Thursday, July 30, 2015

Interest Rates on FCNR (B) Accounts

Definition of the term “Deposit”
Deposits received by the bank for a fixed period.
Foreign Currency (Non-resident) Accounts (Banks) Scheme
FCNR (B) Scheme came into force from May 15, 1993.  The scheme is governed by FEMA directives since 2000. An Authorised Dealer Bank shall pay interest on deposits accepted or renewed by it under the scheme as per terms and conditions specified below:

Maturity of deposit
(a)           One year and above but less than two years
(b)           Two years and above but less than three years
(c)           Three years and above but less than four years
(d)           Four years and above but less than five years
(e)           Five years only
Note: Recurring Deposits should not be accepted under the FCNR (B) Scheme.

Interest Rates on Deposits accepted under FCNR (B) Scheme
The board of directors will approve the rate of interest within the ceiling prescribed by RBI. Alternately BOD may authorise the Asset Liability Management Committee to fix the interest rates and report it to the Board immediately thereafter.
          The interest rates ceiling on FCNR (B) deposits are as under:
1 year to less than 3 years
3 – 5 years
With effect from March 1, 2014 till date
LIBOR/ Swap plus 200 basis points
LIBOR/ Swap plus 300 basis points

Notes: a) On floating rate deposits, interest shall be paid within the ceiling of Swap rates for the respective currency/ maturity plus 200 basis points/ 300 basis points as the case may be and in case of fixed rate deposits interest shall be paid as above.

     b) For floating rate deposits, the interest reset period shall be six months.

c) The interest rate will be fixed on the basis of the LIBOR/SWAP rates as on the last working day of the preceding month.

Benchmark Rates
Since February 2006, FEDAI has been quoting the LIBOR / Swap rates for arriving at the interest rates on NRI deposits.

Manner of payment of interest
   i)       The interest should be paid considering 360 days in a year.
ii)       The interest will be calculated and paid at intervals of 180 days and thereafter for the remaining number of days. However, the depositor may opt to receive the interest on maturity with compounding effect.

Rounding of the interest on deposits
The interest rates should be rounded off to the nearest two decimal points.

Payment of interest on term deposit maturing on Saturday/Sunday/ holiday/non-business working day 
Banks should pay interest at the contracted rate on the principal deposit for the holiday period if it happens to fall on the date of maturity, upon payment of the proceeds on the succeeding working day.
In case of reinvestment deposits, banks should pay interest for the intervening holiday on the maturity value.

Payment of interest on overdue FCNR (B) deposits
Banks may renew an overdue deposit if it is received within 14 days of maturity. The applicable rate of interest should be the prevailing rate as on the date of maturity or on the date when the depositor seeks renewal, whichever is lower.

Where the overdue period exceeds 14 days, banks may fix their own rates for the overdue period. Banks may however recover the interest so paid if the deposit is withdrawn before completion of the minimum stipulated period under the Scheme.

Interest payable on the deposit of a deceased depositor
            In the case of a term deposit standing in the name/s of -
i)      a deceased individual depositor, or  
ii)             two or more joint depositors, where one of the depositors has died, interest should be paid in the manner indicated below :
            (a)        at the contracted rate on the maturity of the deposit;
(b)        in case of payment before maturity, interest should be paid at the rate applicable to the period for which the deposit remained with the bank, without charging penalty;
(c)        Where the depositor expires before the date of maturity and the deposit is claimed after maturity, interest till maturity will be paid as per contract and thereafter simple interest at the rate prevailing at the time of maturity for the actual period that the deposit remained with the bank.
Where the death happens after the date of maturity, interest beyond maturity will be paid at the rate payable to savings deposits held under Resident Foreign Currency (RFC) Account Scheme;
(d)        At the request of claimants, bank may agree to split the term deposit into two or more receipts. This will not be construed as premature withdrawal provided the period and aggregate amount of the deposit do not undergo any change.
Note: Where the claimants are residents, the maturity proceeds may be converted into Indian rupees on the date of maturity and interest thereafter shall be paid at the rate applicable to domestic deposit scheme.

Payment of interest on FCNR (B) deposits of NRIs on return to India 
Banks may allow FCNR (B) deposits of returning NRIs to continue at the contracted rate till maturity.  Such deposits should be treated as resident deposits from the date of return of the account holder to India. Premature withdrawal of such FCNR (B) deposits should be subject to penal provisions of the Scheme. Upon maturity, these accounts should be converted into Resident Rupee Deposit Account or RFC Account (if eligible) at the option of the account holder. The rate of interest on the new deposit should be that which is applicable to such deposit account.

Prohibition on payment of additional interest not exceeding one per cent on deposits of bank’s staff 
With effect from July 18, 2012, no additional interest will be paid on FCNR (B) deposit accounts of Banks’ own staff members.

Prohibition on payment of additional interest on deposits of Senior       Citizens
Banks are prohibited from paying additional interest on non-resident deposits of senior citizens including FCNR (B) deposits.  

 Premature withdrawal of deposits
    (i)     Banks shall permit premature withdrawal of deposits under the Scheme and levy penalty at their discretion. Banks may also levy penalty to recover the swap cost. Where premature withdrawal is before the minimum stipulated period of one year, no interest shall be paid and the bank may levy penalty to cover the swap cost. If the depositors are not informed of the penalty provisions at the time of acceptance of deposits, the exchange loss arising out of premature withdrawal will have to be borne by the banks.
   (ii)     Conversion of FCNR (B) deposits into NRE deposits or vice-versa before maturity should be subject to the penal provision relating to premature withdrawal.

Advances against FCNR (B) deposits - Manner of charging interest

Rupee advance against FCNR (B) deposits 
           Bank would be free to charge a rate of interest without reference to its own Base Rate on advances granted against an FCNR (B) term deposit.

Rupee advances against FCNR (B) deposit to a third party or out of the resources mobilised under the scheme
            When a loan is granted against the deposit to a third party or out of resources mobilised under the Scheme, interest should be at the rate prescribed in terms of RBI’s directive relating to Interest Rates on Advances.

Advances granted in foreign currency out of the resources of FCNR (B) deposits
Banks have the freedom to determine the interest rates on Loans in foreign currency out of eligible resources of FCNR (B) deposits.

Addition or deletion of name/s of joint account holders
A bank if satisfied by the reasons, may allow the addition/ deletion of names of joint account holders or allow an individual to add the name of another person as a joint holder. However, the amount or duration of the original deposit should not undergo a change. FCNR (B) accounts, jointly with a resident or with a Pakistani/Bangladeshi nationals of Indian origin, will be subject to the instructions issued by Foreign Exchange Department, Reserve Bank of India from time to time.

Conversion of FCNR (B) Accounts of Returning Indians into RFC Account - Waiver of penalty 
The penal provisions would not be applicable in the case of premature conversion of balances held in FCNR (B) deposits into RFC Accounts by Non-Resident Indians on their return to India.

Conversion of FCNR (B) Accounts of Returning Indians into RFC   Accounts/Resident Rupee Accounts- Payment of interest
A bank should pay interest, at the time of conversion of FCNR(B) Account into RFC/Resident Rupee Account even if it has not run for a minimum maturity period, subject to the condition that the rate of interest should not exceed the rate payable on savings bank deposits held under RFC Account Scheme.

 No bank should:
(i)         accept or renew a deposit over five years.
(ii)      discriminate in the matter of rate of interest paid on the deposits accepted on the same date and for the same maturity, except on the size group basis which will be subject to the following conditions:
a)    Banks should decide the currency-wise minimum quantum on which differential rates of interest may be offered.
b)    The differential rates should be subject to the overall ceiling prescribed.
c)    Interest rates paid by the bank should not subject to negotiation.
(iii)       pay brokerage/commission/incentives on deposits mobilized under FCNR(B).
(iv)       employ/ engage anybody for collection of deposit or for selling any other deposit linked products on payment of remuneration in any form or manner.
(v)        accept interest-free deposit or pay compensation indirectly.

Compliance with Foreign Exchange Management (Deposit) Regulations,    2000
Banks should adhere to the directions contained in Schedule 2 of the Foreign Exchange Management (Deposit) Regulations, 2000 as amended from time to time.

Based on RBI master circular dated 1/7/15.Refer for any clarification if needed…. Poppy

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Operations of Rupee Vostro Accounts of Non-Resident Exchange Houses

RBI may enter into Rupee Drawing Arrangements (RDAs) with non-resident Exchange Houses from FATF countries for opening and maintaining Rupee vostro accounts in India. Prior approval of RBI is required when they enter into such an arrangement for the first time, subsequently, they may enter into RDAs and inform RBI immediately.  Once the total number of RDAs reaches twenty, based on the satisfactory report from auditors, banks may authorize more such arrangements and inform RBI accordingly. The following are the detailed guidelines for opening and maintaining vostro accounts:

 General Instructions

(a)        The AD-I banks should make necessary enquiries  about the financial standing of the Exchange House and ensure that the Exchange Houses hold valid licenses issued by the Local authorities to transact currency exchange/ money transfer business.

(b)        The registration of the RDA Agreement between the AD-I banks and Exchange Houses is optional. However AD-I banks should take care of all necessary legal requirements,in this regard.

