Aastha Gupta Nishtha Gupta August 12 2022 Foreign trade policy – amendments to Handbook of Procedures 2015-2020 TPM Solicitors & Consultants | International Trade - India Aastha Gupta, Nishtha Gupta International Trade IntroductionAmendment to advance authorisation requirementsAmendment to guidelines for applicants under ANF- 4FAmendment to EPCG schemeAmendment to GAICT procedure for SCOMET itemsIntroductionThe Handbook of Procedures provides various application forms and lays down the procedures to be followed by:exporters;importers;the licensing or regional authority; orany other authority.The objective of the Handbook of Procedures is the implementation of the provisions of the Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Act, the rules or orders made thereunder and the provisions of foreign trade policy.The Handbook of Procedures 2015-2020 is currently in circulation and use. Although foreign trade policy and the Handbook of Procedures are updated every five years, the existing policy was extended due to the covid-19 outbreak. The current Handbook will stay in effect until the new foreign trade policy is released in September 2022.Any amendment to the Handbook of Procedures can be made by issuing a public notice. Recently, the Handbook of Procedures 2015-2020 was amended in the following ways.Amendment to advance authorisation requirementsOn 7 June 2022, the Handbook of Procedures 2015-2020 was amended to relax the requirements for export obligation discharge certificates (EODCs). Several exporters had challenged, before various high courts, the requirement to submit a bill of export due to the non-availability of this provision for the period up to Foreign Trade Policy 2009-2014. As a result, for any supplies made to special economic zone (SEZ) units prior to 1 April 2015, exporters can submit corroborative evidence in lieu of a bill of exports, such as:an ARE-F form duly attested by the jurisdictional central excise or goods and services tax (GST) authorities of the advance authorisation (AA) holder;evidence of receipt of the supplies by the recipient in the SEZ; andevidence of payment made by the SEZ unit to the AA holder.Amendment to guidelines for applicants under ANF- 4F On 7 June 2022, the guidelines for applicants under the application for redemption (ANF-4F) were amended in order to simplify the procedure and reduce the compliance burden when applying EODC requirements in case of exports. The following amendments now apply in case of exports:A copy of the invoice needs to be duly signed only by the unit receiving the material that certifies the supply item, its quantity and value, and the date of supply.For the supply of non-excisable items or the supply of excisable items to a unit producing non-excisable products, a project authority certificate (PAC) certifying the quantity, value and date of supply is acceptable in lieu of excise or GST certification.For supplies to export oriented units, electronic hardware technology parks, scheme or software technology parks or biotechnology parks, a copy of forms CT-3 or ARE-3 (duly signed by the jurisdictional excise or GST authorities certifying the item of supply, its quantity and value and date of such supply) are accepted in lieu of the excise or GST attested invoice.For the intermediate supplier to supply products to the port directly for export by the ultimate exporter, the requirement is to provide a copy of the shipping bill with the name of the domestic supplier (endorsed on it as the intermediate supplier), along with the file or authorisation number of the ultimate exporter and the intermediate supplier.Amendment to EPCG scheme On 9 June 2022, the Handbook of Procedures 2015-2020 was amended to extend the last day for the filing of annual returns under paragraph 5.15, which states that the "authorisation holder shall submit to RA concerned by 30th April of every year, report on fulfilment of export obligation by secured electronic filing using digital signatures or hard copy thereof". Further, a penalty of 5,000 Indian rupees will be applicable for any late filing for annual returns from 2022 to 2023.Amendment to GAICT procedure for SCOMET itemsOn 13 June 2022, the procedure to issue a global authorisation for intra-company transfer (GAICT) for special chemicals, organisms, materials, equipment and technologies (SCOMET), including software and technology, was amended in the Handbook of Procedures 2015-2020. Under this amendment, the GAICT policy is applicable only for exports or re-exports of items that include software and technology under the SCOMET Category 8, and only to the countries prescribed. For this purpose, the revised ANF forms and end-use certificate proforma has been notified.For further information on this topic please contact Aastha Gupta or Nishtha Gupta at TPM Solicitors & Consultants by telephone (+91 11 4989 2200) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The TPM Solicitors & Consultants' website can be accessed at www.tpm.in.