The Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) scheme was introduced by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) under Chapter 5 of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-20. The idea behind the launch of this scheme was the facilitation of capital product imports so that Indian manufacturers can use them to produce quality goods. This scheme aims to improve India’s manufacturing prowess in the global market.EPCG Scheme allows import of capital goods (except those specified in the negative list in Appendix 5 F for pre-production, production and postproduction at zero customs duty.
Some services that were earlier allowed under the EPCG scheme were later discounted under the GST regime. As per FTP 2015-2020, Capital goods imported under EPCG Authorisation for physical exports are also exempt from IGST and Compensation Cess upto 31.03.2020i only, leviable thereon under the subsection(7) and subsection (9) respectively, of section 3 of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 (51 of 1975), as provided in the notification issued by Department of Revenue.
The export promotion capital goods scheme can be availed on the import of capital goods during the pre-production, production, and post-production stage with nil customs duty. The scheme is applicable when the imported goods are:
Export Obligation (EO) is an arrangement used in the import of capital goods under the EPCG scheme. Such imports are made under an EO, which must be six times the duty that would otherwise be paid on the import of the capital goods. The EO must be fulfilled within six years from the date of issuance of the EPCG authorisation.
Some conditions for EPCG export obligation calculation are to be fulfilled as follows:
The export obligation is to be fulfilled by the authorisation holder through the export of products manufactured by themselves or through their supporting manufacturer/services.
The export obligation under EPCG shall be over and above the average export volume for the previous three licensing years for the product(s) similar to it within the EO period, including extensions if any.
While calculating the EO volume, shipments made under advance authorisation, duty-free import authorisation (DFIA), drawback scheme, MEIS and SEIS will also be considered.
Royalty payment for R&D services received in freely convertible currency and foreign exchange is also counted while calculating exports under the EPCG scheme.
An authorisation received under the EPCG scheme remains active for 18 months from the date of its issue, and cannot be revalidated thereafter.
Only 25% of EO is required for units located in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and J&K.
If the authorisation holder completes 75% of the EO in less than half of the EO period, the remaining 25% is waived.
Only 75% of the EO is required for export of green technology products.
To avail of the benefits of the EPCG License, the exporter has to file an application with the DGFT. To apply for this incentive, fill up the Ayat Niryat Form 5B (ANF 5B) along with the following documents:
All these documents must be self-certified copies.
Exporters of electronic goods can also avail of EPCG benefits. An EPCG authorisation holder can source capital goods from a domestic manufacturer and claim deemed export benefit under the FTP. Domestic sourcing from export-oriented units is also permitted under the scheme. An EPCG authorisation holder can opt for technological upgradation of capital goods that have been procured under the scheme.
Fulfilling the EO is a basic precondition under the EPCG scheme. Heavy exporters are naturally better placed to fulfil this obligation and benefit from the EPCG. Therefore, it should be availed of only when production is in sizeable volumes, and one is confident of exporting the product overseas.