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Now, traders need not file IEC returns

Monica Gupta  |  New Delhi 

In order to ease licensing norms, the commerce ministry has decided to do away with the requirement for exporters and importers to file their IEC (import-export code) trade returns.
The requirement for exporters to obtain licences like the advance licence, and EPCG (export promotion capital goods) in physical form, is also being done away with. Online format of such licences will be accepted by both the Directorate General of Foreign Trade and the Customs department.
Earlier, traders were required to file their IEC trade returns once a year, giving details of their past performance. It included total volume of exports or imports, and the total value therein.
This requirement will now be replaced with an integrated Aayat Niryat form which can be filled online.
Details include their excise, service tax and value-added tax registration, and their past performance. All these will be contained in one part of the Aayat Niryat form. Traders will have to provide these details only once. Also, they will be required to update it only in case of a change.
Government officials said these details would be stored online with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade and shared with the Customs department. "Therefore, traders filing for licences under more than one scheme need not submit these details again," an official said.
The electronic Aaayat Niryat form has also integrated schemes like the advance licence, the export promotion capital goods scheme, and the licence for restricted items, (excluding dual use products in the SCOMET list).
Exporters seeking to take advantage of the simplified electronic filing will be required to obtain a digital signature from enlisted authorised firms, and to open an electronic fund transfer account in any of the following banks "" ICICI, IDBI, UTI, HDFC and SBI.
Government officials said details of these measures would be issued next week, and the measures would be operationalised over the next few weeks.

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First Published: Thu, August 18 2005. 00:00 IST
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