MEIS was introduced in the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) for the period 2015-2020. The MEIS was launched as an incentive scheme for the export of goods. The rewards are given by way of duty credit scrips to exporters. The MEIS is notified by the DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) and implemented by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
1. Background to MEIS
MEIS replaced the various export incentive schemes which gave different types of duty credit scrips namely, Focus Market Scheme (FMS), Focus Product Scheme (FPS), Vishesh Krishi Gramin Udyog Yojana (VKGUY), Market Linked Focus Product Scheme (MLFPS) and Agri Infrastructure incentive scheme. All duty credit scrips issued under the earlier incentive schemes were transferred to the MEIS.
2. MEIS incentive
Under the FTP 2015-20, MEIS intends to incentivise exports of goods manufactured in India or produced in India. The incentives are for goods widely exported from India, industries producing or manufacturing such goods with a view to making Indian exports competitive. The MEIS covers goods notified for the purpose of the scheme. The incentives under the schemes are calculated as a percentage, which is 2%, 3% or 5% of the realised FOB (free-on-board) value exports in free foreign exchange or FOB value of exports as per shipping bills in free foreign exchange. The incentives are allotted through a MEIS duty credit scrip. The ‘free foreign exchange’ will include foreign exchange earned through international credit cards and other instruments allowed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
3. How to apply for MEIS incentive
You should make an online application in form ANF 3A through a digital signature to claim duty credit scrip entitlements under MEIS. The applicant has to furnish hard copies of the application filed with DGFT, EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) shipping bills, Bank Realisation Certificate obtained electronically (e-BRC) and RCMC. However, if the application is made through EDI ports, then the applicant is not required to submit hard copies, but only export promotion copies of non-EDI shipping bills and proof of landing. The applicant shall file separate applications for each port. The applicant is not required to submit any documents in original but should retain the original documents for a period of three years. The application should be filed within a period of:
- 12 months from the LEO (Let Export) date or
- 3 months from the date of – uploading of the EDI shipping bills onto the DGFT server by customs, or printing of shipping bills for non-EDI shipping bills, whichever is later.
4. How to use MEIS incentive
The duty credit scrips can be utilised to pay customs duties on import of inputs or goods, safeguard duty, anti-dumping duty and any other customs duty under FTP 2015-20. The scrips can also be transferred as well as used for importing goods against them. Exporters can request for a split of the duty credit scrip with a condition of each scrip valuing to at least Rs 5 lakh. The request can also be made after the issue of scrip, with the same port of registration as applicable for the original scrip. However, the procedure is applicable only in respect of EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) enabled ports. In the case of non-EDI ports, a duty credit scrip cannot be split after it is issued. The scheme provides the flexibility of import and payment to exporters and has removed many structural inefficiencies of the earlier incentive schemes.
5. Goods notified under MEIS
MEIS incentivises close to 5,000 items classified and notified under various ITC (HS) codes and with corresponding reward rates ranging from 2% to 5%. The items are notified by the DGFT.
6. Ineligibility of benefits under MEIS
The sectors or segments mentioned below are not entitled to MEIS incentives: – SEZ/EOU/EHTP/FTWZ products exported through DTA units. – Supplies made to SEZ units from DTA units. – Deemed Exports. – Export of imported commodities covered under paragraph 2.46 of FTP. – Export commodities which are subject to a minimum export duty or export price. – Exports via trans-shipment, meaning thereby exports that are emerging in the third country but trans-shipped through India. – Exports initiated by units in Free Trade and Warehousing Zones (FTWZ).
7. Duration of MEIS
The MEIS incentives are applicable from 1 April 2015 until the validity of the FTP 2015-20, which is 31 March 2020.