The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has issued new guidelines regarding the import of watermelon seeds. The new procedures, in effect until October 31, 2023, are specified in the public notice No. 13/2023-DGFT, with the import quota not to exceed 35,000 MTs.
The DGFT’s decision to put a cap on the import of watermelon seeds aims to ensure market stability and protect local producers. The imported quantities will be allocated based on factors such as an applicant’s past imports, their processing capacity, and overall turnover. A notable aspect of this decision is the weightage system wherein 30% of weightage is given to the average import of watermelon seeds by the applicant(s) in the last three years and 70% weightage is assigned to the applicant’s processing capacity.
This public notice also stipulates stringent measures to maintain accountability. Mis-declaration of any sort could lead to the applicant’s disqualification from the current allocation and subsequent allocations for the next two years. Furthermore, DGFT retains the right to modify the allocation process as necessary.
The new import guidelines issued by the DGFT for watermelon seeds represent a balanced approach between fostering market competition and safeguarding the interests of local producers. By setting clear eligibility requirements and maintaining rigorous checks, the DGFT aims to ensure fairness and transparency in the allocation process. The defined quota and weightage system will likely guide the sector towards a stable and predictable future.
MINISTRY OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
(Department of Commerce)
(DIRECTORATE GENERAL OF FOREIGN TRADE)
Subject: Import of Watermelon Seeds under ITC(HS) 12077090 of ITC(HS), 2022 Schedule-I (Import Policy) for the period upto 31.10.2023
F. No. 01/53/8/Misc/AM22/M-1/IC.—In exercise of powers conferred under paragraph 1.03 and 2.04 of the Foreign Trade Policy, 2023, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade hereby notifies the procedure for import of Watermelon Seeds under ITC(HS) 12077090 for the period of up to 31.10.2023 as follows –
1. As per the recommendation from the concerned ministry, the imports of Watermelon Seeds upto 31.10.2023 shall not exceed 35,000 MTs and shall be allowed on Actual User basis. Accordingly, DGFT invites fresh applications for Licence for Restricted imports for Watermelon Seeds with effect from the date of this Public Notice and not later than 15.06.2023 as follows –
i. Applications where the date of issuance of their Importer-Exporter Code (IEC) is on or after the date of this Public Notice shall not be considered.
ii. The applications shall be considered on Actual User basis to processors only, based upon their own processing capacity and past imports of Watermelon Seeds.
iii. A valid FSSAI Licence issued before the date of the Public Notice indicating the processing capacity is required to be provided.
iv. A valid CA Certificate certifying the overall turnover of the applicant as well as the applicant’s turnover for watermelon seeds is required to be provided.
v. Only one application against one IEC shall be considered.
vi. In case of any mis-declaration, the applicant shall not be considered for the current allocation and shall be disallowed from subsequent such allocations for the next 2 years.
2. The quantity of imports permitted to each application shall be decided by the Exim Facilitation Committee (EFC) as per para 2.48 of the HBP 2023. The EFC, while examining the applications will take into considerations; inter alia, the annual processing capacity and imports of Watermelon seeds in 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23.
3. 30% weightage shall be given to the average import of watermelon seeds by the applicant(s) in 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23. 70% weightage shall be given to the applicant’s processing capacity.
4. Any eligible applicants are entitled for allocation based on the weightage specified. DGFT may however specify a floor and/or ceiling for the quantity(s) to be allocated, to ensure that economic quantities are allocated. Further, DGFT shall reserve the right to make any changes in the allocation process as deemed fit, at any point of time.
5. All prospective Licensees shall ensure that the import consignments against the said licences reach the Indian ports on or before 31.10.2023.
Effect of this Public Notice:
Applications are invited for licence for restricted Imports for Watermelon seeds under ITC(HS) 12077090 for import upto 31.10.2023. The last date for submission of online applications is 15.06.2023.
SANTOSH KUMAR SARANGI, Director General of Foreign Trade & Ex- officio Addl. Secy.