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RBI’s Modified Import Norms Come With Some Riders
The rationalised guidelines by the apex bank are a positive sign for the gold importers in the country.
By: Diamond World News Service
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May 22 2014 3:42PM
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Reference: 9150  

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the apex bank has modified the import norms for gold with some conditions. After considering the presentations made by various trade bodies, banks, jewellers and bullion traders, the RBI has rationalised the guidelines for import of gold by the nominated banks/agencies/entities.

As per the circular issued by the bank, Star Trading Houses / Premier Trading Houses (STH/PTH) which are registered as nominated agencies by the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) may now import gold under 20:80 scheme subject to conditions. The conditions are: a) The STH/PTH should have imported gold prior to the introduction of 20:80 scheme. STH / PTH should get the required verification done by the Department of Customs at any port where they have imported gold consignment in the past. b) The first lot of gold under this scheme would be based on the highest monthly import during any of the last 24 months prior to the RBI’s notification dated 14th August 2013, subject to a maximum of 2000 Kgs. c) As in the case of other nominated agencies, the eligible quantity may be imported by STH/PTHs from any port, subject to their eligibility limit/maximum quantity allowed to them. d) For proper compliance, before import, they must submit the import plan, port-wise and quantity-wise, to the concerned Customs office, where the verification of the figures of past performance was done. This information will be sent to all the other ports from which imports are permitted. The overall discipline of exporting 20 per cent of each imported consignment before the next consignment is imported will be equally applicable to such STH/PTH importers.

As per the revised norms, a nominated bank/agency/any other entity that imports say 100 kg of gold, which shall be routed through custom bonded warehouses only. If considered necessary, the lot can be procured through two invoices – one for exporters (i.e. 20 per cent) and the other one for domestic users (80 per cent). Out of the above import of 100 kg, 20 kg gold held in the bonded warehouse can be got released, in part or full, to be made available to the exporters of gold against an undertaking to Customs Authorities as is the practice now. The balance 80 kg can be sold/lent in part or full to domestic entities engaged in jewellery business / bullion dealers/ banks operating the Gold Deposit Scheme (GDS) and Gold Metal Loan (GML).

Also, the RBI has permitted the nominated banks, to give Gold Metal Loans (GML) to domestic jewellery manufacturers out of the eligible domestic import quota of 80 per cent to the extent of GML outstanding in their books as on 31st March 2013.

The RBI has pointed out that all the other instructions remain unchanged. The modified guidelines will come into force with immediate effect as per the RBI directive.

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