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DGFT releases detailed procedure for the Automatic System-Based Issuance of Status Holder Certificate (e-SHC) without exporter application requirement

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NEW DELHI : The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has issued Trade Notice No. 28/2023-24 dated October 9, 2023, outlining the detailed procedure for the automatic system-based issuance of Status Holder Certificates (e-SHC). This procedure eliminates the need for exporters to file any applications to obtain the certificate.

In furtherance of the e-Governance initiatives being taken by DGFT, a new IT module to recognize and certify the export performance of individual companies has been developed. Henceforth, the Status Holder Certificate (SHC) will be electronically generated based on export data available in DGCI&S database. The individual exporters will be divided into the five Status categories based on available merchandise export figures from EDI, non EDI Ports and SEZ ports as per the eligibility criterion in Foreign Trade Policy 2023. As a result there will be no requirement by the exporter to file any kind of application and the e-SHC, for a particular status category will be generated automatically by the IT system. This will eliminate the earlier process of submission of an online application with supporting export performance certificate from a Chartered Accountant and will also do  away with the file examination required at the DGFT Regional Offices and use existing data elements available within the Government for export certification.

The e-SHC will be made available to the exporting entity in their registered email and the customer dashboard @ DGFT portal (https://www.dgft.gov.in/CP/), after necessary IT iterations, by 15th of August each year. The data set used for the Status categorization will be the merchandise export performance of the preceding 3 financial years or the preceding 2 financial years (in case of gems and jewellery sector) plus the 3 month export data from April to June of the current financial year. 

i)  As the export figures pertaining to services exports, deemed exports and double weightage exports (as admissible under para 1.27 of FTP 2023) are not being compiled by DGCI&S, there will be a few cases where this facility of automatic e-SHC cannot be extended. All such exporters who do not receive their e-SHCs within 48 hours of issue of this Trade Notice will need to make an application, if not already made, for grant of Status Certificate as per the FTP 2023 provisions in the existing IT module along with supporting CA certificate.

ii)  Further, all already filed pending/in-process Status applications under FTP 2023 will be scrutinized by the IT system for auto-issuance of Status Holder Certificate where the applied Status category is the same as identified by the system. Such Files will be shown as ‘closed’ after auto-issue.

iii)  Keeping in view that certain export data is not getting captured online as in i) above, there will be some cases where the e-SHC of a exporting entity, which has been automatically generated, is of a lower Status category than which it is otherwise eligible after adding the export performance of services export and/or deemed export. In such a scenario, for upgrading the Status certificate, the IEC holder will need to move an amendment application at the DGFT portal as per para 1.08 of HBP 2023. On issue of a new SHC with a higher/upgraded Status category by the DGFT Regional Office, the earlier e-SHC certificate will be automatically cancelled by the IT system.

iv)  DGFT Regional Offices are requested to expedite processing such applications as in i) and iii) above and seek additional documents from the exporting entities only in exceptional cases after permission from the Head of Office.

It is being reiterated that all Status Holder Certificates issued under FTP- 2015-20 will remain valid till 30th September 2023 only as provided under para 1.09 of HBP 2023 and any IEC holder willing to avail the Status Holder Certificate under the FTP 2023, and who is not getting covered under the new mechanism of automatic issue, will need to apply online to the concerned jurisdictional RAs of DGFT as per para 1.08 of HBP 2023

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