The commerce ministry on Friday said it has restored the procedure for issuance of physical copy of a key document required for export of shipments to Thailand and Vietnam under a free trade agreement.
Earlier in April, the ministry had allowed exporters to obtain the 'Certificate of Origin' document through online process, as concerned offices were closed on account of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), under the ministry, said that various representations have been received from exporters, expressing difficulties in obtaining preferential access in Thailand and Vietnam based on digitally signed electronic certificates of origin.
"In view of above, the earlier procedure of issuing physical copy of Certificate of Origin (CoO) by the designated agencies for exports to Thailand to Vietnam under ASEAN-India FTA (free trade agreement) is being restored," it said in a trade notice.
Applications for certificate under ASEAN-India FTA for exports to Thailand and Vietnam should now be submitted manually by the exporters to the offices of the designated issuing agencies -- EIA (Export Inspection Agency), MPEDA (Marine Products Exports Development Authority) and Textile Committee, it said.
The e-platform will not accept CoO applications submitted for exports destined to Thailand and Vietnam, it said.
However, it shall continue to accept and process CoO applications for export to other countries under ASEAN-India FTA, it added.
"These agencies (EIA, MPEDA and Textile Committee) will henceforth issue the Certificate of Origin in physical paper format as was being done before...for Thailand and Vietnam, till further notice," DGFT said.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-India trade in goods agreement was signed on August 13, 2009, and became effective from January 1, 2010.
Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei, Myanmar, and Laos are the member countries of Asean.
Under such trade agreements, two or more trading partners significantly reduce or eliminate import duties on maximum number of goods traded between them.
An exporter has to submit a CoO at the landing port of the importing country.
The document is important to claim duty concessions under free trade agreements. This certificate is essential to prove where the goods come from.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)