The government has done away with the requirement of Landing Certificates (LCs) under Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS) with effect from 4 May 2015, as part of the measures to ensure ease of doing business and reduce transaction cost for exporters.
Announcing this, minister of state (I/C) for commerce and industry Nirmala Sitharaman the market coverage under the scheme has now been extended to all countries in respect of 2,787 product lines.
''Henceforth, Landing Certificates shall not be required under MEIS, with effect from 4 May 2016,'' she said, adding ''A public notice has been issued in this regard.
Accordingly, revenue foregone under the scheme has been revised from Rs21,000 crore per annum to Rs22,000 crore per annum. This step has been taken as part of ease of doing business and reduction of transaction cost of exporters.
The Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS), introduced in the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-20 on 1 April 2015, aims to incentivise merchandise exports, from India.
The MEIS scheme covered 4,914 tariff lines at 8 digit level at the time of introduction on 1 April 2015.
Countries of the globe were grouped into 3 market categories - Group A, Group B and Group C - for grant of incentives under MEIS. Slight changes in lines covered etc were made on 14 and 15 July 2015.
Thereafter on 29 October 2015, another 110 new tariff lines were added under the scheme.
The rates / country coverage for 2,228 lines at 8 digit level were enhanced. As on date 5,012 tariff lines at 8 digit level are eligible for rewards under MEIS. The annual resource allocation under MEIS was enhanced from Rs18,000 crore to Rs21,000 crore in October 2015. The MEIS Scheme covers 5,012 tariff lines.
Under MEIS markets, countries of the globe are grouped into three categories for grant of incentives:
- These include Category A: which include traditional markets (34), European Union (28), European Free Trade Association (EFTA) that have four countries - Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein, and USA and Canada (2).
- Category B include 140 emerging and focus markets, including Africa (55), Latin America and Mexico (45), CIS countries (12), Turkey and West Asian countries (13), Asean countries (10), Japan, South Korea, China, Hongkong and Taiwan (5).
- Category C which includes 64 other markets.
Products, which were not eligible to get incentives in all markets required submission of landing certificate as a proof of landing in the designated market.
Out of total 5,012 tariff lines under MEIS, incentives to 2,787 lines was available only to limited countries.
Therefore, it required submission of landing certificates for claims.
Government had received many representations pointing out difficulties in obtaining landing certificate from shipping lines / agents etc. Exporters also had to bear associated charges/cost on account of this procedure.