What is the MEIS Scheme?

MEIS stands for Merchandise Exports from India Scheme. It was designed to encourage exporters by providing them with rewards to compensate for infrastructural inefficiencies and other associated costs. It laid special emphasis on products that:

  • Were of high export interest for the government, and
  • Generated employment and improve the country’s competitiveness in the global trade market

MEIS was one of the two schemes that were introduced in the Foreign Trade Policy of India 2015-20. It was a part of the Exports from India Scheme. It replaced five similar incentive schemes present earlier under the Foreign Trade Policy 2009-14.

When did the MEIS Scheme start?

The MEIS scheme came into effect from 1st April 2015. It came to an end on 31st January 2020.

The scheme was revised as per Public Notice No. 06 /2015-2020 by the Directorate General Of Foreign Trade (DGFT), which was published on 4th May 2016. The revision included a re-structuring of the incentive rates, and the incentive basket was broadened

The MEIS scheme was eventually replaced by the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) scheme on 1st January 2021 to boost exports that were lagging previously.

Also Read: RoSCTL Scheme | Benefits, How to Apply & More


In the MEIS scheme, the incentives were calculated as a percentage of the Free On Board (FOB) value of exports in free foreign exchange for notified goods exported to notified countries.

The incentives awarded vary from product to product and country to country. In general, the MEIS rates for incentives can be either 2 percent, 3 percent, or 5 percent. In some cases, the rate can even be as high as 7 percent.

The incentives for the exported product are allotted through a MEIS duty credit scrip. If you want to check the MEIS rates, you can refer to Appendix 3B of the Foreign Trade Policy.

How did the MEIS scheme end?

The DGFT released a notification stating that MEIS will be ineffective from 1st January 2021. The notification also stated that the MEIS scheme would be replaced by the Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme in a phased manner.

The United States had challenged MEIS and other export subsidy schemes at the WTO. They argued that such schemes were against American workers. India contested the claim but lost. The WTO dispute panel found that India’s export subsidy programs violated WTO’s provisions. It recommended that MEIS and other similar schemes be scrapped.

This led to the conception and implementation of RoDTEP to make sure that India remains WTO-compliant.

Who were eligible for the MEIS Scheme?

To be eligible for the MEIS scheme, export businesses needed to meet the following criteria.

  • The scheme was applicable to exporters from India who exported goods that were notified in Appendix 3B of the MEIS schedule.
  • The eligibility depended on the product exported, not the country of export.
  • The MEIS benefits could also be claimed by SEZ and EOU units.
  • The scheme also covered products exported through e-commerce platforms.
  • There were no turnover criteria to be eligible for MEIS.
  • The products should originate in India. Re-exported products are not eligible for the MEIS scheme.
  • The shipping bills needed to have a ‘Declaration of Intent,’ with the scheme reward option ticked as ‘Yes.’

How did exporters apply for the MEIS Scheme?

  • To apply for MEIS, eligible applicants filled an online form in the format specified, ANF-3A. The form needed to be submitted with a digital signature.
  • The application had to be filed on the Directorate General of Foreign Trade website. The applicant needed to have the relevant Regional Authority for the export of the goods.
  • The applicant needed to file a separate application for every port of export. They also needed to ensure that each application contained a maximum of fifty shipping bills only.
  • There was no requirement to submit a shipping bill or a physical copy of the application if the export was carried out through the EDI port.
  • The applicant was required to submit relevant e-BRCand EDI shipping bills with the online application.
  • The applicant needed to submit proof of landing, a physical copy of the export, and scanned copies of other relevant documents if the export is carried out through a non-EDI port.
  • The applicant needed to keep the original documents of which only photocopies were submitted. They would be required to retain it for a period of three years from the date of the scrip issue. The authorities had the right to call the applicant to verify the documents at any time within those three years.
  • The applicant was liable to refund the incentive along with interest if they failed to produce original copies of the documents as and when the licensing authority demanded it.

List of Documents required for MEIS Scheme

To be eligible to receive rewards under the MEIS scheme, the exporter needed to submit Proof of Landing documents. For this, they could submit any of the following documents:

  • Self-attested copy of the bill of import filed by the respective importer in the specified market.
  • The delivery order issued by the specified port authorities.
  • Notice of arrival issued by the goods carrier.
  • Tracking report by the shipping line, airline, or their accredited agent in India.
  • Rail or road transportation receipts if the goods were exported to a landlocked notified market.
  • Any other relevant proof that showed that the product had reached the destination market.

MEIS Scheme for Exports

How does the MEIS Scheme work?

The MEIS scheme incentivized the export of goods manufactured or produced in India. This was done to encourage export and make it more competitive. The goods that were covered in this scheme ranged across various industries and are discussed later in the article.

The incentives were provided in the form of duty credit scrips to the exporter. They were paid as a percentage of the realized FOB value of the exported goods. The products and countries were categorized into different groups that determine the incentive percentage.


Suppose an exporter exports goods eligible under the MEIS scheme. They would receive credit duty scrips at face value of 2 to 5 percent of the export value, depending upon various factors. The exporter could then use the duty credit scrips for:

  • Paying basic and additional customs duty for import of goods inputs as per DoR notification.
  • Paying central excise duties on domestic procurement of goods and inputs.

Thus, they ended up saving a fraction of the costs on various import duties by using duty credit scrips.

Also Read: EPCG | Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme 2020

What were the key benefits of the MEIS Scheme?

Exporters were entitled to certain incentives and rewards that were awarded at different percentages. The rates differ from product to product and country to country. The countries for which the incentives were awarded were separated into three categories. They were:

  • Category A
  • Category B
  • Category C

Category A comprised traditional export markets like the US, Canada, and countries of the European Union. Category B comprised Emerging Focus Markets like the ASEAN and African countries. Category C comprised other markets. Similarly, the goods that were eligible for rewards and incentives were categorized into different groups.

The highest incentives were awarded to eco-friendly products, labor-intensive products, tech products, agricultural products, and products with a large number of producers and exporters.

The government provided first-time support for the export of agricultural produce like vegetables, fruits, oils, and dairy products. Other products in this category included AYUSH and herbal products.

Global support was provided for products exported to the USA, Canada, European Union, and Japan, such as tea, coffee, essential oils, cereals preparation, marine products, jute products, wood articles, jute products, and handmade carpets, readymade garments, and other textiles. The government would provide support for the export of surgical items, machine tools, automobiles, chemicals, rubber, plastics, iron, steel, leather garments, etc., that were exported to major markets.

Benefits Percentage

The benefits percentage depended on the product and the country to which it was exported. The benefits percentage varied from 2% to 5%.

Is MEIS discontinued/extended?

The MEIS scheme has been discontinued from 1st January 2021. The RoDTEP scheme has replaced it.

MEIS Scheme vs Duty Drawback vs Rodtep Scheme

MEIS Scheme vs Duty Drawback vs Rodtep Scheme

MEIS scheme Latest News

The Indian government expects to save INR 9000 crores out of the INR 56,000 crore allocated to settle claims under export promotion schemes like the MEIS.