CA Kamal Garg

Trade Credits’ (TC) refer to credits extended for imports directly by the overseas supplier, bank and financial institution for maturity of less than three years. Depending on the source of finance, such trade credits include suppliers’ credit or buyers’ credit. Suppliers’ credit relates to credit for imports into India extended by the overseas supplier, while buyers’ credit refers to loans for payment of imports into India arranged by the importer from a bank or financial institution outside India for maturity of less than three years. It may be noted that buyers’ credit and suppliers’ credit for three years and above come under the category of External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) which are governed by ECB guidelines.

a) Amount and Maturity

AD banks are permitted to approve trade credits for imports into India up to USD 20 million per import transaction for imports permissible under the current Foreign Trade Policy of the DGFT with a maturity period up to one year (from the date of shipment). For import of capital goods as classified by DGFT, AD banks may approve trade credits up to USD 20 million per import transaction with a maturity period of more than one year and less than three years (from the date of shipment). No roll-over/extension will be permitted beyond the permissible period.

AD banks shall not approve trade credit exceeding USD 20 million per import transaction.

b) All-in-cost Ceilings

The current all-in-cost ceilings are as under:

* for the respective currency of credit or applicable benchmark

The all-in-cost ceilings include arranger fee, upfront fee, management fee, handling/ processing charges, out of pocket and legal expenses, if any. The existing all-in-cost ceiling is applicable upto September 30, 2012 and would be subject to review thereafter.

c) Guarantee

AD banks are permitted to issue Letters of Credit/guarantees/Letter of Undertaking (LoU) /Letter of Comfort (LoC) in favour of overseas supplier, bank and financial institution, up to USD 20 million per transaction for a period up to one year for import of all non-capital goods permissible under Foreign Trade Policy (except gold, palladium, platinum, Rodium, silver etc.) and up to three years for import of capital goods, subject to prudential guidelines issued by Reserve Bank from time to time. The period of such Letters of credit / guarantees / LoU / LoC has to be co-terminus with the period of credit, reckoned from the date of shipment.

d) Reporting Arrangements

AD banks are required to furnish details of approvals, drawal, utilisation, and repayment of trade credit granted by all its branches, in a consolidated statement, during the month, in form TC (format in Annex IV) from April 2004 onwards to the Director, Division of International Finance, Department of Economic Policy and Research, Reserve Bank of India, Central Office Building, 8th floor, Fort, Mumbai – 400 001 (and in MS-Excel file through email to deapdif@rbi.org.in) so as to reach not later than 10th of the following month. Each trade credit may be given a unique identification number by the AD bank.

AD banks are required to furnish data on issuance of LCs / Guarantees / LoU / LoC by all its branches, in a consolidated statement, at quarterly intervals (format in Annex V) to the Chief General Manager-in-Charge, Foreign Exchange Department, ECB Division, Reserve Bank of India, Central Office Building, 11th floor, Fort, Mumbai – 400 001 (and in MS-Excel file through email to fedcoecbd@rbi.org.in) from December 2004 onwards so as to reach the Department not later than 10th of the following month.

Source:  RBI/2012-13/12 Master Circular No. 12 /2012-13

(Compiled by: CA Kamal Garg, a Fellow Member of ICAI. He is engaged in IFRS – Audit and Advisory, FEMA, Valuation and XBRL Services. He can be approached at cakamalgarg@gmail.com)

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