October 7, 2021
Foreign Trade Policy

By Rupin Chopra and Apalka Bareja


The Government has recently notified extension of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-2020 till March 31, 2022.
The Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-2020 is a policy for the facilitation of foreign trade by reducing the cost and time of transaction and raising the competitive bar for Indian Exports. The Government has prioritized trade facilitation and taken measures in this direction through the provisions of this policy for the advantage of stakeholders of import and export trade.

Hand Book of Procedures (HBP)- Foreign Trade Policy

The Policy 2015-2020 under Para 1.03 empowers the Director-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) notify through public notices to lay down procedures (Hand Book of Procedures) which may include appendices and Aayat Niryat Forms or amendment be followed by an exporter or importer or by any Authority for purposes of implementing provisions of the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulations) Act, the Rules and the Orders that are enacted under the provisions of the policy. In furtherance of this, a Hand-Book of Procedures was notified by the Director-General of Foreign Trade on June 30, 2019. The Hand-Book laid down a simple, transparent, and Electronic Data Interchange compatible procedure for an easy, user-friendly, and efficient management of foreign trade. The Hand Book provided procedure for e-applications where it introduced the use of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) for DGFT.

Notification of Extension

Initially, the Hand Book of Procedures was to remain into force till March 30, 2020. However, through public notice No. 48/2015-2020 dated March 31, 2021 which extended the date mentioned in para 1.01 of the Hand Book by the substitution on the existing date with September 30, 2021. Recently the DGFT issued another public notice for extending the effect of Hand Book of Procedures. The notification 25/2015-2020 altered 3 paragraphs of the Hand Books and extended the relevant dates. In para 1.01 of the Hand Book, it substituted “shall remain in force until September 30, 2021” with “shall remain in force until March 31, 2022”. Another extension of date is provided under para 3.20 the validity of the “Status Certificates” issued under Foreign Trade Policy was extended for upto March 31, 2022. This certificate was earlier valid till five years from the date of application of recognition or September 30, 2021 whichever is later.

Under Para 4.12(vi) the date September 30, 2021 is substituted by March 31, 2022 for the purpose of ratified norms by any Norms Committee in the O/o DGFT on or after 01.04.2015 in respect of any Advance authorization obtained under paragraph 4.07. Such norms are shall be valid for the entire period, of the Foreign Trade Policy which has now been extended upto March 31, 2022.

The Hand Book of Procedures lays down such procedure for carrying out the necessary transactions for facilitating trade of import and export. As an effect of increase in tenure of the Foreign Trade Policy, the compliance of rules under the Hand Book have also been extended for the essential timeframe. The Hand Book and accompanying regulations are valid till March 31, 2022. The procedure have introduced E- governance in DGFT and presented many schemes for the welfare of the Import and Export Industries.

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