(c)        The registration of Power of Attorney/ specimen signatures of signing officials of the Exchange Houses should be done.

4. Instructions regarding operations in the Rupee vostro accounts

(a)        The accounts can be used for channeling cross- border inward remittances up to Rs. 15,00,000/- into India and not for outward remittances. The remitter and the beneficiary should be individuals barring a few exceptions.

(b)        No overdraft should be granted to the account holders. Funds lying in the Designated Depository Agency A/c may be used if required. Value dating may be allowed, where on-line debit to Rupee vostro account is not possible on a real time basis.  

(c)        Separate Rupee vostro account shall be maintained for each arrangement. The accounts should be funded by sale of permitted foreign currency. Rupee funds will not be eligible for credit to the account.

(d)        Debits for permitted types of inward remittances may be allowed freely. Such payments will be eligible for credit to NRE Accounts or for acceptance under priority allotment schemes. In order to facilitate  tourists, AD-I banks may issue certificates of receipt of foreign exchange in the same form as obtaining for inward remittances received through Rupee accounts of overseas banks.

(e)        Funds in such accounts will not be convertible, nor will they be transferable to other AD-I banks or to other non-resident accounts maintained with the same AD-I banks.

(f)        Balances in such accounts will not qualify for payment of interest.

(g)        AD-I banks should not credit the rupee purchased from the exchange houses into their vostro account unless the nostro account of the Bank has been credited with the counter-value in foreign currency.

(h)        To take care of  the credit and operational risks, AD-I banks may like to obtain adequate collateral either in the form of a cash deposit or bank guarantee.

(i)         RBI has permitted the opening of 300 drawee branches. However, AD-I banks may obtain necessary approval from the board for opening more than 300 drawee branches provided such branches are under Core Banking Solution where on-line monitoring of funds can be ensured. RBI should be informed of such approvals immediately.




Permitted Transactions

1. Drawing Arrangements with Exchange Houses are designed to channel cross-border personal inward remittances and not Donations or contributions to charitable institutions.
2.Permissible transactions under such Arrangements are:

(i)Credit to NRE accounts maintained by NRIs in Indian Rupees.

(ii)Payments to families of Non-resident Indians.

(iii)Payments in favour of Insurance companies, Mutual Funds and the Post Master.

(iv)Payments in favour of bankers for investments in shares, debentures.

(v)Payment to Co-operative Housing Societies, Government Housing Schemes or Estate Developers for acquisition of residential flats in India in individual names.

(vi)Fee payment to schools, colleges and other educational institutions.

(vii)Payments for medical treatment of NRIs, their dependents and nationals of FATF compliant countries.

(viii)Payments to hotels by nationals of FATF compliant countries / NRIs for their stay.

(ix)Payments to travel agents for booking of passages of NRIs and their families residing in India towards their travel in India by domestic airlines / rail, etc.

(x)Trade transactions up to Rs.15,00,000 (Rupees Fifteen lakhs only)[1] per transaction.  Payments exceeding such limit may be approved subject to the following additional steps:
                      i.        Remittances received under RDA are from FATF compliant countries,
                     ii.        KYC/AML/CFT and other due diligence concerns should be taken care of,
                    iii.        Exchange houses, which are frequently sending high value trade related remittances, must be reviewed and reported to the RBI,
                   iv.        AD banks must collect additional information regarding high value trade related transactions and keep them on record for scrutiny,
                    v.        AD banks must ensure that the proceeds of export payment through RDA is applied to the outstanding export finance of the exporter if any.

(xi)Payments to utility service providers in India except for mobile top-ups.

(xii)Tax payments in India.

(xiii)EMI to Banks an NBFCs, for repayment of loans in India.

(xiv)Direct remittances to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund subject to the banks maintaining full details of the remitters.

Note: No cash disbursement of remittances received is allowed under Rupee / Foreign Currency Drawing Arrangements.

3.       Foreign inward remittances received by the Partner Bank may be credited directly to the account of the beneficiary, held with another bank through NEFT, IMPS, etc., subject to:

i. The beneficiary’s account should be KYC compliant.  
ii. In case of KYC non compliant account, recipient Bank shall carry out KYC/CDD before the remittance is credited or allowed to be withdrawn.
iii. The Partner Bank shall appropriately mark the direct-to-account remittances to indicate to the Recipient Bank that it is a foreign inward remittance.
iv. The Partner Bank shall ensure that accurate originator and beneficiary information is included in the electronic message. This information should be available, throughout the payment chain.
v. The identification and other documents of the recipient shall be maintained by the Recipient Bank.
vi. Recipient Banks will report suspicious transactions to the FIU-IND with details of the Partner Bank through which they received the remittances.


Rupee Drawing Arrangement Procedures and Collateral Cover

1.         Designated Depository Agency (DDA) Procedure

(a)        The Exchange House will be required to open a bank account in a convertible foreign currency in the name of the drawee bank. The account will be opened with an international bank at a centre mutually agreed upon.  However with the prior approval of the RBI, the account can also be opened with the drawee bank itself at a branch where the corresponding Rupee vostro account is maintained,.

(b)        The Exchange House will convert the total drawings in Indian Rupees to foreign currency at the end of each day and deposit it into the account of the drawee bank  on the next working day before noon.

(c)        The Exchange House will inform the drawee bank about the total number/value of drafts drawn and daily deposits in the DDA account. Transfer from the DDA account should be as frequently as possible

(d)        The funds will be held in the DDA account under lien to the drawee bank. The only debits allowed from the DDA account will  be (i) for transfer to the nostro account of the drawee bank (ii) for crediting the Rupee vostro account of the Exchange House.

(e)        It will be the responsibility of the Exchange House to transfer the sum collected on any particular day to the DDA account. The float period for the funds with DDA account will be decided by the drawee bank in consultation with the Exchange House subject to a maximum of five days.

(f)        The interest earned on the amount deposited by the Exchange House with the DDA, up to the date of transfer to the nostro account of the drawee bank, will accrue to the Exchange House.

(g)        To ensure compliance, the drawee bank in India will appoint Auditors, operating in the country concerned to examine the account with the DDA. Such inspections will be done at least once or twice every week.

(h)        Alternately, the AD-I banks may depute an official as their representative to the Exchange House.

(i)         In case of default on the part of the Exchange House, the drawee bank may terminate the agency arrangement. The termination will be promptly reported to the RBI.

(j)         So long as the Exchange House complies with the guidelines, the drawee bank will ensure that the drafts issued are honoured at the branches mutually agreed to.

(k)        The remuneration payable to the auditors will be borne by the drawee banks.

(l)         Drafts drawn by the Exchange House should have a validity of only three months from the date of issue thereof.

(m)      AD-I banks should satisfy themselves that the books of accounts of Exchange Houses are regularly audited by auditors approved by the local supervisory authorities.

(n)        AD-I banks should call for periodical credit reports, audited balance sheet and profit and loss account etc. of the Exchange House.

(o)        Valid copies of all licenses should be kept on record by the AD-I banks.

(p)        Since the books of accounts of the Exchange House cannot be inspected, AD-I banks should periodically review the arrangement by way of visits to the exchange house or periodical review of opinion reports.

(q)        For Exchange Houses which have not completed three years of operation, collateral cover in cash or bank guarantee equivalent to 7 days’ projected drawings may be obtained.  Though no collateral is prescribed for others, AD-I banks may acquire adequate collateral cover if they wish to.  Cash deposit or bank guarantee equivalent to 15 days’ estimated drawings may be obtained as collateral cover where it is not possible to appoint auditors. The deposit should be in the name of the AD-I banks with interest payable to the Exchange House. The amount of deposit and guarantee should be periodically reviewed so as to cover the drawings adequately.

2.         Non- DDA procedure

(a)        As an alternative to maintaining a DDA account and appointment of auditors, the AD-I banks may opt for the Non-DDA procedure.

(b)        Under Non–DDA procedure, the Exchange House funds their vostro account by purchasing rupees from the AD-I banks against USD for the total value of drafts issued by them at periodic intervals.

(c)        For Exchange Houses which have not completed three years of operation, collateral cover in cash deposit or bank guarantee equivalent to 7 days’ projected drawings may be obtained. For others, no collateral is prescribed. Further, under Non-DDA arrangement, a collateral cover in cash deposit or bank guarantees equivalent to 10 days’ projected drawings may be obtained. In addition, if there is a restriction on the bank’s right to depute its own staff for examination of books of the Exchange House, additional cash deposit or bank guarantee equivalent to 15 days’ estimated drawings may be obtained. The deposit should be in the name of the AD-I banks with interest payable to the Exchange House. The amount of deposit and guarantee should be periodically reviewed to ensure that the collateral adequately covers the drawings and pipeline debits.

3.         Speed Remittance Procedure  

(a)        AD-I banks are permitted to enter into RDA under speed remittance procedure wherein:

(i) The Exchange House sends payment instructions with complete details like name, address, etc., via SWIFT or internet.

(ii)The Exchange House credits the nostro account of the AD-I banks with Rupee fund well in advance before issuing payment instructions.

