Dated 04th April, 2020

 
The taxability dispute on ocean freight has been finally decided by the Gujarat High Court, which held that taxing ocean freight is ultra vires and leads to double-taxation

Extension of Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 to 31.03.2021


Background

Foreign Trade Policy is issued for a period of five years and the policy of 15-2020 was also issued for the same period. Exporters were keen on knowing as to what incentives/ relaxations the new policy would announce but due to the outbreak of pandemic Covid 19 in the country it seems the Government has presently taken an approach to continue with the existing policy for another period of one year upto 31.03.2021 with certain amendments and relaxations to ensure protection of interest of the exporting community in large. The existing HBP 2015-2020 which was effective till 31st March, 2020 is also extended by one year till 31st March, 2021. The aforesaid extension/ amendments in FTP and HBP has been bought out by Public Notice No.57/2015-2020 dated 31/03/2020 and 67/2015-20 dated 31.03.2020. The major changes have been highlighted hereunder.

Extension of Dates for various Schemes

  • For MEIS Application, the Shipping Bills for which LEO date is between 01.02.2019 and 31.05.2019, the applications may be filed within a period of 15 months instead of 12 months.
  • For SEIS Application, the last date for filing SEIS application for F/Y 18-19 shall be 31.12.2020.
  • Status certificate already issued shall now be valid for another one year i.e. 31.03.2021.
  • Ratified Norms on or after 01.04.2015 shall be valid for another period of 1 year i.e. 31.03.2020.
  • Letter of Permission (LoP)/Letter of Intent (LoI) issued by DC/designated officer is valid up to 2 years to enable the unit to construct the plant & install machinery to commence the production. However, if the LoPs /LoIs whose original or extended validity expires on or after 01.03.2020, it shall be deemed to valid up to 31.12.2020.
  • Application for TED refund / Drawback whichever is applicable for the period of quarter ending March, 2019 and June, 2019 may be filed up to 31st September, 2020.

SEIS Entitlement:

Under the SEIS scheme of FTP 2015-20, exporter of services are eligible to claim rewards under the scheme only for those services which was notified in Appendix 3D of the FTP.

Now, for the services provided during the F.Y. 2019-20 the eligible services under the SEIS scheme and the rate of rewards on such services will be notified separately in Appendix 3X.  For services rendered with effect from 1st April, 2020, decision of continuation of the above scheme will be taken accordingly and will be notified.

Extension in validity of Advance Authorization (AA)/ Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) Scheme and Duty Free Import Authorization (DFIA)

For AA / EPCG/ DFIA, having validity period expiring between 01.02.2020 to 31.07.2020 shall automatically be extended by 6 months from the date of expiry.

If the Period for submission of Installation Certificate expires between01.02.2020 to 31.07.2020, then the same shall be extended for further period of 6 months.

Extension of Export Obligation period for Advance Authorization/ Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) Scheme:

Advance Authorizations whose export obligation period is expiring between 01.02.2020 and 31.07.2020 the same shall be automatically extended by 6 months from the date of expiry.

The EPCG authorisations covered under para 5.14 (a), (c) and (d), where blockwse export obligation period falls between 01.02.2020 to 31.07.2020 such period will automatically extended by 6 months from the expiry date.

Further Extension for Exemption from payment of IGST and Compensation Cess for AA/EPCG/EOU/EHTP/STP/BTP:

Exemption from payment of IGST and Cess for imports made under AA/EPCG for physical exports has been extended upto 31.03.2021.

Further extension from payment of IGST and Compensation Cess is allowed to EOU/EHTP/STP/BTP units upto 31.03.2021.

Conclusion

The public notices issued by the Government seems a measure for granting relaxations in various filing purposes, extension of validity of existing certificates and also extension in fulfilling export obligations under various schemes for the ease of importers and exporters.


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