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Introduction: The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry has issued Public Notice No. 41/2023 dated 14th February 2024. This notice outlines the procedures for the import of Watermelon Seeds under ITC(HS) 12077090 up to 31.08.2024. The article will provide an in-depth analysis of the notice, including import limits, application requirements, and the impact on the trade community.

Detailed Analysis: The DGFT notice restricts the import of Watermelon Seeds to 33,800 Metric Tonnes (MTs) until 31.08.2024, allowing imports on an Actual User basis only. The notice emphasizes the importance of a valid FSSAI Manufacturer Licence, indicating processing capacity, and mandates a CA Certificate certifying import and processed volumes for the fiscal years 2021-22 to 2023-24.

Applications for import authorizations are invited, limited to one application per IEC, and considered on an Actual User basis for Processors. The CA Certificate must be accompanied by a list of GST invoices related to the sale of processed Watermelon seeds. The notice underlines the need for an Undertaking, ensuring correct details and excluding trading volumes from the application.

The Exim Facilitation Committee (EFC) will assess applications individually, considering factors like valid FSSAI, past import and processed volumes, and any pending allocations due to litigation. The EFC will prescribe limits for allocated quantities, with DGFT retaining the right to modify the allocation process.

Applicants are required to submit online applications on the DGFT website under the specific Import Category, and all import consignments must reach Indian ports by 31.08.2024. Misdeclaration will result in disqualification from the present import allocation and a two-year debarment from similar allocations.

Conclusion: DGFT’s Public Notice No. 41/2023 sets a framework for the restricted import of Watermelon Seeds until 31.08.2024. This measure aims to regulate the trade, ensuring economic viability and fair distribution of import quotas. Stakeholders, especially processors, must adhere to the outlined procedures and deadlines. The DGFT’s commitment to transparency and accountability is evident through the detailed application requirements and allocation process, emphasizing the importance of accurate declarations.

This notice, while impacting the watermelon seed import landscape, aligns with the government’s broader trade policies. It not only serves as a guideline for the current allocation but also establishes a precedent for similar future scenarios. Traders and processors should promptly engage with the application process, considering the stringent criteria set by DGFT to secure their import authorizations.

***

Ministry of Commerce & Industry
Department of Commerce
Directorate General of Foreign Trade
Vanijya Bhawan, New Delhi

Public Notice No. 41/2023 – DGFT | Dated : 14th February 2024

Subject: Import of Watermelon Seeds under ITC(HS) 12077090 of ITC(HS) 2022 for the period up to 31.08.2024 -reg

F. No. 01/53/8/W-2/AM24/IC.— In exercise of powers conferred under paragraph 1.03 and 2.04 of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 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 31.08.2024 as follows –

1. Reference the recommendation from the ministry concerned, the imports of Watermelon Seeds shall not exceed 33,800 Metric Tonnes(MTs), Imports shall be permitted up to 31.08.2024 and shall be allowed to importers on Actual User basis only. Accordingly, DGFT invites fresh applications for Authorisation for Restricted import for Watermelon Seeds with effect from the date of this Public Notice and not later than 22.02.2024 as follows –

i. Only one application for import of Watermelon seeds shall be considered against one IEC.

ii. The applications shall be considered on Actual User basis to Processors only.

iii. A valid FSSAI Manufacturer Licence issued on or before the date of this Public Notice indicating the processing capacity is required to be provided along with the application. The given FSSAI Licence should clearly indicate the applicant is a manufacturer under FSSAI Category 4 (Fruits & vegetables, seaweeds, and nuts and seeds). FSSAI licences issued for trading, retailing, wholesale, re­packaging, labelling purposes shall not be

DGFT Notice Import Procedure for Watermelon Seeds until 31.08.2024

iv. The applicant must submit a valid Chartered Accountant(CA) Certificate certifying the import of Watermelon Seeds(in MTs) and the volume of processed Watermelon seeds (in MTs), processed in their own manufacturing unit(s), for the fiscal years 2021-22, 2022-23, and 2023-24 (till the date of this Public Notice). The CA certificate should be accompanied by a list of GST invoices along with quantity pertaining to the sale of processed Watermelon seeds. Draft CA Certificate template enclosed at Annexure-A may be seen.

v. The applicant shall provide a declaration that only the Watermelon seeds processed have been stated in the application and the CA Certificate, and any trading volume of Watermelon Seeds have not be included. Draft template for the Undertaking enclosed at Annexure-B may be seen.