(iii)On verification of data and availability of balances in the vostro account of the exchange house the AD-I bank makes the payment to the beneficiary.

(iv)The Exchange House shall address all payment instructions, to the account holding branch irrespective of the beneficiaries’ centre.

(v)The branch shall make no payment unless clear funds are available in the account.

(vi)The AD-I banks shall obtain date-wise information regarding number and aggregate value of such transfers from the Exchange House.

(vii)      Where facility of speed remittance is extended to existing Rupee drawing arrangements, the Exchange House shall open a separate Rupee account with the prior approval of the RBI. No such approval is required where the operations in the existing Rupee drawing arrangements under DDA/ Non-DDA are satisfactory. However, the RBI should be informed in the matter immediately.

(b)        For Exchange Houses, which have not completed three years of operation, collateral cover in cash deposit or bank guarantee equivalent to 7 days’ projected drawings may be obtained. For others, no collateral is prescribed. Further, the Exchange House shall keep with the AD-I banks an additional cash deposit or bank guarantee equivalent to 1 day’s estimated drawings. The deposit should be in the name of the AD-I banks with interest payable to the Exchange House. The amount of deposit and guarantee should be periodically reviewed and properly monitored in order to ensure adequacy of cover.


Foreign Currency Drawing Arrangements

AD-I banks may enter into foreign currency drawing arrangements under DDA or Non-DDA procedure with those Exchange Houses with whom they have Rupee Drawing Arrangements (RDAs), with prior approval of the RBI. Each tie-up arrangement of an AD-I bank with an Exchange House is required to be approved by the RBI. The conditions are:

(a)        Exchange Houses shall draw drafts in any convertible foreign currency only on ‘A’ or ‘B’ category branches of AD-I banks.

(b)        The foreign currency drawing arrangement shall be kept distinct from the Rupee drawing arrangement.

(c)        A separate foreign currency vostro account of the Exchange House shall be opened. Payment of drafts shall be made by debit to this account.

(d)        The aggregate amount of drafts drawn by the Exchange House on any day should be credited to the nostro Account of the drawee bank latest by close of business on the second working day.

(e)        The account maintaining branch of the drawee AD-I banks should credit foreign currency vostro account of the Exchange House on receipt of confirmation regarding credit to their nostro account.

(f)        AD-I banks should ensure that foreign currency accounts are funded at all times.

(g)        If the arrangement is under the Non-DDA procedure, the Exchange House should communicate the number and value of drafts drawn, to the account maintaining branch, before close of the following working day. Under DDA procedure, such information may be obtained at least twice a week.

(h)        Exchange Houses should keep a deposit of not less than USD 50,000 with the drawee AD-I bank. The amount of deposit should be reviewed every six months in order to ensure adequacy of cover and if found necessary the quantum of the deposit should be increased. AD-I banks should allow interest on this deposit.

(i)         AD-I banks are allowed to keep the amount of deposit in all cases, with the Account maintaining branch.


Miscellaneous Provisions

1. AD-I banks should adhere to the KYV/AML/CFT Guidelines issued by the RBI, while undertaking any transaction under Rupee/ Foreign Currency Drawing Arrangements, as applicable.

2. AD-I banks should keep RDA/FCDA under concurrent audit  to ensure that credit to the vostro account of the Exchange House takes place before payments are made.

3. Exchange Houses should submit an annual compliance report duly certified by their auditors to the AD-I banks  regarding adherance to the home country KYC/ AML/ CFT regulations.

4. AD-I banks should inform RBI of any unusual operations by exercising constant vigil.

5. AD-I banks shall ensure that expired licenses of the Exchange Houses, are renewed and copies of authenticated English versions placed with them for their record.

6.The Exchange Houses should not enter into any arrangement with service providers for their back office operations in India. However, they can establish liaison offices in India. Operations such as printing of drafts, issuance of drawing advices and stop payment instructions can be undertaken by such offices with the prior approval of the RBI.

7.         AD-I banks should obtain approval of the RBI for maintaining accounts of Exchange Houses whose name and constitution, etc., undergo changes.


Internal Control and Monitoring of Accounts

1.         Dealings with Exchange Houses should be strictly on credit basis at all times and no overdraft should be granted to the account holders.

2.         AD-I banks are required to inspect the vostro accounts of Exchange Houses on a half-yearly basis through experienced officers. Observations thereon shall be included in the annual review of the accounts submitted to the Board.

Based on RBI master circular dated 1/7/2015. Please refer for further details if required……………….Poppy

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Exports of Goods and Services

Exemption from Declarations
(i) EDF Exemption
The requirement of declaration of export of goods and software will not apply to the List referred below. The exporters shall, however, be liable to realize and repatriate export proceeds as per FEMA Regulations.
trade samples of goods and publicity material supplied free of payment;

personal effects of travellers, whether accompanied or unaccompanied;

ship's stores, trans-shipment cargo and goods supplied under the orders of Central Government or of such officers as may be appointed by the Central Government in this behalf or of the military, naval or air force authorities in India for military, naval or air force requirements;

goods or software accompanied by a declaration by the exporter that they are not more than twenty five thousand rupees in value;

by way of gift of goods accompanied by a declaration by the exporter that they are not more than one lakh rupees in value;

aircrafts or aircraft engines and spare parts for overhauling and/or repairs abroad subject to their reimport into India after overhauling /repairs, within a period of six months from the date of their export;

goods imported free of cost on re-export basis;

goods not exceeding U.S.$ 1000 or its equivalent in value per transaction exported to Myanmar under the Barter Trade Agreement between the Central Government and the Government of Myanmar;

the following goods which are permitted by the Development Commissioner of the Export Processing Zones or Free Trade Zones to be re-exported, namely:

1) imported goods found defective, for the purpose of their replacement by the foreign suppliers/collaborators;

2) goods imported from foreign suppliers/collaborators on loan basis;

3) goods imported from foreign suppliers/collaborators free of cost, found surplus after production operations.

replacement goods exported free of charge in accordance with the provisions of Exim Policy in force, for the time being.

