Foreign Trade Policy (2023) is a policy document based on the continuity of time-tested schemes facilitating exports, as well as a document which is nimble and responsive to the requirements of trade. It is based on principles of ‘trust’ and ‘partnership’ with exporters. In the FTP 2015-20, changes were done subsequent to the initial release even without the announcement of a new FTP responding dynamically to the emerging situations. Hereafter, the revisions of the FTP shall be done as and when required. Incorporating feedback from Trade and Industry would also be continuous to streamline processes and update FTP, from time to time.
Advance authorisation Scheme accessed by DTA units provides duty-free import of raw materials for manufacturing export items and is placed at a similar footing to EOU and SEZ Scheme. However, the DTA unit has the flexibility to work both for domestic as well as export production. Based on interactions with industry and Export Promotion councils, certain facilitation provisions have been added in the present FTP such as
The government is strongly committed to reducing litigation and fostering trust-based relationships to help alleviate the issues faced by exporters. In line with “Vivaad se Vishwaas” initiative, which sought to settle tax disputes amicably, the government is introducing a unique one-time Amnesty Scheme under the FTP 2023 to address default on Export Obligations. This scheme is intended to provide relief to exporters who have been unable to meet their obligations under EPCG and Advance Authorizations, and who are burdened by high duty and interest costs associated with pending cases. All pending cases of the default in meeting the Export Obligation (EO) of authorizations mentioned can be regularized on payment of all customs duties that were exempted in proportion to unfulfilled Export Obligation. The interest payable is capped at 100% of these exempted duties under this scheme. However, no interest is payable on the portion of Additional Customs Duty and Special Additional Customs Duty, and this is likely to provide relief to exporters as the interest burden will come down substantially. It is hoped that this amnesty will give these exporters a fresh start and an opportunity to come into compliance.
Greater faith is being reposed on exporters through automated IT systems with risk management system for various approvals in the new FTP. The policy emphasizes export promotion and development, moving away from an incentive regime to a regime which is facilitating, based on technology interface and principles of collaboration.Considering the effectiveness of some of the ongoing schemes like Advance Authorisation, EPCG etc. under FTP 2015-20, they will be continued along with substantial process re-engineering and technology enablement for facilitating the exporters. FTP 2023 codifies implementation mechanisms in a paperless, online environment, building on earlier ‘ease of doing business’ initiatives. Reduction in fee structures and IT-based schemes will make it easier for MSMEs and others to access export benefits.
Duty exemption schemes for export production will now be implemented through Regional Offices in a rule-based IT system environment, eliminating the need for manual interface. During the FY23-24, all processes under the Advance and EPCG Schemes, including issue, re-validation, and EO extension, will be covered in a phased manner. Cases identified under risk management framework will be scrutinized manually, while majority of the applicants are expected to be covered under the ‘automatic’ route initially.
Zero duty EPCG scheme allows import of capital goods for pre-production, production and post-production (including CKD/SKD thereof as well as computer software systems) at zero Customs duty, subject to an export obligation equivalent to six times of duty saved on capital goods imported under EPCG scheme, to be fulfilled in six years reckoned from Authorization issue-date.
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.
Units undertaking to export their entire production of goods and services (except permissible sales in DTA), maybe set up under the Export Oriented Unit (EOU) Scheme, Electronics Hardware Technology Park (EHTP) Scheme, Software Technology Park (STP) Scheme or Bio-Technology Park (BTP) Scheme for the manufacture of goods, including repair, re-making, reconditioning, reengineering and rendering of services. Trading units are not covered under these schemes.
Selected towns, producing goods worth Rs 7.5 billion or more, are notified as TEE based on the potential for growth in exports. Registered export units in the region are eligible for the facility of EPCG schemes, as well as financial assistance under MAI Scheme through recognized Associations. Till January 2022, thirty-nine (39) towns have been recognized as Towns of Export Excellence (TEE) under the current Foreign Trade Policy. More details
Rebate of duty paid on excisable goods exported, or duty paid on the material used in the manufacture of such export goods, may be claimed under Rule of 18 of Central Excise Rules, 2002.
Rule 19 of Central Excise Rules 2002 provides clearance of excisable goods for exports without payment of central excise duty from the approved factory, warehouse, and other premises.
Under the Scheme, financial assistance is provided for export promotion activities on focus country, focus product basis to Export Promotion Organizations/Trade Promotion Organizations/National Level Institutions/ Research Institutions/Universities/Laboratories, Exporters etc., for enhancement of exports through accessing new markets or through increasing the share in the existing markets EPCs, Industry & Trade Associations, etc. The supported activities include export market research & product development, product registration, organizing / participating in fairs, exhibitions and Buyer Seller Meets (BSMs) abroad, Reverse Buyer Seller Meets etc.
Financial assistance is available for exporters having an annual export turnover up to Rs 300 million for trade fairs, buyer-seller meets organized by EPC’s/ Trade promotion organizations. MDA guidelines are available here.
Upon achieving prescribed export performance, status recognition as ‘one-star Export House’, up to ‘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.
A common digital platform for Certificate of Origin (CoO) has been launched to increase Free Trade Agreement (FTA) utilization by exporters.
In order to leverage India’s full export potential, ODOP Initiative aims to select, brand, and promote One Product from each District of the country.
District Export Action Plans have been prepared in 557 districts, and adopted by District Export Promotion Committees (DEPC) in 218 districts. Further, State Export Promotion Committees (SEPCs) and District Export Promotion Committees (DEPCs) have been constituted in 36 states/Uts. More details
Ubharte Sitaare Fund (USF)
Union Finance Minister, on 21 August 2021, launched the Ubharte Sitaare Fund (USF) for export-oriented small and mid-sized companies and startups. The fund, jointly sponsored by Exim Bank and SIDBI, has a size of Rs 2.50 billion with a green shoe option of Rs 2.50 billion. The fund will invest by way of equity, and equity-like products, in export-oriented units, both in the manufacturing and services sectors.
The objective of TIES is to enhance export competitiveness by bridging gaps in export infrastructure, creating focused export infrastructure, first mile and last mile connectivity for export-oriented projects and addressing quality and certification measures. The scheme has been further extended up to the year 2025-26.
Under the TIES, financial assistance for 27 export infrastructure projects has been approved during FY 2019-20 to 2022-23 for which Rs 2.07 billion have been released (till 19th July, 2022). More details
12 Champion Services Sectors have been identified for promoting and diversifying services exports by pursuing specific action plans.
TMA provides assistance for the international component of freight, to mitigate the freight disadvantage for the export of agriculture products, and marketing of agricultural products, is under implementation.
Assistance to the exporters of agricultural products is also available under the Export Promotion Schemes of Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), Tobacco Board, Tea Board, Coffee Board, Rubber Board and Spices Board.
In addition to the above, active role of EPCs, Commodity Boards and Indian missions abroad towards promoting India’s trade, tourism, technology and investment goals has been enhanced.