SAPTA Registration Certificate is required to get advantages of FTA (Free Trade Agreements) to the importing country. It is an essential required document produced at the landing port with commercial invoices. A SAPTA, Certificate of Origin issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) must be provided through the exporters to ensure that the products are produced from countries under the trading agreement. The main purpose of SAPTA is to ensure optimum economic cooperation between the member countries by exchange of trade benefits and concessions. SAPTA Certificate is a first step to assist and promote mutual trade towards higher trade and economic cooperation in the SAARC countries. The agreement on Preferential trade arrangements among the seven member countries of the SAARC naming India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives was executed in Dhaka in 1993.
Benefits of the South Asian Preferential Trade Agreement (SAPTA)
South Asian Preferential Trade Agreement (SAPTA) agreement was formed to gain business facility from the member countries of SAARC. The main objective of SAPTA agreement was to reduce the trade barriers of the member countries of SAARC. As a result, the balance of trade in this region is reduced. Member countries get some advantages from the agreement of SAPTA like:
- Member countries of SAARC have the advantage of creating a proper business environment.
- If any country faces problems with the balance of payment, then SAPTA facilitates them.
- This agreement develops communication, infrastructural and transit facilities.
- By periodical review of this agreement identifies the success and failure of the member countries.
- This agreement tries to increase export.
- Underdeveloped countries get the facility to export goods and services to the developed countries by lower tax.
- Member countries receive the joint project.
Eligibility of Products for SAPTA Registration Certificate
To qualify for the preference, the products need to fall under the following categories:
- Comply with SAPTA rules of origin & comply with the consignment conditions specified through SAPTA rules of origin.
- Fall within a description of the product which is eligible for preference in the list of concessions of the SAPTA country.
The following are Important Criteria for Ensuring the Origin Country of the Product:
- Substantial Transformation: For products not wholly obtained, these criteria are applicable & include several parameters such as a change in tariff classification, value addition, technical specifications, etc.
- Wholly Obtained: This occurs if where all products and their inputs originate in exporting country.
Following Is The List Of Products which Are Wholly Produced/ Obtained In Exporting Participating Countries & Are Eligible For Preferential Concessions:
- Raw/mineral products are extracted from its soil, water/sea beds.
- Animals were born & raised there.
- Agriculture products are harvested there.
- Used articles collected there.
- Waste and scrap result through production operations conducted there.
- Products of sea fishing & other such marine products are taken from the high seas through its vessels.
- Product processed or made on boards its factory ships.
- Products are obtained from animals raised there.
- Products are obtained through hunting or fishing there.
- Products are produced exclusively from the products mentioned above.
Documents Required for obtaining SAPTA Registration Certificate.
Following are some vital documents required to obtain SAPTA Registration Certificate:
- Import-Export Code (IEC);
- Registration Certificate of Company/Organisation;
- GST Registration Certificate;
- Information, including ID &, address proof of each director, partner or proprietor;
- Exporter information;
- Commercial Invoice;
- Purchase bill with information on the origin of inputs/consumables used in export products;
- Declaration from the manufacturer (exporter) on the letterhead;
- Product information;
- Purchase order from the importer.
Procedure to Obtain SAPTA Registration Certificate
Following are the steps to obtain SAPTA Registration Certificate:
Step 1: Application: The applicant has to file an application form to the appropriate authority with Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) and updated Import Export Code (IEC).
Step 2: Documents: The application form must have all relevant information & required vital documents.
Step 3: Payment: After submission of the application form, the applicant has to make payment of the requisite certification fees.
Step 4: Issuance of License: Once all the above steps are successfully completed, then the appropriate authority grants the SAPTA Registration Certificate in the applicant’s name as the Certificate of Origin.
The products eligible for preferential concessions for SAPTA shall be supported by a ‘Certificate of Origin’ granted by an authority designated by the Government of the exporting Contracting State and notified to the other Contracting States under the Certification Procedures.