(ii) Grant of EDF waiver
AD–I Banks may consider requests for grant of EDF waiver for export of goods free of cost for the purpose of export promotion.
  1. For general exporters it is up to 2 per cent of the average annual exports during the preceding three financial years subject to a ceiling of Rs.5 lakhs.
  2. For status holder exporters, the limit as per the present Foreign Trade Policy is Rs.10 lakhs or 2 per cent of the average annual export realization during the preceding three licensing years (April-March), whichever is higher.
Exports of goods not involving any foreign exchange transaction directly or indirectly requires the waiver of EDF procedure from the Reserve Bank.
B.2 Manner of Receipt and Payment
(i) The amount representing the full export value of the goods exported shall be received through an AD in the following manner:
a. Bank draft, pay order, banker's or personal cheques.
b. Foreign currency notes/foreign currency travelers’ cheques from the buyer during his visit to India.
c. Payment out of funds held in the FCNR/NRE account maintained by the buyer
d. International Credit Cards of the buyer.
Note: When payment for goods sold to overseas buyers during their visits is received, EDF (duplicate) should be released by the AD–I Banks only on receipt of funds in their Nostro account or proof of receipt by the credit card servicing Bank in India.
(ii) Trade transactions can also be settled in the following manner:
a. All transactions between a person resident in India, Nepal or Bhutan may be settled in Indian Rupees. However, in case of export of goods to Nepal, where the importer has been permitted by the Nepal Rashtra Bank to make payment in free foreign exchange, such payments shall be routed through the ACU mechanism.
b. Gem & Jewellery units in SEZs and EOUs can settle the transactions in precious metals, subject to the condition that the sale contract provides for the same and the approximate value of the precious metals is indicated in the relevant EDF Forms.
(iii) Processing of export related receipts through Online Payment Gateway Service Providers
AD–I Banks have been allowed make remittances through Online Payment Gateway Service Providers (OPGSPs) subject to the following conditions:
a. The AD–I Banks offering this facility shall carry out the due diligence of the OPGSP.
b. This facility shall only be available for export value not exceeding USD 10,000.
c. AD–I Banks shall open a NOSTRO collection account for receipt of the export related payments. Where the exporters are required to open notional accounts with the OPGSP, it shall be ensured that all receipts should be automatically be swept and pooled into the NOSTRO collection account.
d. Bank should be able to delineate the transactions in the NOSTRO account of each OPGSP.
e. The permissible debits to the NOSTRO collection account are for repatriation of funds representing export proceeds to India, payment of fee/commission to the OPGSP; and charge back to the importer where the exporter has failed in discharging his obligations under the sale contract.
f. The balances held in the NOSTRO collection account shall be repatriated to the exporter's account in India immediately on receipt of the confirmation from the importer and, in no case, later than seven days from the date of credit to the NOSTRO collection account.
g. AD-I Banks shall ensure that the purpose codes reported to the Reserve Bank in the online payment gateways are appropriate.
h. AD-I Banks shall submit all the relevant information relating to any transaction under this arrangement to the Reserve Bank, as and when advised to do so.
i. Each NOSTRO collection account should be subject to reconciliation and audit on a quarterly basis.
j. Resolution of all payment related complaints of exporters in India shall remain the responsibility of the OPGSP concerned.
k. In respect of new arrangements, the OPGSP shall open a liaison office with the approval of the Reserve Bank before operationalising the arrangement. AD–I Banks desirous of entering into such an arrangement/s should approach the Reserve Bank for obtaining one time permission and thereafter report the details of each such arrangement as and when entered into.
(iv) Settlement System under ACU Mechanism
a) Participants in the Asian Clearing Union will have the option to settle their transactions either in ACU Dollar or in ACU Euro which shall be equivalent in value to one US Dollar and one Euro, respectively.
b) Further, AD–I Banks are allowed to open and maintain ACU Dollar and ACU Euro accounts with their correspondent banks. All eligible payments are required to be settled through these accounts.
c) Trade transactions with Myanmar can be settled in any freely convertible currency in addition to the ACU mechanism.
d) All eligible current account transactions including trade transactions with Iran should be settled in any permitted currency outside the ACU mechanism, until further notice.
(v) Third party payments for export / import transactions can be made subject to:
a) Firm irrevocable order backed by a tripartite agreement should be in place. It may not be insisted upon, where the name of the third party is mentioned in the irrevocable order subject to:
(i) AD bank should be satisfied with the bona-fides of the transaction.
(ii) AD bank should consider the FATF statements while handling such transaction.
b. Third party payment should be routed through the banking channel only;
c. The exporter should declare the third party remittance in the Export Declaration Form;
d. It would be the responsibility of the Exporter to realize and repatriate the export proceeds from such third party named in the EDF;
e. Reporting of outstanding in the XOS would continue against the exporter. However, instead of the name of the overseas buyer, the name of the declared third party should appear in the XOS;
f. In case of shipments being made to a country in Group II of Restricted Cover Countries, (e.g. Sudan, Somalia, etc.), payments may be received from an Open Cover Country; and
g. In case of imports, the Invoice and the Bill of Entry should contain a narration that the related payment has to be made to the (named) third party. The importer should comply with the related instructions relating to imports.
B.3 Realization and Repatriation of proceeds of export of goods / software / services
It is obligatory on the part of the exporter to realize and repatriate the full value of exports to India within a stipulated period from the date of export, as under:
(i) The period of realization and repatriation of export proceeds shall be nine months from the date of export for all exporters.
(ii) Goods exported to a warehouse established outside India: As soon as it is realized and in any case within fifteen months from the date of shipment of goods.
B.4 Foreign Currency Account
(i) Participants in international exhibition/trade fair have been granted general permission for opening a temporary foreign currency account abroad for deposit of sale proceeds. Exporters can operate the account during their stay there and repatriate the balance to India through normal banking channels within a period of one month from the date of closure of the exhibition/trade fair and submit full details to the concerned AD–I Bank.
(ii) Reserve Bank may consider applications in Form EFC from exporters having good track record for opening a foreign currency account with banks in India and outside India subject to certain terms and conditions.
(iii) An Indian entity can also have a foreign currency account with a bank outside India, in the name of its overseas office/branch, by making remittance for the purpose of normal business operations of the said office/branch subject to FEMA guidelines.
(iv) A unit located in a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) may open, hold and maintain a Foreign Currency Account with an AD–I Banks in India subject to FEMA guidelines.
(v) A resident project / service exporter may open, hold and maintain foreign currency account outside or within India, subject to the standard terms and conditions in the Memorandum PEM.
B.5 Diamond Dollar Account (DDA)
(i) Under the DDA scheme, firms and companies dealing in diamond and precious metal jewellery, with a track record of at least 2 years in such import / export and having an average annual turnover of Rs. 3 crores and above during the preceding three licensing years are permitted to transact their business through Diamond Dollar Accounts.
(ii) They may be allowed to open not more than five Diamond Dollar Accounts.
(iii) Eligible firms and companies may apply for permission to their AD–I Banks in the prescribed format.
(iv) AD–I Banks are required to submit a quarterly report to Reserve Bank of India, giving name and address of the firm / company in whose name the Diamond Dollar Account is opened/ closed, along with the date of opening / closing of such accounts, by the 10th of next month.
(v) AD–I Banks are required to submit a statement giving the data on the DDA balances maintained by them on a fortnightly basis within seven days of close of the fortnight to Reserve Bank of India.
B.6 Exchange Earners’ Foreign Currency (EEFC) Account
(i) A resident may open an account in foreign currency called the Exchange Earners’ Foreign Currency (EEFC) Account with an AD–I Banks in India, as per FEMA regulations.
(ii) Resident individuals are permitted to include resident close relative(s) in their EEFC bank accounts on former or survivor basis. However, such relative, shall not be eligible to operate the account during the life time of the resident account holder.
(iii) This account shall be maintained only in the form of non-interest bearing current account. No credit facilities, shall be permitted against the security of balances held in EEFC accounts.
(iv) All categories of foreign exchange earners are allowed to credit 100% of their foreign exchange earnings to their EEFC Accounts subject to the condition that
a)    The accruals during the calendar month are converted to rupees after adjusting approved payments and forward commitments. Further, in case of requirements, EEFC account holders are permitted to access the forex market for purchasing foreign exchange.
b)    The facility of EEFC scheme is intended to enable exchange earners to save on conversion/transaction costs while undertaking forex transactions and not intended to enable exchange earners to maintain assets in foreign currency.
(v) The provisions at paragraph (iv) a) and (iv) b) will also apply to Resident Foreign Currency Account (Domestic) and Diamond Dollar Account (DDA).
(vi) The eligible credits represent:
a. inward remittance received through normal banking channel. It will not include remittance received pursuant to any undertaking given to the Reserve Bank, foreign currency loan raised and investment received for meeting specific obligations by the account holder.
b. Payments received in foreign exchange by a unit in Domestic Tariff Area (DTA) for supplying goods to a unit in Special Economic Zone out of its foreign currency account.
(vii) AD–I Banks may permit their exporter constituents to extend trade related loans / advances to overseas importers out of their EEFC balances without any ceiling subject to FEMA guidelines.
(viii) AD–I Banks may permit exporters to repay packing credit advances from balances in their EEFC account and Rupee resources to the extent exports have actually taken place.
B.7 Setting up of Offices Abroad and Acquisition of Immovable Property for Overseas Offices
(i) At the time of setting up of the office, AD–I Banks may allow remittances towards initial expenses up to fifteen per cent of the average annual sales/income or turnover during the last two financial years or up to twenty-five per cent of the net worth, whichever is higher.
(ii) For recurring expenses, remittances up to ten per cent of the average annual sales/income or turnover during the last two financial years may be sent subject to the following terms and conditions:
a. The overseas branch has been set up or representative is posted overseas for conducting normal business activities of the Indian entity;
b. The overseas branch shall not enter into any contract or agreement in contravention of the Act, Rules or Regulations made there under;
c. The overseas branch should not create any financial liabilities for the head office in India and also not invest surplus funds abroad without prior approval of the Reserve Bank. Any funds rendered surplus should be repatriated to India.
(iii) The details of bank accounts opened in the overseas country should be promptly reported to the AD Bank.
(iv) Indian company having overseas offices may acquire immovable property outside India for its business and for residential purpose of its staff within the limits referred above.
(v) The overseas branch of software exporter company/firm may repatriate to India 100 per cent of the contract value of each ‘off-site’ contract.
(vi) In case of companies taking up ‘on site’ contracts, they should repatriate the profits after the completion of the said contracts.
(vii) An audited yearly statement showing receipts under ‘off-site’ and ‘on-site’ contracts undertaken by the overseas office, expenses and repatriation thereon may be sent to the AD–I Banks.
B.8 Advance Payments against Exports
(1) Where an exporter receives advance payment from a buyer outside India, the exporter shall be under an obligation to ensure that the shipment of goods is made within one year from the date of receipt of advance payment. The rate of interest, if any, should not exceed LIBOR + 100 basis points and the documents covering the shipment are to be routed through the AD–I Banks through whom the advance payment is received.
In case the exporter is unable to make the shipment within one year, no remittance towards refund shall be made without the prior approval of the Reserve Bank.
(2) Exporters having a minimum of three years’ satisfactory track record can receive long term export advance up to a maximum tenor of 10 years for execution of long term supply contracts subject to the conditions as under:
