A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 80,
Dated- February 15, 2012
Export of Goods and Services- Simplification and Revision of Softex Procedure
Attention of the Authorised Dealers is invited to Regulation 6 of the Notification No.FEMA 23/2000-RB dated May 3, 2000 viz. Foreign Exchange Management (Export of Goods and Services) Regulations, 2000, as amended by the Notification No.FEMA 36/2001-RB dated February 2, 2001, in terms of which designated officials of the Ministry of Information Technology, Government of India at the Software Technology Parks of India (STPIs) or at Free Trade Zones (FTZs) or Export Processing Zones (EPZs) or Special Economic Zones(SEZs), had been authorised to certify exports declared through SOFTEX Forms.
2. Considering the spurt in the volume of software exports from India in recent times, the complexity of work contracts involved, the voluminous nature of contract agreements and the duration involved in execution of each contract as well as the time-consuming process involved in the certification of SOFTEX forms, the matter was revisited and a revised procedure, given herein below, has now been finalised in consultation with the stakeholders involved.
3. As per the revised procedure, a software exporter, whose annual turnover is at least Rs. 1000 crore or who files at least 600 SOFTEX forms annually, will be eligible to submit a statement in excel format as per Annexure A, giving all particulars alongwith quadruplicate set of SOFTEX form to the nearest STPI. STPI will then verify the details and decide on a percentage sample check of the documents in details. Software companies will submit all the documents on demand to STPI within 30 days of their advice or any reasonable/extended time at the discretion of the Director, STPI, at the request from the exporter. STPI will thus certify the statement and SOFTEX forms in bulk on the “Top Sheet” regarding the values etc. and will thereafter forward the first copy of the revised SOFTEX format to the concerned Regional Office of RBI, the duplicate copy alongwith bulk statement in excel format to Authorised Dealers for negotiation / collection / settlement, the third copy to the exporter and the last copy will be retained by STPI for its own record. Under the revised procedure, the exporters, however, will have to provide information about all the invoices including the ones lesser than US$25000, in the bulk statement in excel format. [The revised procedure for submission of the Softex form and other relevant documents are detailed in the Annex.]
4. The new procedure will be effective initially in STPI Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and Mumbai with effect from April 01, 2012. Based on the success in these centers, it would be adopted by all the STPIs and SEZ/ EPZ/ 100% EOU/ EHTP/ DTA units by June 2012.
5. Authorised Dealers may bring the contents of this circular to the notice of their constituents concerned.
6. The directions contained in this circular have been issued under Section 10(4) and Section 11(1) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (42 of 1999) and are without prejudice to permissions / approvals, if any, required under any other law.
Chief General Manager
[Annex to A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 80
dated February 15, 2012]
1. Revised Procedure : Reporting of Software exports to STPI
A. Periodicity – Monthly
B. Time period – Not later than 30 days from the close of the month in which the invoice is raised
C. Applicability – Software exporters with annual turnover in excess of Rs. 1,000 crore or submitting at least 600 Softex forms annually.
D. Softex Number – Softex number shall be allocated/issued centrally by RBI once a year based on the requirements of exporter which can be about 200,000 numbers to be used by large exporters for the year for all locations. If the softex numbers are exhausted, the exporter can apply again to RBI for allotment of number. Exporters can use the allocated Softex number either for each invoice or for a group of invoices with same currency of a particular customer. Softex number would be the control number for identifying any of the export transaction.
E. Details of information – As per the template in Annexure A, which will broadly cover information as under
F. Soft copy Submission – Software Exports Declaration in summary excel sheet with above details.
G. Hard copy submission – Covering letter along with summary sheet declarations and Annexure copies in quadruplicate. Copies of Softex forms, Invoices, SoW, MSA or any other document are not required to be submitted along with summary.
H. Additional Information – At the request of STPI, software exporter need to submit additional details about selected sample invoices within 30 days of the request or any reasonable extended time at the discretion of the Director , STPI at the request from the exporter.
I. Time Period for additional Information – STPI would do sample audit periodically but not during the period beyond six months, to make the records concurrent with the filing of the Softex. This however, doesn’t stop the regulator from asking old records as per FEMA.
J. STPI will send the attested Bulk Softex statement in hardcopy to software exporter and soft copy to RBI, Regional Office, Authorized Dealer and Exporter with password protection (to be provided by STPI)
K. Authorized Dealer will upload this information in their systems for further processing
L. Authorized Dealer will settle the Softex using AD internal control number based on details provided by Exporter on collections as per Annexure C.
2. Reporting of Software export Realizations to Authorized Dealer (AD)
Software Exporters can have collection account overseas or get credit directly in the bank accounts maintained in India, where individual invoices raised on customers are collected. After meeting “onsite” branch expenses, as permitted by FEMA, net amount will be remitted to India. This would also include 100% realization of offsite exports.
A. Periodicity – Quarterly
B. Applicability – Software exporters with annual turnover in excess of Rs. 1,000 crore or submitting in excess of 600 Softex forms annually.
C. Details of information – As per Annexure C, which will cover information as under
3. Online Submission of Periodic Software Exports Declaration
STPI is in the process of computerizing the submission of Softex form. STPI would be required to ensure that the computerisation of the Softex forms and the populating of the data must be compatible to ‘Softex Card Design’ as detailed in Annexure E and be able to generate a report in ‘ENC file format’ as detailed in Annexure D.
N.B. In the event of full computerisation at the STPIs, the exporters will upload their bulk statement to the STPI system which will be verified and certified by the STPI and the certified information will flow to RBI, Regional Office, Exporter as well as AD online. The data will eventually flow to DSIM, RBI for record with a copy retained at STPI.