Search this article on Google: What are the legal provisions pertaining to Trade and Export Finance in India?
Trade and Export Finance plays a pivotal role in the economic development of a country. It provides liquidity to exporters, assuring their monetary safety while navigating the complex and risky global trading environment. In India, this sphere is governed by numerous legal provisions which are dissected by our legal experts at SimranLaw, a premier law firm in Chandigarh, India. This article aims to explore these laws, regulations, and guidelines to provide an in-depth understanding of the legal provisions pertaining to Trade and Export Finance in India.
I. The Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992:
This act serves as the primary legislative framework for foreign trade in India. It empowers the government to establish export policies and lay down the procedures for export transactions. For instance, it enables the Central Government to prohibit, restrict, and regulate exports and imports, in all or specific cases as well as providing for different treatment for different persons or different areas and different trade practices.
II. The Customs Act, 1962:
This act regulates the import-export duties that play a crucial part in export finance. It empowers the Indian government to impose tax on goods imported or exported from India and check fraudulence in trade practices. Importantly, Section 12 of this Act provides that duties of customs shall be levied at such rates as may be specified under the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 or any other law for the time being in force on goods imported into or exported from India.
III. The Reserve Bank of India Guidelines:
As the central bank of the country, the RBI has set clear guidelines for export finance. These include directives on the period of realization and repatriation to India of the full export value of goods or software exported, regulation on advance payment against exports, guidelines regarding post shipment credit to exporters, etc.
The FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) 1999 also plays a significant role in governing foreign trade and export finance. It is notified by the RBI and provides guidelines regarding transaction of foreign exchange.
IV. Various Export Promotion Schemes:
Several export promotion schemes like Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS), Service Exports from India Scheme (SEIS), Duty Drawback and others have legal provisions that directly impact trade and export finance in India.
V. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT):
The DGFT under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry is responsible for implementing the Foreign Trade Policy or Exim Policy with the main objective of increasing exports.
Let us now look at some case laws that demonstrated the application and interpretation of these laws.
1. In DHL Express (India) Pvt Ltd vs ACIT (2010), the Mumbai Income Tax Appellate Tribunal held that amounts retained out of inward remittances representing sale proceeds received on behalf of a non-resident do not represent income chargeable to tax.
2. Another significant case relating to export obligations is Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd Vs. State Of Tamil Nadu (2004). In this landmark case, the Supreme Court ruled that there is no violation of foreign trade policy and no default in fulfilling export obligation, therefore, no penalty was imposed on the company.
3. In Chemplast Sanmar Limited V. Commissioner Of Customs (Exports), it was held that where there was failure to fulfill export obligation, duty concession availed is rightly demanded along with interest and penalty.
Understanding these laws and regulations along with how they are applied can make navigating trade and export finance in India much smoother. SimranLaw firmly believes that an in-depth knowledge of legal provisions coupled with their judicious application can aid businesses in making informed decisions about their trade activities.
In summary, trade and export finance in India is governed by multiple national laws that establish guidelines for transactions, impose taxes and duties, regulate foreign exchanges, promote exports, and more. The RBI also has several key guidelines governing this sphere. Legal precedents have also been set through various case laws providing more clarity and direction in this area.