(i) Firm irrevocable supply orders and contracts should be in place. Product pricing should be in consonance with prevailing international prices.
(ii) Company should have capacity, systems and processes in place to ensure that the orders can actually be executed.
(iii) The facility is to be provided only to those entities, which have not come under the adverse notice of the regulatory agencies or have not been caution listed.
(iv) Such advances should be adjusted through future exports.
(v) The rate of interest payable, if any, should not exceed LlBOR plus 200 basis points.
(vi) The documents should be routed through one Authorized Dealer bank only.
(vii) Authorised Dealer bank should ensure compliance with AML / KYC guidelines
(viii) Such export advances shall not be permitted to be used to liquidate NPA Rupee loans.
(ix) Double financing for working capital for execution of export orders should be avoided.
(x) Receipt of such advance of USD 100 million or more should be immediately reported to the Trade Division, Foreign Exchange Department, Reserve Bank of India.
(xi) The issuance of bank guarantee (BG) / Stand by Letter of Credit (SBLC)should be rigorously evaluated as any other credit proposal.
a. BG / SBLC may be issued for a period up to two years. Further rollover should also be allowed for a period up to two years only subject to satisfactory export performance as per the contract.
b. BG / SBLC should cover only the advance on reducing balance basis.
c. BG / SBLC issued from India in favor of overseas buyer should not be discounted by the overseas branch / subsidiary of bank in India.
(xii) AD–I Banks may allow the purchase of foreign exchange from the market for refunding advance payment credited to EEFC account only after utilizing the entire balances held in the exporter’s EEFC accounts maintained at different branches/banks.
(3) ‘AD Category- I banks may allow exporters to receive advance payment for export of goods which would take more than one year to manufacture and ship and where the ‘export agreement’ provides for shipment of goods extending beyond the period of one year from the date of receipt of advance payment subject to the following conditions:-
(i) The KYC and due diligence exercise has been done by the AD–I Banks for the overseas buyer;
(ii) Compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering standards has been ensured;
(iii) The AD Category-I bank should ensure that export advance received by the exporter should be utilized to execute export and not for any other purpose i.e., the transaction is a bona-fide transaction;
(iv) Progress payment, if any, should be received directly from the overseas buyer strictly in terms of the contract;
(v) The rate of interest, if any, payable on the advance payment shall not exceed London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) + 100 basis points;
(vi) There should be no instance of refund exceeding 10% of the advance payment received in the last three years;
(vii) The documents covering the shipment should be routed through the same authorised dealer bank; and
(viii) In the event of the exporter's inability to make the shipment, no remittance towards refund should be made without the prior approval of the Reserve Bank.’
(4) (i) AD–I banks are advised to efficiently follow up with the concerned exporters in order to ensure that export performance are completed within the stipulated time period.
(ii) AD–I banks should exercise proper due diligence and ensure compliance with KYC and AML guidelines so that only bonafide export advances flow into India. Doubtful cases and chronic defaulters may be referred to Directorate of Enforcement (DoE) for further investigation. A quarterly statement indicating details of such cases may be forwarded to the concerned Regional Offices of RBI within 21 days from the end of each quarter.
B.9 EDF Approval for Trade Fair/Exhibitions abroad
1. Organizations participating in Trade Fair/Exhibition abroad can take/export goods for exhibition and sale outside India without the prior approval of the Reserve Bank. Unsold exhibit items may be sold outside the exhibition/trade fair in the same country or in a third country. Such sales at discounted value are also permissible. It would also be permissible to 'gift’ unsold goods up to the value of USD 5000 per exporter, per exhibition/trade fair. AD–I Banks may approve EDF of export items for display or display-cum-sale in trade fairs/exhibitions outside India subject to the following:
(i) The exporter shall produce relative Bill of Entry within one month of re-import into India of the unsold items.
(ii) The sale proceeds of the items sold are repatriated to India in accordance with the FEMA regulations.
(iii) The exporter shall report to the AD–I Banks the method of disposal of all items exported, as well as the repatriation of proceeds to India.
(iv) Such transactions approved by the AD–I Banks will be subject to 100 per cent audit by their internal inspectors/auditors.
B.10 EDF approval for Export of Goods for re-imports
(i) Exporters may be granted EDF approval for exporting the goods for re-import after repairs / maintenance / testing / calibration, etc., subject to the condition that the exporter shall produce relative Bill of Entry within one month of re-import of the exported item from India.
(ii) Where the goods being exported for testing are destroyed during testing, AD–I Banks may obtain a certificate issued by the testing agency that the goods have been destroyed during testing, in lieu of Bill of Entry for import.
B.11 Part Drawings /Undrawn Balances
(i) In certain lines of export trade, it is the practice to leave a small part of the invoice value undrawn for payment. The difference is ascertained after inspection, weighing and analysis of the goods once received. In such cases, AD–I Banks may negotiate the bills, provided:
a. The amount of undrawn balance is considered normal in the particular line of export trade, subject to a maximum of 10 per cent of the full export value.
b. An undertaking is obtained from the exporter on the duplicate of EDF forms that he will surrender the balance proceeds within the period prescribed for realization.
(ii) Where the exporter has not been able to arrange for repatriation of the undrawn balance in spite of best efforts, AD–I Banks should ensure that the exporter has realized at least the value for which the bill was initially drawn or 90 per cent of the value declared on EDF form, whichever is more and a period of one year has elapsed from the date of shipment.
B.12 Consignment Exports
(i) When goods are exported on consignment basis, the AD-I bank should instruct his overseas correspondent to deliver documents only against an undertaking to deposit the proceeds within the prescribed period.
(ii) The agents/consignees may deduct expenses incurred towards receipt, storage and sale of the goods, from the sale proceeds of the goods and remit the net proceeds to the exporter.
(iii) Deductions in Account Sales should be supported by bills/receipts in original except in case of petty items like postage/cable charges, stamp duty, etc.
(iv) In case the goods are exported on consignment basis, freight and marine insurance must be arranged in India.
(v) AD–I Banks may allow the exporters to abandon the books, which remain unsold at the expiry of the period of the sale contract. This should be shown as deduction from the export proceeds in the Account Sales.
B.13 Opening / Hiring of Ware houses abroad
AD–I Banks may permit exporters to open / hire warehouses abroad subject to following conditions:
(i) Applicant’s export outstanding does not exceed 5 per cent of exports made during the previous financial year.
(ii) Applicant has a minimum export turnover of USD 100,000/- during the last financial year.
(iii) Period of realization should be as applicable.
(iv) All transactions should be routed through the designated branch of the AD Banks.
(v) The above permission may be granted to the exporters initially for a period of one year and renewal may be considered subject to the applicant satisfying the requirement above.
(vi) AD–I Banks granting such permission/approvals should maintain a proper record of the approvals granted.
B.14 Direct dispatch of documents by the exporter
1. AD–I may dispatch shipping documents directly to the consignees or their agents instead of their overseas correspondents in cases where:
(i) Advance payment or an irrevocable letter of credit has been received for the full value of the export shipment and the underlying sale contract provides for the direct despatch.
(ii) Where the exporter is a regular customer and the AD–I Bank is satisfied with his track record and arrangements have been made for realization of export proceeds.
2. AD–I Banks may also permit 'Status Holder Exporters’, and units in Special Economic Zones (SEZ) to dispatch the export documents to the consignees outside India subject to the terms and conditions that:
(i) The export proceeds are repatriated through the AD banks named in the EDF.
(ii) The duplicate copy of the EDF is submitted to the AD banks within 21 days of the date of shipment.
3. AD–I Banks may regularize cases of direct dispatch of shipping documents up to USD 1 million or its equivalent, per export shipment, subject to the following conditions:
(i) The export proceeds have been realized in full.
(ii) The exporter is a regular customer of AD–I Banks for a period of at least six months.
(iii) The exporter’s account with the AD–I Banks is fully compliant with the Reserve Bank’s extant KYC / AML guidelines.
(iv) The AD–I Banks is satisfied about the bona-fides of the transaction.
(v) In case of doubt, the AD–I Banks may consider filing Suspicious Transaction Report with FIU_IND.
B.15 Invoicing of Software Exports
(i) For long duration contracts involving series of transmissions, the exporters should bill their overseas clients periodically. The exporter may submit a combined SOFTEX form for all the invoices raised on a particular overseas client, including advance remittances received in a month.
(ii) Where contracts involve ‘one-shot operation’, the invoice should be raised within 15 days of transmission.
(iii) The exporter should submit SOFTEX form in quadruplicate, to the designated official at STPI / EPZ /FTZ /SEZ, for valuation and certification within 30 days of the date of invoice or the date of last invoice raised in a month.
(iv) The invoices raised on overseas clients as at (i) and (ii) above will be subject to valuation by the designated official and consequent amendment will be made, if necessary.
B.16 Short Shipments and Shut out Shipments
(i) When part of a shipment covered by an EDF is short-shipped, the exporter must inform the Customs. The exporter should give an undertaking to the AD banks that he has filed the short-shipment notice with the Customs and that he will furnish the certificate as soon as it is obtained.
(ii) Where a shipment has been entirely shut out and there is delay in making arrangements to re-ship, the exporter will give notice in duplicate to the Customs, attaching thereto the unused duplicate copy of EDF and the shipping bill. The Customs will certify the copy of the notice upon verification and forward it to the Reserve Bank together with unused duplicate copy of the EDF. In this case, the original EDF received earlier from Customs will be cancelled. If the shipment is made subsequently, a fresh set of EDF should be completed
B.17 Counter-Trade Arrangement
Counter trade proposals involving adjustment of value of goods imported into India against value of goods exported from India through an Escrow Account opened in India in US Dollar will be considered by the Reserve Bank subject to following conditions:
(i) All imports and exports under the arrangement should be at international prices in conformity with the FEMA.
(ii) No interest will be payable on balances standing to the credit of the Escrow Account but the funds temporarily rendered surplus may be held in a short-term deposit up to a total period of three months in a year and the banks may pay interest at the applicable rate.
(iii) No facilities would be permitted against the balances in the Escrow Account.
(iv) Permission for opening an Escrow Account may be sought by the overseas exporter through his AD–I Banks to the Regional Office concerned of the Reserve Bank.
B.18 Export of Goods on Lease, Hire, etc.
Exporters may export machinery, equipment, etc., on lease and hire basis against collection of rentals/charges and ultimate re-import. Prior approval of the Reserve Bank is to be acquired for such activities.  
B.19 Export on Elongated Credit Terms
Exporters intending to export goods on elongated credit terms need to seek permission of RBI for doing so.
B.20 Export of goods by Special Economic Zones (SEZs)
(i) Units in SEZs are permitted to undertake job work abroad and export goods from that country itself subject to the conditions that:
a. Processing / manufacturing charges are suitably loaded in the export price and are borne by the ultimate buyer.
b. The exporter has made satisfactory arrangements for realization of full export proceeds subject to the usual EDF procedure.
AD–I Banks may permit units in DTAs to purchase foreign exchange for making payment for goods supplied to them by units in SEZs.
(ii) AD Banks are permitted to sell foreign exchange to a unit in the DTA for making payment in to a unit in the SEZ for the services rendered by it, as per the terms and conditions mentioned in the Letter of Approval (LoA) issued to the SEZ.
B.21 Project Exports and Service Exports
(i) Export of engineering goods on deferred payment terms and execution of turnkey projects and civil construction contracts abroad are collectively referred to as ‘Project Exports’. Indian Project Exporters are required to obtain the approval of the AD–I Banks/ Exim Bank at post-award stage before undertaking execution of such contracts.
(ii) AD banks / Exim Bank may consider post-award approvals without any monetary limit and permit subsequent changes in the terms within the relevant FEMA guidelines. The respective AD bank / Exim Bank should monitor such projects.
