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Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate (FIRC): Meaning, Full Form, How To Download

By Mayashree Acharya

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Updated on: Aug 30th, 2023

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11 min read

A Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate (FIRC) is a certificate a bank issues as proof of international payments for exports containing all the remittance details. It acts as documentation of a foreign money transfer. It tracks the transfer amount in foreign currency, rupees, and the transfer source.  

In India, service exporters and sellers must get FIRC when they receive payments from outside India. Exporters must produce the FIRC to various government authorities when they apply for financial assistance and government support or schemes.

Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate (FIRC) meaning

The full form of FIRC is the Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate. A FIRC is a document that serves as proof of inward remittances to India. Thus, when Indian exporters receive payment in foreign currency, the FIRC document will act as proof of the transfer. It’s like a receipt of proof for exporters or businesses that they have received a transfer from outside India.

In India, getting an FIRC is crucial as it helps authorities like the the Customs Department and the DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) to track all the transactions. Often, foreign funds act as a vehicle for illegal activities, such as money laundering. So, if the authorities question the foreign transaction or look at it suspiciously, an FIRC certificate acts as a guard against such legal hassle.

Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate (FIRC) contents

The FIRC contains the following information:

  • Beneficiary’s name
  • Name and address of the person who sent the money
  • Name of the recipient of the funds
  • Name and address of the first bank that processed the foreign transaction
  • Demand Draft (DD), Telegraphic Transfer (TT), or cheque number
  • The exchange rate applied to the transaction
  • The amount denominated in foreign currency and Indian rupees
  • The purpose of the remittance, according to the recipient of the money

FIRC requirement

Individual exporters or service providers and businesses receiving international payments in India are required to obtain an FIRC. Below persons are required to get an FIRC in India when they receive payment from the opposite party outside India:

  • Goods and service exporters from India 
  • Indian service providers who provide service globally 
  • Global sellers 
  • International merchants
  • Export businesses that export from India
  • Organisations working remotely within the country for overseas companies 
  • Salaried individuals getting compensation in foreign currency
  • Freelancers getting compensation in foreign currency
  • e-commerce shops with customers paying in foreign currency

FIRC certificate download

The person receiving the payment from outside India is called a beneficiary. When the beneficiary receives money in foreign currency, it will be credited to the beneficiary account through an Authorised Dealer (AD) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The beneficiary must apply the FIRC request form to the bank. The FIRC request form contains the following information:

  • Beneficiary’s name
  • Name and address of the payee
  • UTR (Unique Transaction Reference) number
  • Recipients’ name
  • Amount of transfer 
  • Purpose of remittance
  • Date of transfer
  • Account number

Once the beneficiary submits the FIRC request form to the bank, it generates an Inward Remittance Message (IRM) on the Export and Data Monitoring Systems (EDPMS), i.e., the government export portal. The IRM number is the FIRC number. After paying the fees, the bank will issue the FIRC to the beneficiary account. FIRC is also called Advice or Foreign Inward Remittance Advice (FIRA). 

FIRC RBI guidelines

According to the RBI and FEDAI (Foreign Exchange Dealers Association in India) guidelines, only AD Category I banks in India can issue the FIRC. The government discontinued the physical FIRC in 2016 (except in the cases of FDI and FII) and will issue an electronic FIRC (e-FIRC). 

Physical FIRC

Physical FIRC was discontinued in 2016. Thus, the remitter banks issue an alternative document called a statement, advice or NOC to the home bank to issue the e-FIRC.

Electronic FIRC (e-FIRC)

As per the RBI, AD Category I banks must report every money transfer to India, i.e. inward remittances, to EDPMS, including any outstanding transfers or advances they have received for the export of goods, services or software. When the home bank receives advice, statement or NOC from the remitter bank and the required documents, they will generate an IRM on the EDPMS. 

FIRC usage

  • FIRC serves as evidence of receipt of international payments in India. 
  • The FIRC is a crucial document that the DGFT and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) require for claiming export-related incentives.
  •  It acts as proof of money received by the company or person in lieu of a share application.
  • It is a crucial document to be submitted to the DGFT for obtaining the EPCG (Export Promotion Capital Goods) scheme and Advance License.
  • When services are exported, GST is not levied. In this case, a FIRC is required since it acts as proof of services exported and remittances received in lieu of them. 
  • FIRCs are required to claim tax rebates or exemptions on foreign currency payments received in India.
  • FIRCs are required when payments are received for exports from India since various government agencies require them for verifying export transactions.

Is FIRC mandatory for a GST refund?

FIRC serves as proof of inward foreign currency remittances to an exporter or a company in India. FIRC is required to claim a GST refund for services or goods exported from India. It helps to authenticate the payments received from overseas parties. It ensures that the GST refund being claimed is not fraudulent and genuine. The claim for a GST refund may not be accepted without FIRC. Thus, FIRC is mandatory for claiming GST refunds for exports of services and goods. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who provides an FIRC certificate?

FIRC is issued by the banks in EDPMS. An e-FIRC is issued in the EDPMS after the bank generates an IRM in the EDPMS. IRM will be uploaded by the bank, where the funds are credited into a customer's account.

What is FIRC in GST?

FIRC is an essential document for claiming GST refunds for exports where the payment is received as an inward remittance in foreign currency.

Is FIRC mandatory for freelancers?

Yes, FIRC is mandatory for freelancers who receive foreign payments. They act as proof for foreign remittances. It is mandatory for freelance bloggers, artists and sellers who receive payments from outside India. 

What are RBI guidelines for e-FIRC?

The RBI guidelines provide that only AD Category I banks in India can issue the FIRC. The government discontinued the physical FIRC in 2016 and will issue only e-FIRC from 2016. As per the RBI, AD Category I banks must report every money transfer to India, i.e. inward remittances, to EDPMS, including any outstanding transfers or advances they have received for the export of goods, services or software. When the home bank receives advice, statement or NOC from the remitter bank and the required documents, they will generate an IRM on the EDPMS.

Is a foreign inward remittance certificate compulsory?

It is compulsory for the following purposes: 

Goods and service exporters from India, individuals, and organisations working remotely within the country for overseas companies, global sellers, etc., all require an FIRC to prove they have received payment from the opposite party outside India. 

Can we get FIRC online?

Yes. Since the government discontinued the physical FIRC in 2016, only e-FIRC is being issued by the banks. The banks issue the e-FIRC online.

About the Author

I am an advocate by profession and have a keen interest in writing. I write articles in various categories, from legal, business, personal finance, and investments to government schemes. I put words in a simplified manner and write easy-to-understand articles. Read more

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Quick Summary

A Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate (FIRC) is a document issued by AD Category I banks in India to serve as proof of international payments for exports, detailing remittance information. It is essential for exporters to get FIRC when receiving payments from abroad. The FIRC contains beneficiary and transaction details and is necessary for claiming export-related benefits. E-FIRCs are now issued instead of physical copies.

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