MEIS and SEIS to SEZ units will
Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, provide impetus to SEZ exports.
Equipment and Technology
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