(iii) The stipulation of time limit of 30 days to submit form DPX1/ PEX-1 /TCS-1 to the Approving Authority (AA) for seeking post award approval will not apply henceforth.
(iv) In order to provide greater flexibility to project & service exporters in conducting their overseas transactions, facilities have been provided as under:
(a) Inter-Project Transfer of Machinery
Exporters may use the machinery / equipment for performing any other contract secured by them in any country subject to the satisfaction of the sponsoring Bank and also subject to the reporting requirement and monitoring by the concerned bank.
(b) Inter-Project Transfer of Funds
Banks may permit exporters to open, maintain and operate one or more foreign currency account/s in a currency of their choice with inter-project transferability of funds in any currency or country subject to monitoring by such banks.
(c) Deployment of Temporary Cash Surpluses
Temporary cash surpluses generated outside India can be investmented in short-term paper abroad with a maturity or remaining maturity of one year or less and the rating of which should be at least A-1/AAA by Standard & Poor or P-1/Aaa by Moody’s or F1/AAA by Fitch IBCA etc. and as deposits with branches / subsidiaries of AD–I Banks in India.
(d) Repatriation of Funds in case of On-site Software Contracts
Software exporters should repatriate the profits of on-site contracts after completion of the contracts.
B.22 Export of Currency
In terms of FEMA regulations, permission of Reserve Bank is required for any export of Indian currency except :
(i) Any resident Indian can take currency notes upto Rs. 25000.00 outside India other than to Nepal and Bhutan.
(ii) Any non-resident (except citizen of Pakistan and Bangladesh and travelers coming from or going to these countries) may take outside India currency notes upto Rs.25000.00 while exiting only through an airport.
B.23 Forfaiting
EXIM Bank and AD–I Banks have been permitted to undertake forfaiting, for financing of export receivables. Remittance of commitment fee / service charges, etc., payable by the exporter may be done through an AD bank in one lump sum or at monthly intervals as approved.
B.24 Exports to neighboring countries by Road, Rail or River
The procedure for filing original copies of EDF for such exports is as follows:
(i) In case of exports by barges/country craft/road transport, the exporter or his agent should present the form at the Customs station at the border before crossing over to the foreign territory.
(ii) In case of exports by rail, Customs staff at designated railway stations will collect the EDF for goods loaded at these stations. For goods loaded at stations other than the designated stations, exporters must arrange to present EDF to the Customs Officer at the Border Land Customs Station where Customs formalities are completed.
B.25 Border Trade with Myanmar
People living along both sides of the India-Myanmar border are permitted to exchange certain specified locally produced commodities under the barter trade arrangement. They can also trade in freely convertible currency.
B.26 Repayment of State Credits
Export of goods and services against repayment of state credits granted by erstwhile USSR will continue to be governed by the Reserve Bank.
B.27 Counter –Trade Arrangements with Romania
The Reserve Bank will consider counter trade proposals from Indian exporters with Romania involving adjustment of value of exports against value of imports, subject to the condition, that the exporter should utilize the funds within six months from the date of credit to Escrow Accounts.
PART – 3
C. Operational Guidelines for AD–I Banks
C.1 Citing of Specific Identification Numbers
In all correspondence with the Reserve Bank, the specific identification number available on the EDF and SOFTEX forms should invariably be cited.
C.2 EDF/SOFTEX procedure
Export declaration forms should be disposed of as under:
C.3.1. EDF Form
i) The procedure relating to the exports of goods through EDI ports will remain the same.
ii) The EDF will be used for declaration of export of Goods at Non-EDI ports. It should be submitted in duplicate along with the shipping bill to the Customs at the port of shipment.
(iii) Customs will give their running serial number on both the copies after admitting the corresponding shipping bill. The Customs serial number will have ten numerals denoting the code number of the port of shipment, the calendar year and a six- digit running serial number.
(iv) Customs will certify the value declared by the exporter on both the copies of the EDF form at the space earmarked and will also record the assessed value.
(v) They will then return the duplicate copy of the form to the exporter and retain the original for transmission to the Reserve Bank.
(vi) Exporters should submit the duplicate copy of the EDF form again to Customs along with the cargo to be shipped.
(vii) After examination of the goods and certifying the quantity passed for shipment on the duplicate copy, Customs will return it to the exporter for submission to the AD–I Banks for negotiation or collection of export bills.
(viii) Within 21 days from the date of export, exporter should lodge the duplicate copy together with relative shipping documents and an extra copy of the invoice with the AD–I Banks named in the EDF form.
(ix)  After the documents have been negotiated / sent for collection, the AD–I Banks should report the transaction through Export Data Processing and Monitoring System (EDPMS) to the Reserve Bank.
 (x) The duplicate copy of the form together with a copy of invoice etc. shall be retained by the AD–I Banks and may not be submitted to the Reserve Bank.
(xi) In the case of exports made under deferred credit arrangement or to joint ventures abroad against equity participation or under rupee credit agreement, the number and date of the Reserve Bank approval and the relative RBI circular should be recorded on the EDF form.
(xii) Where Duplicate copy of EDF form is misplaced or lost, AD–I Banks may accept another copy of duplicate EDF form duly certified by Customs.
Note: EDF Form numbers are now made available on-line on the Reserve Bank’s website
(Link: - Notification → FEMA → Forms → Foreign Exchange Management Act Forms → for Printing of EDF/Softex Form No)
 (xiii) Postal Authorities will allow export of goods by post only if the original copy of the form has been countersigned by an AD–I Banks. The procedure is as under:
(a) The AD–I Banks will countersign the forms after ensuring that the parcel is being addressed to their branch or correspondent bank in the country of import and return the original copy to the exporter, who should submit the form to the post office with the parcel.
(b) The duplicate copy of the EDF form will be retained by the AD banks. The exporter should submit to the AD bank, relevant documents together with an extra copy of invoice for negotiation/collection, within 21 days.
(c) The correspondent bank should be instructed to deliver the parcel to consignee against payment or acceptance of relative bill.
(d) AD–I Banks may, however, countersign EDF forms covering parcels addressed direct to the consignees, provided:
(e) An irrevocable letter of credit for the full value of the export has been opened in favor of the exporter and has been advised through the AD–I Banks concerned.
The full value of the shipment has been received in advance by the exporter through an AD–I Banks.
The AD–I Bank is satisfied about the arrangements made for the realization of the export proceeds.
(f) In such cases, particulars of advance payment/letter of credit / AD–I Banks’s certification etc., should be furnished under proper authentication.
(g) Any alteration in the name and address of consignee on the EDF form should be authenticated by the AD–I Banks.
C.3.2. Mid-Sea Trans-shipment of catch by Deep Sea Fishing Vessels
(i) Trans-shipment of catches takes place in the high sea leading to procedural constraints in regulatory reporting requirement as per FEMA regulations.
(ii) For mid-sea trans-shipment of catches by Indian owned vessels, the EDF declaration procedure has been rationalized as below:
(a) The exporters may submit the EDF, duly signed by the Master of the Vessel in lieu of Custom Certification, indicating the composition of the catch, quantity, export value, date of transfer of catch, etc.
(b) The date of transfer of catch may be indicated in the column for ‘Date of Shipment’ with suitable remarks.
(c) Bill of Lading / Receipt of Trans-shipment issued by the carrier vessel should include the EDF Number.
(d) The EDF should be duly supported by a certificate from an international cargo surveyor.
(e) The prescribed period of realization and repatriation should be reckoned from the date of transfer of catch or the date of the invoice, whichever is earlier.
(f) The EDF should indicate the number and date of Letter of Permit issued by Ministry of Agriculture for operation of the vessel.
(g) The exporter will submit the EDF in duplicate to the Customs at the registered port of the vessel or any other port as approved by Ministry of Agriculture. EDF (Original) will be retained by the Customs.
(h) Customs will give their running serial number on both the copies of EDF and will return the duplicate copy to the exporter.
(i) Rules, Regulations and Directions issued for submission of the EDF by exporter to the AD–I Banks, and their disposal will be same as applicable to the other exporters.
C.4 In case of export of goods / software done through EDI ports
(i) The relative shipping bill should be submitted in duplicate to the Commissioner of Customs concerned.
(ii) After verifying and authenticating, the Commissioner of Customs will hand over, one copy of the shipping bill marked ‘Exchange Control Copy’ to the exporter for being submitted to the AD–I Banks within 21 days from the date of export.
(iii) The AD–I Banks should accept the Exchange Control (EC) copy of the shipping bill for collection/negotiation of shipping documents.
(iv) The manner of disposal of EC copy of Shipping Bill is the same as that for EDF.
(v) ECGC and IRDA approved private insurance companies may initially settle the claims of exporters in respect of exports insured with them. They may subsequently receive the proceeds from the buyer through their own efforts. In such cases, the share of exporters in the amount so received is disbursed through the bank which had handled the shipping documents. They will also issue a certificate to the bank, after full proceeds have been received by them, indicating the number of declaration form, name of the exporter, name of the AD–I Banks, date of negotiation, bill number, invoice value and the amount actually received.
C.5 SOFTEX Forms
(i) A software exporter, whose annual turnover is at least Rs. 1000 crore or who files at least 600 SOFTEX forms annually, will be eligible to submit a statement in excel format, giving all particulars along with quadruplicate set of SOFTEX form to the nearest STPI. STPI will then verify the details and decide on a percentage sample check of the documents in detail. Software companies will submit all the documents on demand to STPI within 30 days of their advice or any reasonable/extended time at the discretion of the Director, STPI. STPI will thus certify the statement and SOFTEX forms in bulk on the “Top Sheet” regarding the values etc. They will then forward the first copy of the revised SOFTEX format to the concerned Regional Office of RBI, the duplicate copy along with bulk statement to Authorised Dealers for negotiation / collection / settlement, the third copy to the exporter and the last copy will be retained by STPI for its own record. Under the revised procedure, the exporters, however, will have to provide information about all the invoices including the ones lesser than US$25000, in the bulk statement in excel format.
(ii) A common “SOFTEX Form” has been devised to declare single as well as bulk software exports.
(iii) Reserve Bank of India has extended the facility for online generation of the EDF Form Number and the SOFTEX Form Number.
C.6 Random verification
(iv) In all the above procedures, AD–I Banks should ensure that non-realization or short realization is allowed within the powers delegated to them or has been duly approved by the Reserve Bank.
C.7 Certification for EEFC Credits
Where a part of the export proceeds are credited to an EEFC account, the export declaration (duplicate) form may be certified as under:
“Proceeds amounting to …… representing ….. percent of the export realization credited to the EEFC account maintained by the exporter with……”
C.8 Consolidation of Air Cargo/Sea Cargo
(i) Consolidation of Air Cargo
(a) Where air cargo is shipped under consolidation, the airline company’s Master Airway Bill will be issued to the Consolidating Cargo Agent. The Cargo agent in turn will issue his own House Airway Bills (HAWBs) to individual shippers.
(b) AD–I Banks may negotiate HAWBs only if the relative letter of credit specifically provides for negotiation of these documents in lieu of Airway Bills issued by the airline company.
(ii) Consolidation of Sea Cargo
(a) AD–I Banks may accept Forwarder’s Cargo Receipts (FCR) issued by IATA approved agents, in lieu of bills of lading, for negotiation / collection of shipping documents, in respect of export transactions backed by letters of credit. Such LC must specifically provide for negotiation of this document even if the relative sale contract does not provide for it.
(b) Authorized Dealers may also accept such FCR in lieu of bill of lading even in cases, where export transactions are not backed by letters of credit. In such cases the 'relative sale contract' with overseas buyer should provide for such acceptance. However, the acceptance of such FCR would purely be the credit decision of the bank concerned who, should satisfy itself about the bona fides of the transaction and the track record of both the buyer and the supplier since FCRs are not negotiable documents. In such case, it would be advisable for the exporters too, to ensure due diligence on the overseas buyer.
C.9 Delay in submission of shipping documents by exporters
