Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 extended for one year

The Central Government said that the decision was taken in view of the unprecedented situation arising out of the global pandemic of the Coronavirus disease COVID-19

March 31, 2020

The extension will allow the uninterrupted provision of relief to traders under the various export promotion schemes of the Trade Policy

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has launched a help desk to assist with any COVID-19 related export and import issue

The Government has also announced a US$22.5 billion relief plan to help the most vulnerable sections of the society ride out the crisis

The Invest India Business Immunity Platform has been launched to aid entrepreneurs and businesses during Coronavirus slowdown

The Union Commerce and Industry Ministry said on March 31 that India’s Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), which came into force in April 2015 and had validity up till March 2020, will be extended for one year. The Central Government said that the decision was taken in view of the unprecedented situation arising out of the global pandemic of the Coronavirus disease COVID-19. The extension will allow the uninterrupted provision of relief under various export promotion schemes of the FTP. 

COVID-19 is expected to cost the global economy over US$1 trillion in 2020, so India’s government has announced a US$22.5 bn relief plan to help the most vulnerable sections of the society ride out the crisis

Several other relief measures have been announced to support trade and industry during the ongoing crisis. The changes made in the FTP are as follows:

  1. To provide continuity in the policy regime, the current FTP, valid till March 2020 has been extended till March 2021. A similar extension is made in the related procedures, by extending the validity of the Hand Book of Procedures.
  2. The benefit under all the Export Promotion Schemes (except SEIS) and other schemes, available as on date, will continue to be available for another 12 months. The decision on the continuation of SEIS will be taken and notified subsequently.
  3. Similarly, the validity period of the Status Holder Certificates has also been extended. This will enable the Status Holders to continue to avail of the specified facilities/benefits.
  4. Exemption from payment of IGST and Compensation Cess on the imports made under Advance/EPCG Authorisations and by EOUs etc. has been extended up to March 2021.
  5. The scheme for providing “Transport Marketing Assistance on the specified Agricultural Products” is further extended for one year.
  6. The validity period for making imports under various duty-free import authorizations (AA/DFIA/EPCG) expiring between February 2020 and July 2020 has been allowed automatic extension for another six months from the date of expiry, without the requirement of obtaining such endorsement on these authorizations.
  7. Wherever the period to make export is expiring between February 2020 and July 020 under various authorizations, automatic extension in the export obligation period is allowed for another six months from the date of expiry, without payment of any composition fee.
  8. The last dates for applying for various duty credit Scrips (MEIS/SEIS/ROSCTL) and other Authorisations have been extended.
  9. Timelines for imposing late cuts, on the applications which are filed after the prescribed dates, have been relaxed.
  10. The validity period of Letter of Permission/ Letter of Intent as granted to EOUs, units in STPs/EHTPs/BTPs is further extended up to end-2020.
  11. The last date of filing applications for refunds of TED/Drawback, Transport, and Marketing Assistance has been extended.
  12. Extension in time has been allowed for filing various Reports/Returns etc. under various provisions of the FTP.

Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has launched a help desk to assist with any COVID-19 related export and import issue. The resource can prove to be vital at a time when global economic activities have been pushed into deep uncertainties. Coronavirus disease has disrupted human and goods traffic globally and is now expected to cost the global economy much more than US$1 trillion in 2020. 

The Government has also announced a US$22.5 billion relief plan to help the most vulnerable sections of the society ride out the crisis. Separately, the Invest India Business Immunity Platform has been launched to aid entrepreneurs and businesses during the slowdown brought forward by the crisis. With a cure believed to be 12-18 months away, Coronavirus has infected more than 860,000 people in over 180 countries, claiming nearly 42,000 lives between December 2019 and March 2020. 

Additionally, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has set up a control room to monitor in real-time the status of transportation and delivery of goods, manufacturing, delivery of essential commodities to the common man and the difficulties being faced by various stakeholders during the nationwide lockdown (March 25 to April 14).

The Foreign Trade Policy, 2015-20 can be viewed here.