2. All applications for import of Watermelon seeds will be assessed individually, within the total quantities stated at Para (1) above. The import quantity for each applicant will be determined on the assistance and advice of the Exim Facilitation Committee(EFC), in accordance with the procedures under Para2.48 of the Handbook of Procedures(HBP) 2023. The EFC, during the examination of the applications, will take into account specific factors, including but not limited to, valid manufacturer FSSAI, the importation and processed volume of Watermelon seeds during the fiscal years 2021-22, 2022-23, and 2023-24 (till the date of this Public Notice). In determining past imports, any earlier allocations that may be pending due to litigation(s) if any, will also be taken in account.

3. The EFC shall prescribe a minimum and/or maximum limit for the allocated quantity(s), to maintain allocation of economically viable quantities. Remaining quantities(if any) after the initial pro-rata allocation, shall be redistributed to the remaining applicants(if any). DGFT shall retain the right to modify the allocation process as it deems appropriate, at any juncture.

4. All applications are required to be submitted online on the DGFT Website under Services 4 Import Management System 4 Import Authorisation for Restricted Imports 4 Apply for New Authorisation, under Import Category as ‘Watermelon/Muskmelon Seeds’. Applications submitted under any other Category are liable to be rejected.

5. All potential allottees are obligated to ensure that the import consignments associated with the said Import Authorisations are delivered to the Indian ports on or before 31.08.2024.

6. In the event of any misdeclaration by the applicant, the applicant shall be disqualified from consideration for the present import allocation and shall be debarred from participation in any subsequent allocations of a similar nature for a period of two (2) years.

Effect of this Public Notice:

Applications are invited for Authorisation for Restricted Imports for Watermelon seeds under ITC(HS) 12077090, applicable for import of Watermelon Seeds until 31.08.2024. The deadline for submitting online applications is 22.02.2024.

(Santosh Kumar Sarangi)
Director General of Foreign Trade &
Ex- officio Addl. Secretary to the Govt. of India
email: dgft@nic.in

 

(Issued from File No. 01/53/8/W-2/AM24/IC)

Annexure A

Format of the CA Certificate to be submitted by the applicant under given PN to
certify the Processing Turnover

(To be submitted on the letterhead of the Chartered Accountant firm)
CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that the books of accounts of the firm of M/s. (firm name)_having IEC_________ , located at (address(es))___have been examined.

2. It is accordingly declared that the total imports and the volume of processed Watermelon Seeds for the current Financial Year and last two Financial Years is as under :-

Year

Import of Watermelon Seeds Sale of Processed Watermelon Seeds
Unit of Measurement (in Metric Tonnes) (In INR Crores) (in Metric Tonnes) (In INR Crores)
2021-22
2022-23
2023-24 (till 14.02.2024)

[UDIN]:

Partner/Director/Authorised Signatory of the CA firm

Date:_________

place:_________

Details of GST Invoices for Processing of Watermelon Seeds

GST Invoice No. Date of GST Invoice Quantity in Kgs Value in INR
       
       
….      
Total (2021-22)   [_____________] [_____________]
       
       
….      
Total (2022-23)   [_____________] [_____________]
       
       
….      
Total (2023-24)   [_____________] [_____________]

 

 

Partner/Director of the CA firm

Date:_________
Place:_________

Annexure B

Format of the Undertaking by the Applicant Firm

(To be submitted on the letterhead of the Applicant Firm)
UNDERTAKING

I, (name of director/partner/proprietor/authorised signatory) of the firm of M/s. (firm name) having IEC_____________, located at (address(es))___declare that –

1. Reference the Charter Accountant Certificate having UDIN ____ and reference the details as submitted vide the online application to DGFT for import allocation for Watermelon Seeds, I hereby undertake that the details submitted for the processed Watermelon Seeds are correct and pertain to the volumes processed at own manufacturing premises. Any trading volumes for Watermelon seeds have not been included herein.

2. I undertake that the details of Import of Watermelon Seeds as stated in the Charter Accountant Certificate having UDIN ____ and as submitted vide the online application to DGFT are correct.

3. I undertake that in the event of any misdeclaration, I shall be liable for disqualification from consideration for the present import allocation and shall be debarred from participation in any subsequent allocations of a similar nature for a period of two (2) years.

Partner/Director/Proprietor/Authorised Signatory of the applicant firm

Date:_________

Place:_________

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