In cases where exporters’ present documents after 21 days from date of export, AD–I Banks may handle them without prior approval of the Reserve Bank, provided they are satisfied with the reasons for the delay.
C.10 Return of Documents to Exporters
The duplicate copies of EDF and shipping documents, once submitted to the AD–I Banks, should not ordinarily be returned to exporters, except for rectification of errors and resubmission.
C.11 Handing Over Negotiable Copy of Bill of Lading to Master of Vessel/Trade Representative
AD–I Banks may deliver one negotiable copy of the Bill of Lading to the Master of the carrying vessel or trade representative for exports to certain landlocked countries if the shipment is covered by an irrevocable letter of credit and the documents provide for such delivery.
C.12 Export Bills Register
AD–I Banks should maintain Export Bills Register aligned with Export Data Processing and Monitoring System (EDPMS). The bill number should be given to all type of export transactions on a financial year basis (i.e. April to March) and same should be reported in EDPMS.
C.13 Follow-up of Overdue Bills
(i) In cases where bills remain outstanding, beyond the due date, AD–I Banks should promptly take it up with the concerned exporter. If the exporter fails to arrange for delivery of the proceeds or seek extension within the stipulated period, the matter should be reported to the Regional Office concerned of the RBI stating, where possible, the reason for the delay.
(ii) The duplicate copies of EDF/SOFTEX Forms should, continue to be held by AD–I Banks until the full proceeds are realized, except in case of undrawn balances.
(iii) AD–I Banks should follow up export outstanding systematically and vigorously so that action against defaulting exporters does not get delayed. Any laxity will be viewed seriously by the Reserve Bank, leading to the invocation of the penal provision under FEMA, 1999.
(iv) Realization of all export transaction for shipping documents after February 28, 2014 should be reported in EDPMS and old outstanding shipping bills prior to March 01, 2014 should continue to be reported in XOS till completion of the cycle.
C.14 Reduction in Invoice Value on Account of Prepayment of Usance Bills
AD–I Banks may allow cash discount by way of reduction in invoice value to the extent of amount of proportionate interest on the unexpired period of usance, calculated at the rate of interest stipulated in the export contract. Where rate of interest is not stipulated it should be at  prime rate/LIBOR of the currency of invoice.
C.15 Reduction in Invoice Value in other cases
(i) If, after a bill has been negotiated or sent for collection, its amount is to be reduced for any reason, AD–I Banks may approve such reduction, if satisfied about genuineness of the request, provided:
(a) The reduction does not exceed 25 per cent of invoice value:
(b) It does not relate to export of commodities subject to floor price stipulations
(c) The exporter is not on the exporters’ caution list of the Reserve Bank, and
(d) The exporter is advised to surrender proportionate export incentives availed of, if any.
(ii) In the case of exporters who have been in such business for more than three years, reduction in invoice value may be allowed, without any percentage ceiling. This relaxation is  subject to the above conditions and ensuring that the export outstanding do not exceed 5 per cent of the average annual export realization during the preceding three financial years.
(iii) For the purpose of reckoning the percentage of export bills outstanding, exports made to countries facing externalization problems may be ignored provided the payments have been made by the buyers in the local currency.
C.16 Export Claims
(i) AD–I Banks may remit export claims on application, provided the relative export proceeds have already been realized and repatriated to India and the exporter is not on the caution list of the Reserve Bank.
(ii) In all such cases of remittances, the exporter should be advised to surrender proportionate export incentives, if any, received by him.
C.17 Change of buyer/consignee
Prior approval of the Reserve Bank is not required in case of change of buyer or consignee provided the reduction in value, if any, does not exceed 25 per cent of the invoice value and the realization of proceeds is not delayed beyond 12 months from the date of export.
C.18 Extension of Time
(i) The Reserve Bank of India has permitted the AD–I Banks to extend the period of realization of export proceeds, up to a period of six months, at a time, irrespective of the invoice value of the export subject to the following conditions:
(a) The export transactions covered by the invoices are not under investigation by Directorate of Enforcement / Central Bureau of Investigation or other investigating agencies,
(b) The AD–I Banks is satisfied that the exporter has not been able to realize export proceeds for reasons beyond his control,
(c) The exporter submits a declaration that the export proceeds will be realized during the extended period,
(d) While considering extension beyond one year from the date of export, the total outstanding of the exporter should not exceed USD one million or 10 per cent of the average export realizations during the preceding three financial years, whichever is higher.
(e) All the export bills outstanding beyond six months from the date of export may be reported in XOS statement. However, where extension of time has been granted by the AD–I Banks, the date up to which extension has been granted may be indicated in the ‘Remarks’ column.
(f) In cases where the exporter has filed suits abroad against the buyer, extension may be granted irrespective of the amount involved / outstanding.
(ii) In cases where an exporter has not been able to realize proceeds of a shipment made within the extended period for reasons beyond his control, but expects to be able to realize proceeds if further extension is allowed to him, necessary application (in duplicate) should be made to the Regional Office concerned of the Reserve Bank in form ETX through his AD–I Banks with appropriate documentary evidence.
C.19 Write off of export bills
(i) An exporter who has not been able to realize the outstanding export dues despite best efforts, may either self-write off or approach the AD–I Banks, who had handled the relevant shipping documents with a request to write off the unrealized portion. He should apply with appropriate supporting documentary evidence and surrender incentives received prior to the write off. After liberalizing and simplifying the procedure, the limits prescribed for “write-offs” of unrealized export bills are as under:
Self “write-off” by an exporter
(Other than Status Holder Exporter)                   5%*
Self “write-off” by Status Holder Exporters         10%*
‘Write-off” by Authorized Dealer Bank-               10%* 
*of the total export proceeds realized during the previous calendar year.
(ii) The above limits will be related to total export proceeds realized during the previous calendar year and will be cumulatively available in a year.
(iii) The above “write-off” will be subject to conditions that the relevant amount has remained outstanding for more than one year, satisfactory documentary evidence is furnished in support of the exporter having made all efforts to realize the dues, and the case falls under any of the undernoted categories:
(a) The overseas buyer has been declared insolvent and a certificate from the official liquidator indicating that there is no possibility of recovery of export proceeds has been produced.
(b) The overseas buyer is not traceable over a reasonably long period of time.
(c) The goods exported have been auctioned or destroyed by the Port / Customs / Health authorities in the importing country.
(d) The unrealized amount represents the balance due in a case settled through the intervention of the Indian Embassy, Foreign Chamber of Commerce or similar Organization;
(e) The unrealized amount represents the undrawn balance of an export bill (not exceeding 10% of the invoice value) remaining outstanding and turned out to be unrealizable despite all efforts made by the exporter;
(f) The cost of resorting to legal action would be disproportionate to the unrealized amount or where the exporter even after winning the Court case could not execute the decree due to reasons beyond his control;
(g) Bills were drawn for the difference between the letter of credit value and actual export value or between the provisional and the actual freight charges but the amounts have remained unrealized consequent on dishonor of the bills by the overseas buyer and there are no prospects of realization.
(iv) The exporter has surrendered proportionate export incentives, availed of in respect of the relative shipments.
(v) In case of self-write-off, the exporter should submit the following documents to the AD bank,
  • CA’s certificate, indicating export realization and benefits availed and surrendered in the preceding calendar year.
  • Amount of write-off already availed of during the year.
  • Relevant EDF to be written off,
  • Bill No. and Invoice value,
  • Commodity exported,
  • Country of export.
(vi) However, the following would not qualify for the “write off” facility:
(a) Where the overseas buyer has deposited the value of export in local currency but the amount has not been allowed to be repatriated by the central banking authorities of the country.
(b) EDF which are under investigation by agencies like, Enforcement Directorate, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Bureau of Investigation, etc. or are a matter of civil / criminal suit.
vii) AD banks should report write off of export bills through EDPMS to the Reserve Bank.
viii) AD banks are advised to put in place a system under which their internal inspectors or auditors should carry out random sample check of “written-off” outstanding export bills.
ix) Cases not covered by the above instructions / beyond the above limits, may be referred to the concerned Regional Office of Reserve Bank of India.
C.20 Write off in cases of Payment of Claims by ECGC and private insurance companies regulated by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA)
(i) AD–I Banks shall write off the relative export bills and delete them from the XOS statement, upon receipt of an application from the exporter that the claim in respect of the outstanding bills has been settled by ECGC/ insurance company along with supporting documents.
(ii) Such write-off will not be restricted to the limit of 10 per cent indicated above.
(iii) Surrender of incentives, if any, in such cases will be as provided in the Foreign Trade Policy.
(iv) The claims settled in rupees by ECGC and private insurance companies should not be construed as export realization in foreign exchange.
C.21 Write-off – Relaxation
Realization of export proceeds shall not be insisted upon under any of the Export Promotion Schemes, subject to the following conditions:
(a) The write off is allowed by the RBI or by AD–I Banks on behalf of the RBI.
(b) The exporter produces a certificate from the concerned Foreign Mission of India, about the fact of non-recovery of export proceeds; and
(c) This would not be applicable in self write off cases.
C.22 Shipments Lost in Transit
(i) When shipments from India for which payment has not been received are lost in transit, the AD–I Banks must ensure that insurance claim is made as soon as the loss is known.
(ii) Where the claim is payable abroad, the AD-banks must arrange to collect the full amount of claim, through the medium of their overseas correspondent and release the duplicate copy of EDF only after the amount has been collected.
(iii) A certificate for the amount of claim received should be furnished on the reverse of the duplicate copy.
(iv) AD–I Banks should ensure that amount of claim on shipments lost in transit which are partially settled directly by shipping companies/airlines are also repatriated to India.
C.23 ‘Netting off’ of export receivables against import payments – Units in Special Economic Zones (SEZs)
AD Category - I banks may allow ‘netting off’ of export receivables against import payments for units located in SEZ subject to the following:
(i) The ‘netting off’ is in respect of the same Indian entity and the overseas buyer / supplier  and the netting may be done as on the date of balance sheet of the unit in SEZ.
(ii) The details of export of goods are documented in EDF (O) forms / DTR as the case may be while details of import of goods / services are recorded through A1 / A2 form as the case may be. The relative EDF will be treated as complete by the designated AD–I Banks only after the entire proceeds are adjusted / received.
(iii) Both the transactions of sale and purchase in ‘R’ - Returns under FET-ERS are reported separately.
(iv) The export / import transactions with ACU countries are kept outside the arrangement.
(v) All the relevant documents are submitted to the concerned AD–I Banks who should comply with all the regulatory requirements relating to the transactions.
C.24 – Set-off of export receivables against import payables
AD–I banks may deal with the cases of set-off of export receivables against import payables, subject to following terms and conditions:
(i) The import is as per the Foreign Trade Policy in force.
(ii) Invoices/Bills of Lading/Airway Bills and Exchange Control copies of Bills of Entry for home consumption have been submitted by the importer to the Authorized Dealer bank.
(iii) Payment for the import is still outstanding in the books of the importer.
(iv) Both the transactions of sale and purchase may be reported separately in ‘R’ Returns.
(v) The relative EDF will be released by the AD bank only after the entire export proceeds are adjusted / received.
(vi) The ” set-off” should be in respect of the same overseas buyer and supplier and that consent for ”set-off” has been obtained from him.
(vii) The export / import transactions with ACU countries should be kept outside the arrangement.
(viii) All the relevant documents are submitted to the concerned AD bank who should comply with all the regulatory requirements relating to the transactions.

C.25 Agency Commission on Exports
(i) AD–I Banks may allow payment of commission, either by remittance or by deduction from invoice value. The remittance on agency commission may be allowed subject to :
(a) Amount of commission has been declared on EDF/SOFTEX form and accepted by the concerned authorities. In cases where the commission has not been declared, there should be a valid agreement between the exporters and the beneficiary for payment of commission. The reasons for not declaring the commission should also be justified.
(b) The relative shipment has already been made.
(ii) AD–I Banks may allow payment of commission by Indian exporters, in respect of their exports covered under counter trade arrangement through Escrow Accounts designated in US Dollar, subject to the following conditions:
(a) The payment of commission satisfies the conditions as above.
(b) The commission is not payable to Escrow Account holders themselves.
(c) The commission should not be allowed by deduction from the invoice value.
(iii) Payment of commission is prohibited on exports made by Indian Partners towards equity participation in an overseas joint venture / wholly owned subsidiary as also exports under Rupee Credit Route. Exception being commission up to 10 per cent of invoice value of exports of tea & tobacco.
C.26 Refund of Export Proceeds
AD–I Banks, may consider requests for refund of export proceeds of goods exported from India and being re-imported on account of poor quality subject to:
(i) Exercise due diligence regarding the track record of the exporter
(ii) Verify the bona-fides of the transactions
(iii) Obtain a certificate issued by DGFT / Custom authorities that no incentives have been availed against the relevant export or the proportionate incentives availed, if any, have been surrendered
(iv) Obtain an undertaking from the exporter that the goods will be re-imported within three months from the date of remittance and
(v) Ensure that all procedures as applicable to normal imports are adhered to.
C.27 Exporters’ Caution List
(i) EDF of exporters who have been placed on caution may be approved subject to the exporter having received an advance payment or an irrevocable letter of credit in their favor covering the full value of the proposed exports.
(ii) Such approval may also be given in cases of usance bills on condition that the letter of credit covers the full export value and the bill matures within 12 months from the date of shipment.
(iii) AD–I Banks should obtain prior approval of the Reserve Bank for issuing guarantees for caution-listed exporters.
Based on RBI master circulars dated 1/7/15.

Please refer for further clarification if required…………………. Poppy